FTR confirms trailer order slip

FTR confirmed the continued softening of trailer demand on Tuesday.

The company reported January 2024 trailer orders were down 34% month over month to 15,518 units. That total was higher than ACT Research's preliminary estimate from last week, but 23% lower than January 2023. 

FTR says the number of trailers ordered over the last 12 months decreased to just above 233,600 units. Trailer production also eased by 2% in January to 19,680 units. Production was down 22% year-over-year. 

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The company says the build number was the lowest since January 2023 and marks the fifth consecutive month of decline since August 2023. Additionally, with orders coming in below production levels, FTR says backlogs in January fell somewhat, shedding more than 4,000 units to end at over 139,200 units.

“The relatively similar fall in both production and backlogs resulted in no material change to the backlog-to-build ratio, which stands at 7.1 months,” says Eric Starks, FTR’s chairman of the board. 

“This ratio is slightly elevated due to lower production levels and is above the historical average prior to 2020. A jump in the ratio is normal around the holiday season, and the overall picture is still of an industry that is continuing its move towards a pre-pandemic level of stability.”

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