Citing preliminary data from trailer makers, the research firm FTR reported that trailer orders in December hit an all-time high of 47,000 units, led by purchases of dry vans, as freight demand outpaced available equipment.
According to FTR December orders, are anticipated to exceed the previous high of 45,800 reached in October 2014; total trailer orders for 2017 were 308,000 units. Fleets are ordering thousands of dry vans to deal with exceptionally tight trucking capacity pushed to the edge by the ELD mandate. Carriers are resorting to much more drop-and-hook to compensate for the lack of drivers, and they need significantly more trailers to manage the demand.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said in a company release:
“December was just an awesome month for trailer orders. We have seen pressure build on equipment markets for several months, and this shows Q1 is going to be hectic as fleets scramble to keep up with freight demand. In addition, across the board economic growth is also keeping trailer demand strong in the other segments.
Refrigerated freight remains robust and the flatbed market continues to surge with construction and manufacturing growth-boosting demand. The company also reported that higher crude prices are reviving tank trailer sales.