Following historically strong net order volumes in 2017’s final two months, January U.S. trailer net orders continued the pattern, booking the fifth-best order month in history.
“Reefers led the way booking that product’s strongest month in history, while total net orders were up 24% y/y,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Reefers, liquid tanks, and bulk tanks all posted y/y gains greater than 200% in January, and we believe this surge is a result of combined strong freight demand, solid rates, tight capacity, and lengthening backlogs.”
Production volumes recovered from December’s holiday-induced doldrums.
“Volume of 23,300 NSA units was up 20% sequentially and 14% y/y. Six of ten trailer categories were up m/m, while eight were up y/y,” said Maly. “In addition to production returning to more normal levels, January’s daily build rate rose 15% m/m, resulting in a 7.5-month backlog-to-build ratio. On average, this means the industry is committed past Labor Day.”