Trailer orders hit the highest level of 2019 in September, rebounding a bit from a slow year for equipment sales, and it could indicate that fleets are more optimistic about 2020.
According to an early report by FTR, trailer orders are expected to come in at 19,000 units for September. This represents a huge 81% increase compared to August but is still down 66% compared to September of last year.
FTR also expects numbers to rise to healthy levels again in October as fleets place more orders for 2020.
“This is a decent order amount for September. It indicates fleets are somewhat optimistic about 2020,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “The increase in September orders signals the trailer market is becoming much more stable and should be settling into historic order patterns, after a turbulent couple of years.”
FTR remarked that net orders could have been even higher, but they were offset by fleet cancellations. Trailer production is expected to remain steady but below previous months and the backlog is expected to drop for the ninth consecutive month.
Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 264,000 units.
“Trailer sales are expected to dip in 2020 after hitting record volumes in 2019,” said Ake. “However, the forecast is still for a solid year based on moderate economic and freight growth, which should provide fleets with enough profits to buy new equipment.”