BLOOMINGTON. Ind. — FTR has reported preliminary December U.S. net trailer orders at all-time high of 47,000 units, 10 percent above November and plus 38 percent year-over-year. December orders, when finalized, are expected to exceed the previous high of 45,800 reached in October 2014.
Total trailer orders for 2017 were 308,000 units.
Fleets are ordering thousands of dry vans to deal with exceptionally tight trucking capacity pushed to the edge by the ELD mandate, FTR said.
“Freight continues to grow without enough equipment to haul it,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Carriers are resorting to much more drop-and-hook to compensate for the lack of drivers, and they need significantly more trailers to manage the demand.”
Across-the-board economic growth is also keeping trailer demand strong in the other segments. Refrigerated freight remains robust and the flatbed market continues to surge with construction and manufacturing growth boosting demand, FTR said, adding that higher crude prices are reviving tank trailer sales.
“December was just an awesome month for trailer orders,” Ake said. “We have seen pressure build on equipment markets for several months, and this shows quarter one is going to be hectic as fleets scramble to keep up with freight demand.”