FTR reports final trailer orders for January 2019 at 26,300 units, that’s down 5% m/m and 39% y/y. Although down from December, January orders came in higher than expected. The order level meets current trailer production rates so backlogs remain near record levels. The considerable y/y negative comparison for trailer orders is primarily the result of the huge spike in orders during January 2018, as fleets scrambled to catch up with robust freight growth. FTR also noted that cancellations were elevated in January for the second straight month, as fleets shift orders around to more precisely fit their requirements. Orders during the month were particularly strong for specialty trailers.
Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 396,000.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, stated, “This was still a positive month for trailer orders considering how many orders are already in the backlog. All trailer segments are expected to start off 2019 with momentum, which is good news for the industry and general economy. We do expect the market to cool slightly in the second half of the year as freight growth moderates, but for now, there is still a huge demand for new trailers across most segments.”