FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for March at 13,500 units, “plummeting to the smallest monthly total since September 2016 and the lowest March since 2008.”
“Recent comparisons were also very negative,” FTR said, with a drop of 43 percent month-over-month and 52 percent year-over-year. Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 371,000 units.
Dry van orders were particularly low, FTR said, with few build slots available left in 2019. Vocational trailer orders also continue to fall. “The low level of trailer order activity in March should result in backlogs finally beginning to move down from record levels.”
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said, “This low order number is not surprising. Backlogs had fallen little so far in 2019 and are at unreasonable levels. Fleets still need more trailers, based on the robust production, so demand has not changed in the short run. The weak orders are totally the result of the lack of available production openings. However, cancellations will continue to be a factor due to a large, fluid backlog.”
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