(View a PDF of this article with the tables included or search the archive of previous reports.)

Archive of Tank Truck Carrier Gross Revenue ReportsOVERALL, tank truck carriers turned in a mixed performance on the economic front in 2005. While most carriers reported hefty gains in revenue, profitability apparently took a big hit.

More than 80% of the carriers participating in this year's Bulk Transporter Annual Gross Revenue Report listed higher revenues. For some, the increases were dramatic, and there are now 15 carriers that have broken through the $100 million level. On the other hand, operating ratios worsened for more than 60% of the fleets in the report.

A vibrant US economy gets part of the credit for the revenue increase. Gross domestic product grew by 3.5% during 2005, and unemployment fell below 5% over the course of the year. More than 2 million jobs were created during a 12-month period, and many were truck-driving positions.

Tank fleets were busy on all fronts during 2005 trying to keep up with demand for transportation. Petroleum shipments were strong, and fleets scrambled to keep up with a construction industry that grew by approximately 3% in 2005. Chemical volumes were robust despite the hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast, where many chemical plants are located.

However, strong revenue growth did not automatically translate to big profits for many of the tank truck carriers in this Gross Revenue Report. There were several reasons for that. At the top of the list were higher operating costs, especially fuel.

Diesel prices climbed from an average of $1.93 per gallon in January 2005 to $2.56 in August before spiking to a whopping $2.89 a gallon in September following the Gulf Coast hurricanes. The American Trucking Associations estimated that the industry spent $87.7 billion on fuel in 2005, compared with $65.9 billion in 2004.

Surcharges helped fleets recoup some, but not all, of the higher fuel costs. Several fleet executives interviewed during the preparation of the Gross Revenue Report said that fuel surcharges probably accounted for 40% to 60% of the increased revenues in 2005.

Rising fuel prices and other operating cost increases impacted tank truck carriers of all sizes. However, the Top 10 fleets in this report seemed to fare somewhat better than the rest of the industry with regard to revenues and operating ratios.

Among the Top 10, Quality Distribution Inc again headed the list. Trimac Transportation System Inc and Kenan Advantage Group Inc were two and three respectively. Rounding out the Top 10 were Superior Bulk Logistics Inc, Groendyke Transport Inc, Ruan Corporation (new to the Top 10), Schneider National Bulk Carriers, Enterprise Transportation Co, A&R Transport Inc, and Tankstar USA Inc.

The combined Top 10 revenues of $2.91 billion were a strong improvement over 2003 results, which were also at record levels. Top 10 revenues in 2005 accounted for 52.4% of the total in the report.

The Top 25 carriers had $4.23 billion in revenues, or 76.2% of the total represented in this report. That is an increase over the previous year. The 50 largest carriers had revenues of $5.22 billion, accounting for 94.1% of the total, compared with 91.1% in 2004.

Total 2005 revenues for all 80 carriers in this report were $5,552,355,943. In contrast, the 2004 report consisted of 96 carriers reporting a combined total of $5,307,134,352.

Average revenue in 2005 for these 80 carriers was $69,404,449, up nearly $15 million from the average of $54,712,725 for 96 fleets in 2004. The median carrier on the list, the one with an equal number of carriers above and below it, had revenues of $28,175,000. In 2004, the median carrier revenue was $21,876,000.

Operating ratios for both 2005 and 2004 were supplied by 71 of the carriers in this report. Twenty-eight — less than half — showed improvement over the previous year. The operating ratio represents operating expenses as a percentage of revenue.

Forty-six fleets had operating ratios between 95.0% and 99.9% (compared with 40 in 2004), and one had a 100% ratio. None of the fleets in the 2004 Gross Revenue Report had a ratio above 99.9%. On the upside, though, two fleets reported ratios below 90%. Ratios between 90.0% and 94.9% were reported by 23 companies, down one from the 2004 report.

Most of the fleets participating in the 2005 report submitted information used to calculate tractor revenues. These figures give an indication of productivity levels. The average for 2005 was $173,845, significantly higher than the $159,109 average in 2004.

Eight of the Top 10 reported tractor revenues, averaging $174,305 for the group. This was a slight drop from the $174,748 average reported by the Top 10 in 2004.

