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Semi-Trailer Market

Semi-Trailer Market: Information by Type (Flat Bed Trailers, Dry Vans, Refrigerated, Trailers, Lowboy Trailers, Tankers) and Regions—Forecast till 2031

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Market Overview

The global semi-trailer market size was valued at USD 22.12 billion by 2022. It is expected to reach an estimated value of USD 35.10 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period (2023–2031).

A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle, one or more trailers used to haul a carriage, and it does not have a shaft. A road tractor unit handles a significant portion of its weight due to the length of the cargo bed, and they are typically used to transport heavier loads. Semi-trailers are popular for transporting commodities across long distances because of their versatility, effectiveness, and affordability.


  • Dry vans dominate the type segment
  • Asia-Pacificis the highest shareholder in the global market

Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year
: 2022
Study Period
: 2021-2031
: 5.6 %
Fastest Growing Market
: North America
Largest Market
: Asia-Pacific
Market Size
: USD 35.10 billion by 2031
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Market Dynamics

Global Semi-Trailer Market Drivers

Improving Road and Traffic Infrastructure

One of the major end-user sectors for semi-trailers is logistics. Trucks and trailers are being used more frequently to move goods. Due to urbanization and changing lifestyles, people are more likely to request delivery of goods and products. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), E-Commerce retailers, physical retailers, suppliers, and others, are all involved in providing delivery to the customers. Semi-trailers also find applications in transporting goods and machinery required for other sectors, such as infrastructure development.

Several developed and emerging countries across the globe have been investing heavily in road infrastructure to expand logistics and transportation capacity. Road transportation is the most widely used mode of transportation in the logistics sector because of its superior cost advantages. Moreover, several new road transport routes are built to reach more destinations where water, air, and rail transport are absent. Hence, the demand for road transport has arisen with improved road infrastructure, benefiting the semi-trailer industry.

Expanding Cold Chain Industry

The economic strengthening of the middle class has surged the demand for several cold chain goods such as pharmaceutical products, poultry, fresh flowers, fish, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. India is ranked as the world's second-largest producer of vegetables and fruit. However, food is wasted due to the lack of transportation and storage infrastructure. Therefore, the Indian government and several stakeholders are focusing on expanding the cold chain industry infrastructure in the country. For instance, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries approved more than 25 cold chain projects in September 2020 that totaled more than USD 100 million. Similarly, the GCCA reported that the worldwide refrigerated capacity reached around 720 million cubic meters in 2020, an increase of more than 16% from 2018. The expanding cold chain industry across developed and emerging economies is expected to surge the demand for refrigerated trailers.

Global Semi-Trailer Market Restraint

Local Players in Unorganized Sector

The semi-trailer market is highly fragmented, with few established players and several local and regional players in the unorganized sector. In 2019, the top five players dominated the North American regional market, accounting for over half of the trailers manufactured. A similar trend has been followed in the European market. However, in developing countries like India, more than 70% of the market is captured by small unorganized players with local production activities. This is a severe threat to the globally established players as it decreases the keenness of cost-sensitive markets.

Moreover, lower quality and cheaper products from the local players in the unorganized sector may lead to pricing pressure for established players and lower their profitability. This situation has also impacted the global expansion of well-established companies in emerging markets, where the unorganized sector is flourishing and is more likely to affect product categories with slight variations. Such factors are predicted to hinder market growth over the forecast period.

Global Semi-Trailer Market Opportunities

Demand for Custom Built Semi-Trailers

Many semi-trailers have been misusing their capacity to transport goods in the past. For instance, van trailers were used to carry temperature-sensitive goods, which should be carried by refrigerated trailers. Similarly, cargo trailers were used to carry gaseous and liquid freights, which should be carried by tanker trailers. As a result, the market's players are concentrating on producing more specialized semi-trailers created to fulfill particular functions due to specification standards and changing industry requirements. This trend is anticipated to continue with changing political and industrial environment. For example, in China, the demand for tank trailers, refrigerated trailers, and fence trailers is more robust, driven by the faster-paced construction activities and growth in the e-commerce sector. Thus, the offering of custom-built semi-trailers by manufacturers to meet consumer demand is anticipated to create significant growth opportunities.

Segmental Analysis

The global semi-trailer market is segmented by type.

Based on type, the global semi-trailer market is categorized into flatbed trailers, dry vans, refrigerated trailers, lowboy trailers, and tankers. 

The dry vans segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period. With widespread applications in numerous industries, the dry vans segment had the largest volume share of over 35% in 2022 and is predicted to dominate over the forecast period. Dry vans generally transport freight that requires nominal protection against road and climate conditions. Due to their affordability and adaptability, these trailers are employed by the full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) fleet operators for their operations.

The flatbed trailer segment captured a sizeable share of the semi-trailer market and is estimated to expand at the second-highest CAGR in revenue over the forecast period. The growth in the construction industry across the developed and emerging economies is anticipated to witness segmental growth. Flatbed trailers generally transport heavy cargo such as machinery and construction materials and equipment.

The refrigerated trailers segment adoption is expected to increase significantly due to the expanding cold chain industry. The increasing number of QSRs and the general push for healthier, fresh products and higher disposable income positively impact every aspect of the cold chain industry. Moreover, governments across developing countries focus on expanding the cold chain industry infrastructure. For instance, in September 2020, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries approved over 25 cold chain projects that cost over USD 100 million. Therefore, the expanding cold chain industry across developed and emerging economies is expected to surge the demand for refrigerated trailers.

