FTR reports final October net trailer orders at 20,200 units, up 72% m/m but down 38% y/y.

Orders basically met expectations, according to Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. Although dry van orders in October were the highest in ten months, they were significantly below the robust numbers that came in during the same month in 2015. Backlogs dipped 3% and show signs of stabilizing soon.

Trailer orders have totaled 213,000 units the last twelve months. Based on order rate and declining backlogs, production is expected to fall moderately beginning in November. The October trailer build was down 5% m/m affecting all trailer types.

“The trailer market is coming back in sync with the Class 8 markets,” Ake said. “Large fleets are ordering trailers for replacements in 2017, but not at the level of previous years. They also are not placing many orders for more than six months out. The refrigerated van segment continues to hold up well, while flatbeds are struggling to find the bottom of the cycle.

“The order rates in September and October indicate that trailer build will continue to fall at a moderate rate. November production will be somewhat weaker, and December will be impacted by extended shutdown days around the holidays. January builds should increase, but are dependent on orders staying stable in November and December. Backlogs are still at a reasonably good level, and it appears 2017 will resemble 2013 in many regards.”