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Increasing Fuel Efficiency in Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks are big and heavy. They do a lot of miles and because of this they use a lot of fuel. So what is being done to help make the tanker truck industry a more efficient one?

Recently a company, the Walker group, introduced the DuraPlate AeroSkirt for tank trailers. This is said to improve fuel economy at highway speeds by up to 7%. (http://www.truckinginfo.com/article/story/2013/11/4-trends-in-liquid-tank-trailers.aspx). It is thought that this kind of improvement on fuel efficiency will be able to help the entire trucking industry. Less money spent on fuel, more profits, more money can be put back into the company and thus more technology can be discovered. It is a cycle that will lead to better tanker trucks all over the world and a more cost effective way of transporting goods.

In an attempt to increase fuel efficiency it was decided to try and make the trailers lighter. The introduction of the second generation Lean Duplex stainless steel tank allowed 700 pounds to be trimmed off the original tare weight of the trailers. “The weight savings come from being able to fabricate these second-generation Lean Duplex tanks from 12-gauge material.” (http://bulktransporter.com/fleet-management/more-payload). A lighter trailer means less weight to drag and thus more fuel to be saved.

“In 2013, the tank truck industry hauled 2.48 billion tons of freight, which equaled 25.6% of all truck freight” (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tank-truck-industry-market-analysis-now-available-300057626.html), This is a staggering amount and it seems clear that in order to keep the trucking industry alive more of these exciting type advancements need to take place, I am sure we are all looking forward to that.

SOURCEBulktransporter.com, Charles Wilson, July 2010

SOURCE National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC)

 

Transcourt shines at Moncton’s Atlantic Truck Show

PRESS RELEASE

Toronto, June 10th, 2015

After showcasing at ExpoCam in Montreal last April and at the Peace Region Petroleum Show in Grande Prairie, Alberta in May Transcourt Tank Leasing, the Canadian leader in leasing and long-term rental of liquid and dry bulk tank trailers, continued on its cross-Canada trek on June 5 and 6 with a stop at the Atlantic Truck show in Moncton, New Brunswick. The show which is held every second year and is both customer and trade oriented, welcomed some 12,660 visitors over the two days, a new record.

Transcourt has been setting the standard in tank trailer leasing since 1997 and offers a large fleet of high quality tankers in various configurations including new and used stainless steel chemical trailers, aluminum crude oil and petroleum tankers, pneumatic dry bulkers as well as propane/LPG units. In order to be able to answer all customer requests, Transcourt acquires new tankers on a regular basis from the industry’s leading manufacturers.

“Transcourt’s responsive sales and service team focuses on growth within the existing liquid and dry bulk segment while continuing to provide personalized and customized service to customers. Our belief in providing added value at every customer touch point has helped us cement long- term client relationships over the years”, says Tony Jelicic, Leasing Manager for Eastern Canada

A socially responsible corporation, Transcourt supports some half a dozen charitable organizations and responded positively to the Charity Silent Auction organized by APTA (Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association) at Casino New Brunswick on June 5th, 2015, to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

About Transcourt Tank Leasing

Transcourt Tank Leasing was founded in 1997, specifically to meet the leasing and long-term rental needs of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry. Transcourt’s large fleet of tankers is available to customers across Canada. A wide selection of tank trailer configurations is available to a variety of unique industry segments and includes stainless and aluminum tankers, propane btrains and tridems, crude oil and condensate tankers as well as dry bulk trailers. www.transcourt.com

Moncton 1

The Transcourt table at the special Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fundraiser that was held on June 5th at Casino New Brunswick and organized by the APTA.

 

Moncton2

Tony Jelicic, Leasing Manager for Eastern Canada; Charles El Ogeil, from Bédard Tankers and Delon Rashid, from Truck and Trailer Magazine are seen here in the Transcourt booth in Moncton.

