By Matt Dickerson
Senior Vice President
As the end of summer approaches, another sign of the accelerating economy is the continued growth of freight traffic across the country.
One direct indicator of this is the increase in net semi-trailer orders. Net trailer orders increased as much as 50 percent year over year for the month of May as reported by ACT Research Co. (ACT), signaling a strong vote of confidence in the economy by the freight industry.
Through the downturn, shippers delayed capital equipment replacement as long as possible. But now, as the economy continues to grow, many large shippers are placing orders to roll over large sections of their fleets. Several of the manufacturers are experiencing an overall spike in orders signifying a growth of the overall trucking fleets around the country from both dedicated operators and private operators alike.
The increase in trailer order volume is also tied to the new equipment offering better fuel efficiency for fleet operators. For instance, new trailers installed with rear and under-trailer skirts can increase fuel efficiency by up to 7 percent.
As shippers grow to keep up with customer demands, the added benefits of increase fuel efficiency adds growth to the bottom line for many fleets.