2015 was the US trailer industry’s best shipment year in history, just edging out the previous record set in 1999, according to the most recent State of the Industry: US Trailers published by ACT Research.
According to FTR, US Trailer net orders for December were 25,500, with full year 2015 totaling 313,000 units.
“Despite trailer net orders in December falling 31 per cent m/m and 38 per cent y/y, the solid order season continues for this segment of the commercial vehicle industry,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT.
“Two factors impacted December’s orders: the continued front-loading of the order season, along with market headwinds from freight rates and volumes that had already been reflected in Class 8 order levels.”
He continued, “Softness in dry vans and refers were responsible for the poor order comparisons, as large fleets took an early orderboard position, so December was not that surprising.”
Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, commented, “The order numbers are down month-over-month and year-over-year, but that is only because they are compared to two of the strongest order months in history. We enter 2016 with the largest backlog ever, so we can expect another strong trailer year. The market continues to be driven by robust demand for dry and refrigerated vans. Consumer spending has been steady, and there is still some pent-up demand for vans. Production is expected to ease back moderately in the second half of 2016. Most of the vocational markets are struggling a bit, except for dump trailers, which show no sign of slowing anytime soon.”