Trailer orders flat in May: FTR

The trucking industry booked 18,300 trailer orders in May, essentially on par with April orders, according to preliminary data from FTR.

Orders were down 3% from April but up 80% year over year. New trailer orders continued to be dampened by a lack of build slots in the second half of this year, FTR reported. Meanwhile, ongoing economic uncertainties, geopolitical risks, and supply chain disruptions also continue to affect order levels.

“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,” said Charles Roth, analyst – commercial vehicles with FTR.

“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. However, the possibility of further disruptions could result in modest adjustments to second-half build plans.”

Trailer makers continue to maintain production at consistent levels while managing backlogs, Roth noted. “Despite economic and supply chain uncertainties, freight growth remains strong,” he added. “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.”

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