Van trailer sales skyrocket in 2020

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Ford equipment trucks for sale at Ritchie Bros.

Caption: Van trailer sales are on the rise, particularly in the US as shown here. Source: RB Market Trends (US data)

6,850+ van & reefer trailers sold Jan-Jun 2020

Ritchie Bros. sells tens of thousands of trailers every year. Two of the most popular trailers in 2020 have been van and reefer trailers. In the first half of the year we sold more than 6,850 van and reefer trailers across all our sales channels globally. This is up 29% from the previous record, set in the back half of last year!

“Class 8 sales and orders are on the rise, so we shouldn’t be surprised by increased demand for trailers in 2020,” said Tyler Townsend, Director, Strategic Accounts, Ritchie Bros. “Simultaneously, we’ve seen a number of larger carriers right-sizing their fleets. So, while big companies are re-fleeting, smaller businesses, or even drivers who may have been laid off or furloughed from a big carrier, are using this opportunity to purchase good quality used equipment to get into the business.”

Approximately 86 percent of all the van and reefer trailers sold in the first half of 2020 were sold in the United States—with Ohio, California, Georgia and Texas being the biggest selling markets.

“Many small fleets are getting into the game,” said Don Nash, Territory Manager, Ritchie Bros. “Buying used helps keep CapEx down and is often necessary because new trailers are in short supply because larger fleets are usually first in line at the OEM.”

Median prices nearly double in 2020

Buyer locations of U.S. van trailer sold by Ritchie Bros.

Photo caption: Buyer locations of U.S. van trailer sales (Jan – Jun 2020). Source: RB Market Trends

In 2020 the number of van trailers sold across Ritchie Bros.’ various sales solutions more than doubled. And yet, despite the record volume, prices for van trailers have soared this year.
“We’ve seen some very strong prices for van trailers in the first half of 2020,” said Rob Slavin, Senior Valuation Analyst, Ritchie Bros. “Even with record quantities, median prices have risen to $6,000. Over the previous three years, median prices were around $3000-$3,500.”          

Top van makes/models sold through Ritchie Bros. in 2020: Utility V2DX, Wabash DVCVHPC, Vanguard VIP4000 and the Vanguard VXP. Top buying states are California, Texas, Ohio and Georgia.

“According to the Cass Freight Index there is rising trend for shipments, which is clearly driving demand,” said Rob. “Another interesting financial driver for van trailers is the current lack of availability and the cost for warehouse space. Swift is leasing out as many as 6,000 van trailers to UPS, Target, Walmart and others just for storage—that’s over 2.5 million square feet of rolling ‘warehouse’ space.”

Interested in selling trailers with Ritchie Bros? Contact us today!

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