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Trailer orders year-over-year down, analysts report

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FTR said dry van orders were particularly low, with few build slots available left in 2019. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE)

Two U.S. companies that track, analyze and report data on the commercial vehicle industry both say preliminary data show trailer orders continue to be down year-to-date.

ACT’s preliminary estimate for March 2019 net trailer orders is 15,600 units. Final volume will be available later this month. Our methodology allows us to generate a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally.

FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for March 2019 at 13,500 units, plummeting to the smallest monthly total since September 2016 and the lowest March since 2008.  Recent comparisons were also very negative -43% month over month and -52% year over year.

Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 371,000 units, FTR said.

“It appears that the industry entered a bit of a holding pattern in March, as order volume declined significantly from both the previous month and this time last year. Net orders dropped 35% from February and were approximately 48% below a year ago,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research. “Although current backlogs consume the majority of available build slots this year, particularly in the dry van and reefer segments, we continue to hear that OEMs are reluctant to fully open the 2020 orderboards. Their concerns center around materials and component pricing, which would obviously have measurable impact on future pricing. While some fleets appear to be willing to extend commitments, others might be waiting, monitoring current market conditions. Also worth noting, given extended backlogs, OEMs are pushing to deliver trailers as quickly as possible; preliminary information indicates production crossed the 30k unit mark last month for only the second time in industry history.”

FTR said dry van orders were particularly low, with few build slots available left in 2019.  Vocational trailer orders also continue to fall.  The low level of trailer order activity in March should result in backlogs finally beginning to move down from record levels.

“This low order number is not surprising,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Backlogs had fallen little so far in 2019, and are at unreasonable levels. Fleets still need more trailers, based on the robust production, so demand has not changed in the short run. The weak orders are totally the result of the lack of available production openings. However, cancellations will continue to be a factor due to a large, fluid, backlog.”

For more information on ACT Research, visit www.actresearch.net.

For more information about the work of FTR, visit www.FTRintel.com, follow on Twitter @ftrintel, or call (888) 988-1699 Ext. 1.  8

 

 

 

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Freight moved among U.S., Canada, Mexico down in April from March

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Trucks moved $65.1 billion of freight among the U.S., Canada and Mexico in April 2019 compared with $67.4 billion in March 2019. (The Trucker file photo)

WASHINGTON — Total freight transported between the United States, Mexico and Canada totaled $104.5 billion in April, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The figure represents an increase of 1.8% compared to April 2018, but a 2.5% decrease from March 2019 when $107.2 billion was moved among the countries.

The most used mode of transportation was trucking, which moved $65.1 billion of freight, down 1% compared to April 2018 and down 3.4% from the $67.4 billion moved in March 2019.

The second most used mode was rail, which moved $15.6 billion of freight, up 6.3% compared to April 2018, but down .04% from March 2019’s $16.2 billion of rail freight..

Trucks moved 62.3% of all transborder freight, broken down as follows:

  • U.S.-Canada: $28.8 billion (55.5% of all northern border freight)
  • U.S.-Mexico: $36.3 billion (68.9% of all southern border freight)

Trucks moved $67.4 billion in March 2019.

Compared to April 2018, U.S.-Canada freight was down 3.3%, U.S.-Mexico freight was up 1%.

The three busiest truck border ports (43.3% of total transborder truck freight) included Laredo, Texas ($15.3 billion), Detroit ($8.6 billion) and El Paso, Texas ($5.3 billion).

The top three truck commodities (48.9% of total transborder truck freight) included:

  • Computers and parts, $13.6 billion
  • Motor vehicles and parts, $9.9 billion
  • Electrical machinery, $9.5 billion

Those three categories also were the top three categories in March 2019.

 

 

 

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Dwight Bassett named president of Boyd Companies

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The Boyd Companies include Boyd Bros. Transportation, WTI Transport, Mid Seven Transportation and Boyd Logistics. (Courtesy: BOYD BROS. TRANSPORTATION)

CLAYTON, Ala. — Dwight Bassett has been named president of the Boyd Companies.

Prior to this role, Bassett served as the  chief operations officer and chief financial officer for the Boyd Companies.

Bassett has an extensive background as a leader in the trucking industry.

DWIGHT BASSETT

Before joining the Boyd Companies, he served as the chief operations officer for Builder’s Transportation. In this role, he helped redesign the company’s information system which greatly improved productivity and accountability.

Prior to Builder’s, Bassett worked for M.S. Carriers for 16 years. During his tenure, he held various roles within the organization such as dispatcher, controller, vice president of operations, and chief accounting officer. Under his leadership, the company’s fleet grew tremendously from 300 trucks to 4,000 trucks.

“It is an honor to be named the president of the Boyd Companies,” Bassett said. “The people at Boyd make the difference. There is a mutual respect and admiration among all of us that is not easily replicated.”

Chris Cooper, CEO of the Boyd Companies, said, “Dwight’s leadership will be important to the Boyd Companies and the Daseke organization moving forward. Dwight has a unique, intuitive and tactical mind for transportation and logistics. This has been shown in his leadership over the past six years as CFO and COO of the Boyd Companies.”

The Boyd Companies include Boyd Bros. Transportation, WTI Transport, Mid Seven Transportation and Boyd Logistics.

The Boyd Companies is part of Daseke Inc., the largest flatbed and specialized transportation and logistics company in North America.

Boyd Bros. Transportation is the largest carrier in the Boyd Companies and is a flatbed truckload carrier that operates throughout the eastern two-thirds of the United States, hauling primarily steel products and building materials.

For more information about Boyd Companies or career opportunities at Boyd Bros. Transportation, visit www.driveforboyd.com or call 888-485-8717.

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Trailer orders down in May; June seen as pivotal month

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An FTR executive said trailer orders should rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020, adding that June orders will be a good indication of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year. (Courtesy: GREAT DANE) 

The two companies that collect, analyze and publish data pertaining to the commercial vehicle market reported what might be called a significant decline in trailer orders for May.

FTR reported preliminary orders for 11,700 units, the lowest total since May 2016.

ACT Research reported preliminary new U.S. trailer orders of 15,500, down 16% month-over-month, but after accounting for cancellations, said net orders slid to 10.5k units, down 28% from April.

FTR said orders for 2019 production have basically come to a halt, as most build slots for the year are already filled.  Trailer builds were hefty for the third straight month and should remain elevated in the short-term.

However, production numbers in the second half will likely moderate due to expected slower economic and freight growth. The flatbed segment is already showing signs of weakening due to easing in manufacturing and industrial activity.  Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 356,000 units.

“Orders should rise in June as OEMs begin taking orders for 2020,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “June orders will be a good indication of how the larger fleets view the freight market for next year.  Carriers may be cautious as long as the tariff situation is disrupting freight flows and creating significant business uncertainty.”

ACT Research said year-to-date, net orders are 40% below last year, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report. 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.

“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. “We hear that some OEMs may open their 2020 orderboards in June; if so, expect better comparisons in the months ahead.

“However, 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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