A forecast report issued by consulting group CLEAR projects 20% growth in heavy trailer demand in Eastern Europe for 2011.
According to the report, there was 28.1% growth in heavy trailer demand in Eastern Europe in 2010. However, four countries saw their markets continue to fall: the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary and Russia. Of the four, Russia was somewhat surprising, as the truck market has already begun to recover.
The stellar performer in the region was Turkey, which completely recovered from the downturn of 2009 to post record trailer demand in 2010. This makes Turkey the largest trailer market in Eastern Europe and likely to remain so until overtaken by Russia again in the long term, with Poland relegated to third place.
“Overall, the forecast is more optimistic than the last prognosis from 2010,” said Gary Beecroft, managing director of CLEAR. “From 2012 onwards, the outlook for trailer demand has been upgraded. Also, if planned investments go ahead, Turkey will enhance its position as a major trailer manufacturing center.”
To put the numbers in perspective, consider how far the trailer market had fallen since the peak in 2007. After the initial drop of 11% in 2008, there was a collapse, resulting in a drop of 61% in 2009. The demand for new trailers was returned to the level of 2002. The drop was so drastic that it will take until 2014 to recover to the level of new trailer demand last seen in 2006, which was a little short of 90,000 units.
Unlike Western Europe however, the drop in demand will not lead to a fall in the size of the trailer parc (fleet), which even in 2009 was estimated to have grown by 3%.
Trailer demand in the countries of Eastern Europe will recover at different rates – some moving back onto a high growth path quite quickly. Others experienced such rapid growth from 2002 to 2007 that they now have nearly enough trailers to meet their countries’ transport needs. In these cases, trailer demand will never return to the levels seen in 2006-2007.