BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR reports final August net trailer orders came in at 14,000 units, up 48% from July.
But while order improved month-over-month, they were down 48% y/y. Orders have totaled 250,000 units over the past twelve months. Backlogs fell another 9% and are now 27% lower than a year ago. Trailer build was up 2% for August on a per day basis.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles said: “Overall, it was not too bad for a month of August for the trailer industry. New orders were at the highest level in six months. This was mitigated by a high number of cancellations, as OEM’s continue to clean previous “place holder orders” out of the backlog. Production also stabilized some after dipping precipitously in July…The van segments continue to weaken at a moderate pace. OEMs are expecting a correction, but not a collapse. There is an average level of quote activity happening, so the market is maintaining some stability. Several of the vocational segments have very weak backlogs and need a boost of orders soon, or production will drop.”
“Much of August’s improvement came from large fleet volume, and the gains were not evenly spread across the competitive landscape,” added Frank Maly, director –CV transportation analysis and research at ACT. Maly explained, “While negotiations continue regarding fleets’ 2017 equipment needs, there appears to be less enthusiasm in the discussions than reported earlier this summer. Overcapacity, lackluster y/y fleet financials for Q2, and minimal expectations for improvement in freight rates are generating investment plan headwinds. After several years of solid and ever-earlier order placement, expect this order cycle to be less robust and straggling.”