Trailer orders were strong for the second straight month and exceeded expectations. December trailer orders were led by good dry van and very good refrigerated van numbers. Most vocational trailer segments showed a healthy increase as well. Trailer orders totaled 219,000 units in 2016. Backlogs rose significantly again and are now at the highest point since June. Production fell due to the holidays but was much better than expected.
Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “December was another very solid month for trailer orders. Dry vans are regaining some momentum after the summer slump and backlogs are in good shape starting the year. Refrigerated vans had a great order month, with production actually increasing in December. There was also good news in the vocational segments with order increases, which should lead to production increases fairly soon.”
“The trailer market is in decent shape entering 2017. Dry vans look solid for the first half of the year. Refrigerated vans are not slowing down much after two record years. It appears that flatbeds and other work segments have bottomed out and will start to improve. In addition, the positive direction of the trailer market is a good sign for continued economic growth this year.”