Trailer orders bounce as OEMs open more ’22 build slots

by Today's Trucking

Trailer orders bounced back in November to 32,000 units as manufacturers became more comfortable taking 2022 orders.

That marked an 89% increase from October, but was down 23% year over year, according to industry forecaster FTR. It attributed the sharp monthly jump to large fleets placing 2022 orders and OEs finally having the confidence to enter them into the backlog.

Trailer orders chart

“This is great news for the trailer market. Fleets are signaling they will need considerably more trailers in 2022 to handle the freight growth and relieve some of the pressures in industry capacity and the spot markets. It also indicates the OEMs are beginning to look forward beyond Q1 and expect to be able to lift build rates at some point. Orders have been under the 30,000-unit mark for nine months, so this is an impressive number in that regard,” said Don Ake, vice-president, commercial vehicles with FTR.

“There is still much uncertainty as we enter 2022. Some OEMs are still reluctant to enter orders too far in advance under these conditions. Quoting prices for future sales remains a challenge and some OEMs are employing surcharges and other tactics to manage new orders and total backlog. Therefore, the November orders indicate that progress is being made. When there is enough certainty and confidence about 2022, orders should rise accordingly.”

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