Trailer orders plummet to round out 2018

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Updated Jan 21, 2019

Preliminary trailer orders for December slid to 28,000 units according to FTR, a 38 percent drop from November and 39 percent below a year ago.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, says trailer order activity moderated in December after banner levels the previous three months.

“This drop was expected since the first half of the year is already booked for dry vans and refrigerated vans,” he says. “Most of the big fleets already have their requirements orders in for 2019.”

Despite December’s poor performance, total trailers orders of 127,000 units in Q4 2018 were the second highest quarter ever with 2018 totaling 409,800 trailer orders, by far a record year.

“Now the medium and small fleets are searching for the remaining build slots, based on their expected needs in the second half of the year,” Ake adds. “Flatbed, tanker and dump fleets continue to order at respectable rates, indicating the economy is generating freight demand across various sectors and industries.”