Trailer orders drop, reflecting lengthy backlogs

Trailer orders fell 39% to 8,800 units in May, according to preliminary data from ACT Research, reflecting lengthy backlogs extending into next year.

“The sequential decline in net orders was no surprise, as the impact of supply and staffing headwinds overcame continued strong market demand. With industry backlogs for dry vans and reefers extending well into next year, OEMs are reticent to continue to book orders that would further extend their delivery horizons,” said Frank Maly, director – commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research.

“Some fleets may be unwilling to extend their commitments, as well. The combination of those concerns generates headwinds to additional order placement, and accentuates the seasonal softness that normally occurs in late spring and early summer.

“While these early reports indicate that OEMs did improve production rates in May, the increase was not as strong as they would prefer. Until meaningful increases in build rates can be attained, expect order acceptance by OEMs to remain somewhat restrained.”