BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – FTR indicates that final January net trailer orders were strong at 32,800 units, up 86% year-over-year, but down 4% month-over-month.
January was the third consecutive month of positive orders, and exceeded expectations, with dry van orders jumping 146% year-over-year and reefers down 52% from December.
“It appears the trailer order cycle has shifted back a few months this year,” said FTR vice-president of commercial vehicles Don Ake. “Instead of starting in September or October, the order season began in November. This resulted in an unusually high number of orders in January. Uncertainty over the presidential election is probably the reason for this. Business confidence is running high, so we still got our traditional run of three months of strong orders, it just came later than typical.”
Over the past year, trailer orders have totaled 234,000 units.
“This is another good sign for trucking, freight and the economy for 2017,” said Ake. “Fleets are showing confidence in the market by placing a strong number of requirement orders for the year. These are not all replacement orders, so some fleets are expecting to expand sometime this year. The strength is centered on dry vans, however. The vocational segments have bottomed out and have not really begun a recovery, very similar to Class 8 trucks.”