FTR Reports North American Class 8 Orders for March Below Twenty Thousand for the Third Consecutive Month at 15,200 Units

04.03.19 | FTR

FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for March at 15,200 units, remaining below the twenty-thousand threshold for the third consecutive month. March 2019 was the lowest March for orders since 2010. March orders were 8% below February and down 67% y/y. Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 397,000 units.
Demand is still strong, but supply is limited with all of the choice build slots for 2019 filled. Fleets that need trucks are basically taking whatever is available. Backlogs are rapidly declining, as the market tries to rebalance and establish some semblance of normality.

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Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “These are extraordinary market conditions. Most fleets ordered well in advance of their need for trucks in 2019. OEM production slots were scarce in 2018 and supplier constraints caused disruptions in supply, so fleets didn’t want to get shutout this year. Now so many build slots have been reserved, fleets that are currently placing orders for delivery this year don’t have many options.”

“Even though the economy and freight growth appear to be slowing, it has not impacted OEM line rates as of yet. Fleets are still putting more trucks in service and competing in a still decent freight market. It is expected that Class 8 sales will moderate sometime before the end of the year, as industry capacity begins to catch up with the freight surge that began in 2018.”

Final data for November will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service. To contact FTR, send an email to [email protected] or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1 and follow us on Twitter @FTRintel.

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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.