Photo: Josh Fisher/Fleet Owner
new trailer empty

Trailer orders break a 4-year record

Oct. 16, 2018
September 2018 orders exceed the previous record from October 2014 by over 10,000 trailers.

September trailers orders broke a nearly four-year-old record, according to two research firms that track sales.

The OEMs opened up their order boards for the remainder of 2019 and the fleets responded with many large orders. Most of the order increase was in dry vans, but refrigerated van orders were healthy, as were flatbeds. There are still concerns about future raw material costs and component availability, but this did not hinder the fleets from ordering in huge numbers for future deliveries.

FTR is reporting 56,000 new trailer units were ordered in September; ACT Research reports the order number at 58,200.  Both firms say the September orders exceed the previous record from October 2014 by over 10,000 trailers.

Orders continue to exceed expectations with September units 59% higher than August and up 133% year-over-year, according to FTR numbers. Trailer orders for the past twelve months have now exceeded 400,000 units, according to FTR.

“The fleets have ordered an enormous amount of Class 8 trucks for 2019 and now are ordering the trailers to go with them," Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said. "They want to reserve build slots throughout next year, so they can have equipment ready for what is anticipated to remain a vibrant freight market. This is the equivalent of tickets going on sale for a wildly popular concert and quickly selling out. Some dry van OEMs are largely booked up for 2019.”

Fleets have ordered more than 295,000 trailers in 2018. That is over 50% more than last year.

“Fleets reached a never before seen trailer order level in September," Frank Maly, ACT Research’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research, said. "OEMs booked over 58,000 trailers last month, shattering the previous record level of just over 47,000 orders which was set in October of 2014."

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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