Bloomington, Ind.-based FTR reports U.S. trailer net orders for February at 21,300 units, a 21 percent increase from January and up 2 percent year over year.
The significant improvement in February trailers orders was somewhat better than anticipated, considering the sturdy backlogs currently at trailer OEMs. After strong order activity in late 2015, trailer orders for the past 12 months total 300,000 units.
In February, dry van orders remained subdued but refrigerated units, dumps and flatbeds improved. Refrigerated vans were up 40 percent from January with February flatbed orders the highest since October. Trailer build on a per day basis was generally flat month over month.
Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, said, “The trailer market continues at a strong and steady pace. Orders were fairly impressive considering the robust ordering at the end of 2015. Van orders have slowed, but it’s good to see the increased orders in the other segments. It would appear the trailer market has stabilized for now at a high level.
“Backlogs are tremendous for dry vans and refrigerated vans. This should support current build rates through Q2 and into Q3. Cancellations were very low, so the backlog looks solid for now. The van market is being driven by pent-up replacement demand. The large fleets are still making good profits and are investing money in upgrading their trailers.”