Trailer orders soft in January as OEMs manage backlogs

by Today's Trucking

Trailer orders totaled 26,100 units in January, according to preliminary data from ACT Research, representing a soft start to the year and coming in just shy of December’s orders of 26,400 units.

Order activity was 17% off last January’s numbers, but ACT says manufacturers are trying not to take in more orders than they can fill in light of continuing supply chain issues.

Chart showing trailer orders

“OEMs continue to carefully manage their order intake in an effort to control the length of their production commitments. January’s net order volume matching December’s intake is evidence of that effort,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation and analysis with ACT Research.

“The industry backlog stretched through August, on average, at the start of the year. January reports point to a closing backlog that could extend into September, with dry van and reefer commitments likely reaching early into the fourth quarter.

“This production environment means that fleets will continue to struggle to acquire equipment as we move through the year. While we expect OEMs to ramp volume throughout 2022, the pace will be slower than both OEMs and fleets would prefer. Component, material, and staffing headwinds will continue to challenge any meaningful increase in production volume.”

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