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July Trailer Sales (Almost) Double from Last July

The numbers are in. We had written about June trailer sales at approximately this same time last month, and Freight Transportation Research (FTR) has released its latest data for new trailer sales. July 2020 shattered all expectations.

By the Numbers

It does not take a trucking industry expert to imagine that the coronavirus pandemic caused new trailer sales nationwide to slow down tremendously. What is surprising is how the pent-up demand from those first pandemic months have been unleashed as people adjust to making the pandemic a normal part of life.

Here are the numbers:

  1. According to FTR, July new trailer sales were 19,300 units.
  2. Compared to the month prior (June 2020), new trailer sales totaled around 13,400. That is about a 33% increase.
  3. July 2019 new trailer sales totaled approximately 10,500. Comparing the same month for both years, July 2020 had 84% higher sales.
  4. In the past twelve months, 173,000 new trailers were sold. This means a moving average of 14,417, which July 2020 has exceeded.

“The best news about July is that some of the orders came from dealers. OEMs were concerned that their dealers were overstocked in May and that would limit future production,” FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake noted in an interview. “However, dealer sales were stronger than expected in June and July, prompting dealers to place some restocking orders.”

Conclusion

Ake says that the reduced demand in the pandemic for dry vans, reefers, and flatbeds alike are starting to turn around, albeit flatbeds at a slower rate than dry vans as the manufacturing sector takes time to heat up.

Between the increased new trailer sales and new truck sales in July, the trucking industry seems to have a fire in it not normally seen, even outside of a pandemic recession. It will be interesting to see where August stands on the scale, very possibly exceeding sales for both assets for this time last year.

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