June 2007 trailer orders down, as expected

Industrywide June 2007 trailer figures released by ACT were down but inline with low expectations, according to Bear Stearns.

Total trailer orders were 14,245 in June (vs Bear Stearns' 14,000-16,000 forecast), down 8% year-over-year (vs down 5% year-over-year in May). Dry van orders 8,199 in June (vs 8,369 in May), up 14% year-over-year (vs down 4% year-over-year in May). Flatbed orders were 1,491 in June (vs 2,277 in May), down 56% year-over-year (vs down 27% year-over-year in May).

Dry van builds were 11,204 in June, down 20% year-over-year (vs down 16% year-over-year in May). Total trailer backlog-to-build ratios deteriorated 10% year-over-year to 5.1x (vs down 15% year-over-year in May). Dry van backlog-to-build ratios deteriorated 9% year-over-year to 4.6x (vs down 19% year-over-year in May).

Dry van inventories were 10,578 in June (vs 11,202 in May), up 77% year-over-year (vs up 46% year-over-year in May). Dry van inventories are roughly 1,000 units higher than at the end of the first quarter, and “remain at near-alarming levels. Historically, we've seen the trailer OEMs cut production when inventories reach 7,000 — however, stock has shot well past that figure in the last few months.”

Total trailer cancellation rates were 8.5% in June, deteriorating 330bp year-over-year (vs deterioration of 520bp year-over-year in May). Dry van cancellations were 6.9% in June, deteriorating 180bp year-over-year (vs deterioration of 240bp year-over-year in May).

“Based on our channel checks, our fundamental outlook for trailers remains weak,” Bear Stearns said.

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