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Truck and trailer Rene Rauschenberger/Pixabay

FTR: Preliminary May trailer orders at 11,700 units

FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for May at 11,700 units, the lowest total since July 2016.

Orders for 2019 production have basically come to a halt, FTR said, as most build slots for the year already are filled. Trailer builds were hefty for the third straight month and should remain elevated in the short term, but production numbers in the second half likely will moderate due to expected slower economic and freight growth.

The flatbed segment already is showing signs of weakening due to easing in manufacturing and industrial activity, FTR maintained. Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 356,000 units.

“Orders ought to rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles. “June orders will be a good indication of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year.

“Carriers may be cautious as long as the tariff situation is disrupting freight flows and creating significant business uncertainty.”

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