FTR reports final February net trailer orders at 25,800 units, down 21% m/m but up 20% versus a year ago. Even with the drop off from January, trailer orders have maintained some of the momentum of the previous three months. The 2017 February orders were the highest for the month since 2014. Refrigerated van orders stayed at historically high levels and dry van orders were steady this month. Backlogs continue to climb for the fourth consecutive month, with production improving moderately, as expected. Trailer net orders have now totaled 239,000 units for the last 12 months.
Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “This is the fourth solid month of orders for trailers. Van fleets are now placing orders for the second half of the year, confident that the economy and freight will continue to grow. Dealers are also restocking after being cautious the last half of 2016. Small fleets have increased their ordering activity in 2017, adding to the market momentum. In addition, vocational markets are beginning to recover after a tough 2016.”
“More good news for the trailer market in February. Orders indicate that 2017 will be a solid year. Right now, the trailer market is similar to Class 8 trucks in that production has not yet responded to the stronger orders of the last few months. We expect production to start a moderate upslope soon. The transportation sector is experiencing an improvement in business confidence and this is showing up in the order totals.”
For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.
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