ACT Research: U.S. Trailer Net Orders Up 71% M/M, but Down 42% Y/Y and 52% YTD

ACT Research Co.
3 min readNov 22, 2019

New US trailer orders of 37.2k were up 72% month-over-month, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders of 31.8k hit their fourth consecutive sequential rise, increasing 71% from September, but down 42% compared to October of 2018. Year-to-date, however, net trailer orders are 52% below last year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

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 and trailer OEMs and suppliers, to better understand the market.

“Most notable in this month’s data is the strength of the dry van segment, bringing volumes in more than double September’s level,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He continued, “Discussions we’ve had have indicated that several large fleet orders underpinned last month’s results, but there are concerns about a continuation of that support, or at least support to that degree, in upcoming months.”

Additionally, Maly said, “Anecdotal information we’ve received indicates that CapEx commitments are proceeding at replacement levels, at best, as fleets balance equipment needs with the impact of softer freight demand and the resulting influence on their financials.” He concluded, “As expected, trailer OEMs are encountering pricing pressure, as the market pendulum has swung to the fleets’ advantage.”

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

ACT’s 62nd seminar is scheduled for February 11–13, 2020, and will feature trucker, electrification, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of electrification on the market in the near future. A commercial vehicle database workshop is also being planned in conjunction with this semi-annual event. Click here for seminar information.

Click here for more information about ACT’s US Trailer Report.

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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.