Source:           Vianna Murday
                        Transcourt Tank Leasing
                        905-338-5744
                       vmurday@transcourt.com

Transcourt at the Peace Region Petroleum Show

PRESS RELEASE

Toronto, May 21st, 2015

Transcourt Tank Leasing, the Canadian leader in leasing and long-term rental of liquid and dry bulk tank trailers, exhibited at the Peace Region Petroleum Show on May 13 and 14 in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Though the petroleum industry is experiencing a significant downturn, Transcourt wanted to increase its profile and presence in the marketplace. In 2013, as it aimed to strengthen its share of the market out West, Transcourt opened an office in Calgary.

This past April, Transcourt was also present at ExpoCam 2015 in Montreal where it was announced that the Toronto-based company was opening an office in Montreal. “The West has always been one of our main markets in Canada. Business has slowed down, there is no denying the fact, but it will eventually pick up”, stated Joe Quaresma, Vice-President of Leasing for Western Canada. “Delivering value at every touch point is the key to our efforts to further develop this market. Working together with our customers and providing them with creative leasing solutions to meet their business objectives is one of our main goals.”

Transcourt’s responsive sales and service team focuses on continuing growth within the existing liquid and dry bulk segment while expanding into new tanker markets. Transcourt offers a large fleet of high quality tankers in various configurations including new and used stainless steel chemical trailers, aluminum crude oil and petroleum tankers, pneumatic dry bulkers as well as propane/LPG units. New tankers are being acquired monthly from the industry’s leading manufacturers and equipment coming in off lease or rental is also readily available.

About Transcourt Tank Leasing

Transcourt Tank Leasing was founded in 1997, specifically to meet the leasing and long-term rental needs of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry. Transcourt’s large fleet of tankers is available to customers across Canada. A wide selection of tank trailer configurations is available to a variety of unique industry segments and includes stainless and aluminum tankers, propane btrains and tridems, crude oil and condensate tankers as well as dry bulk trailers.

transcourt-1

Joe Quaresma (left), Vice-President of Leasing for Western Canada, is seen here with Sheldon Larson (center), of Cen-Alta, a Transcourt customer out West and another participant at the Peace Region Petroleum Show.

Source:           Vianna Murday
                        Transcourt Tank Leasing
                        905-338-5744
                       vmurday@transcourt.com

Easy to Get, but Hard to Find

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High U.S. exchange rates coupled with stratospheric demand are keeping trailers on the leased side of the ledger.

An article posted in Today’s Trucking, June issue:
BY JIM PARK

The day my ship came in I was at the airport. How many times have you heard that one from a trucker? When it comes to the acquisition and procurement of trailers, a look back over the past seven or eight years tells a similar story.

Today’s trailer market, especially dry van and refrigerated trailers, is as tight as it has been in recent memory. During the last half of 2014, many fleets came to the conclusion the recovery from the 2008 recession had finally taken hold and the economy was moving forward with some certainty. Consequently, they started getting serious about ordering trailers; not just to replace aging equipment, but new stuff with which to grab a share of the burgeoning demand for freight service.

By the end of the year and on into the first quarter of 2015, trailer builders’ order boards jammed up. Now nearly every build slot is taken for the near term, which basically means for the remainder of this year. It’s a good time to be in the dry van or reefer business. It’s not such a good time to be in the market for new equipment.

Across the country, the supply of and demand for trailers varies, as do market conditions. We are a nation of regions,
after all.

“Ontario and Quebec are more reliant on the retail sectors and are very strong in the dry van market,” says Mississauga, Ont.-based Anne McKee, executive vice president of Trailer Wizards. “Once you get into Atlantic Canada you deal a lot more in reefers, especially now as the fish-
ery and vegetable seasons start to heat up.

“As you know the price of oil has taken a bit of a dive, so in the prairie region where we had very strong demand for decks and specialty equipment—especially in the northern part of the prairie region—we are seeing a real slow down,” she says. “Other parts of the prairie region are strong right now because of agriculture.  The British Columbia market is very strong, I mean the port situation is always
the wild card in the mix, but it remains strong as well.”

While overall demand for equipment remains on the strong side, the weakening dollar has crimped our appetite for buying. So much so that many fleets are now turning to leasing to mitigate the effects of the exchange rate.

