FTR Reports Trailer Orders for February Fall to a Paltry 13,000 Units

03.17.20 | FTR

Trailers order activity for February felt the impact of the COVID-19 virus, sliding to a paltry 13,000 units, the lowest total for the month of February since the recession year of 2009. February 2020 trailer orders were down 20% m/m and 45% y/y.

Trailer orders have now totaled 184,000 units for the past twelve months. Trailer orders were generally weak across all segments and OEMs. Cancellations were up, representing the anxiety in the market and the country. Order trends largely mirrored what occurred in the Class 8 market.

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Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “This is about as much uncertainty as can be injected into the trailer market. There are too many unknowns, and this, of course, runs across all sectors of the economy, which means it impacts all segments of trailers. Few fleets are ordering, and no one is placing large orders in this chaotic environment.

“With the event cancellations and societal restrictions being implemented in March, it is expected that orders will fall further. Orders should recover significantly when the situation stabilizes. The virus is expected to cause some shifts in freight demand as consumers change their buying habits in the short-term. Fleets have enough equipment to handle current freight volumes, so they can afford to wait until the crisis abates before ordering new trailers.”

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For more than 30 years, FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities in North America. FTR’s experts, with over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.
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