FTR Reports Final Trailer Orders in November at 41,400 Units

FTR reports that final U.S. net trailer orders for November came in at a strong 41,400 units, as fleets continue to lock up build slots well into 2021. While November was down 26% m/m, that comparison was against a huge October and was up 107% y/y. The order total for September-November was the second-highest three-month period ever. Trailer orders for the last twelve months now equal 270,700 units.

Dry van orders backed off the recent record highs but remained substantial. Refrigerated van orders were lofty for the third straight month. Flatbed orders finally started to recover after an extended dry spell, hitting the highest volume since January 2019.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “There is growing optimism by the fleets of a vibrant freight market in 2021. Strong freight growth is constraining capacity, fueling the need for additional trailers. In addition, fleet profitability remains high due to a bright rate environment. This means fleets can replace older trailers and it reduces the risk of expanding capacity. The dry van segment continues to show robust strength. More trailers are needed to handle the fast, multiple moves of consumer goods ordered through e-commerce.

“The positive momentum in the trailer market continues to roll on in November. Fleets are expecting a great year in 2021 and are ordering large quantities of trailers in preparation. It’s encouraging to see flatbed orders finally showing some life. This bodes well for the manufacturing and industrial sectors going into 2021.”


For more than 30 years, FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities in North America. FTR’s experts, with over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.

FTR is the only company with a complete set of freight data for all modes of transportation with detail at the 3 Digit STCC commodity level. FTR tracks and forecasts 200+ unique commodity groups both quarterly and annually using their proprietary Freight•cast U.S. freight transportation model. FTR’s Transportation Conference held annually in September in Indianapolis is a unique event bringing together every aspect of the freight transportation world into one place. For more information