US trailers orders down

US trailer orders for March have declined on both an annual and monthly basis, according to ACT Research.

Preliminary net data for the month showed orders declined 19 per cent to 13,600 units from 16,800 in the prior-year period, and fell 33.7 per cent from the preliminary total of 20,500 units ordered in February.

“Net orders remain challenged by a backdrop of weak profitability for for-hire truckers,” said the Director of Commercial Vehicle Market Research at ACT, Jennifer McNealy. “Anecdotal commentary from trailer manufacturers and suppliers through the past several months have indicated this slowing, as they have shared that orders are coming, but at a more tepid pace when compared to the last few years.”

The US Environmental Protection Agency is expected to set tougher greenhouse gas pollution standards for heavy-duty vehicles starting with model year 2027. McNealy suspects fleets that are pre-buying power units ahead of the regulations are holding off on ordering new trailers, especially amid current weak freight market conditions.

“While we remain cautiously optimistic and don’t believe this year will be catastrophic for the trailer markets in general, we note that 2024 thus far is matching expectations as a year of transition,” McNealy said. “While some specialty segments have no available build slots until late in 2024 at the earliest, the industry’s largest segments remain under pressure.”

In other news, UPS Healthcare has announced it will invest €55 million into two of its Italian facilities.

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