ACT Research: Preliminary Net Trailer Orders Indicate Strong Demand Continues

ACT Research Co.
3 min readMar 21, 2023

February’s preliminary net trailer orders increased sequentially, but were lower against longer-term comparisons, with 25,800 units (25,600 SA) projected to have been booked during the month. Final February results will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/-5% of the final order tally.

US Trailer Net Orders January 2019-February 2023 (Prelim)

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and factory shipments. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present, as well as a ready-to-use graph packet, to allow organizations in the trailer production supply chain, and those following the investment value of trailers, trailer OEMs, and suppliers to better understand the market.

“Preliminary net orders were more than 6% higher compared to January’s intake, but about 5% lower against the same month last year,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. She added, “The decline versus last year can largely be chalked up to backlog length. Trailer backlogs at the start of 2023 are 50,000 units above year-ago levels. February’s preliminary data show orders for dry vans and platform trailers driving the sequential uptick.”

McNealy continued, “While demand remains strong, we’re also seeing improved, albeit still challenged, build data. While we are still waiting for February data, January’s backlog-to-build ratio, a proxy for industry demand strength was nearly 10 months, roughly double the historical average. That means fleets needing trailers will need to maintain their patience.”

When asked about build and backlog, she commented, “Using preliminary February orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the February State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (January data) for guidance, the trailer backlog should decrease by around 1,100 units when complete February 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.”

ACT Research State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis, and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

Click below to access:

More information about ACT’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report.

Information about ACT Research’s other publications and services.

February’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers Preliminary press release.

February’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers press release.

ACT’s In the News page.

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ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.