North American trailer orders were nearly 31 per cent down in February compared to the January result, according to US research company ACT.
Fellow research company FTR reported a 26 per cent drop over January, with a 32 per cent loss year-over-year. ACT said the y-o-y result was 30 per cent down.
“The story hasn’t changed much since last month,” commented Frank Maly, Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT.
“Large fleets came to market early, resulting in a front–loaded order season. The decline in net orders sequentially and year-over-year is due to the tough comp (sic) resulting from that early action, not a sign of weakness in the current market.”
FTR also specified that orders for dry vans fell to their lowest level since July 2014, while orders for refrigerated vans and dry tanks remained strong.
“For other trailer types, the activity was mixed with flatbed and dump trailer activity flat Y/Y and liquid tank orders cooling off,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles.
He added, “We have no concerns about the large drop in orders this month. The year is nearly booked full so there are not many build slots left for new orders. The industry can live off the backlog as we see how the rest of the year plays out. FTR forecasts an estimated eight per cent gain Y/Y and the current order activity doesn’t change that outlook at all.”