The final numbers for January trailer orders have come in, showing a strong start to 2018 for the trailer industry as fleets try to meet increased freight demand, according to ACT Research.
This lines up with reports from ACT as well as FTR that projected up to 39,000 units, capping a three-month stretch of strong trailer orders. The numbers were only slightly down from December’s trailer orders, which hit an all-time high of 47,000.
“Reefers, liquid tanks, and bulk tanks all posted year-over-year gains greater than 200% in January, and we believe this surge is a result of combined strong freight demand, solid rates, tight capacity, and lengthening backlogs,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research.
Total net trailer orders were up 24% year-over-year, creating a backlog for trailer production through September. Six of 10 trailer categories were up from the previous month, and eight out of ten were up year-over-year.
“In addition to production returning to more normal levels, January’s daily build rate rose 15% m/m, resulting in a 7.5-month backlog-to-build ratio,” said Maly. “On average, this means the industry is committed past Labor Day.”