September trailers orders were a tremendous 56,000 units, exceeding the previous record from October 2014 by over 10,000 trailers. Orders continue to exceed expectations with September units 59% higher than August and up 133% y/y. Trailer orders for the past twelve months have now exceeded 400,000 units.
The OEMs opened up their order boards for the remainder of 2019 and the fleets responded with many large orders. Most of the order increase was in dry vans, but refrigerated van orders were healthy, as were flatbeds. There are still concerns about future raw material costs and component availability, but this did not hinder the fleets from ordering in huge numbers for future deliveries.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “The fleets have ordered an enormous amount of Class 8 trucks for 2019 and now are ordering the trailers to go with them. They want to reserve build slots throughout next year, so they can have equipment ready for what is anticipated to remain a vibrant freight market. This is the equivalent of tickets going on sale for a wildly popular concert and quickly selling out. Some dry van OEMs are largely booked up for 2019.”
For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.