ACT Research: US Trailer Production Facing Lower Demand and Supply Chain Disruptions

According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, the US trailer industry is facing lower demand and supply chain disruptions that could lead to a “catch-22.”

Trailer Components Graph 2-21-20ACT Research’s U.S. New Trailer Components and Materials Forecast provides those in the trailer production supply chain, as well as those who invest in said suppliers and commodities, with forecast quantities of components and raw materials required to support the trailer forecast for the coming five years. It includes near-term quarterly predictions for two years, while the latter three years of the forecast are shown in annual details. Additionally, analysis is segment into two categories: those needed for the structural composition of new trailers and those used in production of undercarriage assembly.

“OEMs could be in a ‘catch-22’ situation; while trying to adjust their operations to lower market demand, they could still be further challenged by component supply disruptions,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He explained, “The impacts of lower freight volumes and freight rates are creating a pincer move on fleet financials, and as a result, fleets are very seriously reviewing their equipment investment plans.”

Maly also noted, “With production rates on a downtrend due to ongoing market conditions, the ‘elephant in the room,’ the impact of the coronavirus outbreak needs addressed, too. It could impact availability and the timely supply of many of the components needed to complete trailer construction.” He added, “During ACT’s recent Seminar 62, it was commented that it isn’t just major or high-ticket items that could cause a disruption; the lack of minor, lower-priced components such as lenses for trailer lights could prevent a trailer from being fully completed.”

Additionally, the report alerted readers to “expect any meaningful disruption in production resulting from component supply issues to cause both trailer OEMs and their component supply base to seriously review their sourcing strategies.”

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ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at

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