Trucking news: ACT reports U.S. commerical trailer net orders are down in June

By Jeff Berman · July 27, 2011

Data published this week by ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles, indicated that June marked the third straight month to see a decline in U.S. commercial trailer net orders with a 26 percent decrease from May.

ACT said that this most recent decline, in conjunction with an increase in trailer production, has seen industry backlogs dip 5 percent from May to June, with June’s orderboard at 97,000 units. And even with the decline in orders in June, ACT said that industry backlog is more than twice as high as it was last year at this time.

“The fall-off in net orders was greater than anticipated,” said Frank Maly, Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research with ACT, in a statement. “A positive factor to keep in mind is that cancellations of existing commitments on the orderboards were not an issue; new order weakness was the cause. We are in a seasonally low time of the year for new order placement. Fleet order rates will need to be closely monitored over the next couple of months to determine if the recent order softness is a short-lived pause or the start of a new trend in the industry recovery.”

ACT reported last week that following nine months of order backlogs for Class 8 trucks, June saw a less than 1 percent decrease.

This marked the second consecutive month of slower order activity, according to ACT, with net orders hitting 21,266 units on a non-seasonal basis, which was 9 percent lower than May’s output. This data was featured in ACT’s most recent State of the Industry report.

This decline continues a slowdown that has been occurring since a big order intake in April, caused by some artificial things that were starting to pull demand ahead, said Steve Tam, vice president-commercial sector at ACT, in an interview. Among these “artificial” things are signals from truck OEMs that price increases for parts and components is coming, with discounting starting to cease as pricing is returning their way.

These things all manifested themselves in the form of some type of a price increase, with truckers looking to buy equipment doing so in April, according to Tam.

“Truckers are creatures of habit so their capital investment cycle follows a fairly predictable pattern, which helps us gauge what is going on,” said Tam. “We can expect to see orders remain down at this lower level through at least September and probably October.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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