According to the numbers from both FTR and ACT Research Co., net trailer orders continued their steady growth in the month of June.
According to FTR, final June net trailer orders came in at 18,900 units, rebounding from May with a month-over-month improvement of 12% and a 58% increase over June 2016 orders. The June activity was above FTR’s expectations, with most segments moderately exceeding their May totals. Trailers orders have now totaled 261,000 units over the past twelve months. Production rose a surprising 5% from May primarily in the dry and refrigerated van sectors reducing the overall backlog by 6%, FTR reports.
“The trailer market had a fantastic month in June,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles. “Production was the highest since July 2015. Orders did not fall all much from the respectable numbers posted in March and April. Backlogs are dropping, but that’s due to the high build rates rather than lower orders.
“Medium and small fleets are ordering trailers as the spot freight market remains hot,” he continued. “Large fleets are taking delivery on orders placed months ago, as the expected stronger freight growth starts to happen. Replacement demand for dry vans continues and flatbed demand has begun to take off. The trailer market continues to exceed expectations in 2017.”
ACT’s preliminary data estimates June net trailer orders at 20,375 units.
“Net orders have now grown year-over-year for the last seven consecutive months,” noted Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research. “Orders continue to track above expectations, as fleets continue on a positive investment path after last fall’s lackluster order season kick-off. While historical patterns do call for a sequential increase from May, the growth rate in total trailer net orders was more than double that projected by seasonal patterns.”
“Flatbeds and reefers posted the best month-over-month improvement, while the sequential growth in dry van net orders was similar to overall total industry results,” Maly added. “When compared to last June, preliminary information shows that dry vans were the major contributor to the solid industry results, up nearly 125% versus last year.”