The best productivity (tractor revenue of $339,466) came from an East Coast petroleum hauler. The lowest tractor revenue ($65,049) came from a midwestern petroleum hauler. Average revenue per tractor for a group of 10 petroleum haulers was $215,252, up from the previous year's average of $147,887.

Ten chemical carriers accounted for average revenue per tractor of $180,486, up from $152,633 in 2004. Tractor revenue ranged from a high of $230,875 down to $122,857.

Average tractor revenue for six dry bulk specialists was $156,546, down from a $159,048 average in 2004. Tractor revenue ranged from a high of $215,873 to a low of $101,659.

Among five carriers that focus operations on transporting bulk liquid and dry foods, tractor revenue averaged $130,642. That was down more than $25,000 from the 2004 food fleet average of $155,816 per tractor. The high for the category was $176,619, and the low was $86,328.

Many of the figures here are from preaudited reports, and some may include nonbulk revenues or revenues from subsidiary tank truck carriers. In all cases, the numbers were supplied directly to Bulk Transporter. The staff greatly appreciates the cooperation of all who helped in the preparation of this report.

Fleet Name 2005 2005 2004 2005
Rank Revenue in 000s Revenue in 000s Ratio
1Quality Distribution Inc
Tampa FL
1 678,052 622,015 92.7
2Trimac Transportation System Inc
Calgary AB, Canada
2 532,000 486,000 95.6
3Kenan Advantage Group Inc
Canton OH
3 524,153 459,036 94.7
4Superior Bulk Logistics Inc
Oak Brook IL
4 209,385 204,626 95.7
Groendyke Transport Inc
Enid OK
5 180,723 157,519 90.6
5Ruan Corporation
Des Moines IA
6 180,367 92,322
Schneider National Bulk Carriers
Green Bay WI
7 160,900 150,200 92.0
Enterprise Transportation Co
Houston TX
8 156,709 144,370 96.3
A&R Transport Inc
Morris IL
9 155,000 136,000 94.7
6Tankstar USA Inc
Milwaukee WI
10 133,949 123,187 92.2
Foodliner Inc
Dubuque IA
11 108,000 93,000 91.8
7Bulkmatic Transport Company
Griffith IN
12 106,170 109,870 95.0
8The Dewey Corporation
Jackson MS
13 104,566 110,281 97.2
*Liquid Transport Corp
Indianapolis IN
14 103,500 103,500 96.4
Transport Service Co
Oak Brook IL
15 102,714 90,629 94.0
Slay Transportation Co Inc
St Louis MO
16 97,734 95,911 96.1
9Dupré Transport LLC
Lafayette LA
17 94,796 82,771 94.1
TransWood Carriers Inc
Omaha NE
18 90,137 80,042 96.2
Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc
Houston TX
19 89,121 79,791 95.7
Eagle Transport Corp
Rocky Mount NC
20 87,418 73,572 97.2
10Distribution Technologies
Newbury OH
21 77,526 92,350 98.3
Coastal Transport Co Inc
San Antonio TX
22 75,982 74,293 98.0
Martin Transport Inc
Kilgore TX
23 71,856 59,159 95.2
McKenzie Tank Lines Inc
Tallahassee FL
24 71,533 71,460 96.0
Jack B Kelley Inc
Amarillo TX
25 66,100 57,113 95.0
11Linden Bulk Transportation Co Inc
Linden NJ
26 65,835 59,832 98.3
Apex Bulk Commodities
Adelanto CA
27 62,496 53,522 96.0
*CTL Distribution Inc
Mulberry FL
28 59,957 59,957 90.9
Service Transport Co
Houston TX
29 57,458 47,322 90.9
*Penn Tank Lines Inc
Malvern PA
30 56,218 56,218 98.5
J P Noonan Transportation Inc
W Bridgewater MA
31 54,664 54,194 97.9
Highway Transport Inc
Knoxville TN
32 53,978 50,389 96.0
12Schilli Bulk Carriers Group
St Louis MO
33 52,840 52,620
Andrews Transport LP
Ft Worth TX
34 51,913 46,600 93.5
Island Transportation Corp
W Babylon NY
35 48,112 46,072 97.0
Tidewater Transit Co Inc
Kinston NC
36 47,300 43,000 92.0
Usher Transport Inc
Louisville KY
37 40,720 34,000 97.0
Langer Transport Corporation
Jersey City NJ
38 39,649 37,802 95.7
Wynne Transport Service Inc
Omaha NE
39 37,107 31,556 92.5
CLI Transport LP
Altoona PA
40 29,609 28,175 95.7
Herman R Ewell Inc
East Earl PA
41 29,240 31,261 96.4
Dillon Transport Inc
Burr Ridge IL
42 25,780 20,122 98.6
*J&M Tank Lines Inc
Americus GA
