August trailers orders outperformed expectations, says FTR, coming in at 35,300 units. This is the second consecutive month of higher than anticipated trailer orders, FTR says, with August orders 27 percent higher than July and up 141 percent compared to last August. Trailer orders for the past twelve months total 370,000 units.
FTR notes that fleets continue to place 2019 orders a few months ahead of schedule, as most OEMs have opened up their order boards through the second quarter of next year. During August, some large fleets placed substantial orders for dry and refrigerated vans to reserve production slots for next year. Parts and component availability remains tight.
“Orders should remain sturdy for the rest of the year, with continued steady freight growth and tight industry capacity,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “There is strong demand for new trailers, and we expect this to continue well into 2019. It is a good sign that fleets expect a robust year in 2019 and are ordering trailers earlier than normal in anticipation.”