Despite a normal seasonal order pattern predicting a month-over-month decline in trailer orders in March, orders in the month beat expectations this year. The rebound has led analysts to suspect orders to remain positive for the remainder of the year.
U.S. net trailer orders for March rose between 6.4 and 12% over February numbers, to between 27,400 and 29,500 units, FTR and ACT Research reported, respectively.
The rate is almost triple the volume seen in 2020 when COVID-19-driven pressures began to have a meaningful impact on the market, ACT officials said in a press release.
The increase was possible due to a few large dry van fleets that increased their 2021 requirements. In addition, flatbed and other vocation trailer orders remained steady.
Orders should moderate in the coming months according to seasonal trends, FTR officials said in a press release.
“Pressure is building up in the trailer market,” Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said. “Backlogs are at record levels and fleets desperately need more trailers. Capacity is very tight in some areas of the country and spot rates remain near record highs. There have been reports of shortages of flatbed trailers in some regions, as the industrial and housing sectors improve.”