US trailer order volume slid sequentially for the second month in a row, but it’s all relative when one considers that more than 45,000 net orders were posted in November, according to ACT Research’s State of the Industry: US Trailer Report published in December.
The report explains that November was the fifth highest net order month in industry history, following September’s all-time record and October’s second-best in history.
“Seasonals call for a small sequential net order gain to close the year, but several factors make that a challenge,” said ACT Research Director – CV Transportation Analysis and Research, Frank Maly.
“With the last three months all ranking in the top five all-time, how likely are fleets to continue to increase commitments that currently stretch into fall 2019? Several factors, including softening freight rates, some interest-rate driven uncertainty, and the continuing potential of tariff wars, cloud the economic horizon.
“It is important to remember that year-to-date volume already ranks 2018 as the highest net order year in history, with one month remaining. The orderboard is just above twice the level of this point last year, and eight of ten trailer categories are in the black y/y, with dry vans, reefers, heavy lowbeds, and liquid tanks all posting triple-digit percentage improvement,” he said.