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Commercial Trailer Net Orders Hit Two-Year High

February commercial trailer net orders were up 168 percent from February 2009 and were at their highest level in two years. Dry van orders were very strong, posting triple-digit increases on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis, according to ACT Research Co. (ACT).

In the latest release of State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers, ACT noted widespread improvement with y/y growth in seven of the nine trailer segments. Reefer van orders, which generally performed the best during the recession, posted a year-over-year gain of 45 percent. The improved orders pushed total trailer backlogs to its highest level in 17 months, which will support a gradual increase in production rates.

“Over the past several weeks, numerous indicators and comments from trucking companies have pointed to a rapid tightening of truck capacity,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT Research. “With tighter capacity comes increasing freight rates and profitability for fleets, which is a precursor for both new tractor and trailer demand. The strong dry van orders, especially one large order from a major private carrier, indicate increasing optimism within the truckload industry.”

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