April commercial trailer net orders moderated from relatively stronger levels in the past few months, dropping 13 percent from March, according to ACT Research Co. The April net orders were 3 percent above the prior-year level, and year-to-date growth in net orders through April is 72 percent.
ACT noted that overall net orders continue to supersede build rates that have boosted the order backlog to the highest level in 20 months. Net orders of dry vans and reefer vans, the largest volume categories, each softened slightly in April compared to March, while flatbeds and other specialty segments continued to gain strength.
“While April was a little weaker than February and March, the trailer industry is in the early stages of a rebound from a very weak 2009,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT Research senior analyst and partner. “A potential indicator of continued improvement is the very low level of order cancellations over the past three months.”