Preliminary Net Trailer Orders Fall, Cancellations Elevated but ’24 Books Opening

| July 20, 2023

ACT Research reports “Preliminary net orders were 34% lower compared to May’s intake, and down 75% versus the same month last year”

June’s preliminary net trailer orders decreased sequentially, and were lower against longer-term comparisons, with 6,300 units (8,000 seasonally adjusted) projected to have been booked during the month. Final June results will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/-5% of the final order tally.

“Preliminary net orders were 34% lower compared to May’s intake, and down 75% versus the same month last year,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. She added, “Seasonal expectations suggest orders are likely to remain soft the coming few months, particularly given near record-level order backlogs. Trailer manufacturers normally spend mid-year working down the backlog ahead of the next year’s full orderboard opening.”

McNealy continued, “Albeit against strong comparisons, demand is softening, but with 2024 orderboards just beginning to open, it is no surprise that net orders in June were the lowest they’ve been so far this year. That is simply part of the cycle. However, we’re seeing increased and broad-based cancellations, but we’re hearing that much of this is a dealer stocking issue, rather than a general decline in fleets’ appetite for equipment. Since backlogs remain relatively healthy, most fleets needing trailers remain in queue.”

When asked about build and backlog, she commented, “Using preliminary June orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the June State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (May data) for guidance, the trailer backlog should decrease by around 22,000 units to about 172,000 units when complete June data are released. That said, with orders being preliminary and the build number a projection, there will be some variability in reported backlogs when final data are collected.”

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