June was a continuation of the status quo for new new trailer production, ACT Research and FTR report.
ACT Research report preliminary trailer orders of 15,300 last month, down 21 percent from May. FTR followed Monday with a preliminary total 14,400 units, down 23 percent year over year. ACT says its total was up 33 percent from last year. FTR says trailer orders for the last year have totaled 265,000 units..
The firms say until build slots and production capacity grow, orders are likely to remain steady but inconsiderable — considering demand.
“With 2023 orderboards only partially open, it is no surprise that net orders in June were the lowest they’ve been so far this year,” says Jennifer McNealy, director, commercial vehicle market research and publications, ACT Research. “That is simply part of the cycle. However, it is equally no surprise that net orders continue to best 2021, given the continued supply-chain constraints, both in materials and labor, that trailer manufacturers are facing. With long backlogs, fleets still want to make sure their orders are in queue, regardless of when they will be filled.”
FTR states the order number for June met expectations, as OEMs have filled most of the available build slots and are not yet booking orders for 2023. Orders should rise substantially in the fall when commitments for next year are firmed up, the company states.
“The order numbers are consistent with traditional trends entering the summer months. However, usually the numbers drop because fleets have ordered all the trailers they need for the year. This time, the orders are falling because the OEMs have limited build slots available due to ongoing supply chain disruptions. The fleets need more trailers, and the OEMs want to increase production, but some component parts remain scarce. Orders should remain sluggish throughout the summer,” says Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles, FTR.
He adds, “The OEMs are holding onto an enormous amount of fleet commitments for 2023. Unstable commodity costs and other variables make quoting prices difficult right now. However, these commitments should begin turning into booked orders beginning in September, and there is the potential for record order volumes in the fourth quarter.”