Commercial trailer net orders consistent despite volatility

January 2010 commercial trailer net orders were up 10% from January 2008 and relatively consistent with weak recent trends. However, performance within individual trailer segments varied widely from strong to weak, according to ACT Research Co.

In the latest release of State of the Industry: US Trailers, ACT indicated that the dry van segment was the only category where January net orders were consistent with recent trends. The flatbed and heavy-lowbed markets, both closely tied to the construction sector, posted very weak net orders. Reefer vans, along with tanks and dumps, posted stronger net order numbers in January.

“Consistent with what we are seeing in the overall economy, sector performance can vary materially while the overall economy trudges slowly forward,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT Research. “The outlook for trailer production going forward should be slightly positive as backlogs begin to build and inventories remain relatively low.”

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