European trailer market Lead-Times Index, presented by TIP – May 2024

What is the current state of the trailer market as we move through 2024? TIP’s Lead-Times Index continues to be a valuable resource, offering key insights for transport professionals preparing for the future. In this latest update, we provide an in-depth look at the market trends reflected in our index, now updated through May 2024. Our sourcing team also shares actionable recommendations to help you navigate the evolving market conditions and make informed decisions.

Notable facts

Our sourcing team has identified the following key insights about the truck and trailer market:

  • Truck market conditions: The truck market remains challenging, with some OEMs offering lead times as short as 8 weeks.
  • Market outlook: We anticipate a stabilization in market conditions in the coming months.

What is the ELT index, presented by TIP?

The European Lead-Times (ELT) Index offers a holistic analysis of market forecasts. It provides an up-to-date statistical measure of lead-time trends, enabling us to better anticipate the future.

The index is calculated based on market conditions and trends. The market average is 50; a higher figure indicates a longer average time between ordering and receiving equipment, while a lower figure implies a shorter average time.

ELT graph May 2024

ELT-index likely to stabilize in coming months

The ELT-index appears to be nearing a bottom, having only decreased by 1.5 points since our last report in September 2023. This marginal decline does not indicate a stabilization of the market but rather reflects a reduction in factory capacity as manufacturers adjust to the ongoing demand fluctuations. The smaller trailer OEMs are now aligning with the production strategies of the market leaders, contributing to this trend.

However, we remain cautiously optimistic about the prospect of market stabilization in the coming months. The concerted efforts of OEMs to streamline operations and reduce excess capacity should eventually lead to a more balanced supply-demand scenario. As these adjustments take hold, we anticipate that the ELT-index will begin to stabilize, providing a more predictable environment for manufacturers and customers alike.

What is our recommendation?

In light of these developments, it is crucial for businesses to remain proactive and adaptable. The current market conditions present an excellent opportunity for fleet upgrades and expansions. With reduced lead times and the potential for cost savings, TIP customers can strategically enhance their fleets, positioning themselves advantageously for future market upswings.

Moreover, as the market continues to evolve, the push towards sustainability remains a key priority. Increasing numbers of shippers and customers are aiming to minimize the environmental impact of their supply chains. TIP is committed to supporting this transition through innovative solutions, such as our electric reefer trailers. These cutting-edge technologies—including plug-in battery-only, solar-powered, and energy recuperation axle systems—highlight our dedication to environmental sustainability and operational efficiency.

Additionally, refurbishment of existing equipment is an excellent way to extend the lifespan of your trailers. Transport companies reduce the need for capital expenditure on new units and drastically lower carbon emissions compared to newly built trailers.

Adapt to market circumstances with TIP

As a leading equipment service provider, TIP Group leverages close relationships with major OEMs and various touchpoints throughout the transport chain to offer timely market insights. Our ability to anticipate and adapt to market shifts benefits our clients directly.

There are a variety of ways for transport companies to update or upgrade their fleets, depending on your circumstances. TIP will help you adapt to market conditions and optimize your fleet’s performance. For personalized guidance and to address any concerns, we encourage you to consult your designated TIP representative. They are committed to helping you attain your objectives.

Whether you're already a TIP customer or considering becoming one, we offer our services from more than 135 locations across 17 countries in Europe. Our experts are on hand to maintain all asset types, and we also offer high-quality second- trailers and trucks in Europe. Contact us now!