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WHAT a difference a good year can make.

Archive of Tank Truck Carrier Gross Revenue ReportsThe latest Bulk Transporter Annual Gross Revenue Report shows one of the most dramatic turnarounds ever recorded by the US tank truck industry. Revenues and operating ratios for 2004 improved significantly.

In fact, this was the first time in two decades that no tank truck carrier reported an operating ratio in excess of 99%. However, it will take a few more years like 2004 to fully restore the economic health of the industry.

A variety of factors contributed to the good fortune of the tank truck industry. Topping the list was a robust economy that grew by close to 4%. As the saying goes — A rising tide lifts all boats — and that certainly was true for tank truck carriers last year.

Tank fleets ran flat out keeping up with shipper demand. Chemical shipments rose steadily during 2004 as plant capacity utilization topped 75%. Petroleum shipments were up. On the construction side, demand for cement grew by more than 4%. Truck tonnage overall was up 5.7% in 2004.

Shipment volumes helped tank fleets obtain some of the best rate increases in at least a decade. However, the key factors in the growth rate were shortages of drivers and a major revision in hours of service. These two factors brought a significant reduction in capacity, and rate cutting by shippers virtually came to a halt. Many shippers that fought the rate increases couldn't get trucks.

The positive developments are clearly reflected in Bulk Transporter's 2004 Annual Gross Revenue Report. Most of the carriers participating in this year's report achieved higher revenues and well over 60% improved operating ratios.

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

The combined Top 10 revenues of $2.62 billion were a solid improvement over 2003 and accounted for 49.4% of total revenue in the 2004 report. The Top 10 carriers accounted for slightly more (49.6%) of the total in 2003. This would suggest that many smaller carriers experienced a hefty rebound.

The Top 25 carriers had $3.87 billion in revenues, or 73% of the total represented in this report. It was virtually the same percentage as the previous year. The 50 largest carriers had revenues of $4.8 billion, accounting for 91.1% of the total, compared with 93.3% in 2003.

Total 2004 revenues for all 96 carriers in this report were $5,307,134,352. In contrast, the 2003 report consisted of 94 carriers reporting a combined total of $4,834,777,091.

Average revenue in 2004 for these 96 carriers was $54,712,725, up slightly from the average of $51,377,479 for 94 fleets in 2003. The median carrier on the list, the one with an equal number of carriers above and below it, had revenues of $21,876,000. In 2003, the median carrier revenue was $21,263,577.

Operating ratios for both 2004 and 2003 were supplied by 53 of the carriers in this report. Thirty-eight showed improvement over the previous year. The operating ratio represents operating expenses as a percentage of revenue.

While the operating ratio improvement was small for some of the carriers, none reported a ratio of 100% or worse (compared with three in 2003). However, none were below 90%, either. Forty fleets had operating ratios between 95.0% and 99.9%, compared with 46 in 2003. Ratios between 90.0% and 94.9% were reported by 24 companies, up from 16 in 2003.

Tractor revenues were available for a majority of the carriers in this report. These figures give an indication of productivity levels. The average for 2004 was $159,109, a healthy increase from the $151,820 average in 2003.

Six of the Top 10 reported tractor revenues, averaging $174,748. This was a clear improvement over the $160,955 average reported by the Top 10 in 2003.

For yet another year, an East Coast petroleum hauler recorded the highest revenue per tractor — $320,577. The lowest amount ($74,596) came from a chemical fleet in the Southwest.

Average revenue per tractor for 11 petroleum transporters was $147,706, down from the previous year's average of $176,887. Petroleum tractor revenues ranged from the overall high of $320,577 to a low of $81,386.

Eleven chemical haulers accounted for average revenue per tractor of $152,633, down from $163,091 in 2003. Tractor revenue ranged from a high of $222,730 down to $74,596.

Average tractor revenue for seven dry bulk specialists was $159,048, which was close to the industry wide average. The 2004 tractor revenue was down from the 2003 average of $162,973. Tractor revenue ranged from a high of $260,400 to a low of $100,098.

Among seven carriers that concentrate on transporting liquid and dry foods, tractor revenue averaged $155,816, which exceeded the industry average. It was well above the 2003 food fleet average of $124,489 per tractor. The high for the category was $196,190, and the low was $83,542.

