BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Transportation analyst firm FTR reported December 16 that final November trailer orders reached 35,800, beating expectations by a wide margin. Although the total was 78 percent above October’s orders, it was still 8 percent below the same month last year, when orders were very strong.
“This was an unexpected jump in trailer orders,” said Don Ake, president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “Fleets took more time than usual to determine their 2017 requirements, but the large fleets then placed some impressive orders. The high order totals were driven primarily by fleets replacing older dry vans. Refrigerated van orders were also strong, reflecting the continued growth of temperature-controlled freight.
“The trailer market segments continue to be highly fragmented. Dry and refrigerated vans, which are closely tied to the consumer sectors of the economy, are maintaining much of their strength. Flatbeds and other trailers connected to the industrial side of the economy have fallen off significantly the second half of 2016.”
Dry Van orders lead the way in November, FTR reported. Trailer orders totaled 210,000 units over the past twelve months, while backlogs jumped 15 percent, the first increase since last December. Trailer production fell moderately on a per-day level, but met expectations.
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