Is it time to be a bit more optimistic
about the trailer leasing market? For TIP Trailer Services’
commercial director Mike Furnival, there are some signs of optimism
in the market after a very challenging 2009.

At least in the UK, he believes, many people
have kept their money in their pockets to see how the political
situation evolved.

“But now the elections are over, and we expect
an interesting end of the year,” he says.

Furthermore, despite the “usual suspect” issues
– hike in insolvencies, withdrawal of many funders and pressure on
residual values – some businesses and assets have performed quite
well of late.

This has been particularly the case for
companies involved in the food industry – those making an extensive
use of refrigerated units.

A quick glance at the financial statements of
some of Britain’s largest supermarket chains and one realises that
they have been highly profitable despite last year’s negative
records in most industries.

This has generated a positive domino effect
that has been reflected in the leasing and rental of refrigerated
units – and not just in the UK, as confirmed by Cargobull Finance’s
MD Rene Roelfsema.

More generally, Benelux, Germany and France are
all bouncing back, a sign that there is a growing confidence there.
On the other hand, both Roelfsema and Furnival agree that the
Eastern European block has been a “real challenge”, and equally
hard-hit has been Southern Europe.

Confirming the improvement in confidence is
the news that trailer manufacturers have increased their production
again, as they predict a rise in orders of over 50%.