Final trailer orders improved in September to 28,300 units, according to FTR Intel, only because a few large fleets sent in requirements for 2022. September orders were up 109% month-over-month but down 45% year-over-year. They now total 316,000 units over the past 12 months.
“The supply chain bottlenecks [that] hampered production throughout 2021 will, unfortunately, continue into 2022,” said Don Ake, VP of commercial vehicles at FTR. “Trailer OEMs are facing shortages of over two dozen components, including steel, aluminum, rubber products, wood flooring, wiring harnesses, and plastic parts, etc. The supply chain is now expected to improve only at a modest pace throughout 2022.”
According to FTR, most OEMs entered few orders for 2022 due to uncertainties involving production capacity, supply chain performance, high commodity prices, and labor force supply, entering 2022. Many OEMs have unfilled orders from 2021 that will roll into the first quarter of 2022, and this makes production planning difficult. Orders will surge when OEMs are more confident about future manufacturing conditions, according to FTR.
“Fleets are desperate for new trailers,” Ake added. “There are reports from the field of trailers breaking down because they are being run for an extended time due to the shortage of new trailers. The pent-up demand is growing every month, so when the trailer OEMs are finally able to ramp up production, they will be under pressure to produce at elevated rates for an extended time.”