Trailer net orders set a record in the third quarter of 2018, driven by strong freight demand throughout the year, according to ACT Research.
So far this year, the research firm said, a boom in trailer orders have pushed backlogs well into the second quarter of 2019. July and August were the strongest months for U.S. trailer orders in industry history-- and the quarter closed with a September that saw the strongest net order volume in history.
At 58,000 units ordered in September, the previous record set in October of 2014 was bested by more than 11,000 orders.
“Strong freight demand and tight capacity have combined to support both contract and spot rates." said Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research for ACT Research. "Extremely positive fleet financial performance is the result, providing both the need and ability to continue strong levels of equipment investment. Solid orders are not just a short-term phenomenon, as five of the top ten order volume months in industry history have occurred in the last four quarters.”
The robust OEM orderboard, and the resulting trailer production rates, will continue to challenge industry component and material suppliers during the upcoming months, according to ACT Research.
“Cancellations continue to be minimal,” said Maly. “Industry backlogs now stretch well into Q2’19, so fleets realize that backing away from any trailers currently on the orderboard might result in equipment delivery sometime next summer, or later.”