Trailer orders surge 165% in March

March commercial trailer net orders were up 165 percent from March 2009, ACT Research Co. said in its latest report.

Commercial trailer net orders have posted year-over year growth for six consecutive months, including four months in which the increases were more than double last year.

In the latest release of ACT’s trailer report, the firm noted widespread improvement, with year-over-year growth in all nine trailer segments. Dry vans, the volume leader, are rebounding strongly with a year-to-date growth in net orders of 233 percent. Reefer vans, which generally performed best during the recession, continue to gain, with year-to-date growth of 63 percent. 

The improving orders pushed total trailer backlogs to their highest level in 18 months, which will support a gradual increase in production rates, the firm said.

“The trailer manufacturing industry seems to be recovering from the deep slump it has been in for the past two years,” said Steve Tam, vice president of the commercial vehicle sector with ACT Research. “The stretch of stronger months has come during the normal peak season for trailer orders, so the industry is being cautious about ramping up production too rapidly to ensure growth is sustainable,” he added.