Early reports on trailer orders are projecting a record high for the month of July, more than doubling the amount seen in 2017.
Analysts from FTR and ACT Research expect 28,000 and 29,300 trailers orders, respectively, in July, which is typically the weakest order month of the year. July 2018 is likely to exceed the previous best July trailer order month in 1994. These record order numbers point to a strong 2019 order year as well, according to FTR.
“This is a terrific order number for a month of July,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Strong economic and freight growth is expected to continue and, as a result, trailer production is at record levels. Orders should stay elevated as fleets continue to place orders earlier than normal for 2019.”
Manufacturers already have opened up some 2019 order boards, and fleets have already starting reserving build spots and locking in current pricing for next year. Fleets are planning to add more trucks next year and will need new trailers to accompany them.
Year to date, trailer orders are just over 200,000 units, an increase of 30% compared to 2017.
“Both dry vans and reefers paced overall performance, closing the month with backlogs that now stretch into March of next year,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “While strength was evident across all industry segments, it is noteworthy that cancellations remain low, indicating strong fleet confidence as we move through the rest of this year and into next.”