Trailer orders exceeded the best August in history, according to preliminary data from FTR and ACT Research.
FTR reported orders of 35,300 units, exceeding expectations at 27% higher than July and up 141% year-over-year. Fleets are placing 2019 orders a few months ahead of schedule, FTR reports, with large fleets ordering substantial numbers of dry and refrigerated van trailers to reserve production slots for net year. Parts and component availability remain tight.
“Orders should remain sturdy for the rest of the year, with continued steady freight growth and tight industry capacity,” said Don Ake, FTR vice-president of commercial vehicles. “There is strong demand for new trailers, and we expect this to continue well into 2019. It is a good sign that fleets expect a robust year in 2019 and are ordering trailers earlier than normal in anticipation.”
ACT Research announced preliminary orders of 38,200 units.
“Fleets continued to invest at a torrid pace in August, following a robust July,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “Industry net orders of 38,200 trailers were up more than 30% from July and over 140% better than this time last year. The summer has shown amazing strength, reflecting commercial fleets’ positive outlook in response to solid freight rates, volumes, and capacity challenges. After seeing the strongest July volume in industry history, August followed suit, surpassing the previous record of August 1994 by more than 11,000 orders.”
Maly added, “Year-to-date net orders of more than 238,000 trailers are greater than 40% versus last year. Eight of the 10 trailer categories are in the black year-over-year, with seven of those posting double-digit or better gains. Year-to-date performance is led by reefers, with net orders up 110% versus last year.”