Surge in New Trailer Orders Underpins Economic Recovery

by TJ on January 1, 2011

The numbers are in for November 2010 trailer sales and there has been a substantial jump in new trailer orders. Compared to October 2010, new trailer sales leaped by 23% with 21,314 new units being ordered. The numbers are for new rather than used trailer orders; however the real point to be made is not whether new or used semi-trailer units have been sold but the fact that there is such an increase.

To reinforce how important these figures are, compared to November 2009 (when the worst recession since the Great Depression took hold), these numbers are three times what they were then. The best performing segment of the new trailer market has been in dry van trailers which have shown a remarkable increase of 213% over the last quarter of 2010. All major trailer segments demonstrate positive sales numbers compared to prior year-on-year and prior month basis.

While 2010 started life as a lamb to economic slaughter, 2011 is set to start off as a lion. Sales will also be fuelled by the deferral of new acquisitions in 2010 which will now filter through into 2011 while rising demand for logistics is going to increase carrier profitability which will assist with reinvestment in new equipment.

2011 Hailed as Year of Recovery

We are just into the first day of the New Year, but already economic pundits are expecting great things. The holiday sales season has broken year-on-year performance as US consumers returned to Main Street with money to burn. Retailers have already reported that consumer sales figures from Thanksgivings Black Friday through to the Christmas period have returned to pre-recession numbers. As consumers are starting to spend money this is the signal for other links in the manufacturing and distribution chain to start gearing up to satisfy customer demand.

As manufacturers and distributors start moving to supply consumer goods, the entire economy will start to come unglued from the stagnation which has suffocated manufacturers and retailers throughout 2010.

A further sign that there is an increase in economic activity is the price of gas. Gas is well over $3 per gallon and set to continue to rise. While gas is a major component of any carrier’s profit and loss statement, high gas prices also indicate that there is demand to fuel the economic activity which is increasing. Economic easing means more work for the trucking industry and as demand increases so will the opportunity to make more money.

In short – 2011 should be a good year for the trucking industry, from new tractor and trailer manufacturers, national, regional and O/O’s as well as driver employees along with all the supporting businesses and services.

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