“Our dollar is low compared to the American dollar, and that is impacting trailer purchases,” McKee points out. “Also, the large fleets in the U.S. have taken up almost all of the dry van build spaces right out to January [2016]. Almost every manufacturer is booked until at least September or October for reefer builds. That combined with the dollar issue makes for an expensive trailer and that means more people are turning to renting and leasing.”

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Lease vs Purchase

Canadian dealers and their customers had it good for a while when the two currencies were at or close to par. But the fly in the ointment then was the credit crisis. The only customers the banks would touch were those that were already flush. Anyone considered even the slightest risk was pretty well out of luck. Credit crisis notwithstanding, the economy was in the tank then and fleets were only buying to replace aging equipment. There was much new gear coming into circulation.

Now that the economy is firing on all cylinders, we have the exchange rate to contend with again. The 20% premium can add $5,000 or more to the price of a trailer.

“A reefer trailer that used to cost $60K is now $65K or $70K Canadian so there is a bit of a difference,” says Joe Ricci, director of origination, Maxium Financial Services. “Business isn’t really suffering because of it, it’s only another $100 a month or so on a five-year deal.”

Still, the differential can put additional load on the cash flow. Leasing can work for customers seeking to hang on to their cash for other purposes. The tax load on a purchase is high at the beginning, whereas with a lease, the tax payments are spread out over the term of the lease. And leasing is a nice way to go when you’re worried about the maintenance side of things.

“The technician shortage is impacting fleets all over the country,” says McKee. “A full maintenance lease is a good option for fleets that don’t have their own shop facilities or can’t find good technicians. There are a number of reasons for going to full service, but I would say at least 95% of our customers are doing it that way.”

That’s another way to stabilize costs and cash flow. The full-service lease cost will be higher, but it’s also predictable. McKee says it’s in her company’s best interest to keep the equipment well maintained so that it retains its value for resale at the end of the lease.

Leasing is also a great way to get over humps in the business model, like during surges in volume, or when a customer makes a specific request you can’t easily accommodate. This isn’t often an issue in vans and reefers, but when you get into speciality equipment like tank trailers it’s a different story.

Because of their high capital cost, you don’t flip tank trailers around like vans. Often the trailer is customized to the commodity. So, companies like Transcourt Tank Leasing can fill the gap on a short term basis, making available equipment that might take months to order or providing equipment on a short term basis to help manage peak periods.

“Some fleets prefer to lease out right, it just depends on the business model,” says Transcourt’s co-founder and president, Bruce Daccord. “Leasing helps keep the costs stable and they still make money on the spread between the payment and the revenue as opposed to treating the equipment as an asset.”

On the purchase side companies like Bibby Financial Services can tailor loans for smaller customers who have the revenue but might be struggling with cash flow. Mary Ann Hudson, executive vice president of Bibby Financial, says the company specializes in customizing the loans to suit the customer’s situation.

“Terms could be anywhere from 90 days to 6 months,” she says. “We work out all kinds of exceptions based on their cash flow. Of course we don’t ever want to put them in a situation where they can’t pay it back in a reasonable amount of time, but we also want them to pay it off where it doesn’t hurt their cash flow.”

While it’s great to have financial alternatives for equipment procurement, it would be nice to have some equipment to procure. Analysts say it will take most of 2015 to get the order backlogs behind us. Even with the current strength of the economy, fleets won’t continue investing in additional capacity of it means once again flooding the market. They have now tasted the fruits of a tight freight market, and many would be happier if it stayed that way. It seems today money is easier to get than equipment.

Automated highway from Canada to Mexico – self-driving trucks

Trucks hauling cargo from Canada through the United States to Mexico and back navigate border crossings without the need for passports, visas or even a driver to steer them.

Route83-MexicoUSCanada

It’s an idea that’s not too far-fetched, says a group that met in North Dakota last week.

Marlo Anderson with the Central North American Trade Corridor Association says members are working to turn the idea into reality.

