As the freight sector grapples with a stubborn space crunch in trucking capacity, the industry in March drove demand for new equipment that pushed net trailer orders for the month to their highest level since December 2020, a report shows.
Preliminary measures show that the bookings of 37,900 units were up 40% month-over-month and 28% better year-over-year, according to transportation sector analysis firm ACT Research.
However, that spike in demand masked heavy variability in production levels between different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the Columbus, Indiana-based firm said.
“Our discussions this month revealed a variation in order acceptance strategies across the industry. Some OEMs noted that their extremely low order volume was the result of a ‘sell-out’ of their projected available production slots for the remainder of the year. Others, accepting higher order volumes, were in the process of filling their remaining production capacity for 2022,” Frank Maly, Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research, said in a release.
A likely explanation for the scattered pattern was that manufacturers are feeling the pinch of disruptions to their procurement supply chains, making it difficult for them to feel confident in economic forecasts.
“Also mentioned was an unwillingness to officially open 2023 orderboards, with concerns about setting pricing the major challenge,” Maly said. “A positive development was indication that some supply-chain relief was beginning to be felt. Final figures for the month will likely reveal total industry backlog now stretching into December at current production rates, heavily influenced by dry van and reefer commitments that basically fill their year.”
ACT Research: Preliminary US Trailer March Net Orders of 37.9k Surge 40% From Februaryhttps://t.co/1YmkckzMJC— ACT Research (@actresearch) April 13, 2022