In June, U.S. trailer orders fell for the sixth month in a row with preliminary orders at 18,600 units, according to FTR Transportation Intelligence. Trailer orders have now totaled 335,000 units for the past 12 months.
The market has entered the traditional slow-order summer months. Trailer production has held up fairly well despite some late supplier deliveries, according to FTR. While orders have fallen off, trailer manufacturers' build rates continue at robust levels as the trailer order backlog remains strong. Because of this, there is little need at this point for fleets to place many new orders.
“You can expect order rates to remain subdued for a couple of months," said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. "Fleets should begin placing substantial orders for 2019 beginning in September, a month earlier than normal, because production next year is expected to be hefty once again.”
“The economy is healthy, freight growth is sturdy, and sales remain strong," he added. "The market is performing according to traditional trends, albeit at record-setting levels.”