US Trailer Manufacturers Challenged by Material Supplies, Pricing and Staffing

According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, component and material availability continue to be a significant problem for trailer manufacturers, with the issue widespread and not contained to a small group of parts and materials.

“In addition to supply chain constraints, workforce availability and reliability are both mentioned as challenges for trailer OEMs,” Frank Maly, director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research, said. “And while parts availability and staffing considerations are impacting OEM production, they are also challenging to aftermarket channels. Reports of sidelined equipment, both power units and trailers, due to a shortage of replacement parts are being heard. Sometimes that’s due to widespread availability issues, but sometimes it’s because parts have been redirected to the production side of the business and away from aftermarket support.

“We’ve learned about additional industry production capacity under development, but in the meantime, OEMs remain reticent to fully open their 2022 order boards. We expect them to carefully manage their order acceptance over the next few quarters as they continue to face unusually long backlog-to-build ratios. Price increases for components and materials have meaningfully impacted the market in 2021 and will likely continue to do so in 2022. Many OEMs have had to renegotiate pricing on previously accepted orders, with fleets, implementing either price changes or material surcharges during the year. Sometimes, given their extended backlogs, OEMs returned to their customers more than once for these adjustments, additional reasons for manufacturers’ current caution.”

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