Trailer production will continue at current depressed levels through the end of 2009 before beginning a slow recovery, Eric Starks, President of FTR Associates recently told the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA). Addressing the organization’s annual meeting on May 1, Mr. Starks said ‘At the moment transport demand is so weak that in fact the trucking industry as a whole actually does not need any new trailers at all’. Nevertheless, he predicted that the special needs of individual trucking firms will result in a continuation of the current low level of orders.
In a comprehensive presentation, Mr. Starks laid out in detail the forces underlying the current difficulties being experienced by the trailer industry. He indicated that a large over-supply of trailers will act as a continuing drag on new trailer demand, resulting in very weak 2009 production of only 70,000 units for the industry as a whole. This will improve only modestly to 89,000 units in 2010.