As the United States and the rest of the world continue to struggle forward in recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, trailer makers are feeling the pressure. Much like other manufacturing industries, trailer makers are having a hard time meeting demand due to a scarcity of resources and a breakdown in global supply lines. Although these problems aren’t isolated to the trailer manufacturing industry, the impact is felt more deeply since trucking plays a huge part in getting other industries up and running again.
A Shortage of Components and More
Transportation intelligence firm FTR points out that the global semiconductor shortage plays a role in the ongoing dilemma since Class 8 production relies on these components. However, the bigger factor is the uncertainty of pricing and availability of raw materials and finished steel and aluminum products needed for trailer production. The semiconductor shortage has a negligible effect on trailer production.
Finding Workers is a Problem
Another issue causing delays in the manufacturing of trailers is finding workers to fill manufacturing roles. Across almost every industry, companies are having a hard time finding workers. Even when resources are available, factories can not operate at full capacity. Another factor is the absenteeism rates of workers due to COVID and other health-related issues.
There are several reasons for the lack of workers in the labor force, including unemployment benefits being paid to eligible individuals using Covid-19 relief funds. Many states have halted these payments to spur the economy forward, but this has had little effect in some areas.
Good News is on the Way
One bright spot in the chaos is that sales are expected to surge because all trailer dealers are sold out into next year due to the high demand and trucking professionals are not holding off new purchases right now. The trailer supply chain has become longer, one of the reasons is the wait times in production, and many professional companies are already in queue to purchase despite the wait. Demand and necessity will continue to surge as demand for commodities such as grocery hauls, restaurant/food service, and other industries like e-commerce and construction haul.