Home FleetWatch 2015 Trailers growth drops in the East European market

Trailers growth drops in the East European market

Grain truck and trailer in the Ukraine – instability in the Ukraine has had a devastating impact on trailers demand in Russia.

The latest forecast for the East European Trailer Market has been issued by Clear International.  The instability in Ukraine plus the plummeting oil price has had a devastating impact on the outlook for trailer demand in Russia.  Nearly 24,000 trailers were wiped from the last forecast for the 2015-19 period in the report issued in March 2015.  In the latest forecast a further 8,000 trailers have been removed from the forecast for Russia and the Ukraine.

The changes particularly affect Russia in the 2017-19 period when it was assumed that that a vigorous recovery would be underway in that economy.  However, although the current recession in Russia will be over by 2017, the recovery will be very moderate.

As a consequence Russia, always the largest market for trailers in Eastern Europe until 2010, has fallen behind Turkey and Poland.  Similarly the Ukraine and Belarus have been overtaken by Hungary and the Czech Republic.

After a strong recovery in trailer sales in 2011 the region has either been stalled or has suffered falling trailer demand.  2015 will mark the fourth year that trailer demand has been stuck just below the level of 2011, whilst at the same time demand in Western Europe has seen strong growth, at least in 2014/15.

The East European trade in goods reached an all time high at the end of 2013, but the growth was choked off in the second half of 2014, again as a result of the situation in Russia and the Ukraine.

The economic forecast for Eastern Europe is for two years of positive GDP and investment growth in 2016/17, which will result in recovering levels of trade and more demand for road transport.

In 2016 growth in trailer demand is forecast in all fifteen countries of the region.  Further market growth in 2017 will be wholly dependent on whether a sustainable recovery is underway in Russia.

Gary Beecroft, managing director of CLEAR commented, “By 2017 new trailer demand for the region will be back at the pre-recession level of 2006.  This is still dependent on positive news from Russia and Ukraine.”


Many East European countries joined the EU in 2004, which resulted in booming demand for trailers.  In particular, semi-trailer demand rocketed as the volumes of international transport increased, both within Eastern Europe and between East and West.  From 2002 to 2007 the compound annual growth rate for trailer demand was 25.7%.  Demand broke the 100,000 unit barrier in 2007 but fell to 40,000 in 2009.

77% of goods in Europe are moved by road and most of that proportion is transported on a trailer.

The East European Trailer Market Report (October 2015), with forecasts to 2019, can be obtained from CLEAR using the contact details below.  A new report for the West European market was issued in June 2015.

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