Orders & Indices


FTR Reports Preliminary May Trailer Orders at 21,200 Reflecting Good Seasonal Numbers

FTR reports preliminary May U.S. trailer orders at 21,200 continuing the traditional seasonal drop in orders, albeit at still strong levels.  Trailer orders have now totaled 335,000 units for the past twelve months.  If OEM’s could build all the orders being placed, 2018 would easily be a record year.  However, supplier constraints on key components and fabrications are holding back production.  Even so, production is robust and still expected to set a record. 


FTR Schedules Industry Webinar: Key Issues in Transportation

FTR is offering a complimentary webinar for the freight transportation industry, to discuss key issues in transportation. This webinar will look at the capacity issues plaguing the truck and rail modes and explore how likely they are to resolve over the balance of 2018. Some of these issues are the result of regulatory mandates while others are economically driven. This webinar will examine these key issues and what shippers and carriers can expect over the balance of 2018 and 2019. The webinar will take place Thursday, June 14th from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM EDT. 

Registration to attend is complimentary, but required, prior to the webinar date and can be completed by clicking here:


FTR Reports North American Class 8 Orders Remain Very Strong in May

FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for May continue to show exceptional strength, coming in at 35,200 units.  This was the third highest May on record.  Orders have averaged over 40,000 units for the past six months; volumes never seen before in the industry.  Class 8 orders exceeded expectations again as fleets order in huge numbers attempting to keep up with burgeoning freight demand. North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 386,000 units.


FTR’s March Shippers Conditions Index Reflects Continuing Tough Environment for Shippers

The March Shippers Conditions Index reading from FTR remained in double digit negative territory at -10.5 reflecting the continued tough environment facing shippers.  Conditions remain highly unfavorable with tight capacity and rising rates in both truckload and intermodal sectors.  Shippers may see some relief after the second quarter and conditions may improve further during Q4.  One bright spot for shippers is that the hard enforcement of the ELD regulation, based on spot-market data, does not appear to have had a major impact.  


FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index Drops in March, Remains in Carrier-Favorable Environment

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for March dropped from the previous month of 15.41 to a reading of 10.30. This is, however, not indicative of any fundamental change in the current freight demand climate. Indeed, y/y the Trucking Conditions Index remains more than triple the 2017 reading of 2.97. The carrier-favorable environment is not expected to see any real change at least through 2018 with even more positive conditions during the second and third quarter.  FTR forecasts conditions for carriers stabilizing at a high level into 2019 as fleets continue to add capacity and the supply-chain adjusts to the ELD regulation.

Details of the March TCI are found in the May issue of FTR’s Trucking Update, published April 27, 2018. The ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light’ section in the current issue includes an in-depth analysis of the flatbed transportation segment. Along with the TCI and ‘Notes by the Dashboard Light,’ the Trucking Update includes data and analysis on load volumes, the capacity environment, rates, costs, and the truck driver situation.


FTR Reports Good Preliminary April Trailer Orders That Reflect Continued Seasonal Pattern

 FTR reports preliminary April trailer orders at 22,000 units, a m/m 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% comparison y/y 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.


FTR Reports April North American Class 8 Orders Dropped from Exceptionally Strong March as Expected

FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for April dropped 12,000 units from the stratospheric March numbers to 34,700 units for the month.  While this was the largest drop m/m since 2011, it was completely expected and still up 50% versus April 2017. Demand for trucks remains at record levels and fleets are still attempting to add capacity as fast as possible in this market.  North American Class 8 orders for the past twelve months have now totaled 368,000 units.


FTR’s February Shippers Conditions Index Shows Strong Freight Demand and Unfavorable Shipping Environment

The February Shippers Conditions Index reading from FTR was unchanged from January at -11.1, reflecting an unfavorable environment for shippers. Regulatory pressures are rising, and the capacity required for a hot freight market was slow to increase in the first quarter, putting pressure on rates. Freight growth during the first quarter typically softens after a strong holiday season, but not in 2018. FTR’s truck loadings index is expected to see growth of 4% to 6% y/y into 2019. A continued capacity crunch in the truckload segment could result in bleed-over of freight volume to LTL which would further increase shippers’ costs.