Trailer Orders Surge to Start 2018, Passing 39,000

Date: February 19, 2018

Transport Topics Magazine

U.S. trailer orders burst past 39,000 in January to the fifth-best order month in industry history while refrigerated trailers posted an all-time monthly record, ACT Research Co. reported.

ACT pegged the total at 39,100 in a preliminary estimate of net trailer orders, but noted the final tally will be available later this month and its estimate is typically within 3% of that final number.

The January orders improved 22% over the 32,174 placed in January 2017. The latest tally also exceeded any orders placed in 2017 except for November and December, which were the third- and second-best months of all time, respectively.

The research company FTR also placed trailer orders in the 40,000 range and noted January order activity is expected to raise backlogs to the highest level since March 2016.

The majority of trailer categories posted positive year-over-year performance and reefer orders set an all-time monthly record, coming in 250% better than last January, according to ACT.

“Tight trucking capacity and solid freight rates are supporting both fleet needs and investment ability. Lengthening industry backlogs also encourage fleets to join industry order boards,” Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research, said in a statement.

FTR pointed to the “vibrant” economy, and as freight grows, fleets are “hurrying” to add capacity.

“Overall business confidence is surging due to tax reform and it’s making a hot market even hotter,” FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake said.

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