BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trailer orders in March were up 7% compared to February, but 25% off the torrid pace of March 2014, according to the latest data from FTR.
FTR says orders are weakening because fleets have already placed their orders for 2015 requirements. Trailer build increased 7.5% per day compared to Februar, eating into existing backlogs for the second straight month.
Trailer orders have totaled 340,000 units over the past 12 months, FTR reports. Dry van orders were up 37% in March while refrigerated van orders fell to their lowest level since June 2014.
However, build for both trailer types increased.
Flatbed orders leveled out but there too, build remains robust. Tanks saw good order activity with solid build rates, FTR reports.
“Orders remain subdued, but when you consider how many orders have been placed in the last 12 months, and that backlogs are near record levels, this market has tremendous strength,” said Don Ake, vice-president of commercial vehicles, FTR. “OEMs are booking orders late into Q3 and Q4, and there are even some orders getting booked now for 2016. The big story in March was the increase in build. The OEMs were very productive coming out of the winter months. Refrigerated van, dump, and flatbed builds were significant. There is enough backlog to continue this momentum for several months.”