US trailer manufacturers are rapidly filling available 2022 production slots with both dry van and reefer build-to backlog stretching deep into December, ACT Research reports.
ACT Research CV Transportation Analysis and Research Director, Frank Maly, said orders and production are expected to travel in lockstep until 2023 order boards officially open.
“We expect backlog to contract as we move through late spring and early summer, but the yet-to-be-determined date for opening the 2023 orderboards will reverse the backlog contraction and likely quickly extend the backlog well into next year,” he said.
“While OEMs continue to negotiate with fleets, that effort is building a large group of staged/planned orders that are not yet officially posted to the backlog. Once OEMs gain sufficient confidence in their supply chain and labor availability to open 2023 production slots, expect a surge of orders to be ‘officially’ accepted.”
According to Maly, discussions have shown that larger fleets might be getting better reception by the OEMs than the small and medium fleets and dealers.
“Component and material challenges are certainly a driving force, as are staffing issues, but less so than in the previous quarter,” he said. “There was some supply chain relief that occurred at the end of the first quarter. While we would expect that to continue during the next few quarters, progress will still likely be a bit choppy.”