Trailer shipments surge in 4th quarter

Shipments of complete truck trailers were up sharply in the fourth quarter of 2002, according to figures compiled by Economic Planning Associates of Smithtown, New York.

“Our latest survey indicates that fourth quarter trailer shipments amounted to 41,600 units, 8.1% above the previous quarter and a whopping 41.3% higher than the similar quarter of 2001,” said Peter Toja, president.

For all of 2002, manufacturers shipped 138,200 complete trailers, the company reported. The total was down 5% from 2001, the result of what Toja described as “a dismal start in the first quarter of 2002.” Demand for trailers rebounded in the second quarter, Toja said, and gathered momentum through the end of last year.

Dry freight and refrigerated vans, platforms, and dump trailers were particularly strong at the end of 2002. For all of last year, dump trailers and platforms posted sharp gains, refrigerated trailer shipments were flat, and dry freight vans slipped 4.6% below 2001 totals.

“More importantly, our analysis of major customer markets indicates that the three-year slide in trailer demand is over,” Toja said. “We expect that 2003 will mark the beginning of the next cyclical upturn in trailer shipments which should extend out to the year 2008.”

Complete details and short and long term forecasts of customer market activities as well as shipments of individual trailer types and containers and chassis are contained in the March 2003 edition of the quarterly Truck and Trailer report that the company sends to its clients.

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