BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – July trailer orders totaled 9,500 units, 55 percent down from June 2015 and 20 percent below the previous month, transportation analyst FTR Intel reported today. Dry van orders dropped significantly, though other trailer segments declined as well, according to FTR. Orders have totaled 260,000 units over the past 12 months, and backlogs fell another 9 percent and are now 21 percent below last year.
“July is typically the weakest order month of the year, still the orders were lower than expected,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of Commercial Vehicles. “Freight has been slow to recover from the manufacturing dip and fleets do not need as many trailers as they once forecast. Many second-half orders are being cancelled or moved to 2017. This is similar to what happened previously in the Class 8 market.”
“The month-over-month tumble was more than double that projected by seasonal patterns,” said Frank Maly, director of Commercial Vehicle Transportation Analysis & Research at Columbus, Indiana-based ACT Research. “July’s results appear to be impacted by both seasonal and cyclical pressures. New order placement was weak, as fleets continue to evaluate their investment plans in the face of a lackluster economy and resulting impact on both freight rates and volumes.”
“Van backlogs remain viable,” Ake added, “and there are no significant economic factors driving down the market. The trailer market is highly cyclical and July appears to be the beginning of the decline. Production usually drops somewhat in July due to increased vacation days, so it will be interesting how much the August build numbers recover, if any.”
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