March US trailer orders and build numbers growing

US truck research companies FTR and ACT have reported that US trailer net orders and build numbers were up in March.

FTR has reported that US trailer net orders for March were up seven per cent month-on-month, but down 25 per cent year-on-year.

The company also said that production numbers increased 7.5 per cent (per day) versus February, with backlogs falling, albeit still at a high level, for the second straight month.

Meanwhile, fellow research company ACT reported a 12 per cent increase in trailer orders over February.

“While large fleets made order commitments in the last four months of 2014, small and medium fleets, along with dealers, finally joined the party late in the order season,” said Frank Maly, Director CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT.

“Emphasis now shifts to production as OEMs move to deliver on those record-setting order commitments.”

According to FTR, orders totalled 340,000 the past twelve months.

In March, dry van orders recovered from February’s dip, up 37 per cent, with refrigerated van orders falling to their lowest level since June. Build for both trailer types increased; dry vans were up five per cent per day from February, and refrigerated vans set an all-time build record in the month. Flatbed orders have leveled out, but build remains very robust.

Liquid and dry tanks along with dump trailers saw good order activity, and build rates for all were solid during March.

Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “Orders remain subdued, but when you consider how many orders have been placed in the last twelve months, and that backlogs are near record levels, this market has tremendous strength.

“OEMs are booking orders late into Q3 and Q4, and there are even some orders getting booked now for 2016.”

He addeed, “The big story in March was the increase in build. The OEMs were very productive coming out of the winter months. Refrigerated van, dump, and flatbed builds were significant. There is enough backlog to continue this momentum for several months.”

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