US market shows expected moderation

US trailer net orders in May were 14 per cent below the previous month and down 29 per cent year-over-year, according to research company FTR. While backlogs are still strong, they too have fallen around 15 per cent since the January peak.

According to a new FTR report, production remains steady for all trailer types and backlog will support strong build rates through the end of the year as well.

Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “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.”

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, Ake explained.

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