According to FTR, preliminary U.S. trailer orders for August increased 49% since July to 28,700 units, the biggest jump since October 2019.
Orders were also 174% higher than August 2019, with trailer orders totaling 191,000 units for the last 12 months.
“August’s hearty order total was a welcome and needed surprise,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “The volume was much higher than expected and an indication that the industry is making a surprisingly quick recovery from the pandemic.”
Dry van refrigerated van orders had the biggest increases, while flatbed orders improved from July but did not see the same percentage increases. Backlogs are expected to rise to near pre-pandemic levels, and new orders are solidifying van production for most OEMs through 2020.
“There was significant pent-up demand for van trailers coming out of the economic shutdowns. Now fleets are feeling much more confident about the freight markets and ordering trailers they would have booked in April or May, under normal conditions,” said Ake. “There was also pent-up demand at the dealer level, with some dealers reporting record sales volumes for July and August, which are traditionally the slowest months of the year. Dealers now are placing restocking orders much sooner than expected.”