According to the numbers from FTR, net trailer orders in May came in at 16,600 units, down 17% month-over-month but up 26% versus a year ago. May trailer orders started the typical seasonal decline after two months of stronger than expected activity, FTR says. Most segments experienced m/m reductions, except for liquid tanks and lowbeds, each of which had small increases. Trailer orders have now totaled 253,000 units for the past twelve months. Backlogs fell 7% and remain 15% below a year ago; production was up 3% from April on a per day basis.
“This was a very typical month for the trailer market,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles. “Business activity met expectations, with few surprises. Refrigerated trailers appear to be weakening a bit faster than expected, but sales had been so strong, for so long, this had to happen eventually. The vocational [non-van] segments have stabilized and continue to make a moderate recovery.
“It still looks like a great year for the trailer market,” he continued. “Replacement demand remains vibrant in the dry van segment and steady in the other segments. Expected increases in freight volumes is creating expansion demand in many segments. This should provide decent market momentum rolling into 2018.”