COLUMBUS, Ind. — January trailer orders fell 43% year-over-year and ACT Research says small and medium-sized fleets may be pulling back on their ordering activity.
“We’re hearing comments regarding slow dealer activity. Small and medium fleets continue to be cautious and are likely faring worse financially than their large fleet competitors. ELDs (electronic logging devices) will likely generate further headwinds for that fleet segment,” said Frank Maly, director, commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT.
However, he also noted large fleets are shifting more capital towards the purchase of new trailers because it can generate greater efficiencies than buying more power units.
“We’re also seeing a pattern of continuing bias in fleet investment toward trailers over tractors,” Maly noted. “Given the price difference, a relatively small shift in dollar expenditures can generate significant returns in trailer acquisitions, and adding trailers helps support increased drop-and-hook activity, making the best use of drivers.”