While April didn't compare to March, trailer orders continue to outpace previous years, due to the capacity crunch and driver shortages, according to FTR Transportation Intelligence.
FTR reports preliminary April trailer orders at 22,000 units, a month-over-month decline of 20% from March which simply reflects a typical seasonal adjustment. April 2018 trailer orders were still solid for the month, with a 10% increase compared to April 2017 and 21% higher than the excellent year of 2015. Backlogs will now begin to decline as is typical this time of year. Trailer orders have totaled 330,000 for the past twelve months.
“Most fleets have their orders placed for 2018 and some dry van OEMs are booked solid for the year," said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. "Component shortages are increasing and may prevent all the orders in the backlog from being built this year. However, there is still capacity available for refrigerated van and vocational trailer orders, and the chugging economy should continue providing increased sales of all trailer types.”
“This is still a decent April for trailer orders," added Ake. "It is higher than 2015 and signals the market will stay red-hot for a while. Some orders are already rolling into 2019. Solid freight growth and high trailer capacity utilization rates mean more trailers are needed to help relieve this capacity crunch and compensate for driver shortages."