The Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association has released the latest data about the trucks and trailers registered to run on our roads. ARTSA analyse the, publicly available, data on vehicle registrations around the country, including the class of vehicle being registered.
Figures show prime mover new registration numbers grew 5.8 per cent in 2014, with new trailers growing at 5 per cent. Overall there were a total of 100,627 prime movers registered in Australia as of January 16 2015. This number is up 2,038 on the same time last year, the overall fleet has grown by two per cent.
Overall trailer numbers went up by 7,994 to bring the total number of trailers on Australia’s roads up to 234,259. Of this number, over 150,000 are semitrailers, over 22,000 are lead trailers and 18,691 are dog trailers. The overall number of trailers rose by 3.5 per cent, showing growth in the number of trailers out on the highway rising faster than the number or trucks to pull them. This can be explained by the retirement rate of prime movers at 3.8 percent compared to a rate of 1.5 per cent for trailers.
A more modest rise in rigid truck numbers, saw the total go from 173,075 to 176,337, equating to a 1.9 per cent rise overall. In fact, there were 6,575 new rigid truck registrations in 2014.
These ARTSA figures give us a different snapshot of the trucking industry than those produced by the Truck Industry Council each month. The two roughly agree on the numbers of new registrations but, apart from that, tell us a different story.
The TIC figures give us an indication of the level of optimism in the industry, an operator expecting an increase in their freight task will bring in new trucks. On the other hand the numbers from ARTSA show just how much activity is actually going on in the country, if a truck and trailer are sat idle for too long, the operator will soon deregister them.
As a rough guide the rise in the number of trailers on the road by 3.5 per cent is probably a useful guide showing the freight task for road transport has grown at around that rate. This is the first full year these figures have been collated, so it will interesting next February, to compare 2015’s numbers with last year’s to get an even better snapshot of the trucking industry.