Utility, Cargo and Specialty Trailer Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 660 utility, cargo and specialty trailer manufacturers in the US produce a wide variety of trailers that attach to automobiles and trucks for towing. Products include flat-bed vehicle transport trailers, boat trailers, utility trailers, cargo trailers, lift and dump trailers, horse and livestock trailers, log and pipe wagons, reel trailers, semi-trailers, and tank trailers.

Competition from Used Trailers

Trailer manufacturers compete with brands from other manufacturers, as well as used trailers sold by dealers.

Food Truck Growth

The explosion of the mobile food truck industry has significantly raised demand for modified cargo trailers.

Industry size & Structure

A typical utility, cargo and specialty trailer manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs 77 workers, and generates about $21 million annually.

    • The utility, cargo and specialty trailer manufacturing industry consists of about 670 companies that employ about 51,000 workers and generate about $14 billion annually.
    • Customers include construction and landscaping firms, horse and livestock owners, towing services, trucking companies, logging operations, water tour operators, trailer rental firms, food truck up-fitters, and those needing to transport vehicles, equipment or other cargo.
    • Large companies include Sundowner, Kaufman, RollingStar, and Wilson Trailer.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Utility, Cargo and Specialty Trailer Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Coronavirus Update

                                    Apr 22, 2022 - Pent-Up Demand for Trailers
                                    • As tightness in the supply chain eases, recent strong order numbers signal that trailer makers could be optimistic that they will be able to increase their build rates later this year, according to research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence. “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,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. FTR estimates that pent-up demand for trailers could be as high as 100,000 units.
                                    • Net trailer orders in March 2022 reached the highest level since December 2020, according to preliminary market estimates from ACT Research. Bookings of 37,900 units were up 40% month-over-month and 28% better year-over-year. The major jump in March trailer orders will likely extend OEM commitments through the remainder of the year at current production levels, heavily influenced by dry van and refrigerated commitments. Looking ahead, manufacturers mentioned an unwillingness to officially open 2023 order boards, due primarily to concerns about setting prices.
                                    • Trailer demand is likely to remain strong as demand for transportation and warehousing increases. Trucking, warehousing, and courier and messenger employment were at record levels in early 2022.
                                    • Trailers manufacturers are passing their higher material costs to customers. “The cost of raw materials and labor have imposed “some very painful” price increases on customers. I’ll be the first to admit that neither we nor anybody else have been able to do much that’s positive for customers on pricing at the present time,” says John B. Poindexter, founder and longtime CEO of J.B. Poindexter & Co.
                                    • Due to the limited volume of new trailers entering the market, some customers have resorted to pulling trailers used for storage out of retirement and refurbishing them for transport use.
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