Low US trailer orders in January

Weak freight rates continue to reduce carriers’ willingness to invest in equipment, resulting in low trailer orders and high cancellations in the US in January.

January net orders, at 13,700 units, were nearly 43 per cent lower year on year, and 10.7k units below December, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: US Trailers report. Total cancellations took a turn for the worse in January, jumping to 3.2 per cent of the backlog from December’s elevated 1.7 per cent rate.

“Seasonally adjusted, January’s orders fell to 12,400 units from December’s 15,400 SA rate,” said Director–CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research, Jennifer McNealy. “On that basis, orders decreased 28 per cent month on month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, dry van orders contracted 55 per cent year on year, with reefers down 37 per cent, and flats 34 per cent lower compared to January 2023.”

With markets swimming in capacity, no one needs a higher trailer-to-tractor ratio, she explained.

“Healthy economic performance is increasingly favouring freight, but we are roughly balanced between the tail of an 18-month freight recession and the beginning of the next freight cycle, meaning limited CapEx available even with some dealers still challenged with more inventory than customers,” McNealy said.

In other news, an international logistics company has added 200 Schmitz Cargo refrigerated semi-trailers to its fleet.

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