Wabash National Corp. has announced that it will withdraw from its unprofitable domestic intermodal container business by March 31. Containers have averaged less than 3.5% of its annual unit volume over the last three years, Wabash said.
Wabash expects new van trailer unit shipments in the first quarter of 2006 to be approximately 12,500, an increase of about 12% compared to 1Q 2005. Sales to core customers are expected to represent approximately 30% of units sold in 1Q 2006, more than double that of the 2005 quarter.
“It has become increasingly clear that corrugated steel boxes from China and Korea adequately satisfy customer requirements at prices significantly lower than our container offering,” said CEO Bill Greubel. “As a result, we have decided to focus our efforts on more rewarding opportunities.
“Customer pick-up units represent a higher than historical percentage of shippable equipment and is constraining first quarter volume,” he added. “Van trailer quote and order activity remains strong, and orders currently represent approximately 70% of a targeted 60,000 units for 2006.”