Preliminary trailer orders totaled 21,200 units in May, according to FTR, reflecting a seasonal drop but continuing strong levels.
Trailer orders have now totaled 335,000 units in the past 12 months, FTR reports. If OEMs can keep pace with demand, 2018 will be a record year. But FTR says supplier constraints on key components and fabrications are holding back production.
“At 21,000-plus, this is still an impressive order total for May,” said Don Ake, vice-president of commercial vehicles for FTR. “In 2015, May was the weakest order month and this May’s number is 30% higher than that. There is a chance that May could be the lowest month this year if fleets start ordering for 2019 early. Some OEMs are booked solid for 2018 and are soliciting orders for next year.”
He added: “The capacity crunch continues and there are reports of trailer shortages by shippers. The supply chain is getting plugged up and some full trailers are sitting at warehouses for days, waiting to be unloaded. These trailers are in effect pulled out of service in these regions causing temporary availability issues. Shipments are being delayed in many markets and more trailers are needed to keep the freight moving.”