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March 15, 2017 5:10 PM, EDT

Trailer Orders Rise in February as Cancellations Reach Five-Month High

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

U.S. trailer orders climbed past 26,000 or about 24% higher, year-over-year, as cancellations increased to the highest level in five months, ACT Research Co. reported.

Orders were 26,200, ACT said, citing preliminary data until final volumes are available later in the month. That is up from 21,412 a year earlier.

“We’ve seen delayed timing this order season, as fleets appeared to wait to make their investment decisions ‘post-election.’ That makes analysis of monthly changes as well as year-over-year results a bit challenging,” Frank Maly, ACT’s director, commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research, said in a statement.

The orders were below January’s 32,737, about a 20% decline, and that is more in line with “expectations for the December to January timeframe,” he said.

Cancellations, which ACT defines as a percent of the backlog, “continue at a tolerable level, although in February they appear to have drifted upward to the highest rate posted since October,” Maly said.

However, refrigerated trailer backlogs held steady in February, “while both the dry van and total industry order boards posted their fourth straight monthly gain,” he said.