Trailer Orders for April 2021

ACT Research

ACT Research: U.S. Net and New Trailer Orders Show Double-Digit M/M Decline, Huge Y/Y Gains Against Severely COVID-Impacted April 2020

COLUMBUS, IN – (Trailer Technician) – April net US trailer orders of 14,387 units fell nearly 52% from the previous month and rose more than 3600% compared to the severely COVID-impacted April of 2020. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 18.9k units were down 44% versus March, but 219% better than the previous April, 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, trailer OEMs, and suppliers to better understand the market.

“While seasonals call for a sequential decline in net orders in April, other market pressures drove net orders down to 14.4k trailers for the month, less than half that of March bookings,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. In considering longer-term comparisons, though, he cautioned, “We’re now in a period where, because of the unprecedented COVID-related impact in 2020, year-over-year comparisons will become much less valuable in determining the strength of the market.”

Maly added, “The industry is also grappling with extended backlogs, and, on average, the next available production slots for dry vans and reefers are in Q2’22. That challenges OEMs as they struggle to confirm component and materials pricing, as well as supply, that far into the future. Fleets, too, struggle with determining true equipment requirements that far out.” He concluded, “Some OEMs have announced a pause in order acceptance, as they search for a bit more certainty in the long-term. Re-negotiation of pricing on already-booked orders may also cause some fleets to step to the sidelines, seeking a bit less uncertainty on future CAPEX commitments, and simultaneously reducing new orders in the short term.”

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

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