FTR Reports Preliminary March Trailer Orders Seasonally Decline M/M But Remain Historically Strong

04.13.18 | FTR

FTR reports preliminary March trailer orders at 27,500, which reflect a typical seasonal decline from February, down 16% m/m.  However, orders were historically strong with order activity at the highest level for the month of March since 2014 and up 34% from March 2017.   The order volume should increase backlogs slightly as build rates are expected to increase in the coming months.  Trailer orders have totaled 328,000 for the past twelve months.

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Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “Even as orders decline, this remains a stout month of orders for the trailer industry.  Some dry van OEMs are running out of 2018 production slots, so we should see orders take their typical swoon in the summer months. However, the amount of orders already placed has created a substantial backlog, which will create another stellar year for the trailer industry.”

“The freight growth numbers we continue to see are very impressive across all trailer segments, especially flatbeds.  Fleets are ordering trailers at a record pace to catch up to freight demand.  The ELD conversion and driver shortage are just exacerbating an already tight capacity market.  Fleets need more trailers now and orders placed for Q4 delivery means they expect the freight surge to continue for a while, a good sign for the economy.”

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The full trailer data is available as part of FTR's North American Truck & Trailer Outlook service.

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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.