Trailer Orders Increase in April

FTR - Transportation Intelligence

FTR Reports U.S. Trailer Net Orders Rose in April to 13,016 Units

Bloomington, IN – (Trailer Technician) – FTR reports U.S. trailer orders increased in April by 1,069 units to a total of 13,016 units, which is up 9% m/m and 45% y/y. Despite the gain, trailer orders were still 20% below the average for the last 12 months. The number of trailers ordered over the last 12 months increased to just over 199,000 units.

Trailer production decreased by 3% m/m in April, totaling 22,975 units. Production was down 12% year-over-year (y/y). This build level aligns with the average April level over the past five years.

Trailer Orders - Apr24

With orders coming in below production levels, backlogs fell somewhat in April, shedding 5,060 units to end at slightly more than 147,000 units. The decrease in backlogs would have been about twice as large if not for an OEM revision of backlogs that resulted in a roughly 5,000-unit increase for dry van and total backlogs. With production and backlogs declining by a similar degree, there was no material change to the backlog-to-build ratio, which remains at 6.4 months. This ratio, which is slightly below the average level for the last half of 2023 but is above the historical average before 2020, currently indicates little overall incentive for trailer manufacturers to adjust production levels.

Dan Moyer, senior analyst, commercial vehicles commented, “With the truck freight market facing challenges, solid growth in April for both total van and major vocational trailer orders offers a few green shoots of optimism. Unless this growth continues in the coming quarters, decreasing backlogs and high dealer trailer inventory levels will put further downward pressure on trailer build rates.”

About FTR

For more than 30 years, FTR has served as the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting for the shipping, trucking, rail, intermodal, equipment, and financial communities in North America. FTR’s experts, with over 250 years of combined experience in the transportation industry, provide quantitative analysis with historical and modal-specific insights. FTR’s reports, data, commentary, and insights help clients evaluate market risks, identify new opportunities, and make informed decisions.

FTR is the only company with a complete set of freight data for all modes of transportation with detail at the 3 Digit STCC commodity level. FTR tracks and forecasts 200+ unique commodity groups both quarterly and annually using their proprietary Freight•cast U.S. freight transportation model.

FTR’s Transportation Conference held annually in September in Indianapolis is a unique event bringing together every aspect of the freight transportation world into one place. For more information 

To learn more about FTR visit  Follow us on X @FTRintel and connect with us on LinkedIn!