June net U.S. trailer orders of 10,952 units grew nearly 18% from the previous month, but were almost 20% lower than June of 2020. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 13,100 units were up more than 7% versus May, but down 19% from the previous June, according to the latest numbers from ACT Research.
“Despite sequential improvement, net orders continue to be diminished by a ‘pause’ in order acceptance at several OEMs. However, that pause was not universal, as reefers surged 90% from a very lackluster May,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Without that support, total industry volume could easily have posted a net order decline to close the quarter. The industry also posted the first year-over-year decline in net orders since May of 2020, the end of the COVID-induced order retrenchment last year.
“The ratio of trailer orders to truck orders, shown in the graph, is an indicator of the degree of impact the order pause is generating,” Maly added. “Normally ranging around 1.5, the trailer/tractor net order ratio started Q2 just below 1.0 and plummeted to approximately 0.65 at quarter’s end. This is an indication of pent-up demand that likely will be quickly addressed when orderboards officially open for 2022.”