Trailer orders in North America have surged in recent months as manufacturers struggle to increase production due to supply chain and labour constraints.

ATC Research which provides market data and forecasting for the commercial vehicle and transportation markets, reported that the last four months of 2020 saw all-time record orders for trailers, with demand remaining high in January 2021, up 94% from the same month the previous year.

As demand surges, manufacturers are finding it difficult to maintain production volumes due to component shortages and lower availability of staff. According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst, the shortfall in supply can be attributed to the challenges of ramping up the supply chain in a pandemic. According to Vieth, on the employment side of production, “keeping staffed and growing staffing in a pandemic is no easy feat.”

“While demand is strong, supply chain impediments are accumulating, from steel production constraints created by global economic reengagement during a pandemic, to silicon chip shortages,” Vieth added.

The quarterly issue of ACT’s Research’s Trailer Components Report states the majority of order volume is for dry vans and reefers, and manufacturers are struggling to increase production to meet soaring fleet demand.

According to Frank Maly, Director-CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT, the supply of casting, forgings, sheet metal, wood products, and tires has been limited for trailer manufacturers. “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,” Maly said.

The shortfall in supply is pushing prices higher and increasing delivery times by up to six months. Trailer manufacturers are currently committed into late 2021, which means production slots are becoming a rare commodity for this year.

Wabash Canada is committed to overcoming these challenges and providing our customers with dry vans, reefers, and flatbed trailers designed to reduce downtime, provide a lower cost of total ownership, and maximize their profits. Contact us today to learn more about delivery times for new trailers.

If you are in the market for a used trailer, call your sales representatives so we can understand your requirements and let you know about used inventory that might not be available on our website.

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