Preliminary trailer orders were down month over month in July as OEMs remain "cautious about taking orders for next year’s build slots," FTR reports.
FTR says its July preliminary order total was 17,000 units, down 28 percent from the final order numbers in June. (Preliminary June orders had been around 15,000 units but trended up after final analysis). July's order activity was up 101 percent year over year, FTR adds, and the industry has now totaled 275,000 units ordered over the past 12 months.
FTR says while OEMs still appear cautious, "the holding pattern does appear to be opening on a limited basis." Moderate improvements are being made each month but supply chain conditions, rising material costs and labor availability continue to remain inhibiting factors making it very difficult for manufacturers to increase build rates to meet demand.
FTR's Charles Roth, commercial vehicle analyst, says, "Amidst these uncertainties and production challenges, OEMs have continued to strategically manage backlog levels and maintain strong build rates. Under these conditions, order volumes are likely to improve in Q4 as OEMs begin filling their production schedules for 2023."
Roth also adds that while "trucking conditions have as of late suffered due to weaker market dynamics and increasing costs, overall demand for new equipment remains exceptional and is expected to remain strong as carriers are still in need of new equipment to supplement their replacement cycles."