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North American Technological Advances in Trailer Growth Opportunities

North American Technological Advances in Trailer Growth Opportunities

  • December 2021
  • 76 pages
  • ID: 6220450
  • Format: PDF
  • Frost & Sullivan


Table of Contents

The North American trailer market plays a vital role in the transportation sector.Nearly 75% of all Class 8 trucks are tractors.

Each tractor requires a trailer to haul goods.More than 250,000 trailers are produced each year against an average of 162,000 tractors over the same period.

The average trailer to tractor ratio ranges between 1.4–1.8, which means approximately 1.6 trailers for every tractor.Trailers come in many sizes, dimensions, and shapes to suit each application. The most common trailers are dry van, reefer, platform, and tank trailers; dump beds; and container chassis. Predominantly used to transport packaged dry goods in pallets, dry van trailers have a 55% market share, followed by reefer trailers—used to transport perishables goods at specific temperatures—with a much-lower 14% market share. With a 12.5% market share, platform trailers mainly come in three types: Flatbed, low bed, and coil haulers. These trailers are typically open beds with no roof or sides and transport bulk goods. Container chassis—used to transport shipping containers between warehouses and ports—comprises 8% of the trailer market but is termed chiefly as incomplete chassis/trailer due to the product’s skeletal construction. Other major applications include tanker trailers [4% share of market (SoM)], dump trailers (2.5% SoM), and miscellaneous applications (e.g., hauling grain, poles and logs, and livestock), which contribute to another 4% of the trailer market.Though trailers have been around for a long time, Frost & Sullivan observed drastic technological advancements only in the past decade. We expect this trend to continue into the foreseeable future. Three significant advances are in aerodynamic devices, telematics solutions, and electric-capable reefer units. Driven by stricter emission norms, the need for an improved total cost of ownership, and better trailer efficiency, fleet customers have widely adopted each technology in recent times.Trailers took a back seat to tractors in technological advancements for a long time. However, recent years demonstrated fast-changing trailer technology and customers’ willingness to adopt it quickly. The top five megatrends of technological advances expected to impact trailer production and customer benefits in the next decade are:
•Better fuel efficiency through innovative aerodynamic devices
•Smart trailer solutions that drive trailer efficiency through real-time trailer data and offer analysis and actionable options
•Cleaner emissions through electric-capable TRUs
•Improved payload through innovative manufacturing/materials technology
•An efficient supply chain for faster and reliable trailer production
Author: Christus Divyan

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