New trailer demand will increase 10% in 2014, according to consulting group CLEAR in a new report forecasting the market for heavy-goods trailers in Western Europe to 2018.
During 2012 and 2013, the date for European economic recovery was put back with each fresh economic forecast. However, in 2014 the forecast is for a solid recovery both in terms of the economic data and new trailer demand. Several of the countries covered by the West European Report will have trailer market growth of over 15%.
Belgium, France and Germany have already regained their pre-recession level of GDP, and the UK will do so in 2014. However, the Netherlands won’t get there until 2017 and Italy and Spain will take even longer.
Even more importantly for trailer demand, the investment level in these seven largest economies will recover more slowly than the GDP figure. Belgium, the UK and Germany will be the first countries to match their pre-recession investment levels and that will not be until 2016. Nevertheless, investment levels will strengthen from 2014 giving trailer demand a boost.
Furthermore, demand for road transport in Western Europe, measured in tonne-km, which has been falling since 2008, may at last stabilize. The average fall for the Big 7 economies is 20% since 2006.
The trailer parc (fleet size) is forecast to stabilize at the 2013 level. It has been falling since 2009. It must be emphasized that this has never happened since the heavy-duty trailer was invented. The size of the parc has always increased every year even through recessions and slowdowns.
The forecast for new trailer demand is that it will almost match the level of 2006 by 2016. Gary Beecroft, Managing Director of CLEAR, added, “Trailer production, having fallen by 10.8% from the 2011 level, will also have a double digit increase in 2014.”