Many of the figures here are from preaudited reports, and some may include nonbulk revenues or revenues from subsidiary tank truck carriers. In most 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 2004 Rank 2004 Revenue in 000s 2003 Revenue in 000s 2004 Ratio
1Quality Distribution Inc
Tampa FL
1 622,015 565,440 92.6
2Trimac Transportation Services
Calgary AB, Canada
2 515,563 500,200 96.4
3Kenan Advantage Group Inc
Canton OH
3 459,036 364,910 94.8
4Superior Bulk Logistics Inc
Oakbrook IL
4 204,626 199,887 95.3
Groendyke Transport Inc
Enid OK
5 157,519 138,167 91.5
Schneider National Bulk Carriers
Green Bay WI
6 150,200 135,943 92.0
5Enterprise Transportation Co
Houston TX
7 144,370 129,736 96.8
A&R Transport Inc
Morris IL
8 136,000 117,000 94.6
6Tankstar USA Inc
Milwaukee WI
9 123,187 108,420 96.0
7The Dewey Corporation
Jackson MS
10 110,300 111,365 96.4
8Bulkmatic Transport Co
Griffith IN
11 109,900 130,200 96.5
9Liquid Transport Corp
Indianapolis IN
12 103,500 100,100 96.4
Slay Transportation Co Inc
St Louis MO
13 95,911 80,500 94.9
Foodliner Inc
Dubuque IA
14 93,000 69,075 92.7
10Distribution Technologies Inc
Newbury OH
15 92,350 86,634 92.7
Transport Service Co
Hinsdale IL
16 90,630 79,311 94.3
11Dupré Transport LLC
Lafayette LA
17 82,771 69,570 94.0
12Ruan Transport Corp
Des Moines IA
18 82,000 80,000
Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc
Houston TX
19 79,791 73,035 93.8
Coastal Transport Co Inc
San Antonio TX
20 74,293 71,275 99.0
Eagle Transport Corp
Rocky Mount NC
21 73,572 60,878 96.8
McKenzie Tank Lines Inc
Tallahassee FL
22 71,460 72,000 97.4
* TransWood Carriers
Omaha NE
23 71,188 71,188 97.8
* Mystic Tank Lines Corp
Beacon Falls CT
24 71,085 71,085 97.4
CTL Distribution Inc
Mulberry FL
25 59,957 57,800 90.9
13Linden Bulk Transportation Co Inc
Linden NJ
26 59,832 52,015 97.9
Martin Transport Inc
Kilgore TX
27 59,159 50,824 95.5
Jack B Kelley Inc
Amarillo TX
28 57,113 55,373 96.0
Penn Tank Lines Inc
Malvern PA
29 56,218 53,078 98.5
J P Noonan Transportation Inc
West Bridgewater MA
30 54,194 50,457 97.7
Apex Bulk Commodities
Adelanto CA
31 53,522 52,260 98.6
14Schilli Bulk Carrier Group
St Louis MO
32 52,620 48,651
Service Transport Co
Houston TX
33 47,322 35,806 90.4
Andrews Transport Inc
Ft Worth TX
34 46,600 43,077 98.0
* Wayne Transports Inc
Rosemount MN
35 41,868 41,868 92.8
* Tidewater Transit Co Inc
Kinston NC
36 39,500 39,500 95.0
Langer Transport Corp
Jersey City NJ
37 37,802 34,162 96.3
* Cliff Viessman Inc
Gary SD
38 37,093 37,093 96.0
Usher Transport Inc
Louisville KY
39 34,000 30,600 96.2
Wynne Transport Service Inc
Omaha NE
40 31,556 28,098 97.6
Herman R Ewell Inc
East Earl PA
41 31,261 31,896 92.9
CLI Transport LLP
Claysburg PA
42 28,175 25,325 94.3
* Bulk Transportation
Walnut CA
43 26,600 26,600 96.1
* Ag Trucking Inc
Goshen IN
44 26,368 26,368
J&M Tank Lines Inc
Americus GA
45 25,548 22,021 95.1
Blue Flash Express
Zachary LA
46 23,650 20,123 98.0
Coal City Cob Company
Avalon TX
47 22,361 17,343 95.0
* Food Express Inc
Arcadia CA
48 21,876 21,876 99.0
* Evans Dedicated Systems Inc
Los Angeles CA
49 21,263 21,263 94.0
Bork Transport of Illinois
Summit IL
50 20,660 15,500 95.8
Kane Transport Inc
Sauk Centre MN
51 19,911 15,464 94.0
* Iowa Tanklines Inc
Omaha NE
52 19,459 19,459 99.1
15Atlantic Holding Corp of Virginia
Providence Forge VA
53 19,196 15,611 92.3
J P Donmoyer Inc
Ono PA
54 18,707 17,151 95.8
16The Hillman Companies
Ft Edward NY
55 16,975 19,551 98.9
* Basin Western Inc
Roosevelt UT
56 16,718 16,718
