Trailer orders in October ‘tremendous,’ says FTR, as fleets prep for 2019

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Updated Nov 15, 2018

Orders for trailers in October hit 53,000, according to data from FTR, coming in just shy of September’s record-setting 56,000 mark. FTR called the orders “tremendous,” noting that trailer manufacturers are already taking orders for the second half of 2019, with fleets placing orders to reserve build slots.

October’s orders outpaced October 2017 by 67 percent, and orders over the past 12 months now total 423,000. FTR says both dry van and flatbed orders were “very robust,” while orders for reefer trailers moderated.

The swell in trailer orders is due in part to the recent freight boom and maxed-out capacity, as well as demand for improved productivity in the supply chain, says Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles.

“Fleets need to expand to handle steady freight growth,” he says. “Trailers are being used to make drivers more productive and to help move goods as fast as possible. The supply chain is struggling to perform well and more trailers are needed to improve delivery times. Fleets are expecting the good times to continue and want to make sure they have an adequate supply of trailers throughout 2019.”

Truck orders have also soared this year, according to FTR and ACT Research.