The demand for semi-trailers is gradually increasing with increasing urbanization, increasing manufacturing activities, and the need for efficient transportation. The global market for semi-trailers is expected to reach $416.23 million by 2024.
Market Size Outlook ($ Million)
Semi-trailers are mainly used in the logistics industry. As people’s lifestyles change and urbanization advances, there is a greater tendency to deliver goods & products to trucks and trailers for cargo transportation. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), e-commerce retailers, suppliers, and physical retailers are all providing delivery services to their customers. And road transport is the most common mode of transportation in the logistics sector because it is cheaper. Thus, with the improvement of road infrastructure, it benefits the semi-trailer industry.
In addition to the above mentioned areas, the economic strengthening of the middle class has given rise to the demand for cold chain transportation. Because people are willing to spend more money on fresh, organic, and quality products, there is a growing demand for medical products, flowers, fish, poultry, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and other products.
The impact of COVID-19
Pandemic affects the demand for semi-trailers in 2020. The blockades and social distance regulations imposed globally resulted in the loss of manufacturing, logistics, and restaurants. Blockades were imposed in several countries and curfews were imposed, international borders were closed, and global demand for public transportation dropped. According to the survey, more than 80,000 jobs were lost in the trucking industry in April 2020. The semi-truck industry has also been affected by supply chain disruptions and a traumatized transportation industry.
A total of 210,800 trailers were built in 2020, and according to FTR’s forecast, 295,000 trailers will be completed in 2021, with the figure climbing to 320,000 in 2022. 2023 still shows an upward trend, reaching 330,000. production will fall between 2024 and 2025, reaching 305,000 and 285,000 The number of vehicles is expected to decline to 305,000 and 285,000 in 2024-2025.
Number of semi-trailers forecast (FTR)
But not all trailer manufacturers have been negatively affected. Chinese semi-trailer manufacturer China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd. saw sales of semi-trailers increase by more than 11% in 2020 instead.
The Asia Pacific will have the largest revenue share in 2020, at over 35%, and will also grow at the fastest rate in recent years. The market in this region is largely driven by emerging economies such as China and India. This is because these economies have large supply chains and logistics networks. In addition, based on the growth of the e-commerce industry, the demand for dry van trailers is expected to surge in the coming years.
North America accounts for the second largest share of revenue in 2020. The North American market is currently in the replacement phase. Some fleets have aging semi-trailers that need to be replaced by technologically advanced semi-trailers. In addition, the road infrastructure network in the U.S. and Canada is improving, and the transportation and logistics industry will drive the growth in demand for semi-trailers in North America.
Range Share (%) 2019
Dry Van Trailer
The dry van trailers segment accounted for a volume share of more than 35% in 2020 and is expected to remain a leader from 2023 to 2025. This is because it is widely used in several industries. Because of its ability to protect cargo against road and weather conditions, dry van trailers are more cost-effective and are used by full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) fleet operators for their operations.
The flatbed semi-trailer segment holds a significant volume share in 2020 as well. According to the forecast, in terms of revenue, flatbeds will grow at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2021 to 2028. However, the market growth will change due to industry consolidation, or some suppliers exit the market. According to Technavio’s analyst estimates, the market will contract at a CAGR of 3.98% in 2024.
Flatbed trailers will cover regions similar to semi-trailers as a whole in the coming years, including Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe. Of these, Asia Pacific will likewise hold the highest share and will have the largest market size in 2024. Europe is the slowest growing region in the market between 2019 and 2024. Among these regions, China, the U.S., Germany, India, and the U.K. will be the largest markets for the flatbed semi-trailer market.
The main types of semi-trailers currently on the market include steel flatbed semi-trailers, aluminum flatbed semi-trailers, and combination flatbed semi-trailers. Which type of flatbed semi-trailer is more popular will depend on the emerging economies, which will have a significant impact on the type. Take China as an example, China prefers steel semi-trailers and few aluminum semi-trailers, so the demand for steel semi-trailers will probably be greater in the future.