Trailer orders continue seasonal slide

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Jun 12, 2018

Preliminary trailer orders nationwide hit 21,200 units, “strong levels” according to FTR but continuing a traditional seasonal drop.

Trailer orders have now totaled 335,000 units for the past 12 months.

“At 21,000-plus, this is still an impressive order total for May,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “In 2015, May was the weakest order month and this May’s number is 30 percent higher than that. There is a chance that May could be the lowest month this year if fleets start ordering for 2019 early.  Some OEMs are booked solid for 2018 and are soliciting orders for next year.”

If trailer manufacturers could build all the orders being placed, Ake says 2018 would easily be a record year but supplier constraints on key components and fabrications are holding back production. Even so, production is robust and still expected to set a record.

“The capacity crunch continues and there are reports of trailer shortages by shippers,” Ake adds. “The supply chain is getting plugged up and some full trailers are sitting at warehouses for days, waiting to be unloaded. These trailers are in effect pulled out of service in these regions causing temporary availability issues. Shipments are being delayed in many markets and more trailers are needed to keep the freight moving.”