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Record trailer orders continue in February

Trailer orders set an all-time in February, following January’s monthly best, according to the preliminary report from ACT Research.

ACT’s preliminary estimate for February net trailer orders is 33,000 units. Final February volume will be available later this month. The ACT methodology allows generates a preliminary estimate of the market that should be within +/- 3% of the final order tally, the industry analyst notes.

“Fleets continue to place orders at a record pace, as last month was the strongest February order volume in industry history,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s Director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research. “That follows a record-setting string of months that started last fall. February’s all-time high also follows the strongest January in industry history. The supporting story continues to be tight trucking capacity and the resulting strong freight rates, driving fleet equipment needs and purchase ability.”

As a result, industry backlogs now stretch through September on average, with dry van and reefers averaging lead times that stretch into the fourth quarter.

“That lengthy timeline also helps encourage fleets to join the order queue,” Maly added.

While February net orders were off 17% from January, sequential softening in orders is expected with the approach the end of the industry’s traditional order season.

“Through the first two months of the year, net orders are 24% above last year, with the industry’s orderboard more than 20% above this point last year,” Maly said.

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