The plan is for an autonomous vehicle corridor along Route 83, which runs north-south through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. The road then continues into Manitoba.

A study into the feasibility of the project is being planned and Anderson says the group wants to travel to communities along the corridor to gain support.

“One of the challenges we have here in North Dakota is that we have a lot of energy production going on right now, but not enough pipelines to carry the oil from North Dakota to its destination point,” he said.

That means other commodities, such as grain, need to fight for space on trains. A separate corridor could relieve that pressure, he said. Tank Trailers could easily ride on the corridor making safety easier and simpler for transporting goods.

“We’re hopeful that, working with the Canadian government, the Mexican government, the United States, we can create some kind of automated way … (to) streamline that process of border crossings.”

The technology, though experimental, already exists in driverless vehicles that use tools such as GPS to navigate roads, Anderson said.

Unmanned vehicles are more efficient, he suggested.

“They don’t need to worry about a driver having too many hours in a day or in a week. Those types of things go by the wayside because the vehicle doesn’t care.”

Anderson said he understands why the idea is unnerving for some, but noted that unmanned vehicles have the potential to remove human error from driving.

“What we have to do is to educate people.”

One of the concerns Anderson hears most often is that a vehicle’s system could be hacked and taken over. “There have to be security measures in place so that doesn’t happen.”

Roy Ludwig, mayor of Estevan in southeastern Saskatchewan near the border, attended the association’s summit and says he believes in the project.

“You have to flesh it out and take care of all the intricacies, but it’s definitely worthwhile looking into it,” he said. “I would support the new technologies and see where they go.”

Ludwig added that such a corridor could foster trade with the United States.

Connectivity will change the trucking industry.

Vehicle connectivity innovations will soon change the face of the trucking industry, reshaping everything from maintenance practices to driver productivity, according to Goran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America.

“People under 25 have never lived one day without the Internet and connectivity. Their expectations are different (from previous generations). In a few years they will be in management positions and they will have different expectations when it comes to connectivity. We need to think differently,” Nyberg told Volvo customers and business media gathered for the event.

Volvo is already starting to employ the “different thinking” Nyberg called for with its focus on platooning vehicle technology. Such technology, where trucks can communicate with each other and team up to follow a lead vehicle, is technology that is possible today because it can be applied to existing vehicles and infrastructure, provided the regulations that would allow its use on North American highways was available, said Susan Alt, senior vice president of public affairs for Volvo Group North America. Vehicles operating in platoon mode are able to greatly reduce the following distance between them than is currently acceptable thanks to the onboard sensors. By tightening up the following distance significant drafting advantages are created which improve fuel economy.

Two-truck platooning provides advantages over running B-trains because the two tractor combinations are not tied to each other and don’t even need to be from the same company to enjoy the advantages of better fuel efficiency while travelling the continent’s highways, pointed out Jeff Cotner, Volvo’s chief designer. Drivers in the following vehicles would get a chance to rest since their vehicles would simply be following the motions of the driver in the lead vehicle. And eventually the following vehicles could be driverless, according to Nyberg.

“If we can have road trains in the future with the following vehicles running driverless, it will improve the driver shortage,” Nyberg said.

Bruce Daccord of Transcourt indicates this revolution will improve safety with tanker trailers both dry and liquid tankers. Automation and connectivity will provide a material increase in the overall safety record in North America once fully introduced.

Predictive shifting is another area where connectivity can change the face of trucking, improving safety and productivity. For example, as the truck approaches a hill, preprogrammed information on the terrain allows the truck to handle the climb and descent in the most efficient manner. As the truck comes into the hill it is automatically sped up to delay downshifting, then the truck’s momentum and stored energy is employed on the downhill portion to accelerate and get better roll off.

Maintenance:

“Remote diagnostics is something we are putting a lot of focus on. We believe it will be one of the game changers in the industry,” Nyberg said. “We need to change the mindset. It’s not acceptable to have an unplanned stop. That’s a vision that we need to strive towards.” Remote diagnostics capabilities lead to 70% reduction in diagnostic time and a 22% reduction in repair time, Nyberg said.

