The North-American economy has been running at full speed recently and this has led to an increased demand for carriers to transport manufactured products of all kinds. The road freight transportation industry has answered this call to meet the increasing needs of manufacturers by acquiring equipment in record numbers while at the same time launching campaigns to recruit new drivers. Here, we would like to primarily focus on manufacturer build dates for tank trailers and what you can expect through 2019 and into 2020.
With the uncertainty of trade wars and tariffs, the price of tankers has increased by approximately 5% – 10% overall due to material costs; Carriers are quoting from multiple manufacturers to compare notes on pricing and availability. Forecasts for demand differ by trailer types & manufacturers and vary according to trailer configuration as well. The breakdown by trailer type looks like this according to industry experts at the NTTC and various manufacturers.
Dry Bulk trailers; It is expected that demand for dry bulk trailers will be flat towards the end of 2019 and through 2020 due to waning demand for frac trailers. The biggest demand in the dry bulk arena is cement trailers which should hold steady due to continuing infrastructure projects with build times of 8 to 12 months. You can expect the same build times for food grade and plastics trailers due to the line slots being populated by those cement trailers.
Chemical trailers; Manufacturers are seeing an uptick in demand for chemical, trailers judging by what is on order at the present time. The growth forecasts for chemical trailers in 2020 are generous at 20%. Build dates vary from manufacturer to manufacturer with some at 6 months for delivery and others out as far as 9 months. If your fleet has the need or requirement for highly customized specifications, some manufacturers are turning the work away to keep the production lines moving with the typical “cookie cutter” designs making it necessary to quote other manufacturers.
FRP trailers; Demand seems to be the greatest in this area with some manufacturer build dates into 2021, yep 2021. FRP.s have been growing in popularity steadily and demand for the products carried in FRP’s is growing. The manufacturers that produce these trailers are few and with demand growing, long wait times are the norm.
Petroleum trailers; Consistent growth and demand year over year with the same expected for 2020. Build times are 6 to 8 months depending on manufacturer which seems to be in line with expectations from purchasers.
Crude trailers; This is a very difficult area to forecast although orders are in the hopper at all the manufacturers. With global demand for energy increasing, pipelines on hold, differing political views and impending elections in the west, it’s truly the wild west. With crude prices at present low, and demand for the black gold high, the market appears to be poised for a boom. When does that boom happen nobody knows but it is coming and when it happens huge delays should be expected from the current 8 months for delivery. (Dare I say it…does anyone remember 2007?)
So how does that affect the leasing industry, in particular, tank trailers? Transcourt for example is consistently leasing trailers in all areas of the industry and taking delivery of trailers throughout the year. At Transcourt, we pay close attention to market developments & trends and forecast our procurement accordingly. When companies require equipment for their fleets where time is of the essence, we work to get them through some of those delays with leasing, finance and sales options.
Director Fleet Services & ProcurementTranscourt tank Leasing