US on track for strongest February in trailer market history

The North American trailer market has seen a “solid” start to 2018, according to ACT Research. 

ACT’s preliminary estimate for February net orders is 33,000 units, the company's Director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research, Frank Maly, revealed in a media briefing this week. The final tally is expected to come out later this month and will likely confirm what Maly called an “all-time high” for the industry.

“Fleets continue to place orders at a record pace, as last month was the strongest February order volume in industry history,” Maly explained.

“That follows a record-setting string of months that started last fall. February’s all-time high also follows the strongest January in industry history.”

He added, “The supporting story continues to be tight trucking capacity and the resulting strong freight rates, driving fleet equipment needs and purchase ability. Industry backlogs now stretch through September on average, with dry van and reefers averaging lead times that stretch into the fourth quarter. That lengthy timeline also helps encourage fleets to join the order queue.”

While February net orders were off 17 per cent from January, sequential softening in orders is expected as we approach the end of the industry’s traditional order season.

“Through the first two months of the year, net orders are 24 per cent above last year, with the industry’s orderboard more than 20 per cent above this point last year,” Maly noted.

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