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Report Says Trailer Orders Up A Solid 50 Percent Over Last Year

A recent article in the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ) supports reasons for optimism in trailer manufacturing and sales. March trailer orders have increased a dramatic 50 percent compared to those one year ago.

Reasons for Growth

An executive at Freight Transportation Research (FTR), says there are two important reasons for such dynamic trailer sales. Don Ake says, “Fleets are growing much more optimistic about the business environment and they are buying more trailers again after a slump the second half of last year.” Increased optimism is reflected in net order rates over the past four months that exceed those of one year ago.

According to Frank Maly of ACT Research, the earlier caution in late 2016 is attributed in part to fleets closely watching the changing political and economic landscape at the time.

Build Rates Up 9 Percent

Now, order rates have been impressive for a number of months, and OEM build rates reflect the strength of the market. March build rates are a full nine percent higher than one month earlier. As a result, March production is similar to that of March 2016.

Seasonal fluctuations were still evident in the first quarter, partly because of traditionally soft seasonal demand for both dry and refrigerated vans. March orders totaled 20,500, a decrease of approximately 20 percent compared to the previous month.

Continued Optimism

Still, analysis of longer-term trends supports overall industry optimism, with approximately 246,000 trailers ordered during the past year. Now, trailer sales should surge further in the second quarter of 2017, a period that usually supports strong sales figures.

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