Trucking industry analysts at FTR report that July’s trailer net orders in the United States were 20,400 units, which is 24 percent below the previous month but still a 13 percent improvement over a year ago.
The month-over-month decline was particularly impacted by a drop in dry van orders following some large fleet orders placed in June. Although lower, dry van orders in July were still good on a seasonal basis, and refrigerated van orders exceeded expectations again. U.S. trailer orders have now totaled 335,000 units over the past 12 months.
There are now indications that certain trailer segments, such as flatbeds and tankers, are slowing. Conversely, refrigerated vans and dump trailers remain robust. Dry vans are steady at a very strong level. Overall trailer build was down 1 percent versus June with variations by trailer segment.
Refrigerated van build reached a high point in July, with dump trailer production also remaining strong. Production fell marginally for dry vans and more significantly for flatbed and dry tanks. Liquid tank production remained steady.
Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, said, “We have indications that the market is peaking, but there is no evidence that it is going to drop significantly next year. It looks like a soft landing in general. However, certain trailer segments are being hard hit by the pullback in the energy industry and weaker manufacturing.”