If you have been following trucking industry news for the past year, you might be familiar with the term “global supply chain shortage.” Simply put, it has been plastered on articles across the internet, including our own. However, March 2022’s trailer sales have bucked this trend. FTR and ACT Research have the numbers.
March 2022 Numbers
ACT Research pins the number at 37,900; FTR, a slightly more modest 36,200. These numbers indicate a 41% increase from February 2022 and a 29% increase from March 2021.
The numbers also signify something greater: they are the largest monthly sales since December 2020. While not an all-time record, it is by far the highest number of sales recorded since the term “global supply chain shortage” became a nomenclature in the trucking industry.
“This is great news for the trailer market,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “Most of the big OEMs were stuck in a holding pattern on orders since the supply chain tightened. The fact they have the confidence now to enter more orders may indicate that supplier deliveries are showing improvement, and labor shortages are abating.”
Does this mean we may be approaching the end of the “global supply chain shortage”? Don Ake is hesitant to say so.
“It is uncertain if this level of orders can be sustained. However, it does signal an expectation that build rates could increase later this year. Because OEMs had their output limited by the supply chain, we estimate that pent-up demand for trailers could be as high as 100,000 units. It will take an extended time for OEMs to catch up with fleet requirements once the supply chain opens up.”
While this increased production of new trailers is good news, there is still a backlog to be fulfilled. Assuming this is a trend and not a one-time stroke of fortune, it would be unsurprising to see next month also break the supply shortage record.
While purchasing a new trailer may only be possible by getting your name on a backlog, the suggestion that fulfillment exceeded preorders in March signifies that the backlog may one day become nothing more than a memory.
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