The two organizations that report truck and trailer orders said Tuesday that the industry in October followed up a record-breaking September with another strong showing.
ACT Research’s preliminary estimate for October 2018 net trailer orders is 55,250 units.
FTR reported 53,000 units were sold.
September’s total was just over 58,000.
“After posting the highest monthly net order volume in history in September, the trailer industry continued at a breakneck pace in October,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation. “Our projection ranks October as the second-best net order month in history, up more than 70 percent year-over-year. Seasonally adjusted, October net orders were almost 48,000 units. The trailer order season, which normally begins in October, has already been underway for several months so that higher seasonal impact reduces the adjusted results.”
Year-to-date, fleets have ordered roughly 350,000 trailers, Maly said. “Through 10 months, net orders are up 55 percent versus last year, strong evidence of the positive fleet outlook driving robust investment plans. The longevity of the current order cycle is evident with a review of recent history; six of the industry’s top ten order months have occurred since last November.” While strength in dry vans continues to support overall industry results, the preliminary numbers point to last month’s reefer volume as the highest ever recorded.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said additional OEM’s started taking orders for the second half of 2019 and customers responded by placing huge orders to reserve future build slots.
Supply for production parts and components remains tight.
October 2019 trailer orders exceeded the same month last year by 67 percent, with orders for the past twelve months now at 423,000, Ake said, adding that both dry van and flatbed orders were very robust but refrigerated vans moderated somewhat.
“This was another great month for trailer orders. Fleets need to expand to handle steady freight growth,” Ake said. “Capacity utilization remains at highly elevated levels. Trailers are being used to make drivers more productive and to help move goods as fast as possible. The supply chain is struggling to perform well and more trailers are needed to improve delivery times. Fleets are expecting the good times to continue and want to make sure they have an adequate supply of trailers throughout 2019.”
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