Regional Analysis

Region-wise, the global semi-trailer market is segmented as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

Asia-Pacific is the most significant global semi-trailer market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% over the forecast period. The expansion is mostly driven by emerging economies such as India and China, which comprise huge supply chains and logistics networks and are among the fastest-growing economies globally. In India, several heavy commercial vehicles require replacement because they are outdated. The demand for replacements is anticipated to increase due to stricter emission standards, further expanding the Indian semi-trailer market. China is one of the biggest consumers of coal, with a consumption of 81.67 exajoules in 2019. It is also the world's top producer of rare earth minerals, gold, and coal. In 2019, China accounted for roughly 51.7% of global coal consumption. With a total coal mining capacity of 4.07 billion tons in 2021, the nation supports the demand in numerous parts of the world. Additionally, demand for dry vans and trailers is projected to increase in the upcoming years due to the region's expanding e-commerce sector.

North America is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. The North American semi-trailer market is currently in the replacement phase since its fleet of aged semi-trailers has to be replaced with more modern models. The deteriorating network of roads and the expanding logistics and transportation sectors in the United States and Canada are predicted to spur regional development. Additionally, the market need for lightweight transport vehicles will be driven by government requirements that are relaxed regarding weight-carrying capability and semi-trailer dimensions. For instance, "SmartWay," a validated aerodynamic technique to increase fuel efficiency in tractors and semi-trailers, was mandatory for installation by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

In the European Union, roadways carried about 75% of all inland freight in 2020. Around 1.7 trillion kilometers of freight were moved across European roadways in 2019. In Europe, road transportation accounts for the majority of freight movement. According to Eurostat, over 75% of inland cargo movements within the European Union, or roughly 1,750 billion metric ton-kilometers (km), occur on roads. In some European countries, this proportion can reach 90% or higher. The increased preference for semi-trailers for logistics is the primary driver fueling the market's expansion.

The rapidly expanding European e-commerce is also a key tenet of the global digital marketplace. It highlights changes in the e-commerce industry by observing the growth of efficiently run retail locations. In addition, the need for a more advanced distribution network is expanding as Europe's e-commerce market expands. Since freight transportation in Europe (between 50 km and 1,999 km) held for 89.1% of the worldwide freight transportation sector in 2018, the demand for all types of semi-trailers is anticipated to increase as the market continues to grow. Most cars are used by commercial fleet operators, including delivery services for e-commerce, mail, and courier services.

In the European Union, there has also been a trend toward electrifying the commercial fleet due to environmental concerns, with certain businesses switching to electric light commercial vehicles, including Hermes, Harrods, FedEx, and DHL. Mercedes also plans to launch electric vans for the German logistics company Hermes to break into the market for electric vans. The German postal service DHL designed an electric truck in one such move specifically for the nation's e-commerce activities.

The Middle East and Africa and Latin America (LAMEA) market is estimated to expand steadily over the forecast period. Logistic automation, e-commerce growth, reliance on the local network, and AI and digitalization are some of the factors driving the logistics sector in the region. Therefore, growth in the logistics sector is expected to surge the demand for semi-trailers in the regions.

Semi-Trailer Market Regional Analysis
Regional Growth Insights Download Free Sample

Top Key Players of Semi-Trailer Market

  1. China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd.
  2. Schmitz Cargobull
  3. Wabash National Corporation
  4. Great Dane
  5. Kogel Trailer GmbH & Co.KG

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
CAGR 5.6%
Forecast Period 2023-2031
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
Segments Covered
  1. By Type
    1. Flat Bed Trailers
    2. Dry Vans
    3. Refrigerated Trailers
    4. Lowboy Trailers
    5. Tankers
    6. Others
Geographies Covered
  • North America
  • Europe
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

Recent Developments

  • April 2022 - CIMC Raffles and Havfram, an offshore engineering company based in Norway, confirmed and signed the contract for the second global latest generation series of wind turbine installation vessels ("WTIV"). The vessel will be built in EPC turnkey mode and used for transportation and installation construction services for European wind farms.
  • April 2022 - The intelligent bus depot in Xiasha, Futian, Shenzhen, built by CIMC IOT, was officially implemented, and 83 buses in the Xiasha bus terminal said goodbye to "sleeping on the road." The project is the largest intelligent bus garage in China. It is one of the first three pilot projects of three-dimensional mechanical parking for new energy buses in Shenzhen, organized by the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Transportation.
  • July 2023 - Following the delivery of an all-electric semi-trailer to Romania, Frank Reppenhagen, Head of Sales for Germany and Western Europe at Schmitz Cargobull, handed over his fully electric refrigerated semi-trailer to Fabian Diekmann, Fleet Manager at Rubetrans Logistics GmbH & Co. KG. At the Schmitz Cargobull facility in Altenberge, a thorough demonstration and practical use of the vehicle were scheduled before the handover.
  • April 2023 - Schmitz Cargobull became a minority shareholder (26%) in the Australian Trailer Solutions Group (ATSG) in a partnership that will continue to set the MaxiTRANS business up for long-term success in the Australian market. Australian Trailer Solutions Group (ATSG) comprises a group of investors, including several Ballarat locals. Since ATSG purchased the MaxiTRANS trailer business in September 2021, its primary focus has been supporting Australian manufacturing and its people and delivering a high-quality product for its customers.

Semi-Trailer Market Segmentations

By Type

  • Flat Bed Trailers
  • Dry Vans
  • Refrigerated Trailers
  • Lowboy Trailers
  • Tankers
  • Others

By Regions

  • North America
  • Europe
  • APAC
  • Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big is semi-trailer market?
The global semi-trailer market size was valued at USD 22.12 billion. It is expected to reach an estimated value of 35.10 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
The key players are China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd., Schmitz Cargobull, Wabash National Corporation, Great Dane
North America region has the highest growth rate in the market.
Improving road and traffic infrastructure and expanding cold chain industry are the key drivers for the growth of the market.
Demand for custom built semi-trailers are the key opportunity in market.
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