FTR reports final April net trailer orders at 20,000 units, down 4% m/m but up 26% versus a year ago.
April trailer order activity continued the strong year-over-year comparisons, with orders holding steady from March. Fleets are continuing to place orders for second-half 2017 delivery with dealer orders also brisk for the month. Dry van order activity was down marginally from April and refrigerated vans orders also eased off a bit. Trailer orders have totaled 250,000 units for the past twelve months. Backlogs fell 2% and are 16% below a year ago; production remained steady from March on a per day basis.
“The trailer market held on to the strong production gains of March, which is a great sign for future sales,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “Orders were less than production for the second straight month, which means backlogs are easing down. This is consistent with seasonal trends in a healthy, normal market. The second quarter looks to be robust, based on April’s production rates and the respectable backlog levels. Orders will fall off in the summer, but 2017 will be a better year than expected.
“There is growing optimism about freight levels as this year progresses. Fleets are replacing old equipment and adding some new units now in anticipation of a stronger business environment. The dry van sector remains vigorous and flatbeds show signs of a better second half. The resumption of activity in the oil fields is aiding the tanker markets.”