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Trailer shipments grow again in second quarter

Shipments of complete truck trailers increased 8.7% in the second quarter, according to research conducted by Economic Planning Associates (EPA Inc), Smithville NY.

The second-quarter gain is on top of a 15.7% rise in trailer shipments during the first quarter. EPA Inc reports a 26% increase for trailer manufacturers during the first half of 2004.

According to the EPA Inc survey, manufacturers shipped 42,900 vans during the second quarter, 27.9% higher than the second quarter of last year. Non-van shipments totaled 13,700 units, a whopping 41.7% above the similar period of last year.

Dry freight, insulated, and “all other” vans each scored impressive gains last quarter, while platform and tank trailers continued to lead the parade in the non-van sector, says EPA Inc's Peter Toja.

“In this environment of stricter legislation involving drivers' hours of service, sharply higher fuel costs, rising insurance premiums, and the movement of truck traffic toward rail via intermodal haulings of trailers on flat cars (TOFC), the continued strong interest in new trailer equipment is extremely pleasant news to trailer builders,” Toja says. “And we expect further quarterly advances in trailer shipments during the remainder of 2004 and into 2005.

“This year, 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.”

EPA Inc looked at a number of factors affecting freight (and the need for truck trailers). Among those factors are housing demand, durable goods, and business investments.

EPA Inc will provide its clients with short- and long-term forecasts of customer market activities as well as individual trailer types and container and chassis in the company's quarterly Truck and Trailer report this month.

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