Bulktransporter 461 Mg4197

Tank truck carriers still leading the rest of trucking

April 30, 2014

Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations, drew applause when he told those attending the National Tank Truck Carriers Annual Conference that the tank trucking is still the best performing segment of the trucking industry, as it has been for several years.

Tank truck loads were up roughly 5.8% during 2013, and tonnage was up 4.5%. Tank truck loads remained relatively solid even during one of the toughest winters the United States has experienced in a number of years. Proof of the strong tank truck carrier performance was reflected in the strong turnout at NTTC's 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibits April 27-29 in Las Vegas NV.

Costello went on to say that overall the US economy continues to show signs of improvement despite a dismal weather-affected first quarter. He added that gross domestic product (GDP) growth could hit 3% during the second quarter before falling back to the average of 2.9% for the rest of the year.

Encouraging economic factor include the construction industry recovery that is beginning to build strength. Housing starts are projected to top one million in 2014 for the first time since 2007.

Factory output is projected to grow by around 3.5% in the second half of this year, which would have a direct impact on tank truck fleets, according to Costello. Plastics production should be up by about 3.1%; chemical production should grow by 2.9% this year and 3.6% in 2015. Paint production should be up by an impressive 5.2%. Cement output should grow by 3.9%.

Then there is the energy sector, specifically crude oil. US crude oil production grew by 67% since 2010, and it is expected to increase by another 8.93% in 2014 and 9.16% in 2015. “We are on pace to reach an all-time high for US oil production,” Costello said.

All of this provides a pretty clear indication that tank truck carriers should have more than enough loads to haul through the rest of 2014 and into 2015.

About the Author

Charles Wilson