Preliminary trailer orders held steady in February at 24,600 units, down about 5% from January and down 4% from the year before, FTR reported. Trailer orders for the past twelve months have totaled 242,000 units.
“The tight holding pattern in the industry continues. OEMs are reluctant to book more orders when the supply chain is still clogged,” Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said. “The commercial trailer industry is the most stable it’s ever been. OEMs will increase production as soon as they can get more parts, components, and workers. When this finally breaks loose, order volumes will jump substantially.”
Indeed, orders have tracked in a narrow range for the past 6 months, averaging 25,700 trailers per month. Bookings have exceeded production by about 3,000 units a month during this time, allowing backlogs to increase modestly, the report noted.
“There is tremendous demand for new trailers and the supply chain crisis has created a severe shortage,” Ake said. “Some previous retired trailers that were being used for storage or drayage are now being refurbished and returned to active duty. Freight growth continues in all segments, so every month the need for trailers intensifies.”