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U.S. trailer orders in April rose slightly compared with 2021, but plunged compared with March to settle at the lowest point since October, ACT Research reported, citing trailer makers’ preliminary data.
Orders were 16,100, compared with 14,387 a year earlier, and were the lowest volume since October’s 17,405.
This March, orders were 37,901, and the high point of the year, according to ACT.
ACT Research: April Preliminary US Trailer Net Orders Slid 58% Versus March, Similar to Year-Ago Volumehttps://t.co/gkR0gpADZh
— ACT Research (@actresearch) May 12, 2022
ACT attributed the drop to trailer makers’ maintaining, once again as in months past, tight control of how many orders they accept this year with orders in 2023 largely on hold.
“Just as dry vans provided solid support in March, they were responsible for the dramatically lower April bookings,” Frank Maly, director commercial vehicle transportation analysis at ACT, said in a release.
“Final reporting will likely show that these lower order levels will still result in an average backlog-to-build ratio of just over 8 months for the total industry,” he said. “That will stretch through the end of the year at current production levels.”
FTR pegged orders at 16,800.
“There is no reason for trailer OEMs to overbook, with increasing uncertainties regarding the supply chain. The [COVID lockdown] situation in Shanghai is going to delay some components that are needed to make trailers,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR.
“So,” he said, “the low order volumes reflect trailer makers filling in the months of the 2022 production schedule they feel more confident about.”
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