Six of the top ten months for trailer orders ever have occurred since last November.
 - Photo: Wabash National

Six of the top ten months for trailer orders ever have occurred since last November.

Photo: Wabash National

Trailer orders keep pouring in, with preliminary data from Act Research indicating 55,530 were ordered in October. That volume marks the second-best month ever— and it rolled in right after September set the all-time record for trailer orders. Meantime, research firm FTR called trailer orders “tremendous for the second month in a row,” giving a total for October of 53,000 units, which the research firm noted came in “just under last month’s record setting number.”

“After posting the highest monthly net order volume in history in September, the trailer industry continued at a breakneck pace in October,” said Frank Maly, Acts director of CV Transportation Analysis & Research. “Our projection ranks October as the second-best net order month in history, up more than 70% year-over-year.”

This was another great month for trailer orders,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles. “Fleets need to expand to handle steady freight growth. Capacity utilization remains at highly elevated levels. Trailers are being used to make drivers more productive and to help move goods as fast as possible. The supply chain is struggling to perform well and more trailers are needed to improve delivery times.”

October trailer orders are up 67% year over year and orders for the 12 months now at 423,000, according to FTR, which noted that both dry van and flatbed orders were “very robust,” but reefers “moderated somewhat.”

FTR also pointed out that additional trailer makers started taking orders for the second half of 2019 and “customers responded by placing huge orders to reserve future build slots. However, the research firm said the supply of production parts and components remains “tight.”

Act’s Maly reported that, seasonally adjusted, October’s net orders reached almost 48,000 units. “The trailer order season, which normally begins in October, has already been underway for several months so that higher seasonal impact reduces the adjusted results,” he said.

Maly said that year to date, fleets have ordered roughly 350,000 trailers. “Through 10 months, net orders are up 55% vs. last year, strong evidence of the positive fleet outlook driving robust investment plans. The longevity of the current order cycle is evident with a review of recent history: six of the industry’s top ten order months have occurred since last November.”

While Act Research found that “strength in dry vans continues to support overall industry results, the preliminary numbers point to last month’s reefer volume as the highest ever recorded.”

“The supply chain is struggling to perform well and more trailers are needed to improve delivery times,” stated FTR’s Ake. “Fleets are expecting the good times to continue and want to make sure they have an adequate supply of trailers throughout 2019.”

0 Comments