43 25,548 25,548 95.1
Iowa Tanklines Inc
Omaha NE
44 23,824 20,035 98.4
13Atlantic Holding Corp of Virginia
Providence Forge VA
45 23,812 19,196 93.2
Blue Flash Express LLC
Zachary LA
46 23,130 23,650
*Coal City Cob Company
Avalon TX
47 22,361 22,361 95.0
Bork Transport of Illinois
Summit IL
48 21,500 20,660 93.1
Kane Transport Inc
Sauk Centre MN
49 19,645 19,119 92.5
*J P Donmoyer Inc
Ono PA
50 18,707 18,707 95.8
14The Hillman Companies
Fort Edward NY
51 17,851 16,975 98.4
Hazmat Environmental Group
Buffalo NY
52 17,500 17,000 95.0
F T Silfies Inc
Nazareth PA
53 16,285 14,334 93.7
*Gless Bros Inc
Blue Grass IA
54 16,236 16,236 93.8
Landes Trucking Inc
Jacksonville IL
55 15,900 13,200 84.0
Barnett Transportation Inc
Tuscaloosa AL
56 15,720 13,272 95.6
Dixon Bros Inc
Newcastle WY
57 14,766 13,437 93.1
15P S Marston Associates
North Hampton NH
58 14,500 12,800 96.0
Fleet Transit Inc
Baltimore MD
59 14,243 13,301
Commercial Transport Inc
Belleville IL
60 12,652 12,712 98.2
Baltimore Tank Lines Inc
Glen Burnie MD
61 12,070 11,127 94.0
McKinley Trucking Co Inc
Carson City MI
62 11,214 10,898
Delaware Express Co
Elkton MD
63 11,101 10,215 95.0
Buesing Bulk Transport
Hudson WI
64 10,989 10,198 96.6
*Goodman Tank Lines Inc
Stowe PA
65 10,980 10,980 99.0
K-Limited Carrier Ltd
Toledo OH
66 10,776 9,400 94.3
16Carbon Express Inc
Wharton NJ
67 10,373 11,159 99.0
A J Weigand Inc
Dover OH
68 10,000 9,200 95.0
R O Harrell Inc
South Boston VA
69 9,853 7,758
Horizon Tank Lines Inc
Durham NC
70 8,954 8,659 97.0
Terpening Trucking Co Inc
Syracuse NY
71 8,175 7,450 98.7
Hoffmeier Inc
Tulsa OK
72 6,461 5,615 97.0
Stahly Cartage Co
Edwardsville IL
73 6,120 5,930 85.9
Randolph's Inc
Traer IA
74 5,325 4,304 98.0
Saraguay Petroleum Corp
Atlanta GA
75 4,551 3,716 96.0
Brewer Petroleum Service Inc
Revere MA
76 4,360 3,910 94.6
Switzer Tank Lines Inc
Mount Summit IN
77 2,906 2,716 100.0
Bogie's Express Inc
Tecumseh MI
78 1,500 1,100
T&M Transportation Inc
Kansas City KS
79 672 431 96.0
PAR Trucking Inc
Lombard IL
80 515 441
* 2004 revenues repeated for 2005.
— Revenues and/or ratios not available.
(1) Figures include Quality Carriers Inc and levy Transport Ltd.
(2) Figures include Trimac Transportation Services Inc, Liquid Transporters Inc, DSI Transports Inc, Quality Service Tank Lines, Universal Transport Inc, Trimac Transportation Service (Western) Inc, and Bulk Plus Logistics.
(3) Figures include Advantage Tank Lines, Beneto Bulk Transport, Kenan Transport, Klemm Tank Lines, McDaniel Transportation, North Canton Transfer, Petro-Chemical Transport, and KAG Logistics.
(4) Figures include Superior Carriers Inc and Carry Transit.
(5) Figures include Ruan Transport Corporation, Single Source Transportation Co, Lambert Transfer, Kings County Truck Lines, California Milk Transport, Cal Western Transport, MSM Transport, and Fluid Transport.
(6) Figures include Bulk Logistics Inc, North American Bulk Transport Inc, Rogers Cartage Company, Wheatfield Trucking Co, and Schwerman Trucking Co.
(7) Figures include Bulkmatic Transport Co and Butler & Co.
(8) Figures include Miller Transporters Inc and Miller Intermodal Logistics Services Inc.
(9) Figures include Tank Group and Logistics Group.
(10) Figures include Manfredi Special Services.
(11) Figures include Linden Bulk Transportation SW LLC.
(12) Figures include Truck Transport Inc, Material Delivery Service Inc, Bulk Transport Company, and Sherman Haulers Inc.
(13) Figures include Atlantic Bulk Carrier Corp and Atlantic Tank Lines Corp.
(13) Figures include Atlantic Bulk Carrier Corp and Atlantic Tank Lines Corp.
(14) Figures include Fort Edward Express Co Inc, 4-Star Bulk Transport Inc, Diversified Trailer Group Inc, 4 H Leasing Co Inc, and Hillman Properties Inc.
(15) Figures include Abenaqui Carriers.
(16) Figures include Rush Logistics.

