Trailer sales lowest in over 30 years

COLUMBUS, Ind. — December 2009 had the highest monthly total of trailer shipments for 2009, but it couldn’t save the yearly total from plummeting to its lowest level since 1978.

Trailer factory shipments for the full year were down 44 percent from 2008, according to ACT Research.

In the latest release of State of the Industry: ACT said trailer factory shipments were at the lowest levels in 30 to 50 years in almost every category, with only the reefer van sector holding up relatively well.

In December, net orders for commercial trailers were up 140 percent from December 2008 levels, but slightly below the 2009 monthly average.

"Reaching a 32-year low required not only the worst economic downturn in generations, but also the impact of trailer tracking technology on trailer productivity and utilization," said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT Research. "On a more positive note, inventories reached a new four-year low, a prerequisite for improvement in production rates." 

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