US Trailer Production Moves From Historical Low in April to Third-Best Month in October

According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, after sinking to the lowest point in history in April, net trailer orders have continued to improve throughout the summer and into fall.

ACT Research’s U.S. New Trailer Components and Materials Forecast provides those in the trailer production supply chain, as well as those who invest in said suppliers and commodities, with forecast quantities of components and raw materials required to support the trailer forecast for the coming five years. It includes near-term quarterly predictions for two years, while the latter three years of the forecast are shown in annual details. Additionally, analysis is segmented into two categories: those needed for the structural composition of new trailers and those used in the production of undercarriage assembly.

“Even with lockdowns that occurred in the spring, trailer production never plunged to the degree that happened in truck production,” Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research, said. “From historical lows in April, total trailer net orders rose substantially, hitting a third-best historical ranking in September, and then having October best that to take the third-best-ever title.

“At the end of October, dry van and reefer backlogs stretched into June and July of 2021, respectively, at current build rates, generating concern regarding availability of build slots and timely delivery of those trailer types, and encouraging fleets to quickly enter trailer orderboards.

“Recent trailer order patterns have continued to favor both dry vans and reefers, with flats gaining minimal traction.Vocational trailer segments continue to reflect very lackluster demand, as infrastructure project funding continues to lag. Weak energy prices provide no real incentive to invest in further production capacity and, correspondingly, the equipment that would support that outlay.”

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