Truck-trailer manufacturers in 2022 saw production totals return to pre-pandemic levels, and most reported the year could’ve been even better: Demand remained strong as fleets posted big profits, but labor and supply chain challenges lingered.
Still, the lessons learned over the past couple of years made for smarter management and, in many cases, improved pricing as OEMs and their dealers successfully conveyed to customers the need to recover surging costs. Of course, when demand outpaces supply, fundamental economic principles play a role as well.
So, even with the challenges, manufacturers built nearly 325,000 trailers, a 20% increase from the year before and the eleventh consecutive year that trailer output has exceeded 200,000 units.
The trailer totals reported here cannot be compared directly with other domestic surveys that do not include Canadian and Mexican trailer plants. This survey does not attempt to report on the many small trailer manufacturing plants scattered throughout North America, so the total trailer build is somewhat larger than the Top 25 numbers reported here.
This Trailer/Body BUILDERS survey is made by contacting a member of the management team at each manufacturing company. The ranking of the companies does not necessarily reflect their relative success in terms of profitability or revenue received, but only the number of trailers produced. The dollar value of a trailer can vary greatly depending on the design, type of construction, materials used and quality level.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2021, a group of domestic intermodal chassis manufacturers succesfully argued before the United States International Trade Commission that China was engaged in unfair trade practices regarding their chassis business in the U.S. As a result of tariffs imposed on Chinese chassis, domestic chassis production soared in 2022. However, in recent years the TBB survey did not include intermodal chassis in the production total. But because some manufacturers do not specify production mix, this report now includes some inconsistencies. We will work with respondents on a solution to ensure consistency in future reports.]
Below is how the individual trailer manufacturers reported their trailer production for 2022:
♦ Di-Mond Trailers, based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, built 1,432 trailers in 2022, up 42%.
“2022 was a fantastic year,” President and CEO Chris Di Lillo said. “We all kind of woke up and realized we needed to be building trailers. There were challenges along the way that the industry never faced before, but it also did wonders for everybody, because it helped everybody get their margins up. And, hopefully, the big guys are smart enough today not to take every single deal.”
Di Lillo is also optimistic about the future.
“I think 2023 is going to be just as good as last year,” he said. “Nobody’s got a crystal ball for 2024, but I know that we’ve got some key customers that are expecting us to be building at least 3,000 this year, and up to 4,000 by 2024. So we’ve got some pretty good growth ahead of us.”