May trailer orders were better than expected, according to preliminary estimates from ACT Research.

ACT's estimate of 17,850 units represents the sixth straight positive year over year comparision and is up 27% over a year ago.

“Net orders were off approximately 14% month over month [from April], but that was actually better than expected, since historic order patterns call for decline in excess of 20% in May,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research. “The major May story is the continuation of the 2016/17 order season momentum. After a very slow start last fall, orders have been up year over year every month since December, with both April and May posting y/y gains of 25% or better.”

Preliminary information shows that dry vans were the major contributor to the solid May performance. Dry vans, while off month-over-month as history projects, were up almost 50% versus last year, Maly said. "Flatbeds, dumps, and tanks also posted solid y/y results last month.”

Final May volume will be available later this month. ACT says its methodology allows it to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.