Trailer manufacturers are expected to ship 185,000 trailers this year, which should make 2001 the worst year for trailer manufacturers in recent history, but setting the stage for another boom in trailer demand.
Speaking at the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association convention, economist Peter Toja with Economic Planning Associates said once trailers begin to recover, they will continue to increase at least until 2006. He pointed out that several positive factors are already in place that should help the industry rebound. They include:
• Aggressive cuts in interest rates by the Federal Reserve.
• Inventory drawdown is almost complete.
• Continued expansion of merchandise trade—for imports and exports alike.
• Continued economic growth in Canada and Mexico.
• High levels of construction.
Toja has offered trailer forecasts at TTMA conventions each year since 1984. Last year he predicted the industry would ship 270,000 complete trailers. The forecast turned out to be accurate within less than 3,000 trailers.
A detailed report on Toja’s presentation will be included in the June issue of Trailer/Body Builders.