WHAT a difference a year makes. Overall, reporting tank truck carriers showed good revenue increases in the 2017 Bulk Transporter Gross Revenue Report.
Tank truck carriers were among the beneficiaries of 2.3% growth in real gross domestic product last year. Real gross domestic product grew by just 1.5% the previous year.
For truck fleets, that translated to a 3.7% increase in truck tonnage in 2017, which was the largest gain since 2013 (6.1%). Freight volumes rose faster than capacity during every month in 2017.
According to data from the American Trucking Associations, tank truck carriers stayed busy as factory output grew by 1.5%, light-vehicle sales averaged just under 17 million units, plastics production grew by 1.8%, chemical production was up 1.2%, paint production soared by 5.7%, and cement production was up 3.5%. Clay, lime and gypsum production jumped 4.1%. Food output was up 3.8%. Crude oil production grew in fits and starts.
Driver turnover increased slightly in 2017, and many tank truck carriers responded with pay increases in the second half of the year. Median annual pay for over-the-road tank truck drivers was in the $67,000 range according to an ATA study. In comparison, over-the-road reefer drivers pulled in close to 68,000.
The Top 10 carriers for 2017 were Kenan Advantage Group Inc, Trimac Transportation Inc, Foodliner/Quest Liner Inc, Superior Bulk Logistics Inc, Dupré Logisitcs LLC, Groendyke Transport Inc, Ruan Transportation Management, Eagle Transport Corp, Tankstar USA and Patriot Transportation Holding Inc.