“The wireless workshop is coming. Vehicles will self evaluate and will be repaired remotely via wireless updates,” was the prediction from Rich Ferguson, senior vice president, aftermarket and soft products.

Steady demand seen in dry bulk tank leasing

The leasing of dry bulk tanks, used primarily for plastic pellets, has picked up significantly in recent months, according to Matt Niemeier. We think the rail services are over capacity and a lot of product that would normally be hauled by rail has gone to the trucking side.

Demand for for franc sand tanks has not stopped, purchases have been cut down in the last 3 months as the price of crude has dropped and some oil rigs have shut down operations according to Neiemeier.

Other segments will be strong, asphalt trailers and cement trailers but with the oil price drop the overall demand will be down. Leasing demand for general chemical tank trailers and tank containers also remains strong according to Steven Tapscott. This is still a good market.

Dennis Cooke of Ryder Systems said the oilfield slowdown actually is helping the outlook for tank leasing. We’re seeing a lot of customers looking to reduce costs as a result and are looking for an alternative to doing maintenance themselves, he says. They do a lot of cost of ownership analysis and leasing shows up as an alternative they may not have  looked at before. We see the oilfield slowdown has actually caused companies to look for savings in areas they would not have looked at in the past. The leasing market is very strong because of complexities of the new EPA-driven technology.

Overall nationally in the US business volume in February is up at $6.1B up 13% from February of 2014 and 12% year over year.

BULK TRANSPORTER, April 2015, Rick Weber

 

US Oil Boom and Trucking: The Case for Leasing

Crude oil sold at the wellhead in Bakken shale region across North Dakota dipped to $49.7 per barrel on November 28, revealing how geographic and logistical issues can cause disparate prices in areas where new shale plays have pushed U.S. oil product to a 31-year high, reports Dan Murtaugh for Bloomberg.

“You have gathering fees, trucking, terminalling, pipeline and rail fees,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC, said in the article. “If you’re selling at the wellhead, you’re getting a very low number relative to WTI.”

In comparison, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were hovering around $67.3 per barrel Wednesday.

Consequently, in order to turn a profit, more drillers are turning to railways to ship oil to large hubs for distribution. Tank carloads of crude are up 50% so far this year, compared to 2014, according to Pacific Standard Magazine.

However, if crude oil prices continue to weaken, railways may no longer be an option. For instance, in places with limited pipeline capacity, producers have to fill rail cars with crude and pay $10 to $15 per barrel to bring oil thousands of miles or more to the coasts for processing.

“To a producer in Wyoming, if Brent’s $70 then I’m at $50, then I have to start asking does it economically make sense to keep drilling,” John Auers, executive vice president at energy consulting firm Turner Mason & Co, said in the Bloomberg article. “They might start reallocating capital, you might see projects slowed or shut down.”

Transcourt a Tanker leasing company can help reduce capital outlays to support transportation costs through a lease program. Transcourt has locations now in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the US. The company provides leases for various tankers including; pneumatic tankers, oil and petroleum tankers and stainless tankers.

Recent trends indicate an uptick in oil and pump prices according to Trucking News. Prices this week in major trucking centers range from 95.5 cents per liter in Edmonton, 97.8 cents in Winnipeg, $1.102 in Kamloops, $1.124 in Toronto to $1.142 in Moncton.

The national average price of regular grade gasoline also followed the same pattern, but increasing even more by 1.7 cents to $1.114 per liter. It is 28.4 cents less than during this week last year.

Meantime, south of the border, the average U.S. cost of on-highway diesel moved higher this week for the second straight week. The U.S. Energy Department reports it increased 3.1 U.S. cents to U.S.$2.811 per gallon. This follows diesel falling for five consecutive weeks, when it lost a total of 19 U.S cents.

This week’s price is still U.S.$1.164 lower than the same time a year earlier.

Diesel now ranges from a low of U.S.$2.683 in the Gulf Coast region to as high of U.S.$3.11 in the Central Atlantic states.

