The truck trailer manufacturing industry has entered a new era unknown in recent years—a period of stability. For years, the trailer industry has experienced wild swings in demand. Up a few years and down the next. Recently the peaks and valleys have experienced a five-year cycle or some other number depending on trailer type.
The top 25 truck trailer manufacturers (plus four) produced 234,870 trailers in the year 2012. That was a 9.4% increase over 2011, but still far short of the number produced in the boom year of 2006. The Top 25 built 282,750 trailers in that pre-recession peak year, or 47,880 trailers more than in 2012. The six largest manufacturers built three-fourths of the production by the Top 25.
The 25 largest truck trailer manufacturers (plus four) increased output 78% to turn out 215,815 trailers in calendar year 2011. Last year's production is almost equal to the 218,422 trailers that the top 25 built in 2007. But as strong as production was in 2011, it was still some 67,000 trailers below the boom year of 2006 during which the top 25 manufacturers produced 282,750 trailers. The trailer industry is still 24% below its pre-recession peak
The 25 leading truck trailer manufacturers increased production dramatically in 2010, boosting output an average of 65% above the recession year of 2009. However, for most, it still wasn’t as productive as 2008, and well below 2007 and 2006 levels.
The results of Trailer/Body Builders annual survey of the largest trailer manufacturers in North America show that the top 25 builders (plus three) shipped 121,128 complete truck trailers in 2010. These same manufacturers shipped 78,525 trailers in 2009, representing a 65% increase for 2010.
As in 2009, the best performing trailer types were those serving food-related industries, such as refrigerated trailers and ag trailers. The poorest performance was trailers serving construction-related industries, such as platforms and dump trailers