Highlights from the Tank Truck Marketing Analysis
Earlier this year, the National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. (NTTC)announced the availability of its Tank Truck Industry Market Analysispublication, authored by American Trucking Associations’ Chief Economist Bob Costello and his team. For those of us in the tank truck industry, this was a long-awaited document – it’s the first time that our industry has taken the initiative to create a systematic approach to calculate the amount of freight – and the types of freight – moved by tank trucks.
This is great news. Dupre´Logistics was founded in 1980 as a specialized hauler of bulk liquid commodities…the main reason we began was to effectively move gasoline for our small service stations in the Louisiana area. Our business has grown, and now armed with national data, we can take a look at specific information within our industry, analyze and apply trends to our business, and then proactively develop strategic goals for our customers. If we can show our customers and potential customers what’s coming in our industry, we are able to help them stay ahead of the competition.
Following are highlights from the report, and our thoughts on how others in the tank truck industry can make good decisions based on these trends.
According to the marketing analysis,in 2013 the largest commodity group for all tank truck freight was petroleum products (gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel), which equaled 1.22 billion tons or 49.2% of all tank truck tonnage. Almost half of the use of tank trucks in the nation was to haul petroleum products.
This is a significant piece of information. The largest share of tank truck use is moving some of the most dangerous cargo on the road, and is one of the most specialized areas in the overall truck hauling business. Equipment for this product is expensive; unlike other loads, petroleum products may require additional handling when loading and unloading the product; and drivers need to be specially trained to move this on the roads. In addition, regulations are in place that requires specific unloading and loading requirements, consistent monitoring while in transit, and other special circumstances depending on what’s being moved.
Is your business ready to handle the detail and expertise that comes with hauling this commodity? For most businesses, the expense of employing their own fleet of trucks and drivers doesn’t make sense. In fact, the report also points out that private fleets continue to play a significant role in the tank truck sector, hauling 42.9% of all private carrier tank truck freight.
As leaders in this field, we’ve seen what it means to have dedicated, expert drivers available to meet the needs of our customers. Drivers in the tank truck industry are typically the most sophisticated drivers available because of the duties of this highly specialized job and the product they have to handle. They are doing more than just “driving a truck” – they are dedicated experts trained specifically to haul these chemicals.
Knowing that this is a large part of the tank truck industry, it’s critical that suppliers have efficient carriers with professional drivers available to transport product to customers.
In 2013, the tank truck industry generated $34.5 billion in revenue, which equaled 5.1% of all truck revenue ($681.7 billion).
The tank truck industry has room to grow. With only 5% of the total truck revenue market, and no sign of people using less gas (for example,) the tank truck industry is positioned to continue to expand in the future. In fact, it is predicted that $125-150 billion dollars will be spent on chemical plant expansion between 2016-2018. According to American Press, southwest Louisiana alone, an estimated $47 billion in petrochemical expansion is underway.
Knowing this information is critical when assessing the needs of your business for the future. Are you employing and training the right drivers to handle this increase in specialized work? Does it make sense for you to invest in your own tank truck fleet, or does working with a private fleet provide added value without the added operational costs?
These two key findings suggest that the tank truck industry, specifically the hauling of petrochemicals, is positioned to grow over the next 2-5 years. This increase in business creates a need for drivers – drivers specifically dedicated to handling the safety requirements and specialized training that comes with tank truck hauling. It’s no secret that there is a driver shortage in our industry and with current drivers coming close to retirement age, it’s not looking to get any better. The increase in tank truck capacity coupled with the decrease in driver availability means that companies like Dupre´ need to look at the tank truck hauling business in a different way to create the best solutions for shippers.
Positioned for Growth
It’s critical to assess needs and potential increases in capacity – based on these key findings – and make decisions that position businesses for future success. Establishing a partnership with your tank truck carriers will be imperative. This partner should work with you to assess, analyze and provide solutions for any and all logistics challenges…not just provide trucks and drivers to simply move product.
At Dupre´ Logistics, we are always forward thinking.We truly enjoy finding successful, proactive solutions for all of our customers, including those in the chemical and petrochemical industry.The Tank Truck Industry Market Analysis gives us the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of logistics trends and information and work to lead this industry into the future.
We’d love to start the conversation with you regarding your logistics needs, or to simply discuss additional trends and key findings from the market analysis.