US trailer orders at all-time high

According to US research company FTR, trailer net orders in North America have reached an all-time record high in October, with 46,267 new orders placed.

“Trailer orders have now totaled 327,000 over the past 12 months,” the organisation said in a statement. “Orders were much higher than expectations as more large fleets, including lease fleets, placed sizable requirement orders for 2015. Expected tight production capacity at trailer OEM’s in 2015 encouraged this early order activity.”

Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “While OEMs did go out and solicit orders for delivery through the middle of 2015, impacting October activity, it is still very encouraging to see these large numbers, because it indicates fleets are positive about business conditions next year. 

“Dry van, refrigerated van and flatbed orders were tremendously high. Much of the October order total is pull-forward activity, to get orders into the backlog for delivery in 2015. OEMs can now better plan production, and fleets have their build slots reserved well in advance.”

Fellow US research organisation ACT even reported a slightly higher order intake of 47,810.

“October net orders were up more than 90 per cent year-over-year,” said Frank Maly, Director – CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT. “While high order volumes normally require large fleet support, October saw significant strength from small and medium fleets as well as the dealer channel,” he added. Maly said that, year-to-date, net orders are up 57%.

“The list of positives for the trailer industry include insignificant cancellations, the longest BL/BU ratio of the recovery, and better margins for both fleets and trailer OEMs,” Maly said. “Conditions for the industry remain a strong and solid ‘green.’”

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