U.S. Trailer OEMs Challenged to Increase Production Despite Component Constraints

According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, trailer net orders have pushed the industry backlog higher for the past seven months, with January’s order level 66% above current build rates.

“First of all, it is important to remember that trailer market strength is highly segmented,” Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research, said. “Dry vans and reefers have seen the majority of order volume in recent months, and those OEMs are struggling to increase production to meet surging fleet demand. Vocational trailer categories are not seeing the investment commitment occurring in the general freight and temperature-controlled segments.

“Large fleets continue to drive the market. Indications are that small and medium fleets continue to struggle to recover from the impact of the 2020 COVID-related market gyrations and are now being impacted by both driver shortages and scant new equipment availability.

“Discussions have indicated supply issues include castings, forgings, sheet metal, wood products and tires. Many of the vendors for these items, excluding wood, are seeing strong demand from the truck side of the CV market as well, and these limitations have tempered our forecasts.”

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