A new survey of US trailer manufacturers shows a 14.6% increase in shipments of truck trailers in 1998 compared to 1997. Economic Planning Associates Inc (EPA) in Smithtown, New York, got responses from manufacturers representing 71% of industry shipments. Individual categories include four types of van trailers and six types of non-vans.
The EPA survey, projected to the whole market, indicates that about 267,500 truck trailers were manufactured By US builders (not including Hyundai in Mexico and Manac and Mond in Canada). This 267,500 figure is in sharp contrast to the early estimates made in the 12 monthly reports from the Department of Commerce. Commerce's M37L reports for the 12 months of 1998 total 339,378, according to EPA.
"We expect dramatic revisions in the DOC trailer data when final 1998 estimates are released," says Peter Toja, president of EPA.
Toja predicts a slowing economy in 1999 will reduce demand to about 252,000 truck trailers, and that will be the third-best year ever.
Trailer/Body Builders also surveyed trailer manufacturers, and came up with an estimate of 289,000 trailers produced in 1998 (see pages 38 to 41 of February issue). The actual production figures from the Department of Commerce will be available sometime this summer.