Trailer orders, inventories increase

Orders for truck trailers were up in May, but so were inventories, according to Bear Stearns and ACT Research.

Customers ordered 17,090 truck trailers during the month, up 37% from May 2005 and a stronger year-over-year performance than the 18% increase reported in April.

Bear Stearns expects a seasonal downward trend in orders for the summer.

Order cancellations were, as Bear Stearns described them, “healthy” in May—at a rate of 5.3% for both total trailers and dry vans. Cancellations have been at historically low levels since May 2005, the company says. This has contributed to firm backlogs for trailers.

Dry van inventories continue to tick up, the company reports. Dry van inventories were 7,668 in May (vs. 6,738 in April), up 35% when compared with May 2005. By contrast, inventories in April were 13% above year-earlier levels.

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