The global semi-trailer market was valued at USD 29.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 41.2 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period.
Road transportation is a widely utilized mode of transportation of goods because of wide inland connectivity in many regions and the cost advantages it offers over other modes of transportation. Increasing manufacturing activities, urbanization, need for effective transportation, and widening of the rural area road networks are major factors fueling the growth of the semi-trailer market.
Market Driver: Growth in end-use industries such as FMCG and Automotive
Despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, most OEMs restarted vehicle production in May 2020. For instance, Volkswagen, Nissan, Hyundai, and Honda reopened their plants in China; FCA, Honda, and Toyota restarted production in the US. Production in Europe has also resumed, to a limited extent. Considering these factors, global vehicle production is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2020 to 2025. This growth in vehicle production will lead to a directly proportional increase in the demand for semi-trailer for the transportation of vehicles.
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Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is one of the largest industries in the world in terms of revenue generation. The products have a short shelf life as they include perishable products such as meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and baked goods, and these products have high consumer demand. The products are bought frequently, are consumed rapidly, are generally priced low, and are sold in large quantities. The FMCG industry can be segmented into personal care and food & beverage industries. Key drivers of the FMCG industry are rising income, growing population, brand consciousness, favourable policies, and digitalization of the purchasing process. In the FMCG sector, along with the changes in consumer demands, there has been shifts in the logistics of FMCG products. All this is supporting the growth of technologically advanced semi-trailer in the FMCG industry.
Market Opportunity: Electric semi-trailers
In the last decade, the automotive sector witnessed a scientific innovation, which has brought a paradigm shift from a gas engine vehicle to an electric vehicle. Automotive manufacturers, such as Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Kia Motors, and Daimler, have launched an electric car in the past decade. Electric semi-trailers can create a fantastic opportunity for OEMs and semi-trailer manufacturers soon. The innovation was earlier limited to passenger cars only. However, continuous efforts and curiosity have resulted in production of electric semi-trailers. In November 2020, DHL forged ahead with its emissions reduction and climate protection goals with the launch of four BYD Class 8 battery-electric semi-trailer trucks in the US. The semi-trailer truck allows the driver to stand as the steering wheel is placed in the centre with a touchscreen panel on both sides of the driver. Moreover, in November 2020, DHL expanded its green fleet with launch of electric tractor-trailer vehicles in the US. Electric semi-trailers can create a tremendous opportunity for environment-friendly transportation.
North America market is projected to hold the largest share, in terms of value, by 2025
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which allows free trade between the US, Canada, and Mexico, would lead to increased fleet operations in the region. This is expected to create a push in freight transportation because of increased business activities and consumer spending. Wabash, Hyundai Translead, Great Dane, and Utility Trailer are the key players operating in the North American semi-trailer market. These players are focusing on collaborations to launch technologically advanced semi-trailers. For instance, in 2020, Wabash National, along with eNow and Carrier Transicold’s all-electric refrigeration technologies, signed a partnership that offers thermally efficient, ecofriendly refrigerated hauling. The large gain in thermal efficiencies allows the customer to downsize the batteries required to haul cargo and increase the runtime on a battery setup. The North American semi trailer market is currently in its replacement cycle, with an aging semi-trailer population that needs to be replaced with technologically advanced semi-trailers. As a result, the North American semi trailer market is estimated to dominate the market, in terms of value, during the forecast period.
Key Market Players
The key players considered in the analysis of the semi-trailer market are China International Marine Containers (China), Wabash National (US), Schmitz Cargobull AG (Germany), Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company (US), and Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone (Germany). These companies offer extensive products and solutions for the semi-trailer industry and have strong distribution networks at the global level, and they invest heavily in R&D to develop new products.
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