ECONOMIC WATCH: U.S. trailer orders rebound sharply

by Today's Trucking

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Net U.S. trailer orders for June rose sharply to 14,400 units, 10,000 above May, transportation intelligence provider FTR said Friday.

June orders were the second-highest monthly total this year, it said. Orders for the past 12 months now total 164,000.

FTR June Trailers

ACT Research had earlier reported a 333% surge in June trailer orders to 13,441 units.

FTR said the June increase was boosted by a recovery in the dry van market, supplemented by decent refrigerated van orders.  Flatbed orders remain lethargic, it added. 

“Even though June activity was much improved, there is still too much uncertainty about the pandemic for fleets to have the confidence to order in large quantities,” FTR said.

It said backlogs continue to fall, but are sufficient to support current production in the van segment, while flatbed producers continue to scramble for orders to build in the fourth quarter.

“Some of the larger fleets are sticking to their replacement cycles and ordering trailers. Freight has recovered to the point that well-run carriers are profitable, and fleets can retire older trailers,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice-president of commercial vehicles.

“As freight volumes continue to improve, more fleets will be confident to place orders for delivery this year… However, there are still significant headwinds facing the trailer market as the pandemic hangs on.”

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