Alphabetical cross index of listed carriers

Fleet name Rank
A&R Transport Inc 9
Andrews Transport LP 34
Apex Bulk Commodities 27
Atlantic Holding Corp of Virginia 45
Baltimore Tank Lines Inc 61
Barnett Transportation Inc 56
Blue Flash Express LLC 46
Bogie's Express Inc 78
Bork Transport of Illinois 48
Brewer Petroleum Service Inc 76
Buesing Bulk Transport 64
Bulkmatic Transport Company 12
Carbon Express Inc 67
CLI Transport LP 40
Coal City Cob Company 47
Coastal Transport Co Inc 22
Commercial Transport Inc 60
CTL Distribution Inc 28
Delaware Express Co 63
Dewey Corporation 13
Dillon Transport Inc 42
Distribution Technologies 21
Dixon Bros Inc 57
J P Donmoyer Inc 50
Dupré Transport LLC 17
Eagle Transport Corp 20
Enterprise Transportation Co 8
Herman R Ewell Inc 41
Fleet Transit Inc 59
Foodliner Inc 11
Gless Bros Inc 54
Goodman Tank Lines Inc 65
Groendyke Transport Inc 5
R O Harrell Inc 69
Hazmat Environmental Group 52
Highway Transport Inc 32
Hillman Companies 51
Hoffmeier Inc 72
Horizon Tank Lines Inc 70
Iowa Tanklines Inc 44
Island Transportation Corp 35
J&M Tank Lines Inc 43
K-Limited Carrier Ltd 66
Kane Transport Inc 49
Jack B Kelley Inc 25
Kenan Advantage Group Inc 3
Landes Trucking Inc 55
Langer Transport Corporation 38
Linden Bulk Transportation Co Inc 26
Liquid Transport Corp 14
P S Marston Associates 58
Martin Transport Inc 23
McKenzie Tank Lines Inc 24
McKinley Trucking Co Inc 62
Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc 19
J P Noonan Transportation Inc 31
PAR Trucking Inc 80
Penn Tank Lines Inc 30
Quality Distribution Inc 1
Randolph's Inc 74
Ruan Corporation 6
Saraguay Petroleum Corp 75
Schilli Bulk Carriers Group 33
Schneider National Bulk Carriers 7
Service Transport Co 29
F T Silfies Inc 53
Slay Transportation Co Inc 16
Stahly Cartage Co 73
Superior Bulk Logistics Inc 4
Switzer Tank Lines Inc 77
T&M Transportation Inc 79
Tankstar USA Inc 10
Terpening Trucking Co Inc 71
Tidewater Transit Co Inc 36
Transport Service Co 15
TransWood Carriers Inc 18
Trimac Transportation System Inc 2
Usher Transport Inc 37
A J Weigand Inc 68
Wynne Transport Service Inc 39