U.S. trailer orders rose 6.4% in March to 27,400 units, according to preliminary data from FTR.
The industry analyst says a few large dry van fleets increased 2021 orders, while flatbed and other vocational trailer orders remained steady. Trailer manufacturers are nearly booked solid through 2021, and they haven’t yet opened 2022 order boards due to uncertainty about material and component costs.
“Pressure is building up in the trailer market. Backlogs are at record levels and fleets desperately need more trailers. Capacity is very tight in some areas of the country and spot rates remain near record highs. There have been reports of shortages of flatbed trailers in some regions, as the industrial and housing sectors improve,” said Don Ake, vice-president, commercial vehicles with FTR.
“The trailer market is poised for another vibrant year. Production output is expected to have improved in March and orders beat expectations. The supply chain continues to present challenges, but OEMs are managing the best they can. We expect the supply chain to be better, but not perfect, in the second half of the year, allowing build rates to rise.”