ACT Research reported Friday trailer OEMs posted 8,800 net orders in May, off 39 percent versus April, but almost 170 percent better than the COVID-impacted level last year.
ACT wasn't surprised by the decline, and cites external market factors for the slip.
“The sequential decline in net orders was no surprise, as the impact of supply and staffing headwinds overcame continued strong market demand," says Frank Maly, director, CV transportation analysis and research. "With industry backlogs for dry vans and reefers extending well into next year, OEMs are reticent to continue to book orders that would further extend their delivery horizons. Some fleets may be unwilling to extend their commitments, as well. The combination of those concerns generates headwinds to additional order placement, and accentuates the seasonal softness that normally occurs in late spring and early summer."
Maly notes OEMs have indicated they did improve production rates in May, though "the increase was not as strong as they would prefer. Until meaningful increases in build rates can be attained, expect order acceptance by OEMs to remain somewhat restrained."