Some good news out of FTR this week. Trailer orders jumped in July, to 19,300. This is the highest level of the year. Trailers showed a 33% improvement since June, and 84% growth since July 2019. (orders were awfully weak in summer 2019, on concerns over the economy in 2020. Ha! If only they knew.)
Don Ake, FTR’s Vice President of Commercial Vehicles stated in a release that, ‘The best news about July is that some of the orders came from dealers. OEMs were concerned that their dealers were overstocked in May and that would limit future production. However, dealer sales were stronger than expected in June and July, prompting dealers to place some restocking orders. This indicates some medium and small fleets are finding plenty of freight to haul. The improved business conditions also indicate larger fleets are beginning to replace older trailers, after pausing during the pandemic.’
FTR notes in this month’s report that dry van and reefer orders both climbed for another month. Flatbed orders are still down, which we can blame on the manufacturing sector’s slow recovery. Three major sources for measuring industrial production are indicating that manufacturing is on a path to growth, hopefully indicating that flatbed orders could continue to rise.
I’m happy to hear about any upward momentum in the trailer market, after the disastrous spring that trucks had. As you may remember, trailer orders cratered to 300 in April, a 30 year low. May was better, but over half of new orders were canceled that month.