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US Trailer Industry Already Committed Through Most of 2023

| February 21, 2023

“Demand overall remains strong, and cancellations are low…”

Reflecting a lower build rate, January’s backlog-to-build ratio increased to 9.9 months, after averaging ~8 months since August of 2021. That said, the BL/BU for total trailers decreased to 8.1 months when seasonally adjusted. Either way one looks at it, the industry is essentially committed into the beginning of Q4’23, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report.

“With four more build days in January relative to December, build was 4% higher month-over-month. That said, build per day decreased from the previous month’s unit-per-day rate,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director–CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. “OEM conversations continue to suggest supply-chain constraints, including labor, are likely to remain a limiting factor to production in 2023.”

Total Trailers Net Orders January 2014-2023

She added, “At 24,300 units, 2023’s first month of net orders was nearly 58% below December’s intake surge, but only 9% lower than what was received in January of 2022. Lower orders of both van types, as well as flatbeds, was offset somewhat by increased placement for lowbeds and tanks, with orders for dumps virtually unchanged.”

McNealy concluded, “Demand overall remains strong, and cancellations are low, but we are hearing that some orders are being made to replenish dealer stock, rather than going directly to fleet customers.”

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