Trailer orders rebound in July but lag 2018 numbers

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Updated Aug 14, 2019

Preliminary trailer orders for July reached 9,000 units, according to FTR – up 61% from a woeful June but 68% below July last year.

Trailer orders continue to slog through a slow summer after a record run in the second half of last year. Van fleets already have their orders in for 2019 and have not yet started ordering for 2020. Production currently remains robust at near-record levels, but some easing of build rates is expected as backlogs fall significantly to where they were at the start of 2018.

Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 324,000 units.

“Orders should stay subdued in August but start to revive in September, as fleets determine their needs for next year,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “The environment remains uncertain, with freight growth slowing and the tariff situation in flux. The July order volumes continue to demonstrate a possible return to normalcy in the equipment markets. The low total is representative of a typical slow summer order month, and is very close to the July 2016 number.”