“Although off 11 percent versus a very strong February, volume was up 39 percent year over year,” says Frank Maly, ACT Research director, CV transportation analysis and research. “Strong freight demand and tight capacity continue to encourage fleets to invest in equipment, and the positive impact of freight rates on their bottom lines provide them the means to commit. And don’t forget, the recent tax cuts contribute to this equation.”
March was the 16th straight month with year-over-year order gains, and eight of 10 trailer categories posted year-over-year improvements with most in the plus-40 percent range, according to Maly.
“On a quarterly basis, Q1 net orders were up 28 percent versus the same quarter last year,” Maly says. “Regarding build in March, month-over-month softness may well indicate that OEMs were not able to increase production as much as they might have liked, amid comments heard about tight component supplies. In the coming months, ACT will be closely watching components related to undercarriage, suspensions, axles and tires.”