While its preliminary estimate was 29,500, ACT Research is now reporting that the trailer industry closed March a bit stronger, with just over 30,000 net orders. The industry is now committed through October, ACT reported.
“Although off 11% versus a very strong February, volume was up 39% year-over-year,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research. “Strong freight demand and tight capacity continue to encourage fleets to invest in equipment, and the positive impact of freight rates on their bottom lines provide them the means to commit. And don’t forget: the recent tax cuts contribute to this equation.
“March was the 16th straight month with year-over-year order gains and eight of ten trailer categories posted year-over-year improvements with most in the plus 40% range,” Maly continued. “On a quarterly basis, Q1 net orders were up 28% versus the same quarter last year. Regarding build in March, month-over-month softness may well indicate that OEMs were not able to increase production as much as they might have liked, amid comments heard about tight component supplies. In the coming months, ACT will be closely watching components related to undercarriage, suspensions, axles and tires.”