The number of trucks repossessed by creditors or reclaimed by them in liquidations dropped 55 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2009, says Nassau Asset Management.
That follows a 44 percent year-over-year decline in the third quarter, which was the first decline in repossessions since early 2008, according to the Westbury, N.Y., company.
It's a sign of continuing improvement in trucking, said Ed Castagna, president of Nassau Asset Management, which works with the equipment leasing and finance industry.
He pointed to improvements in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Freight Transportation Services Index and other indicators of trucking activity.
The "severe reduction" in repossessions "seems to indicate that the trucking sector has positioned itself for a turnaround," Nassau Asset Management said.
Others believe it may reflect the depressed value of used trucks.
Lenders may be less willing to repossess trucks that would be difficult to sell at a profit, said Joel Adams, former logistics manager at Holcim (US) and Nestle Waters.
Lenders also hope to collect debt owed by trucking customers when the economy improves, Adams wrote in an analysis published by the Gerson Lehrman Group.
Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.