FTR Reports March Trailer Build Increasing Although Orders Remain Soft


FTR reports March 2015 U.S. Trailer net orders were 22,000 units, up 7% m/m but down 25% y/y. Orders continue to weaken primarily because fleets have already placed their 2015 requirements. Trailer build increased 7.5% (per day) versus February, with backlogs falling, albeit still at a high level, for the second straight month. Orders have totaled 340,000 the past twelve months.

In March, dry van orders recovered nicely from February’s dip, up 37%, with refrigerated van orders falling to their lowest level since June. Build for both trailer types increased; dry vans were up 5% per day from February, and refrigerated vans set an all-time build record in the month. Flatbed orders have leveled out, but build remains very robust. Liquid and dry tanks along with dump trailers saw good order activity, and build rates for all were very solid during March.  

Click here to view the latest release and an interactive graph of the Trailer Orders>

Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, "Orders remain subdued, but when you consider how many orders have been placed in the last twelve months, and that backlogs are near record levels, this market has tremendous strength. OEMs are booking orders late into Q3 and Q4, and there are even some orders getting booked now for 2016.

"The big story in March was the increase in build. The OEMs were very productive coming out of the winter months. Refrigerated van, dump, and flatbed builds were significant. There is enough backlog to continue this momentum for several months."

The full trailer data is available as part of FTR's North American Truck & Trailer Outlook service. To contact FTR, send an email to [email protected] or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1.

For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning 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. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.