Net trailer orders continued to climb in July, reaching 19,300 units, their highest level for the year, reports FTR.
July order activity was up 33 percent, compared with June, and increased 84 percent year over year. Trailer orders now total 173,000 for the past 12 months.
FTR says dry van orders sustained their momentum after diving during the pandemic. Refrigerated van orders were solid for the second straight month; however, flatbed orders remained soft, as the manufacturing sector struggles to regain its footing. Backlogs should begin to stabilize, providing a base for higher 2021 production.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, says July’s order volume is significant because it allows most OEMs to maintain production rates for the next few months. Fleets are showing confidence in the freight markets and have increased their ordering volumes accordingly.
“OEM’s also feel much better about business conditions than they did in Q2. While sales are not vibrant, they are still much better than were expected only a couple of months ago. The industry is making a solid comeback considering the circumstances,” Ake says.
“The best news about July is that some of the orders came from dealers. OEMs were concerned that their dealers were overstocked in May and that would limit future production,” he says. “However, dealer sales were stronger than expected in June and July, prompting dealers to place some restocking orders. This indicates some medium and small fleets are finding plenty of freight to haul. The improved business conditions also indicate larger fleets are beginning to replace older trailers after pausing during the pandemic.”