ACT has made a preliminary estimate of 26,400 net trailer orders for February, a 24% increase over the same month a year ago and 20% decline from January.

Final February volumes will be available later this month.

“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. The January to February decline in net orders, roughly a 20% slide, is much more in line with expectations for the December to January timeframe,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research. “The delay in the overall order season has the opposite impact on year-over-year comps; February will be roughly 24% better than the same month last year.

“A quick review of other industry measures show cancellations, which we define 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. Additionally, it appears that reefer backlogs held steady last month, while both the dry van and total industry orderboards posted their fourth straight monthly gain.”