LOUISVILLE, KY. The annual Mid-America Trucking Show was missing the shiny steel and chrome of several heavy-duty truck OEMs, but the Kentucky Expo Center still featured dozens of trailer manufacturers that occupied a decent portion of the 1 million square feet of exhibit space here for the country’s largest show dedicated to commercial vehicles, customers, drivers and suppliers to the industry.
In talks with numerous trailer executives, some common themes emerged:
- Business is good and expected to get better through next year, assuming continued economic stability, tight freight transportation capacity, and carrier profitability;
- The rising cost of materials has become the industry’s top concern, and those costs could get to be a real problem if the Trump administration’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports can’t be modified or mitigated. In turn, manufacturers with backlogs running 6 months or more facing significant pricing challenges; and
- A rebound in the domestic oil and gas industry offers additional opportunities for equipment manufacturers with products serving that sector.
The gallery is quick roundup of the trailer exhibits; see the April print edition of Trailer/Body Builders magazine for complete MATS coverage.