Axle Shortage in Western Europe

European transport firms are buying so many new trailers that the industry’s suppliers have run out of axles. All over Europe, finished trailers are sitting in rows, painted in their owners’ livery, waiting for this key part that fits between the suspension and the wheels.

Motorists might welcome fewer truck/trailer combinations on the road. However, there is a slight problem: 77% of goods transported in Western Europe travel by road, and most of that goes on a trailer pulled by a heavy truck.

Almost 200,000 new trailers will be sold in Western Europe as a whole in 2007, according to CLEAR’s latest forecast of the European market for heavy goods vehicle trailers..

Economic forecasts for GDP, and in particular, investment growth, have improved across Europe, creating more demand for transport. One important support factor is the inclusion of the new East European markets in the EU, which is giving a boost to international transport and vehicle demand. There is booming demand for used trailers in Eastern Europe, which has resulted in West European trailer fleets being replaced early, fueling orders for new vehicles.

According to Gary Beecroft, Managing Director of CLEAR, “It is easier to identify the countries not having a record sales year in 2007: they are Italy and the UK. Although sales in the next two years will be slightly lower, they will still be a very high levels.”

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