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Fleet Owner | Trailer Orders Should Continue Increasing in 2017

05.19.17 | Fleet Owner

Research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence reported similar April net trailer order data of 20,000 units, down 4% month-over-month but up 26% versus April of 2016. Backlogs fell 2% and are 16% below a year ago; production remained steady from March on a per day basis, noted Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, in a statement.

“Fleets are continuing to place orders for second-half 2017 delivery with dealer orders also brisk for the month,” he noted. “Dry van order activity was down marginally from April and refrigerated vans orders also eased off a bit.”

Still, Ake stressed that the trailer market held on to its strong production gains from the month of March, which he believes is a “great sign” for future sales.

“Orders were less than production for the second straight month, which means backlogs are easing down,” Ake noted. “This is consistent with seasonal trends in a healthy, normal market. The second quarter looks to be robust, based on April’s production rates and the respectable backlog levels. Orders will fall off in the summer, but 2017 will be a better year than expected.”

That’s due in part to what he characterized as “growing optimism” about freight levels as this year progresses.

“Fleets are replacing old equipment and adding some new units now in anticipation of a stronger business environment,” he pointed out. “The dry van sector remains vigorous and flatbeds show signs of a better second half, [while] the resumption of activity in the oil fields is aiding the tanker markets.” 

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