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June 14, 2017 7:00 PM, EDT

Trailer Orders Continue to Climb, Approach 18,000 in May

Trailer orders pushed toward 18,000 in May, rising 24% and exceeding expectations, ACT Research Co. reported.

Orders reached 17,850, ACT said, citing a preliminary total it would revise later in the month. That compares with 14,459 orders a year earlier.

“The major May story is the continuation of the 2016-17 order season momentum," Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research, said in a statement. "After a very slow start last fall, orders have been up year-over-year every month since December, with both April and May posting year-over-year gains of 25% or better.”

The data show dry vans were the major contributor to the solid May performance, Maly said. “Dry vans, while off month-over-month as history projects, were up almost 50% versus last year. Flatbeds, dumps and tanks also posted solid year-over-year results last month,” he said.

May trailer orders continue to suggest “we are in an extended cycle for trailers as above-replacement-level demand persists,” Rhem Wood, senior analyst with Seaport Global Securities, wrote in an investors note. But the “busy season” for trailer orders typically falls off in the summer month, with July being the lowest point of the year, he said.