Trailer orders topped 30,000 in March, besting an earlier estimate of 29,500 orders, showing that fleets are still investing in new equipment, according to ACT Research.
Although orders were down 11% compared to the stellar numbers from February, volume was up 39% compared to a year earlier. March was the 16th straight month with a year-over-year gain, which was spread out over most trailer types. Eight out of 10 trailer categories that ACT Research tracks showed a year-over-year improvement of more than 40%.
“Strong freight demand and tight capacity continue to encourage fleets to invest in equipment, and the positive impact of freight rates on their bottom lines provide them the means to commit,” said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “And don’t forget, the recent tax cuts contribute to this equation.”
For the first quarter, trailer orders were up 28% compared to Q1 2017. Maly noted that month over month softness in order numbers and comments about tight component supplies may indicate that original equipment manufacturers were unable to increase production as much as they wanted to. To keep an eye on this development, Maly indicated that ACT would monitor components related to undercarriage, suspensions, axles, and tires.