BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – An abundance of caution over freight conditions caused trailer orders to drop 34% in November, to 20,200 units.
FTR’s preliminary trailer order numbers indicated orders dropped 55% from November 2019.
FTR reports trailer builders have plenty of capacity for 2020, and that fleets are placing small orders for only a few months out. Production is on the decline, but there’s still decent demand for dry vans and reefers, FTR said.
“Fleets are being more cautious with their truck orders, so it makes sense that trailer orders would follow suit. There is no reason to order in large quantities like last year,” said Don Ake, vice-president, commercial vehicles. “The supply of trailers has almost caught up with the demand for trailers, so ordering levels are flattening out and fleets are watching the market closely. There is still too much uncertainty regarding the economy, trade, tariffs and politics for companies to have a great deal of confidence right now for 2020.”
Ake added: “It is expected that orders will track in this range for a while, as fleets continue to place modest-sized orders for short-term needs. OEM lead times are much shorter than a year ago, so ordering patterns will be much different, and more stable, than last year’s cycle.”
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