FTR reported continued softness in preliminary trailer orders in June, coming in at 11,000 units, 16% above a weak May and -24% year over year. Trailer orders for the past twelve months total 364,000 units.
Order activity was constrained, as most OEMs are not taking additional orders for 2021 delivery. However, vocational trailer orders were steady, as there are still open build slots in those segments. The industrial sectors of the economy recovered slower than the consumer side, delaying the demand for flatbeds and tank trailers.
“The market is in a holding pattern until ordering for 2022 shipments begins,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Demand for trailers remains robust, as fleets attempt to move an increasing amount of freight during a shortage of Class 8 trucks. Fleet capacity is extremely tight. Trailer production is also constrained by supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.
“Orders are expected to set records once the order boards for 2022 are opened,” Ake continued. “Trailer demand is expected to be sturdy throughout next year. However, the actual demand for trailers will not be ascertainable until the supply chain problems dissipate. The production situation for early 2022 could be complicated if OEMs cannot build all the orders currently on the books in 2021.”