Trailer Orders Unusually Strong, Used Trucks Sales Higher

COLUMBUS, IN — Trailer net orders in the U.S. during June totaled nearly 27,900 units, jumping more than 73% since May while used truck sales also improved.

New figures released by the commercial vehicle industry data provider ACT Research show while trailer sales were not the best June on record, this surge was especially strong for two trailer types.

“Although not the strongest June on record – that was the 32,000 volume of June 1994 – the June 2015 order surge is exceptionally early, with strength coming from dry vans and reefers,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT. “The lack of cancellations, along with early 2016 commitments, indicates strong fleet confidence in the short to medium term outlook.”

Maly said that ACT Research’s outlook continues to be positive, although vocational trailers continue to endure energy sector headwinds.

“While there has been some softening in freight rates, lower fuel costs have helped offset those shifts and fleets’ bottom lines continue to be firm,” he said said. “Our view that 2015 will be the best trailer market since the late 1990s remains unchanged.”

Meantime, a separate report from ACT shows the total U.S.. reported volumes of used Class 8 trucks rose to 2,643 units in June, up 6% month-over-month.

While the average age of Class 8 used trucks was flat in June, and the average miles of sold used trucks slipped 2% month-over-month, the average sale price remained strong. Prices were up 3% from the same time a year earlier while they rose 7% so far this year.

This latter figure in line with ACT’s expectations of 5% – 10% price growth in 2015.

“The used truck market continues to be strong, exhibiting high prices,” said Steve Tam, vice president of the commercial vehicle sector with ACT. “Volumes in the auction and wholesale markets indicated very strong sales with increases of 113% and 13% month-over-month, respectively. The retail market, on the other hand, remained flat month-over-month, but our guidance for full year 2015 sales remains unchanged.”

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