Dip in Trailer Orders As Expected

FTR reports final United States trailer net orders for May met expectations at 13,300 units. Order activity was down 16 percent month to month and down 15 percent year over year, registering the weakest order month since August 2010. Orders have totalled 286,000 units for the last 12 months and backlogs are now down 9 percent year over year.

Dry van orders dipped 20 percent from April, but that was expected to happen based on strong backlogs. Refrigerated van orders held fairly steady versus last month. Flatbed, tanker and dump trailer orders were comparable to April’s totals, which also was expected. Production did increase 3 percent over April.

“The trailer market is operating normally at this point in the yearly cycle and should continue on this path for the next several months,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles.

“There is a concern because inventories have increased for five straight months and are getting somewhat elevated. We are probably at or approaching the top of this production upcycle.

“Dry van and reefer production should remain steady due the high backlogs, but the market is starting to show some tiredness after a very impressive run. The flatbed and tanker segments are displaying some stability, so hopefully they have stopped their decline.”