FTR reports preliminary March trailer orders are at 27,500 units, which reflects a typical seasonal decline but still is historically strong, with order activity at the highest level for March since 2014.
Trailers orders are down 16 percent from February but up 34 percent from March, 2017.
The order volume should increase backlogs slightly as build rates are expected to increase in the coming months.
“Even as orders decline, this remains a stout month of orders for the trailer industry,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial sales. “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.”
Trailer orders are at 328,000 units for the past twelve months.
“The freight growth numbers we continue to see are very impressive across all trailer segments, especially flatbeds,” Ake said. “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 mean they expect the freight surge to continue for a while – a good sign for the economy.”