Trailer orders hit lowest mark in more than 2 years

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Updated Apr 16, 2019

Trailer orders for March reached 13,500 units according to FTR, the lowest monthly total since September 2016 and the smallest figure for March since 2008.

Down 43 percent month-over-month and sliding 52 percent year-over-year, trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 371,000 units.

“This low order number is not surprising. Backlogs had fallen little so far in 2019, and are at unreasonable levels,” says
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Fleets still need more trailers, based on the robust production, so demand has not changed in the short run. The weak orders are totally the result of the lack of available production openings. However, cancellations will continue to be a factor due to a large, fluid, backlog.”

Dry van orders were particularly low, with few build slots available left in 2019, Ake says, while vocational trailer orders also continue to fall.  The low level of trailer order activity in March should result in backlogs finally beginning to move down from record levels.