March U.S. trailer net orders climbed 7% over February’s numbers, but remain far below order numbers from March 2014, according to FTR.
The firm reported that there were 22,000 units ordered in March, but that remains 25% below March 2014. Trailer build increased 7.5% (per day) versus February, with backlogs falling for the second straight month, FTR said. Orders have totaled 340,000 the past 12 months.
In March, dry van orders recovered from February’s dip, jumping 37%. Refrigerated van orders, though, fell to their lowest level since June.
Build for both trailer types increased; dry vans were up 5% per day from February, and refrigerated vans set an all-time build record in the month.
“Orders remain subdued, but when you consider how many orders have been placed in the last twelve months, and that backlogs are near record levels, this market has tremendous strength. OEMs are booking orders late into Q3 and Q4, and there are even some orders getting booked now for 2016,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles.
“The big story in March was the increase in build. The OEMs were very productive coming out of the winter months. Refrigerated van, dump, and flatbed builds were significant. There is enough backlog to continue this momentum for several months.”