Meantime, the average cost of regular grade gasoline posted an even larger increase than diesel over the past week, 8.5 U.S. cents, registering U.S.$2.57 per gallon, its highest level since early December.

Compared to this time a year ago gasoline is still U.S.$1.143 less per gallon.

The expectation is fuel prices are going to head even higher following reports on Wednesday that both Brent and U.S. crude are at their highest levels in more than four months.

ETF Trends 2014, December 4th, 2014 Tom Loydon

Trucking News April 29th, 2015

Transcourt is reinforcing its presence in Québec

Toronto, April 24th, 1025 – Transcourt Tank Leasing, the Canadian leader in leasing and long-term rental of liquid and dry bulk tank trailers, is presently expanding its activities in the North-American market. This expansion includes efforts to reinforce its presence in Québec as was the case when Transcourt took part in the recent ExpoCam 2015 that was held in Montreal on April 16, 17 and 18, 2015. Last year, as it pushed its market expansion westward, Transcourt opened an office in Calgary. The development of the Québec market is supported by the establishment of a new office in Montreal’s Anjou borough.

“This new office will enable us to cater and better serve our French-speaking clientele and answer the needs of the Québec market whether on a short or long term basis”, explained Bruce Daccord, President and co-founder of Transcourt Tank Leasing. “With our vast fleet that includes a large variety of tank trailers we are certainly well equipped to deliver flexible and customized service anywhere in Canada.”

Within the past three years alone, Transcourt has doubled its business as the tank trailer fleet has grown by more than 30% per year for the past two years to meet the constantly increasing demand. Transcourt certainly isn’t a conventional trailer rental company as it strives to offer business solutions encompassing operational and financial aspects to suit the specific needs of each client, no matter how big or how small the project is.

“Our main goal is to provide a wide variety of equipment from coast to coast and become the supplier of choice when carriers and bulk shippers are looking for a tanker to add to their operations, continued Bruce Daccord.

About Transcourt

Transcourt Tank Leasing was founded in 1997, specifically to meet the leasing and long-term rental needs of the liquid and dry bulk transport industry. Transcourt’s large fleet of tankers is available to customers across Canada. A wide selection of tank trailer configurations is available to a variety of unique industry segments and includes stainless and aluminum tankers, propane btrains and tridems, crude oil and condensate tankers as well as dry bulk trailers.

Expocam 2015
Expocam 2015

Bruce Daccord and John Campbell co-founders of Transcourt Tank Leasing
Bruce Daccord and John Campbell co-founders of Transcourt Tank Leasing

Source:Vianna Murday
Transcourt Tank Leasing
905-338-5744
vmurday@transcourt.com

Tips for filling liquid tankers

The following are key tips required in the filling of Liquid Tankers. To prevent creating a hazardous atmosphere, filling must occur only outdoors in well-ventilated and well- illuminated areas. A properly designed overhead cover is permissible.

While filling, the tanker shall be stationary and should be level. If a trailer is loaded on scales, the levelness and materials of the loading area are usually covered by local or regional requirements for measuring systems.

The system shall be designed to rapidly and safely interrupt the flow of cryogenic liquids for either safety or normal process reasons.

During periods of inactivity, the storage system design (equipment and piping) should not build and store pressure significantly above its normal operating pressure. The system should be designed to prevent contamination of the plant piping or product transfer system from occurring and to ensure storage product integrity when the equipment is idle between tanker fills.

Fill personnel should visually monitor fittings and hose connections to verify that they do not leak during filling operations. Leaking fittings for LIN (Nitrogen in a cryogenic liquid state) and LAR (Liquid Argon in a cryogenic liquid state) can be tightened during filling operations. If LOX (Oxygen in a cryogenic liquid state) fittings and hose connections are observed to be leaking, the filling operation should be shut down and the leaking fitting should be tightened using non sparking tools as appropriate.

This article has been brought to you by Transcourt, for more information on Liquid Tanker Leasing, please do not hesitate to call.