Trucktistics--Trailer Shipments Steady at Mid-Year

TOTAL shipments of complete truck trailers during the first half of 2000 looked a lot like they did midway through 1999, according to preliminary estimates published by the

U S Bureau of Census. But a lot of ups and downs among different types of trailers offset one another to cause the modest 5% decline from year-earlier levels.

Manufacturers shipped an estimated 135,630 complete trailers during the first six months of 2000, compared with 140,239 for the first half of 1999, a 3% decline.

Were it not for a 9% decline in van shipments during the month, shipments actually would have increased 18%. Livestock and dry-freight vans were particularly affected, slipping 26% and 13%, respectively.

Other types of trailers generally met or exceeded year-earlier levels, according to Census figures. With 3,185 trailers shipped during the first six months of 2000, tank trailers edged up 2% from the corresponding period of 1999. Platform trailers grew by 13%, and lowbeds were up 6%.

Dump trailer shipments continued to draw controversy, with individual manufacturers disputing the reports of increased shipments when their own shipments are down and Census estimates pointing to an increase. Six months of Census Bureau estimates indicated that dump trailers were up 35% for the first half of 2000.

Insulated Vans Up 3% Looking specifically at the month of June, Census reports that the industry shipped an estimated 22,697 complete trailers for the month, off 5% from June 1999. Insulated vans continued to be the bright spot among vans, up 3% while every other van category declined in June.

Tank trailers had a tough month in June, down 20% from a year earlier. Tanks for transporting flammable liquids were up 9%, but chemical and acid trailers slipped 5%, asphalt trailers dropped 52%, and all other tank trailers were down 43% from June 1999.

Truck sales showed signs of moderating in June, according to figures compiled by Ward's Communications.

Here are the percentage of change for June and for the first half of the year:

Class 1 trucks (GVW ratings of 6,000 pounds or less)-down 5% from June, up 6% for the year. Class 2 trucks (GVW ratings of 6,001 to 10,000 pounds)-up 5% for the month and 9% for the year. Class 3 trucks (GVW ratings of 10,001 to 14,000 pounds)-unchanged for the month, up 1% year to date. Class 4 trucks (GVW ratings of 14,001 to 16,000 pounds)-up 3% for June and unchanged for the first half of 2000. Class 5 trucks (GVW ratings of 16,001 to 19,500 pounds)-up 12% for June, but off 4% for the year. Class 6 trucks (GVW ratings of 19,501 to 26,000 pounds)-up 61% in June and 42% halfway through 2000. Class 7 trucks (GVW ratings of 26,001 to 33,000 pounds)-up 2% in June and down 2% for the year. Class 8 trucks (GVW ratings above 33,000 pounds)-down 10% in June and 5% for the first half of 2000. o

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