BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – US trailer net orders are down 35% month-to-month and 39% year-to-year for the month of March, according to an FTR report, which is the lowest order activity since July 2013.
But despite the low numbers, orders have totalled 291,000 units for the last 12 months and backlogs are only down by 6%.
“The long, strong run of the trailer market finally appears to be moderating. Backlogs are still robust, so production should be steady for the next several months. However, production on a per day level has been unusually flat the first three months of 2016, and the low order total in March will put absolutely no upward pressure on build,” said FTR vice-president of commercial vehicles Don Ake. “Dry van orders were weak because the vast majority of fleets placed their 2016 orders from August 2015 through February 2016. A large chunk of these orders were to replace older units that were not upgraded due to the aftermath of the Great Recession. The big question now is how solid the backlog will be if the economy remains stagnant.”
Dump trailers had the strongest showing of any trailer segment, and overall for the month of March, trailer build remained flat on a per-day level for the third consecutive month, with only refrigerated van build showing an increase, up 11% month-to-month per day.