BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trailer orders totaled 27,500 units in March, according to preliminary data from FTR.
That reflects a typical seasonal decline, down 16% from February, but orders remained historically strong with order activity at the highest level for the month of March since 2014, and up 34% year-over-year.
FTR says the order intake will increase backlogs slightly.
“Even as orders decline, this remains a stout month of orders for the trailer industry,” said Don Ake, FTR vice-president of commercial vehicles. “Some dry van OEMs are running out of 2018 production slots, so we should see orders take their typical swoon in the summer months. However, the amount of orders already placed has created a substantial backlog, which will create another stellar year for the trailer industry.”
Orders were strong across all trailer segments, FTR reported, and especially flatbeds.
“Fleets are ordering trailers at a record pace to catch up to freight demand,” Ake said. “The ELD conversion and driver shortage are just exacerbating an already tight capacity market. Fleets need more trailers now and orders placed for Q4 delivery means they expect the freight surge to continue for a while, a good sign for the economy.”