Tank fleet revenues sag during one of worst recessions
May 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
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The median carrier on the list, the one with an equal number of carriers above and below it, had revenues of $44,800,000. In 2008, the median carrier revenue was $54,000,000.
Operating ratios for both 2009 and 2008 were supplied by 43 of the carriers in this report. Just 12 (less than 28%) showed improvement over the previous year. The operating ratio represents operating expenses as a percentage of revenue.
For 2009, thirty-two fleets had operating ratios between 95.0% and 99.9%, and four posted ratios above 100%. In 2008, thirty-four carriers had operating ratios in the 95.0% to 99.9% range, and only one topped 100%. Just 10 carriers, compared with 18 from the previous year, reported operating ratios below 94.9%.
Most of the fleets participating in the 2009 report submitted data used to calculate tractor revenues. These numbers give an indication of productivity levels, and this was one area of improvement in 2009 for tank truck carriers. The average for 2009 was $241,797, a solid improvement over the $219,092 average in 2008.
Nine of the Top 10 reported tractor revenues, averaging $267,074. This was a healthy increase over the $227,793 average reported by the Top 10 in 2008.
Petroleum haulers once again showed that they have some of the most productive fleets in the tank truck industry. The best productivity (tractor revenue of $456,600) came from a Northeast petroleum carrier. The lowest tractor revenue ($122,392) was reported by a dry bulk hauler.
Average revenue per tractor for a representative sample of 10 petroleum haulers was $287,776, up from the previous year's average of $247,852. The lowest tractor revenue reported by a petroleum fleet was $141,737.
Ten chemical haulers accounted for average revenue per tractor of $241,593, up from $199,299 in 2008. Chemical tractor revenue ranged from a high of $443,828 down to $$166,077.
Average tractor revenue for five dry bulk specialists was $212,230, a strong increase from a $197,677 average in 2008. The high for the category was $273,684.
Among five carriers that focus on transporting bulk liquid and dry foods, tractor revenue averaged $231,901, up from the 2008 average of $151,403. Food fleet tractor revenue ranged from a high of $296,698 to a low of $177,579.
Many of the figures used here are from preaudited reports, and 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.
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