Preliminary April trailer orders are at 22,000 units, a 20-percent month-over-month decline from March that reflects a seasonally typical adjustment, FTR reported Thursday.
The freight transportation forecaster said April trailers orders still were “solid for the month,” noting a 10-percent increase from April 2017 and 21-percent spike from 2015, an “excellent” year for trailer orders.
“Most fleets have their orders placed for 2018, and some dry-van OEMs are booked solid for the year,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Component shortages are increasing and may prevent all the orders in the backlog from being built this year. However, there is still capacity available for refrigerated van and vocational trailer orders, and the chugging economy should continue providing increased sales of all trailer types.”
Backlogs are expected to decline, as is typical this time of year. Trailer orders totaled 330,00 units the past 12 months.
“This is still a decent April for trailer orders,” Ake said.
“It is higher than 2015 and signals the market will stay red-hot for a while. Some orders are already rolling into 2019. Solid freight growth and high trailer capacity-utilization rates mean more trailers are needed to help relieve this capacity crunch and compensate for driver shortages.”