FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for January held firm at 26,300 units, up 1% m/m and down 13% y/y. Trailer orders for the past twelve months totaled 242,000 units.
The industry is in a tight holding pattern, as supply chain shortages continue to prevent build rates from rising. OEMs have decided to maintain healthy backlogs, but not raise those levels much until there is a much clearer picture of future build rates. Preliminary net orders are expected to be moderately higher than production totals for the month.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “The commercial trailer industry is remarkably steady right now. Production has basically flatlined for nine months and now January orders are equal to December. The supply chain failures have created one of the most stable environments in the history of the industry. OEMs are not confident about getting more parts and components in the future, so they are not yet booking all the fleet commitments into the backlog.
“The longer the supply chain stays clogged, the more pent-up demand there is. Fleets are desperate for all types of trailers. As freight demand grows, the lack of available trailers puts stress on carriers and shippers alike. Once they get more parts and components, OEMs will be pressed well into next year as they try to catch up with demand.”