February net U.S. trailer orders of 12.7k units were down 15% month-over-month and 45% below the previous year. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 14.8k were down 12% versus January, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.
“The conservative investment posture of fleets continued into February,” said Frank Maly, director – CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “As dire as those figures are, they were highly pre-COVID-19 driven. Now, we are operating under some of the most unusual and unexpected market conditions in history.”
Maly continued, “Lower freight volumes and rates were already impacting fleet financials, as well as the need and ability to invest in equipment. While freight volume may have skyrocketed, if you are carrying the correct goods for the correct sales channels, for many fleets the shuttering of restaurants and retail locations may have pushed operations to the sidelines. Recent discussions indicate that order placement has virtually disappeared, as fleets begin to assume their version of ‘shelter in place’ with regards to equipment investment.”