Trailer shipments climb 22% in first quarter

Shipments of trailers surged in the opening quarter of 2004, according to Peter Toja, president of Economic Planning Associates Inc of Smithville NY.

Trailer manufacturers shipped 52,000 units during the first quarter, 16% above the previous quarter and 22% more than the first three months of 2003, according to the quarterly EPA Inc survey of trailer manufacturers.

The industry shipped 39,800 van trailers during the first three months of 2004, up 18% from the first quarter of 2003. Non-van shipments of 12,200 units were running 34% above the similar period a year ago.

“Dry freight, insulated, and ‘all other’ vans each scored impressive gains,” said Toja, “while platform and tank trailers led the parade in the non-van sector.

“As we mentioned in our previous summary in March, we expect further quarterly advances in trailer shipments both this year and next,” said Toja. “In 2004, we anticipate continued growth in shipments of a variety of trailers as our expanding economy leads to greater traffic flows and improvements in trucking revenues and profitability. At the same time, low interest rates, moderate inflation, and the more liberal depreciation guidelines of the Tax Stimulus Bill will facilitate the investment decision. In addition, the lack of interest in new trailer equipment during recent years has served to further age the existing fleet, which will intensify replacement pressures as we proceed through 2004 and into 2005.”

Complete details, along with short- and long-term forecasts of customer market activities, will be contained in the June 2004 edition of the quarterly Truck and Trailer report EPA Inc distributes to its clients.

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