Component supply chain to impact US trailer productivity

US trailer manufacturers, according to ACT Research, are challenged to increase production amid component constraints.

Trailer net orders have reportedly pushed the industry backlog higher for the past seven months with January’s order level 66 per cent above current build rates.

ACT Research refers to a report that provides the trailer production supply chain 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. Analysis is segmented into two categories: those needed for structural composition of new trailers and those used in the production of undercarriage assembly.

“First of all, it is important to remember that trailer market strength is highly segmented,” said ACT Research Director – CV Transportation Analysis and Research, Frank Maly.

“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 tyres. 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.”

The US trailer market started 2021 on a solid note.

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