Sequential changes in U.S. trailer data were directionally correct — orders were down, inventory and build rates were up, and cancellations were inconsequential, according to the most recent State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers published by ACT Research Co. (ACT).
“The front-loading of the fall/winter order season we’ve noted over the past few years continues to impact recent order levels; new and net orders were both off 36 percent sequentially, while the year over year comps for both measures showed a 43 percent decline,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT.
“Additionally, we’re hearing comments regarding slow dealer activity. Small and medium fleets continue to be cautious and are likely fairing worse financially than their large fleet competitors. ELDs will likely generate further headwinds for that fleet segment.”
He continued, “We’re also seeing a pattern of continuing bias in fleet investment toward trailers over tractors. Given the price difference, a relatively small shift in dollar expenditures can generate significant returns in trailer acquisitions, and adding trailers helps support increased drop-and-hook activity, making the best use of drivers.”