July Trailer Orders Generally Strong, Outlook Good, FTR Reports

U.S. trailer net orders for July were 20,400 units, 24% below the previous month but still a 13% improvement over a year ago, said FTR Associates, and the overall outlook remains strong.

The month-over-month decline was particularly impacted by a drop in dry van orders following some large fleet orders placed in June, FTR said. Although lower, dry van orders in July were still good on a seasonal basis, and refrigerated van orders exceeded expectations again.

ACT Research, in reporting its take on the numbers, also noted that the majority of the month-to-month drop was because of the unusually strong dry van volume in June. “Dry vans and flatbeds drove most of the slight jump in cancellations that occurred in July, with the flatbed shift reported to be the response to dealers bringing their inventories more in line with current demand," said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT.  “We have indications that the market is peaking, but there is no evidence that it is going to drop significantly next year,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “It looks like a soft landing in general. However, certain trailer segments are being hard hit by the pullback in the energy industry and weaker manufacturing.”

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