East European trailer market recovery accelerates

Demand for truck trailers in Eastern Europe is expected to grow 48% this year, according to a forecast report issued by consultants at CLEAR, a United Kingdom consulting firm.

Ten of the fifteen countries covered in the report will have growth of over 40%. In the three Baltic markets growth will exceed 100%.

For the second year running, Turkey led demand for trailers in Eastern Europe. As a result, the company has now completely recovered from the downturn of 2009, CLEAR says. The nation posted record trailer demand in 2010 and will do so again in 2011.

Turkey is now the largest trailer market in Eastern Europe and likely to remain so until overtaken by Russia. In fact, Turkey is the largest market anywhere in Europe with the exception of Germany.

However, CLEAR points out that, as was the case in North America, the East European trailer market fell sharply since the peak in 2007. Trailer production dropped 11% in 2008 and then fell 61% in 2009. The drop was so drastic that it will take until 2014 to return to 2006 levels, which was a little short of 90,000 units. But unlike Western Europe, the drop in demand will not lead to a fall in the size of the trailer 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 2006/7.

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