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ACT Research: US Trailer Production Facing Massive Retrenchment in Production Levels

Posted by Jennifer McNealy on May 15, 2020 10:31:29 AM

According to this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, the US trailer industry has shifted from the production/capacity challenges of the last three years, with their corresponding pressures on the component and material supply chains, to a massive retrenchment in production levels.

Trailer Components Graph 5-15-20


ACT 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 segmented into two categories: those needed for the structural composition of new trailers and those used in the production of undercarriage assembly.

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“While there was no indication of any widespread COVID-19 lockdown driven shutdowns at trailer OEMs in the past quarter, the dramatic cessation of fleet investment has caused OEMs to quickly reassess their production volumes and staffing needs,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. He explained, “The short-to-medium term outlook will be entirely dependent upon the return of business to some level of normality and stability, which will drive freight demand for both manufacturing and consumer spending.”

Maly also noted, “Higher freight demand will eventually challenge fleet capacity, and drive an improvement in freight rates, which will help build fleet confidence and generate the desired combination of equipment need and ability to pay.” He added, “However, the path to get to that point likely will be arduous.”

The report alerted readers, in the meantime, to “expect trailer OEMs, where possible, to pull orders forward in an attempt to maintain production levels until the inevitable reductions in line rates and staffing occur,” which will also challenge materials and component suppliers, as bills-of-material will likely shift in both timing and specifications.

Additionally, ACT Research has created an easily accessible COVID-19 MARKET WATCH webpage to track noteworthy high frequency macroeconomic and transportation-specific market indicators, which can be found at

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

ACT’s 63rd seminar is scheduled for August 11-13, 2020. Focused on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will feature dealer, alternative power, and economic panels, as well as discussions on near-term demand of North American commercial vehicle markets and the pending impact of alternative power on the market in the near future. Both in-person and livestream options are available for those who wish to participate. Click here for seminar information.

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Get more information about ACT’s Trailer Components Report.

Access information about ACT’s other reports, click here.

Access February's U.S. New Trailer Components and Materials Forecast Press Release.

Access In the News Page 

Topics: logistics, Press Releases, supply chain, commercial vehicle sales data, truck market, truck freight, north american trucking, class 8 truck, american truck and trailer, commercial truck and trailer, transportation industry news, trucking, commercial trailer, us trailer, trailer production, north american trailer, class8

About ACT Research

We're the leading publisher of industry data, market analysis, and economic forecasting services for the commercial vehicle and transportation industries.

2019 Lawrence R. Klein Award Winner: Most Accurate Economic Forecast 2015-2019

  Partner to LMC Automotive and the Chinese State Information Center

  Contributor to the Blue Chip Financial and Wall Street Journal Consensus Economic Forecast


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