Second-quarter trailer shipments increased 7.3% over the same period in 2005, led by a 19.5% boost in flatbeds, according to A.C.T. Research Co., LLC.
Total trailers were 72,928 in the second quarter this year, up from 67,955 in the same period a year ago. Flatbeds numbered 8,637, up from 7,228. Van trailers were up 5.4%, from 48,401 to 50,999.
Containers, chassis, and dollies were down 17.9%, from 9,800 in the second quarter of 2005 to 8,043 in the second quarter of 2006—meaning the total for all categories showed a 4.1% growth rate.
Year to date, there have been 135,668 total trailers shipped: 93,926 vans, 16,607 flatbeds and 25,135 others.
“Orders have slowed the past few months, but we attribute the slowdown to seasonality: Orders always soften this time of year,” the ACT’s Kenny Vieth said.
“While orders are lower, the industry's large backlogs of unbuilt order should see the industry through the year at existing production levels of around 1,100 units per day.
“The direction of build rates as we move into 2007 will be determined by the number of orders that are booked this coming fall and winter. With the economy continuing to grow and the driver shortage still major issue, we expect that trailer demand should remain healthy into 2007.”