March 2010 commercial trailer net orders were up 165% from March 2009, according to ACT Research Co. Commercial trailer net orders have posted year-over year growth for six consecutive months, four of which were in excess of 100%.
In the latest release of State of the Industry: US Trailers, ACT noted widespread improvement, with y/y growth in all of the nine trailer segments. Dry vans, the volume leader, are rebounding strongly with a year-to-date growth in net orders of 233%. Reefer vans, which generally performed best during the recession, continue to gain, with year-to-date growth of 63%. The improving orders pushed total trailer backlogs to their highest level in 18 months, which will support a gradual increase in production rates.
“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–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.”