Playing the Stock (Trailer) Market
Volatility. Not only is it the bane of the stock market, but it also threatens your transportation business. While today’s freight market is red hot, as skeptics say, what goes up, must come down. With trailer build orders out through the beginning of 2019, determining your plan for next year can seem daunting. To offer a bit of certainty in a rapidly-changing market, Great Dane has implemented a stock program for vans, reefers, flatbeds and truck bodies.
“Availability is what drives our stock trailer program,” explained Lisa Roberts, Great Dane’s manager of corporate and branch stock. “If a customer picks up a new account, he or she can pull from our stock pool of equipment. Our stocks are built so that they will fit into just about any fleet. While there are some spec limitations, fleets are typically able to work it into their operations.”
In the way of van and reefer stock, Great Dane typically offers 48- and 53-foot vans with swing and roll doors and 53-foot reefer trailers at-the-ready on dealer lots. Since one size doesn’t fit all, Great Dane has focused on the types of trailers, features and options that serve specific markets.
“We have gone toward a more regional spec for our branches and dealers,” Roberts said. “In the south, for example, customers want heavy-duty floor or carpet specs, whereas customers on the west coast typically want extra lights and high cubic capacity. We’re doing a juggling act to match certain trailers to certain regions.”
If being able to add high-quality, dependable trailers at seemingly a moment’s notice sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. When demand skyrockets, stock trailers don’t hang around lots very long.
“The stock program is like the stock market – up and down,” Roberts said. “We try to make an educated guess of what the needs will be for our customers based on the demand, the economy and other factors. Sometimes, however, shifts in the economy or unplanned events upset the demand and disrupt the planned inventory levels. And these unpredictable events can have an immediate impact on inventory volumes.”
Great Dane is currently planning for manufacturing needs in 2019. With the demand of the current market, the company is looking to increase manufacturing capacity and stock levels for next year. Whether you’re in the market for a trailer now or planning for next year, it’s a good idea to talk with your Great Dane sales representative to discuss your equipment needs and how Great Dane can provide the flexibility your business requires.