US trailer orders are estimated to come in around the 26,400-unit mark in February, according to preliminary data by ACT Research – a drop from January but a strong result compared to 2016.
“We’ve seen delayed timing this order season, as fleets appeared to wait to make their investment decisions post-election,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research.
“That makes analysis of monthly changes as well as year-over-year results a bit challenging.”
He added, “The January to February decline in net orders, roughly a 20 per cent slide, is much more in line with expectations for the December to January timeframe.
“The delay in the overall order season has the opposite impact on year-over-year comps; February will be roughly 24 per cent better than the same month last year.”
According to Mali, a quick review of other industry measures shows cancellations, which ACT Research defines as a per cent of the backlog, continue at a “tolerable level”, even though they seem to have drifted upward in February to the highest rate posted since October.
“Additionally, it appears that reefer backlogs held steady last month, while both the dry van and total industry order boards posted their fourth straight monthly gain.”