Last month, the U.S. net trailer orders reached an all-time high figure. The Freight Transportation Research (FTR) reported that the trailer orders reached 47,000 units, which is a new record.
Once the data on trailer orders are finalized, FTR expects that last month’s orders would exceed the previous record of 45,800 units in October 2014.
FTR is the source for transportation intelligence and has served the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial sectors for almost three decades. From freight demand to system capacity to equipment production, FTR’s customers gain from reliable forecasts, quantitative market intelligence, key trends, and comprehensive analysis of the North American freight industry.
FTR’s data revealed that trailer orders in December were 10 percent higher than the previous month and 38 percent more than last year.
For 2017, trailer orders totaled 308,000 units.
“We have seen pressure build on equipment markets for several months. And this shows Q1 is going to be hectic as fleets scramble to keep up with freight demand,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles.
Ake said that fleets are ordering thousands of dry vans to deal with the tightening trucking capacity following the implementation of the ELD mandate. Freight continues to grow in volume, but there is not enough equipment to haul it.
The federal mandate, which took effect on December 18, 2017, required non-exempt commercial motor vehicles to use an FMCSA-compliant electronic logging device.
Ake said haulers are dropping-and-hooking more frequently to compensate for the shortage of drivers and that carriers need more trailers to manage the demand.
Dropping-and-hooking refers to the practice of a driver “dropping” his trailer at a customer’s location and “hooking” to another trailer.
Meanwhile, the FTR also said that across-the-board economic growth is also keeping trailer demand strong in the other segments.
Refrigerated freight activity is at a robust level, and the flatbed market continues to surge, with the growth in the construction and manufacturing sectors boosting demand.
Trailer orders last month reached an all-time high of 47,000 units as fleets scrambled to keep up with freight demand.
With the high number of trailers sold and the ELD rule taking effect last month, fleets and owner-operators are seeing favorable market conditions for increased driver demand/pay and higher profits.
However, truckers without compliant ELDs won’t be able to take advantage of this situation, as they can’t operate freely on the road without risking penalties and ELD violations.
If you still haven’t purchased an ELD, hurry up.