Trailer orders in August are expected to exceed projections for the second straight month, showcasing just how hot equipment sales have remained so far in 2018.
Preliminary numbers from analysts at FTR Intelligence and ACT Research show huge gains compared to August of last year with an increase more than 140%. It is projected to be the best August ever for trailer orders with an increase of 30% compared to July according to ACT Research and 27% according to FTR.
“The summer has shown amazing strength, reflecting commercial fleets’ positive outlook in response to solid freight rates, volumes, and capacity challenges,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “After seeing the strongest July volume in industry history, August followed suit, surpassing the previous record of August 1994 by more than 11,000 orders.”
The elevated numbers this late in the summer are attributed to fleets already placing their 2019 orders as manufacturers open up order boards through the second quarter of next year. Some large fleets have placed large orders for dry vans and refrigerated trailers in order to reserve production slots in the next year.
Trailer orders have totaled 370,000 units in the past 12 months, according to FTR.
“Orders should remain sturdy for the rest of the year, with continued steady freight growth and tight industry capacity,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “There is strong demand for new trailers, and we expect this to continue well into 2019. It is a good sign that fleets expect a robust year in 2019 and are ordering trailers earlier than normal in anticipation.”