Total trailer order backlog is at the highest level in nearly 20 years, according to Frank Maly, analyst at ACT Research. ACT released its latest report on trailer order numbers in January showing a strong month, despite drop from December.
Net orders in January were at 19,853, down 32% from December but still up 18% year-over-year. The recent resolution of the West Coast port labor dispute is being seen as a net positive for the trailer industry, as orders will rise to meet the pent-up demand.
“Part of January’s strength resulted from some out-of-pattern orders as fleets are getting in queue for equipment,” said Maly. “Trailer demand continues to receive support from a wide array of factors, including solid freight volumes, pent-up demand for replacement equipment, and increased consumer and business spending.”
The West Coast labor dispute had effectively stopped the flow of imported goods from entering some of the U.S.’s largest ports, causing grief in a variety of industries including trucking. With the issue being resolved, Maly believes that the economy has likely avoided a “significant headwind.”
“The foundation is in place for 2015 to be the best trailer market since the late 1990s,” said Maly.