Gless Bros Inc
Blue Grass IA
57 16,236 14,185 93.8
* Rhett Butler Trucking Inc
River Falls AL
58 15,766 15,766
* LCL Bulk Transport Inc
Green Bay WI
59 15,007 15,007
* Dyno Nobel Transportation
Salt Lake City UT
60 14,131 14,131
* Bulk Express Inc
Hammond IN
61 13,975 13,975
* Fort Transfer Co
Morton IL
62 13,849 13,849
Dixon Bros Inc
Newcastle WY
63 13,437 12,598 97.3
* Hahn Transportation Inc
New Market MD
64 13,346 13,346
Barnett Transportation Inc
Tuscaloosa AL
65 13,272 10,820 94.9
17P S Marston Associates
North Hampton NH
66 12,000 10,800 94.1
Fleet Transit Inc
Baltimore MD
67 11,646 13,301
18Carbon Express Inc
Wharton NJ
68 11,159 7,515 97.8
Baltimore Tank Lines Inc
Glen Burnie MD
69 11,127 10,303 96.3
Goodman Tank Lines Inc
Stowe PA
70 10,980 6,245 99.0
Schmidt Liquid Service
Plattsmouth NE
71 10,565 8,146 90.3
Buesing Bulk Transport Inc
Hudson WI
72 10,198 9,441 94.6
* Transgas Inc
Lowell MA
73 10,126 10,126
* L&L Transportation LLC
Waterloo IN
74 10,006 10,006
* Delaware Express Co
Elkton MD
75 9,793 9,793
* Altom Transport Inc
Summit IL
76 9,295 9,295
A J Weigand Inc
Dover OH
77 9,200 6,200
R O Harrell Inc
South Boston VA
78 7,758 6,489
Terpening Trucking Co Inc
Syracuse NY
79 7,450 7,570 99.0
* Price Trucking Inc
Aberdeen MD
80 7,199 7,199
* Terra Express Inc
Sioux City IA
81 6,814 6,814
* LB Transport Inc
Buffalo Center IA
82 6,405 6,405
* Roy Bros Inc
Billerica MA
83 4,973 4,973
* Oil Transport Inc
Chesapeake VA
84 4,964 4,964
Triad Transport Inc
McAlester OK
85 4,508 3,973
Hilltrux Tank Lines Inc
Boardman OH
86 4,365 4,522 98.3
* Central Transport Co
Norfolk NE
87 4,200 4,200
* Pouliot & Corriveau Inc
Williamstown VT
88 4,120 4,120
* Harms Pacific Transport Inc
Spokane WA
89 4,107 4,107
* Overpeck Transport Corp
Marshall IN
90 3,921 3,921
* Oriole Chemical Carriers Inc
Delaware City DE
91 3,408 3,408
* Shipley Transport
Sykesville MD
92 2,955 2,955
* Oil Recovery Corp
West Springfield MA
93 2,376 2,376
* Keller Transport Inc
Billings MT
94 2,067 2,067
* W R Drinkwalter & Son Trucking
Billings MT
95 1,515 1,515
Group Petroleum Services IncTemple TX 96 1,208 1,168 95.0
* 2003 revenues repeated for 2004.
— 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, and Trimac Transportation Service (Western) Inc.
(3) Figures include Advantage Tank Lines, Beneto Bulk Transport, Klemm Tank Lines, McDaniel Transportation, North Canton Transfer, Petro-Chemical Transport, and KAG Logistics.
(4) Figures include Superior Carriers Inc and Carry Transit Inc.
(5) Figures include Chemical Transport, Inland Transportation, and CBW Logistics.
(6) Figures include Bulk Logistics Inc, North American Bulk Transport Inc, Rogers Cartage Co, Wheatfield Trucking Co, and Schwerman Trucking Co.
(7) Figures include Miller Transporters Inc and Miller Intermodal Logistics Services Inc.
(8) Figures include Bulkmatic Transport Company and Butler & Co.
(9) Figures include Mississippi Transport and LTC Logistics.
(10) Company formerly was known as Manfredi Motor Transit Co.
(11) Figures include tank, site logistics, and asset-based logistics.
(12) Figures include RTC, Single Source Transport Corp, and Lambert Transfer Inc.
(13) Figures include Linden Bulk Transportation SW LLC.
(14) Figures include Truck Transport Inc, Material Delivery Service, Bulk Transport, and Sherman Haulers.
(15) Figures include Atlantic Bulk Carrier Corp and Atlantic Tank Lines Corp.
(16) 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.
(17) Doing business as Abenaqui Carriers.
(18) Figures include Rush Logistics.

