The Global Semi-Trailer Market was valued at USD 24.49 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.98% from 2017 to reach USD 37.34 billion by 2025 as per a report by MarketsandMarkets.
What opportunities does Semi-trailer platooning have for the Semi-Trailer market?
Semi-trailer platooning would transform the transportation industry significantly in the coming years. With the help of platooning, semi-trailers are driven closer together at a constant speed, which helps to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Several European countries are currently developing infrastructure that will support truck platooning. Truck manufacturers such as Daimler and Volvo are already testing their truck platooning capabilities in real environments. Successful commercialization of truck platooning will also open the door for the development of semi-trailer platooning technologies. Semi-trailers are clunky monsters that have the worst wind resistance among the vehicle family. Innovations have resulted in the reduction of aerodynamics impact by adding various fuel-saving devices such as front faring, side skirting, and gap filling. This has helped to cut down aerodynamic drag up to around 26%. With semi-trailer platooning, the improvement of aerodynamics can go even further—a semi-trailer truck that follows the lead vehicle at the desired distance can consume up to 15% less fuel. With the development of autonomous vehicle technology, semi-trailer trucks can be self-driven, which can create a fantastic opportunity for semi-trailer platooning in the future.
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How lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) & maintenance cost will be a challenge to market growth?
Fleet operators are currently dealing with the increasing price of semi-trailers, which may cost between USD 30,000 and USD 50,000, depending on the type of the trailer. Apart from the initial cost, fleet operators also need to manage various variable costs such as fuel, driver, and maintenance among others. The rising initial cost is a major factor hampering the demand for new semi-trailers. The price rise has forced fleet operators to refurbish semi-trailer to increase its life and delay the purchase of new trailers. However, as the life of the trailer increases, the associated maintenance costs also increase. This results in increased expenditure on the maintenance of the vehicle. Maintenance costs also depend on the distance and frequency of travel, type of materials hauled, and the current total cost of ownership. While fleet operators are trying to extend fleet life, the efficiency of these semi-trailers is comparatively lower than new trailers that offer optimum economy, aerodynamics, and lightweight materials. In the case of refrigerated semi-trailers, the insulation capability starts to degrade by 3% to 5% every year. This results in thermal losses, which further increases the operating cost by increasing fuel consumption. This increase in fuel consumption occurs, as the equipment needs to run for more hours to maintain freight temperature requirements. Thus, lowering the total cost of ownership and maintenance cost is a challenge, following the increasing cost of the equipment.
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The Semi-Trailer Market ecosystem consists of manufacturers such as Wabash (US), Schmitz Cargobull (Germany), Utility Trailer (US), Krone (Germany), Kögel (Germany), and Great Dane Trailers (US), and research institutes such as Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), European Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA), Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), and Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA).
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