Net trailer orders reached an all-time high of 47,000 units in December, according to preliminary data from FTR.
December’s order intake was 10% above November levels and up 38% year-over-year. 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,” FTR reported. “Freight continues to grow without enough equipment to haul it. 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.”
Segments that are particularly strong include refrigerated and flatbed. Higher crude prices are also reviving tank trailer sales.
“December was just an awesome month for trailer orders,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice-president of commercial vehicles. “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.”