Alphabetical cross index of listed carriers

Fleet name Rank
A&R Transport Inc 8
Ag Trucking Inc 44
Altom Transport Inc 76
Andrews Transport Inc 34
Apex Bulk Commodities 31
Atlantic Holding Corp of Virginia 53
Baltimore Tank Lines Inc 69
Barnett Transportation Inc 65
Basin Western Inc 56
Blue Flash Express 46
Bork Transport of Illinois 50
Buesing Bulk Transport Inc 72
Bulk Express Inc 61
Bulk Transportation 43
Bulkmatic Transport Co 11
Rhett Butler Trucking Inc 58
Carbon Express Inc 68
Central Transport Co 87
CLI Transport LLP 42
Coal City Cob Company 47
Coastal Transport Co Inc 20
CTL Distribution Inc 25
Delaware Express Co 75
The Dewey Corporation 10
Distribution Technologies Inc 15
Dixon Bros Inc 63
J P Donmoyer Inc 54
W R Drinkwalter & Son Trucking 95
Dupré Transport LLC 17
Dyno Nobel Transportation 60
Eagle Transport Corp 21
Enterprise Transportation Co 7
Evans Dedicated Systems Inc 49
Herman R Ewell Inc 41
Fleet Transit Inc 67
Food Express Inc 48
Foodliner Inc 14
Fort Transfer Co 62
Gless Bros Inc 57
Goodman Tank Lines Inc 70
Groendyke Transport Inc 5
Group Petroleum Services Inc 96
Hahn Transportation Inc 64
Harms Pacific Transport Inc 89
R O Harrell Inc 78
The Hillman Companies 55
Hilltrux Tank Lines Inc 86
Iowa Tanklines Inc 52
J&M Tank Lines Inc 45
Kane Transport Inc 51
Keller Transport Inc 94
Jack B Kelley Inc 28
Kenan Advantage Group Inc 3
L&L Transportation LLC 74
Langer Transport Corp 37
LB Transport Inc 82
LCL Bulk Transport Inc 59
Linden Bulk Transportation Co Inc 26
Liquid Transport Corp 12
P S Marston Associates 66
Martin Transport Inc 27
McKenzie Tank Lines Inc 22
Mission Petroleum Carriers Inc 19
Mystic Tank Lines Corp 24
J P Noonan Transportation Inc 30
Oil Recovery Corp 93
Oil Transport Inc 84
Oriole Chemical Carriers Inc 91
Overpeck Transport Corp 90
Penn Tank Lines Inc 29
Pouliot & Corriveau Inc 88
Price Trucking Inc 80
Quality Distribution Inc 1
Roy Bros Inc 83
Ruan Transport Corp 18
Schilli Bulk Carrier Group 32
Schmidt Liquid Service 71
Schneider National Bulk Carriers 6
Service Transport Co 33
Shipley Transport 92
Slay Transportation Co Inc 13
Superior Bulk Logistics Inc 4
Tankstar USA Inc 9
Terpening Trucking Co Inc 79
Terra Express Inc 81
Tidewater Transit Co Inc 36
Transgas Inc 73
Transport Service Co 16
TransWood Carriers 23
Triad Transport Inc 85
Trimac Transportation Services 2
Usher Transport Inc 39
Cliff Viessman Inc 38
Wayne Transports Inc 35
A J Weigand Inc 77
Wynne Transport Service Inc 40