Production availability slowed trailer orders in September

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Updated Oct 28, 2021
FTR trailers September 2021

FTR reported Friday final trailer orders improved by only 9 percent month over month in September to 28,300 units. FTR cites that only a few large fleets sent in requirements for 2022, which led to the September total being down 45 percent year over year. ACT's final order total for September was slightly lower at 28,127 units. 

FTR states 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. Additionally, many OEMs have unfilled orders from 2021 which will roll into the first quarter of 2022 and this makes production planning difficult. The company states orders will surge when OEMs are more confident about future manufacturing conditions.

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

He adds, "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."

FTR reports trailer orders now total 316,000 units over the past 12 months.  

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