The global semi-trailer market is estimated to be USD 29.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow to USD 41.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.6%
Expanding cold chain industry, growing FMCG sector and increasing use of advanced technologies such as telematics and stability control are expected to boost the demand for semi-trailer market. However, local players in unorganized sector in developing countries are a restraining factor for global semi-trailer market players. Modern technologies such as semi-trailer platooning and electric semi-trailer truck offer numerous development opportunities in the near future. On the other hand, lightweight semi-trailers and lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) will be the challenging factors for semi-trailer market in the future.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the semi-trailer market. Both the production and sales of new semi-trailers came to a halt across the globe as the whole ecosystem got disrupted. OEMs had to wait until lockdowns were lifted to resume production, which affected their business. Post the pandemic, the demand for new semi-trailers is expected to show an increase as economies are recovering steadily. Nevertheless, another wave of COVID-19 due to newer strains may hamper the recovery in some countries. Subsequently, semi-trailer manufacturers would need to adjust the production volume based on the COVID-19 scenario across different countries. In addition, component manufacturing too was suspended, and small Tier II and Tier III manufacturers are facing face liquidity issues. Thus, production suspension during the outbreak and lower demand post the pandemic might have an unprecedented impact on semi-trailer providers.
Growing FMCG industry is likely to drive the semi-trailer market
Currently, companies are focusing on investments in automation of supply chains, expansion of existing manufacturing facilities, and development of warehouse hubs. Further, distribution centers and locations play a vital role in FMCG logistics. Hence, growing transport of goods from manufacturing facilities to warehouses, warehouses to distribution centers, and distribution centers to retail stores will drive the demand for semi-trailers in the FMCG sector. Also, growing acceptance of eCommerce in FMCG will provide opportunities for the growth of the semi-trailer market.
Semi-trailers are among the key modes of road transport used by the FMCG industry to transport its products. Numerous leading companies rely on their own transport and logistics system to transport their goods. For instance, FMCG giants such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Walmart, and Nestle have their own private fleet of vehicles, including semi-trailers for the transport of goods. The transport of goods in the FMCG sector must follow specific standards and laws. As the characteristics of the products can be impacted during the packaging and transport of the products, the demand for specialized semi-trailers such as refrigerated semi-trailers is growing in the FMCG industry. Key players of the semi-trailer market have understood the shift in demand for refrigerated semi-trailers and are either investing in new product development or collaborations. For instance, in February 2020, Wabash and C&S Wholesale Grocers developed a zero-emissions 48′ refrigerated trailer. This is a one-of-its-kind product which is up to 30% more thermally efficient than conventional refrigerated trailers.
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