REPORT: Trailer Orders Plunge 28%, Carriers “Cautious” Amid Business “Uncertainty”

Little Rock, Arkansas – U.S. trailer orders plummeted in May according to recent reports by industry analysts FTR and ACT Research.

ACT tracked total trailer orders at 10,500 units while FTR tallied the number at 11,700.

The figures represent a fall of 28% from April totals and year-over-year net orders are now down 40%.


Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 356,000 units.

“We’re now running into very difficult year-over-year comparisons, as OEMs are generally unwilling to accept orders for 2020,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research.

Near-record backlogs have filled 2019 build slots for many OEMs, and there continues to be resistance toward booking orders into next year, resulting in the order volume contraction, according to Maly.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, assessed the situation with a bit of optimism however.

He said, “Orders ought to rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020.”

Ake believes June orders will be a “good indication” of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year. 


He warned though, “Carriers may be cautious as long as the tariff situation is disrupting freight flows and creating significant business uncertainty.”

Maly agreed and said, “Given market pressures of strong capacity growth in the face of a slowing economy and tariff uncertainties, the anticipated order surge may not be as robust as many may assume.”

We will continue to watch these developing market trends closely in the coming months.

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(Image courtesy of Great Dane)




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