South America’s trailer industry is showing good growth results after an economically troubled period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Librelato has reported.
Over the past five months, the heavy duty vehicles industry grew by 82 per cent, while the Brazil-based OEM reached an even better result: 93 per cent, with a net operational revenue around $110 million USD and EBIT margin above 12 per cent.
The domestic market of trailers, semi-trailers and bodies on chassis had an increase of 67.56 per cent. Exports grew 182.76 per cent up to May.
According to José Carlos Sprícigo, CEO of Librelato, the agribusiness is the main industry booster, responsible for more than 60 per cent of operations.
“The renewal of agricultural equipment is leveraging the sales, as well as recovery of civil construction segment and the new infrastructure concessions are boosting the businesses,” he said.
“Currently, two thirds of Brazilian GDP are transported on semi-trailers.”
The Conab [National Food Supply Company] estimate a 5.7 per cent increase in national grain production. Thus, the expected harvest is 271.7 million tons, a number that shows a 14.7 million increase of tons in comparison with the productions in 2019/2020.
“The agribusiness represents an important market for Librelato, which has lots of products developed to this market in its portfolio, such as grain trailers and tippers, which include semi-trailers, interlink trailers, ‘rodotrens’, triple interlink tippers,” said Sprícigo.
He added that the major challenge to the market in the post-pandemic recovery is the supply bottleneck.
The high demand of the chain impacted by the pandemic has reportedly raised the costs and cleared out the stocks. Also, Sprícigo is adamant it is necessary to manage parts shortages strategically however 2022 is expected to be a more balanced year in terms of supply and demand.
Despite the challenge, Librelato keeps reaching consolidated numbers according to its strategic planning, manufacturing 60 units daily, forecasting a growth of 15-plus per cent in 2022.
For exports, Librelato also reached good numbers, with 400 products exported last year, a result that was impacted by the sanitary crisis that devastated all countries. The expectations for 2021 is to export more than one thousand products. This performance ranks Librelato as second largest exporter of semitrailers in Brazil.
In order to aid the aftermarket in product availability, Librelato also counts with Libreparts, exclusive shops inserted in brand retailer chain. The company’s estimated growth in aftermarket this year is 78 per cent compared to 2020.
Librelato’s business strategy also involves continuous investment.
In order to keep growing and the economic recovery, Librelato estimates an investment of about six million dollars in technology by the end of 2021. The investment is aimed at enhancing its manufacturing processes and, consequently, develop products that can provide more safety on the roads.
Among them is the implementation of a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) that manages and monitors all working processes of the plant, providing information in real-time from robot-machining in addition to monitor the personnel activities.
“The MES systems compares what was planned to what is actually being performed, optimising the whole production line, from the order issuance to the final products shipment,” said Sprícigo.
In addition to the new management processes, Librelato will launch line 2022, which includes three new products developed after long research and development processes, always focused on innovation, safety, and high technology.
Since 2019 the company has offered its clients the option that all implements come out from factory totally connected, such technology affords to the fleet owners and carriers a smart transport management.
The new implements may be fitted with Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) which shall become a compulsory item as of 2023 in Brazil.
EBS is installed close to the wheels and regulates the brake pressure, in addition to calculating the braking intensity the driver will apply and how much pressure would be required to brake.
Another highlight of Librelato’s Research and Development – R&D – is the energy efficiency applied to the product design, with technical solutions that deliver greater load capacity, better aerodynamics, and longer service life, in addition to a propelled axle and solar panels.
“Librelato is proud of being one of the most innovative trailers builder in Brazil,” said Sprícigo. “We always seek to generate value and safety on the roads, as well as wide product availability to customers so that fleet owners and the transport industry, in general, can reach the best management of their fleet all over the country.”
Earlier this week, Librelato anounced a major export deal.