ACT Research Co.’s preliminary estimate for October indicates that trailer manufacturers booked 31,900 net orders to their orderboards last month, a 71% spike from September and the second straight month of sequential growth greater than 70%. Volume was 42% below last year, but slightly above the same month in 2017. Year-to-date, net orders are off 52% from the torrid pace of 2018.
Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 37,500 trailers were up 73% from September, but 34% below last year, ACT says.
“After a lackluster summer, order volume has now surged for two straight months, and is tracking more in line with historic seasonal order patterns,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “October order strength was highly concentrated in dry vans, where orders were more than two times that of September. A counterpoint to the net order surge was continuing elevated cancellations, occurring in both dry vans and reefers. Since we are approaching year-end, it is likely that cancellations are due to a combination of several factors. Some placeholder orders are likely being cleared from the system and it is also likely some production is being shifted into early 2020, either at OEM or fleet request.”