ACT Research’s preliminary estimate for November indicates that trailer manufacturers booked 19,500 net orders to their orderboards in November, a 39% decline from October’s volume. Activity was 56% below November of 2018, while year-to-date net orders are just under half that of last year.
Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 21,100 trailers were off 43% month-over-month and 54% below last year.
“The sequential decline in November broke a four-month streak of monthly gains. That ran counter to the industry’s normal order patterns, which point to November typically ranking as the best order month of the year,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “The cautious stance toward 2020 cap-ex spending is evident in both the level and pattern of fleet trailer orders.
“One positive takeaway from the November stats is a significant easing in cancellations compared to previous months,” Maly went on. “That’s an indication that, while lower, the commitments on the orderboard appear to be firming as we close the year. Discussions with trailer OEMs also indicate that, although they are encountering pricing pressure, quote activity remains solid, so any change in fleet confidence could quickly result in an order rebound.”