Trailer orders continue free fall

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Updated Jul 23, 2019

Trailer orders for June slid to 5,500 units, down 53 percent month-over-month and 70 percent year-over-year, according to preliminary data from FTR.

Last month’s performance marked the lowest order level since September 2009 as incoming dry van orders were weak and cancellations were high as fleets adjust previously placed orders to meet second-half needs.

“Only a couple OEMs have started taking orders for 2020 and fleets did not respond much to this move in June. Carriers are reluctant to order at this time since commodity and component prices are uncertain due to the tariffs,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “It would appear that the market is returning to normal ordering cycles, with fleets evaluating their next year requirements during the summer and then starting to place those orders around October.”

Van production stayed fairly stable at high rates, while there is continued softening in the flatbed market. Sales are expected to moderate sometime in the second half of the year, as supply catches up with demand. Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 343,000 units.