Trailer Orders Lower Than Expected

Trailer orders in August were weak across the board (dry van, reefers and flatbeds), while inventories remain high, according to A.C.T.

Orders of 8,147 were at the low end of Bear Stearns’ forecast of 8,000-10,000 and were down 56% year-over-year (vs. down 41% year-over-year in July). Dry van orders were 3,844 in August (vs. 6,320 in July), down 63% year-over-year (vs. down 48% year-over-year in July). Flatbed orders were 1,116 in August (vs. 1,369 in July), down 65% year-over-year (vs. down 27% year-over-year in July).

Dry van builds were 9,904 in August, down 33% year-over-year (vs. down 22% year-over-year in July). Total trailer backlog-to-build ratios deteriorated 7% year-over-year to 5.0x (vs. down 18% year-over-year in July). Dry van backlog-to-build ratios deteriorated 9% year-over-year to 4.2x (vs. down 21% year-over-year in July).

Dry van inventories were 10,458 in August (vs. 9,992 in July), up 84% year-over-year (vs. up 82% year-over-year in July). Dry van inventories are now only 100 units lower than they were at the end of 2Q.

As best as we can tell, there's little reason for optimism for trailer demand for the reasonably foreseeable future,” Bear Stearns said.

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