September preliminary net trailer orders spike

September’s preliminary net trailer orders increased sequentially to 31,300 units and were notably higher compared to last September, up 19 per cent.

As the opening month of peak order season, seasonal adjustment (SA) lowers September’s SA tally to 28,700 units.

“Preliminary net orders, at 28,700 seasonally adjusted, were 95 per cent higher sequentially,” said Director CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research, Jennifer McNealy.

“While this certainly is a welcome sign for the industry, and the first time in 2023 that year-over-year comparisons have been positive, one month of robust orders does not guarantee the full year. It’s still too early in the new year order season to call.”

McNealy acknowledges that the data provides mixed messages, with cancellations remaining elevated, driven primarily by the van segments, both dry and reefer, even as backlogs remain at healthy. In August, the BL/BU ratio was north of five months in aggregate, with some specialty segments having no available build slots until the beginning of 2025.

“We’ve been hearing that order discussions were occurring, and it looks like quotations are beginning to convert to ‘booked’ business,” she said.

Final September results will be available later this month.

In previous market news, July’s preliminary net trailer orders in North America increased sequentially, but were lower against longer-term comparisons.

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