BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — FTR reports that preliminary U.S. net trailer orders continued to moderate in February, falling 23% month over month to a total of 23,100 units.
Although orders fell, the figure is still 64% above February last year. February order activity is very consistent with seasonal trends, following a record-setting fourth quarter in 2020, according to FTR analysts.
“Fleets have placed large orders for trailers in response to the robust freight demand,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles. “OEMs are under pressure to fill these orders due to bottlenecks in the supply chain. Suppliers are facing worker shortages; some raw materials are scarce and there are still delays getting some imported parts through the West Coast ports. Once the situation improves, production will be steady, at high volumes for an extended time.”
Trailer orders for the past 12 months total 322,000.
Freight markets continue to be secure, with more trailers needed to meet the growing demand.
Most fleets have already placed all orders for 2021 delivery, especially for dry and refrigerated vans. Flatbed orders and other vocational segments are expected to continue to recover until entering the summer months.
“2021 will be another fantastic year for the trailer industry once the supply chain stabilizes,” Ake said. “Freight growth should continue to be vibrant throughout the year. Consumer freight has been elevated for months and now manufacturing freight is poised to bounce. Demand for trailers will continue at elevated rates, right into 2022. Fleets desperately need more trailers right now, and this trend will continue until supply catches up with demand.”