According to the numbers from both ACT Research Co. and FTR, net trailer orders in August rose compared to both last month and August of 2016. FTR had the number at 9% improvement month-over-month and 4% year-over-year, while ACT had 8% improvement over July and even with last year. Overall consensus was that it was a solid month for the trailer market, continuing a strong trend throughout the year.
“August was another quiet, summer month for trailers,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles. “Orders remained at the bottom of the cycle as expected. The good news is that build rates remained sturdy for van trailers and the vocational segments also held steady. Backlogs are lower than last year at this time but should start to recover in a couple months.”
“2017 will turn out to be another solid trailer year, pushed up by growing freight demand and tighter industry capacity,” he added. “Next year is forecasted to be just as strong, and the vocational segments should continue to grow as the industrial economy improves.”
“The strong order pace we’ve seen throughout this year eased a bit in August. While dry vans and reefers did post good numbers, those increases were a bit softer than seen in recent months,” said Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research. “Our preliminary information also indicates a weak month for flatbeds. The result is total industry net order volume up versus July, but at a rate that’s actually a bit less than normal seasonal patterns project.”