December net U.S. trailer orders of 43,806 units grew 11% from the previous month and were up nearly 150% year-over-year, according to ACT Research.
Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 45,800 units were up 11% versus November, but 148% better than the previous December, according to ACT. Full-year 2020 net orders were 41% improved from those recorded for full-year 2019.
“Large fleets continue to contribute to the orderboard, while dealer stocking orders also aided volume in December,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. He added, “Strength continued in dry vans, but reefers eased from a very robust November. Sequential improvement occurred in many vocational categories, a pleasant change although vocational segment demand remains well under last year’s levels.”
Maly continued: “The industry is now set for a very robust 2021 for dry vans, reefers, and flats. The 2020 year-end backlog is the third-best in industry history and 50% better than the average year-end orderboard of 2010-2019. The challenge for OEMs will be to increase build rates to address this solid orderboard, creating additional production slots as we move through the year.”