US trailer market cooling down in January

US research company FTR has reported some 27,300 trailer net orders for January, similar to the same month a year ago.

“The market returned to a more normal order rate after the blazing pace of the past three months,” the company said.

“Business still remains strong, with orders exceeding 360,000 for the past twelve months. [However,] cancellations did increase as fleets evaluate their requirements at the beginning of the year.”

According to FTR, dry and refrigerated van orders, along with flatbed orders, all fell somewhat in comparison with Q4 2014.

Meanwhile, build rates remained steady for dry vans in January, with per day increases at flatbed manufacturers and slightly lower reefer build rates for the month.  

“Tanker orders fell off markedly with high cancellation rates as well [but] overall, the trailer build for the month was consistent with previous line rates,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles.

He also commented, “The trailer market remains very vibrant. The van OEMs are finishing up filling Q3 production. Many Q3 orders remain speculative, but fleets are optimistic about 2015.

“Cancellations were up, but that often happens at the beginning of the year when fleets take a closer look at their requirements. With backlogs very high, order patterns should start to follow a more traditional pattern.”

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