Preliminary trailer orders for May reached 11,700 units according to FTR, the lowest total since July 2016.
With most build slots for the year are already filled, orders for 2019 production have basically skidded to a halt. Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 356,000 units.
“Orders ought to rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020. June orders will be a good indication of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Carriers may be cautious as long as the tariff situation is disrupting freight flows and creating significant business uncertainty.”
Trailer builds were strong for the third straight month and Ake says they should remain elevated in the short-term. However, production numbers in the second half will likely moderate due to expected slower economic and freight growth. The flatbed segment is already showing signs of weakening due to easing in manufacturing and industrial activity.