ACT Research: Preliminary Net Trailer Orders Rise as ’24 Books Begin to Open

ACT Research Co.
3 min readAug 16, 2023

July’s preliminary net trailer orders increased sequentially, but were lower against longer-term comparisons, with 10,000 units. As the weakest order month of the year, July’s seasonally adjusted (SA) factor boosts the SA tally to 15,700 units. Final July results will be available later this month. This preliminary market estimate should be within +/-5% of the final order tally.

a graph showing the preliminary July 2023 US trailer net order data
US Trailer Net Orders

“Preliminary net orders, at 15,700 seasonally adjusted, rose more than 95% sequentially and were the highest seasonally adjusted level since March,” said Jennifer McNealy, Director CV Market Research & Publications at ACT Research. She added, “With still high backlogs and 2024 orderboards only minimally open, it is still too soon for robust expectations.”

McNealy continued, “Additionally, July’s preliminary data show cancellations, although still higher than desired, moderated after three months of broadly-based elevated cancellations.” She concluded, “Backlogs remain healthy, if falling below year-ago levels for the first time this year in June. Demand may be softening, but it’s far from falling off a cliff.”

When asked about the backlog’s trajectory, she commented, “Using preliminary July orders and the corresponding OEM build plans from the July State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report (June data) for guidance, we would expect the trailer backlog to decrease by around 14,800 units to about 157,000 units when complete July data are released. As this number is derived from estimated data, note there will be some variability to reported backlogs when final data are collected.”

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

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.

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.

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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.