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Year in review: Top tank truck stories from 2022

Dec. 28, 2022
Mergers and acquisitions continue at a brisk pace, diversification increases, and battery-electric trucks force their way into the discussion during an eventful year for bulk haulers

Another eventful year is in the books.

I’ll always remember 2022 as the year my Houston Astros claimed their second World Series championship, presumably without banging on any trash cans, hopefully silencing the far noisier haters out there (doubtful).

That probably wasn’t the biggest story of the year for most of you.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended the global economy, wreaked havoc on oil markets, and fueled pandemic-induced inflation, leading to higher diesel prices and skyrocketing rates as carriers scrambled to adjust to the double whammy of rising driver wages due to the ongoing shortage, and higher equipment costs.

Of course, there was also the Will Smith slap heard round the world, and Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, but I digress.

In our special, and highly specialized segment of the trucking industry, mergers and acquisitions continued at a brisk pace, diversification increased, and battery-electric trucks forced their way into the tank truck discussion as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives increasingly guide business activities.

You can check out Bulk Transporter’s recent story detailing one carrier’s first steps toward fleet electrification for more on how impending Advanced Clean Fleets legislation will impact all our buying decisions in 2023—another trip around the sun sure to include familiar issues, like lawsuit abuse, and new ones, like the looming threat of recession.

But before attacking next year’s problems, take a few minutes to reflect on the top tank truck stories of 2022 by revisiting the Top 15 most-viewed articles and galleries on bulktransporter.com over the last 12 months.

1, EIA expects U.S. crude oil production to increase

Bulk haulers desperately hoping for good news as diesel prices soared to record levels made this our most popular story this year. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2023 forecast is positive, in terms of product to haul and operating expenses.

2, Gallery: NTTC wraps Tank Truck Week 2022

Shiny new tank trailers as far as the eye can see? Yes please. And this year’s event, held in my hometown of “Bulk City,” also featured plenty of educational content, and updates on the association’s brand and driver recruitment efforts.

3, Industry reacts to proposed ELD revisions 

Electronic-logging devices, and how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates them, continue to be a hot-button issue. The agency’s proposed revisions had received 1,334 comments as of Dec. 2.

4, Heniff acquires Coal City Cob Company

Inquiring minds want to know what Bob Heniff is doing. Heniff Transportation’s moves this year also included expanding its rail transloading network, hiring former NTTC president Dan Furth, and adding 10 Nikola electric trucks.

5, Kenan Advantage Group acquires driver-centric carrier Carbon Express

The company founded by industry legend Steve Rush was one of several that joined KAG in 2022, including K-Limited Carrier and American PetroLog.

6, Quala to acquire Polar Service Centers

M&A isn’t only for carriers. This was earth-shattering news in the world of tank cleaning and maintenance explored here in more detail.

7, KAG absorbs K-Limited Carrier

The bulk transporter founded by industry leaders Dean and Kim Kaplan now is part of the Kenan Advantage Group.

8, Service Transport, Lacy’s Express collect 2021 North American safety championships

Safety wins always are worth celebrating. After covering the presentation of the 2021 Heil Trophies during NTTC’s 2022 Annual Conference in San Diego, Bulk Transporter did its part with feature stories on Service Transport and Lacy’s last month.

9, Altom, Al Warren all in for industry ascent

Our first cover story of the year also was the most viewed in 2022, which may have something to do with it being up the longest. Nevertheless, Altom and Al Warren’s quest to grow their unique operations while staying united is a tale worth taking in.

10, Call to duty: Caledonia remains committed to customers, community

Learn how one man’s heartfelt dedication to his customers and community helped his company overcome pandemic-related challenges.

11, Chemical superheroes: Bulk motor carriers unite in support of ACC’s Responsible Care

Think bulk haulers aren’t doing their part to advance environmental, health, safety, and security initiatives? Read this, then think again.

12, As tank container usage booms, Quality Carriers debuts intermodal service

ITCA expects to see 1 million tank containers in global operations by 2025. This CSX-owned carrier is leading the way in the U.S. with its truck-rail-truck service featuring a new container designed to spur domestic adoption.

13, Tank Truck Maverick: Usher soars as company president, Air Force pilot

Top Gun: Maverick was the highest-grossing film of 2022, but Tom Cruise has nothing on Usher president Ryan Usher, who's the real deal in the air.

14, Heniff preps for potential rail-strike fallout

Will they strike? Won’t they strike? What will Washington do? We may be in the clear now, but bulk haulers couldn’t wait around to find out.

15, Western Star showcases all-new on-highway truck

And finally, yes we love our tank trailers, but we can all still appreciate a good-looking internal combustion engine tractor, too.

About the Author

Jason McDaniel

Jason McDaniel, based in the Houston TX area, has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He spent 15 writing and editing for daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, and began covering the commercial vehicle industry in 2018. He was named editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter magazines in July 2020.