ACT Research
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Strong trailer demand, lingering supply-chain challenges push backlog up

April 25, 2023
Despite expanding availability of build slots, 2023 is not yet fully open across the industry, ACT Research reports, as OEMs continue to face volatile commodity costs, long lead times for some components, labor challenges

Trailer manufacturers and major component suppliers continue to see strong demand and lingering supply-chain constraints, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report.

Despite OEMs expanding availability, 2023 is not yet fully open across the industry, partially because manufacturers continue to face volatile commodity costs, long lead times for some input components, and improved but still challenged labor considerations, the report noted.

Seasonally adjusted, the backlog-to-build ratio rose 100 basis points from the previous month, to 8.3 months, with “weaker build in a seasonally strong month,” from 7.3 months in February, Jennifer McNealy, director of CV market research and publications at ACT Research explained.

“Seasonal adjustment takes dry van BL/BU to 8.3 months and reefers to 10.7, so either way one looks at it, with or without seasonal adjustment, this essentially commits the industry very deep into 2023,” McNealy said. “Evidencing the concerns about supply-chain constraints, March’s build per day declined 3% to 1,318 units per day, from February’s 1,359. That said, overall build rose 14% m/m due to three more build days in March than February, a 14% increase. Production growth continues its upswing, and our projections point to a continuation of that trend.”

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and factory shipments. 

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