BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR reports preliminary March trailer orders at 27,500, which reflects a typical seasonal decline from February, was down 16 percent month-over-month.
However, orders were historically strong, with order activity at the highest level for the month of March since 2014 and up 34 percent from March 2017.
The order volume should increase backlogs slightly as build rates are expected to increase in the coming months, FTR said in a news release.
Trailer orders have totaled 328,000 for the past 12 months.
“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.”
“The freight growth numbers we continue to see are very impressive across all trailer segments, especially flatbeds. Fleets are ordering trailers at a record pace to catch up to freight demand. The ELD conversion and driver shortage are just exacerbating an already tight capacity market. Fleets need more trailers now and orders placed for fourth-quarter delivery means they expect the freight surge to continue for a while, a good sign for the economy.”
FTR’s forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar.