US trailer builds higher in 2023 at the expense of 2024 say analysts

Trailer builders in the US are reporting soft demand for 2024, with concerns about labour shortages, reduced consumer spending and material supply availability and cost, playing on their minds, according to ACT Research.

However, there has been a higher trailer build in 2023 so far, with manufacturers and major suppliers reporting stable business conditions, as compared to each prior month. Build in the last three months of 83,300 units was more than six per cent higher than the same three-month period last year, although net orders of 52,600 trailers was about 38 per cent lower.

The reason, according to Eric Crawford, ACT Research’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, is that there is a strong case for a secular shift to higher trailer/tractor ratios by big fleets and the creation of trailer pools by mega-brokerages.

“At its core, this shift stems from a desire to raise productivity and reduce expenses in the brokerage space,” he said.

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