Net U.S. trailer orders for June — at 11,900 units — were down 10 percent month over month and 56 percent year over year, and the weakest June since 2009, according to analysts at FTR.
Orders were below expectations due to elevated dry van cancellations. Orders have totaled 271,000 units the last 12 months with backlogs falling to their lowest level since September 2014. Orders in all trailer segments were similar to May’s totals with the exception of dry vans, which were down by 2,000 units from the previous month. Segmented trailer production was either flat month over month or marginally down.
Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, said, “Trailer orders were down in June due to cancellations in the dry van segment. It appears that Q4 backlog has begun to soften because of moderating freight demand, with fleets reevaluating their second-half requirements. Monthly trailer orders have averaged only 13,700 units, so the market is cooling. Backlogs fell 15,000 units — likely a record drop for one month.”
“The good news is that production remains strong in the van segments. Backlogs are still decent and production should fall only moderately in the coming months. However, flatbeds and tankers are not expected to improve any time soon. Dump trailer orders have weakened, so production cuts are probably on the way.”
FTR forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. The company’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.