FTR reports final trailer orders improved in September to 28,300 units only because a few large fleets sent in requirements for 2022. September orders were +109% m/m but -45% y/y. Trailer orders now total 316,000 units over the past twelve months.

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 which 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.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “The supply chain bottlenecks which hampered production throughout 2021 will, unfortunately, continue into 2022. 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.”

“Fleets are desperate for new trailers. 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.”