FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for May were similar to April activity at 18,300 units, but that’s up 80% from May of last year. Trailer orders for the past twelve months have totaled 250,000, according to FTR.
That that conditions “have changed little” from April, FTR suggested the industry continues to face economic uncertainties, geopolitical risks, and continued supply chain disruptions. Until next year’s order boards open, the limited availability of build spots in the second half of the year will continue to restrict new trailer orders, according to the analysts.
“As we get closer to Q4, OEMs will begin to gain necessary visibility into the future impacts brought by supply chain disruptions and overcome suppliers’ caution to commit to 2023 pricing and lead times,” Charles Roth, analyst-commercial vehicles for FTR, said. “This visibility will be a key factor to order boards opening. As production continues to be limited by both structural and dynamic complexities in the global and domestic supply chain, we have seen modest improvements made on the supply side.”
Provided this trend continues, production should remain stable, Roth added. However, the possibility of further disruptions could result in “modest adjustments” to second-half build plans.
“Under these conditions, OEMs are still proving that they can overcome headwinds and keep production at consistent levels, while also carefully and strategically managing their backlog. Despite economic and supply chain uncertainties, freight growth remains strong,” he said. “This growth will continue to drive robust fleet replacement demand. While the prior six months have resulted in dealers struggling to maintain adequate inventory levels, retail demand should also contribute to OEM confidence heading into the second half of the year.”