FTR reports May 2015 U.S. Trailer net orders were 15,200 units, 14% below the previous month and 29% year-over-year. The traditional summer slide continues, earlier and more pronounced than normal; however, there is still plenty of backlog available to support strong build rates through the end of the year. U.S. trailer orders have annualized over the past 12 months at 326,000 units.
While backlogs are strong, they have fallen 15% since the January peak, FTR said. Dry van, flatbed, and liquid tank were the primary segments affected by the lower order rate in May. Refrigerated vans and the dump trailer market continue with positive comparisons. Production remains steady for all trailer types.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said: “The market has peaked in terms of orders and backlog and has started to moderate. This is to be expected, and conditions appear to be very normal. The market descent has started, and, by all indications, it appears we are headed to the expected soft landing. Order rates should continue to fall for the next few months. Vocational trailers, except for dumps, have started to weaken faster than vans. This is due to the cut backs in the energy markets, exports, and some industrial sectors of the economy. Higher inventories indicate fleets are incorporating new trailers into use at a moderate pace.”