With a robust order intake in dry vans, final November net trailer orders came in at 35,800 units, representing a 78% increase over October and beating expectations by a wide margin, according to FTR.

Trailer orders have totaled 210,000 units over the past twelve months. Backlogs jumped an impressive 15%, the first increase since last December. Trailer production fell moderately on a per day level, but met expectations. November’s totals were down 8% year-over-year. 

“This was an unexpected jump in trailer orders,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “Fleets took more time than usual to determine their 2017 requirements, but the large fleets then placed some impressive orders. The high order totals were driven primarily by fleets replacing older dry vans. Refrigerated van orders were also strong, reflecting the continued growth of temperature-controlled freight.

“The trailer market segments continue to be highly fragmented.  Dry and refrigerated vans, which are closely tied to the consumer sectors of the economy, are maintaining much of their strength.  Flatbeds and other trailers connected to the industrial side of the economy, have fallen off significantly the second half of 2016.”