Truck trailer makers are struggling to keep up with demand, as strong orders create production backlogs, according to vehicle market consultant ACT Research.
That places another external limit on any increase in over-the-road truck capacity, which shippers fear could tighten quickly if demand for goods increases.
Trailer manufacturing backlogs have risen to the highest level during this recovery cycle, according to Frank Maly, ACT director of CV Transportation.
The trailer manufacturing industry’s order board is at its highest level since August 2006, Maly said. In January, the Class 8 truck backlog rose to 125,000 units.
Those backlogs may partially account for the 32 percent drop in orders for dry van trailers and an 11 percent drop in Class 8 truck orders in February.
ACT said net orders for dry van trailers dropped 32 percent in February from January, but orders for all other trailer types increased 31 percent.
“We expect to see a gradual growth in production during the next six months,” Maly said, as companies replace aging trailers and tractors with new equipment.