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September Trailer Orders Crush Expectations: FTR

Oct. 23, 2015
September’s U.S. trailer net orders were 34,700, significantly above expectations, according to FTR Associates. The order total was 48% above August and 8% above a year ago.

September’s U.S. trailer net orders were 34,700, significantly above expectations, according to FTR Associates. The order total was 48% above August and 8% above a year ago.

Trailer orders have now totaled 338,000 for the past 12 months.

Dry van orders were very healthy, 11% higher y/y; refrigerated van orders were also strong, exceeding 5,000 units for the first time since September. Liquid tank orders were solid, but other trailer segments are still showing some weakness: flatbed orders stopped their recent fall but were still down 39% y/y. Dry tank and dump trailer orders were weaker than expected. Overall trailer build for the month was flat versus August.

“The fall order season starts off with a bang,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “The dry van and refrigerated van segments are running at record levels and show no signs of slowing down at this point.

“However, based on what is happening on the truck side, the trailer market must ease up at some point. It is significant that orders are up in September over last year. While we don’t expect to come close to matching the record order amounts of 2014Q4, the trailer market is in great shape heading into 2016. This is a fantastic start to the traditional order cycle, and it is consistent with our forecast for a ‘soft landing’ next year.”