The trailer industry closed 2016 on a high note, with increases in dry van and reefer orders yet was down compared to November, according to ACT Research.
Dry van orders were up 26% and reefer orders climbed almost 140% compared to 2015. Despite the positive year-over-year performance, new and net orders were down 5% from November. The impact of higher energy prices boosted the vocational segments, such as flats, dumps and bulk tanks.
But weaker trailer orders earlier in the year offset the gains in November and December. So, 2016’s total orders were down significantly compared to 2015.
“For the full year, industry net orders of just under 229,000 units were down 28% versus 2015,” said Frank Maly, ACT's director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “Dry vans and reefers, both off 30% to 31% year-over-year, were the major factors in that total market performance, although net orders for every trailer category in our group of ten were down from 2015.”