Trailer orders have fifth-best month in history

Following historically strong net order volumes in 2017’s final two months, ACT Research announced Friday January U.S. trailer net orders continued the pattern, booking the fifth best order month in history.

“Reefers led the way booking that product’s strongest month in history, while total net orders were up 24 percent year-over-year,” says Frank Maly, director, commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Reefers, liquid tanks, and bulk tanks all posted year-over-year gains greater than 200 percent in January, and we believe this surge is a result of combined strong freight demand, solid rates, tight capacity, and lengthening backlogs.”

ACT Research also notes production volumes recovered from December’s holiday-induced doldrums.

“Volume of 23,300 NSA units was up 20 percent sequentially and 14 percent year-over-year. Six of ten trailer categories were up m/m, while eight were up year-over-year,” says Maly. “In addition to production returning to more normal levels, January’s daily build rate rose 15 percent month-over-month, resulting in a 7.5-month backlog-to-build ratio. On average, this means the industry is committed past Labor Day.”

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