Preliminary trailer orders bounced back in August to 15,100 units, up 79% from July, FTR reports. While the total is still down 47% compared to a August year ago, trailers orders for the past twelve months now total a whopping 341,000 Units.
During August, a few trailer OEMs began limited bookings for 2022, and fleets are eager to lock up prime 2022 build slots, FTR noted. However, OEMs continue to be careful in managing order scheduling and they will not be able to build all the orders wanted in 2021. These orders will roll into the first quarter of 2022. This and the uncertain supply chain make it difficult for trailer builders to slot orders and plan production for next year.
“The disruptions in the supply chain have disrupted production in 2021 and are now delaying order placements in 2022. OEMs do not know when they will be able to ramp up production, so a tremendous amount of uncertainty exists,” Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, said. “The supply chain is expected to remain clogged for several more months and then improve at a gradual level throughout the first half of next year.
“There is enormous demand for new trailers in 2022. OEMs are not producing enough trailers in 2021, so pent-up demand grows every month. Freight growth is expected to be robust, rolling into next year. Fleets are desperate for more new trailers today, and they perceive an even greater need next year. When OEMs begin booking at full throttle for 2022, there could be a record number of trailer orders for the month.”