Trailer orders cool in February, but demand still strong: FTR

by Truck News

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trailer orders moderated in February, but it’s not a cause for concern, according to the latest report from FTR.

February saw 20,400 net orders for new trailers, a 26% decline from January and 32% drop from last February. However, this is on the heels of a record-setting fourth quarter in 2014. Backlogs fell for the first time in six months.

Trailer orders have exceeded 347,000 units over the past 12 months.

Dry vans reached their lowest figures since July 2014 in February, but orders for refrigerated trailers and dry tanks remained strong.

“Orders fell significantly, but this was to be expected at some point,” said Don Ake, vice-president of commercial vehicles, FTR. “Many OEMs are booked solid through Q3 with large fleets having placed all their orders for 2015 requirements. With backlogs falling in February, it appears this is the peak in the current order cycle. Even though backlogs have fallen off, they are up 61% year-over-year, so production should remain strong at least through Q3.”

FTR said it’s unfazed by the drop in orders. The year is nearly booked full so there are not many build slots left for new orders. FTR continues to project a 8% gain year-over-year, and says “the current order activity doesn’t change that outlook at all.”

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