FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for December at 28,000 units, a 38% drop from November and 39% below a year ago. Trailer order activity moderated in December after experiencing tremendous levels over the previous three months. Total trailers orders of 127,000 units in Q4 2018 were the second highest quarter ever with 2018 totaling 409,800 trailer orders, by far a record year.
“This drop was expected since the first half of the year is already booked for dry vans and refrigerated vans. Most of the big fleets already have their requirements orders in for 2019,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles.
Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV Transportation Analysis & Research, shed similar light on the December decrease.
"Considering the long-running order strength, December’s pause was not entirely surprising, with net orders down 39% from November, as well as from December 2017,: he said. "Just as dry vans contributed to the long-term order upswing throughout the year, they also contributed significantly to the year-ending softness."
“Now the medium and small fleets are searching for the remaining build slots, based on their expected needs in the second half of the year. Flatbed, tanker and dump fleets continue to order at respectable rates, indicating the economy is generating freight demand across various sectors and industries,” Ake added.
Final volume will be available later this month.