October totals show trailer orders maintaining positive stretch

The trailer backlog continued its positive trend in October, ACT Research reported Tuesday, with a stronger than expected improvement of 6 percent month-over-month and 8 percent year-over-year.

“Eight of ten categories were up month over month, with liquid tanks and reefers the outliers,” says Frank Maly, director, CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Eight of ten were also in the black year over year, with medium lowbeds and reefers in the red.”

October’s longer production schedule was almost perfectly offset by lower build rates, ACT says.

“The 25,700 trailers built last month was up less than 1 percent sequentially,” Maly says, adding year-to-date production of 247,500 trailers is “also up less than 1 percent year-over-year.”

ACT says the October totals were for the most part in line with expectations.

“We expect Q4 daily production to be about 5 percent down from Q3 levels. Our projections indicate that total 2017 trailer production will be about 3 percent higher than last year, and some increase in factory inventory will result in a slightly smaller year-over-year gain in shipments versus 2016,” Many says.

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