ecom-trailers WEB.jpg

Trailer makers respond to changing needs

May 18, 2018
Trailer manufacturers are responding to e-commerce-fueled changes to the supply chain by expanding their oper­ations and ramping up customization.

Trailer manufacturers are responding to e-commerce-fueled changes to the supply chain by expanding their oper­ations and ramping up customization.

Last summer, Wabash National Corp. agreed to purchase Supreme Industries Inc., a truck-body manufacturer, for $364 million. Supreme is the second-largest producer of medium-duty truck bodies behind Morgan Corp.

“The addition of the Supreme truck body adds immediate revenue and profit opportunity, but also provides significant diversification into a high-growth segment driven by the ever-increasing adoption of e-commerce,” said Dick Giromini, CEO of the nation’s only publicly traded trailer maker.

At the start of the decade, Great Dane Trailers acquired Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, which manufactures insulated fiberglass refrigerated truck bodies and all-electric refrigeration systems. The deal was Great Dane’s initial move into truck body manufacturing and helped it gain an early foothold into the “final mile” dry-freight vans that mount on medium-duty trucks. They are primarily suited for maneuvering through congested urban areas, the company said.

Besides acquisitions, trailer makers are emphasizing their abilities to build to customer specifications to meet evolving delivery needs. For example, late last year Strick Trailers added a 44,000-sq.-ft. production line dedicated to its custom trailer business in Indiana. Likewise, Stoughton Trailers opened a new refrigerated trailer assembly line in Wisconsin.

Other manufacturers including Hyundai Translead and Utility Trailer have suggested they are evaluating further steps they will need to consider as e-com­merce changes delivery and distribution patterns.  

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...