FTR: Trailer orders down in July, but up from year ago

Freight-industry research firm FTR said on Wednesday that July U.S. trailer net orders totaled 20,400 units, 24 percent below June's total, but still 13 percent higher than July 2014.

Overall, Don Ake, FTR's vice president of commercial vehicles, said the market looks stable for now.

“We have indications that the market is peaking, but there is no evidence that it is going to drop significantly next year. It looks like a soft landing in general," Ake said. "However, certain trailer segments are being hard hit by the pullback in the energy industry and weaker manufacturing.”

The month-over-month decline was particularly impacted by a drop in dry-van orders following some large fleet orders placed in June. Although lower, dry-van orders in July were still good on a seasonal basis, and refrigerated-van orders exceeded expectations again. U.S. trailer orders have now totaled 335,000 units over the past 12 months.

There are now indications that certain trailer segments, such as flatbeds and tankers, are slowing. Conversely, refrigerated vans and dump trailers remain robust. Dry vans are steady at a very strong level.

Overall trailer production was down 1 percent vs. June, with variations by trailer segment. Refrigerated-van production reached a high point in July, with dump-trailer production also remaining strong. Production fell marginally for dry vans and more significantly for flatbed and dry tanks. Liquid-tank production remained steady.

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FTR (Freight Transportation Research)

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