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 Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

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

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

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 980 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 99 workers, and generates about $39 million annually.

    • The utility, cargo, and specialty trailer manufacturing industry consists of about 980 companies that employ about 99,200 workers and generate about $38 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

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Jan 15, 2024 - Minimum Wages Up in 2024
                                    • Utility, cargo, and specialty trailer manufacturers will have to monitor minimum wage changes, as 22 states increased their minimum wages in January 2024, according to USA Today. About half of the increases are automatic adjustments linked to inflation. States that raised their minimum wages in January 2024 include Hawaii ($14), Maryland ($15), Nebraska ($12), and Washington ($16.28). Several states are set to boost their minimum wage levels later this year, including Florida (up to $13 in September) and Nevada (up to $12 in July). According to the Economic Policy Institute, nearly 40 US cities and counties will increase their minimum wage rates above state levels at the start of the new year. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and more than 20 states, primarily located in the South and the Midwest, use the federal minimum as their wage floor.
                                    • Inflation was the most important problem facing small business owners, according to 23% of owners in a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index fell 0.1 points in November 2023 to 90.6, marking the 23rd consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98. According to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, “Job openings on Main Street remain elevated as the economy saw a strong third quarter. However, even with the growing economy, small business owners have not seen a strong wave of workers to fill their open positions. Inflation also continues to be an issue among small businesses.” Small business owners are still encountering historically high job opening levels, with a seasonally adjusted 54% of owners reporting hiring or trying to hire in November. Over 60% of owners reported making capital outlays in the past six months, with 41% spending on new equipment, 23% acquiring vehicles, and 17% improving or expanding facilities.
                                    • Steady demand and an improved supply chain are expected to support growth in the US utility, cargo, and specialty trailer manufacturers industry, which is projected to grow at an over 4% CAGR from 2022 to 2027, according to a recent Inforum forecast. This rate is comparable to the projected growth of the overall economy. The forecast follows several years of industry disruption during the pandemic, with a sales decrease of 1.8% in 2020, an increase of 13.9% in 2021, and growth of 10.4% in 2022.
                                    • US manufacturing activity contracted in December 2023, falling below the baseline for growth for the fourteenth consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The Manufacturing PMI registered 47.4% in December, up from the 46.7% recorded in November. A reading above 50% indicates manufacturing expansion. December’s New Orders Index remained in the contraction zone at 47.1%. The December Production Index was 50.3%, up from November’s 48.5%. Only one manufacturing industry tracked by the ISM reported growth in December: Primary Metals. The industries reporting contraction in December were Printing & Related Support Activities; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Textile Mills; Petroleum & Coal Products; Paper Products; Wood Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Furniture & Related Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; and Chemical Products.
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