ECONOMIC WATCH: November trailer orders double year ago tally

by Today's Trucking

COLUMBUS, Ind. – ACT Research has reported 39,500 U.S. net trailer orders for November, down 28% from a near-record October but double volumes seen last November.

The preliminary data points to six consecutive months with solid year-over-year gains in net orders, and ACT expects November to rank within the top 10 months of all time.

“While November orders were down sequentially versus October, that matches the order pattern for last year. Remember that October was the third-best net order month in history, so that set up a tough comparison for the industry,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research.

“Dry vans have been the foundation of the recent order surge, and that pattern continued during November. While more than twice the pace of last November, dry van orders appear to be roughly two-thirds of October’s level. Freight rates continue at robust levels, resulting in solid expectations for fleet financials. That means fleets have both the need and ability to invest in equipment. Given concerns regarding availability and timing of production slots in 2021, since existing backlog extends to nearly the end of Q3 2021 at current production rates, fleets pulled their order timing forward this year, resulting in the October volume peak.”

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