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US Trailer Production Pendulum Has Shifted to “Advantage Fleets”

| November 19, 2019

The dramatic growth of the trailer fleet in the past few years is also an important factor

According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, trailer industry net orders have now posted y/y declines for the last 10 months. YTD September net orders were down 54% versus 2018. Dry van and reefer net orders were both weaker than the industry average, while only medium lowbeds had a positive y/y result, but just 3% better than last year.

“While the 2019/2020 order season is underway, fleet response has been lackluster,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He continued, “The impact of financial pressures, a combination of weaker freight volume and lower rates for the available freight movement, is an overarching concern.” Additionally, Maly said, “The dramatic growth of the trailer fleet in the past few years is also an important factor, resulting in both increased capacity and a dramatically younger fleet, all meaning little incentive for significant capital investment by fleets.”

Maly also noted, “We project softening production into early 2020, with slower line rates and/or reduced days in operation at the OEMs. A market that was extremely advantageous toward the OEMs as 2019 opened has seen that pendulum shift rather dramatically to ‘advantage fleets,’ meaning price levels will likely be a major topic during ongoing order negotiations.”

Category: Cab, Trailer & Body New, Equipment, Featured, General Update, News

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