Shipments of complete truck trailers in the third quarter were up 12% from the corresponding period of 2002, according to figures compiled by Economic Planning Associates Inc (EPA Inc) of Smithtown NY.
Manufacturers shipped an estimated 43,100 complete trailers during the third quarter. For the first three quarters of 2003, EPA Inc estimates that the industry shipped 96,700 trailers, up 33.5% from 2002's January-September period.
Demand for vans jumped 17% from year-earlier levels and was up 46% for the year. Platforms and dump trailers, however, slipped 1.2%, according to the EPA Inc survey.
When viewed quarter-by-quarter, growth in shipments appeared to plateau during the third quarter. Shipments in the second quarter were estimated at 43,200 trailers — virtually the same as the July-September output. Before the most recent survey results, trailer manufacturers had been gathering momentum for four consecutive quarters.
“From now through the end of 2004, we look for quarterly advances in trailer shipments as our economy expands, trucking volumes rise, trucking rates and profitability improve, and interest rates and inflation remain subdued,” says EPA Inc's Peter Toja.
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