The Oilfield Trucking Industry Series – Part 3: New Ideas and Solutions

Posted - March 7, 2016

The Oilfield Trucking Industry Series – Part 3: New Ideas and Solutions

Contributing authors: Keith Richard, Vice President of Operations, Managed Transportation Services and Joe Looper, Manager, Carrier Relationships & Development

In parts one and two of this three part series, we discussed the challenges that the oil and gas industry is currently facing and what the landscape of the players in this industry look like. In this last part, we’ll address what all of this means for both the trucking companies and the oil and gas shippers.

Industry Expansion Leads to Change

There has certainly been a boom during the last five years in oilfield trucking within the U.S. The strong who were a part of the expansion and serve niche industry requirements like oil country tubular goods (OCTG) and produced water will survive. It will be tough going for those who did not save and whose operating costs for special equipment, like pneumatic trailers, are high. Nevertheless, oilfield trucking has been, is, and will be for the coming decade a portion of the trucking industry that encourages investment risks and is 365 24/7.

And mergers and acquisitions within the industry are real and will continue. Several major transactions have been announced over the past year. Scores of regionally based, mom and pop carriers have undoubtedly gone belly up in this same time frame. Unfortunately, as an industry we have no way to empirically track information on the smaller carriers as there is no industry-wide group that specifically organizes or lobbies for oilfield trucking.

Solutions for a Sustainable Industry Environment

The question is sustainability. Sustainability for the oilfield trucking industry in coming years and up until the next boom will in part be measured by improved efficiencies in operating costs and its ability to plan for what the oil companies needs are in specific modes and geographies. So how can the industry create a sustainable model through the peaks and valleys?

Part of the solution is using proven supply chain processes that include technology, data and analytics, experienced oil and gas supply chain operations staff, and industry leading technology. And implementing and executing a supply chain operating model that will assist the oil and gas industry with a path toward sustainability is the way forward that will allow the giants and the mom and pops to ensure compliance to safety, and economic requirements, while further integrating all to a common goal of better operating and safety standards.

An efficient supply chain network is of the elements that can support a sustainable model by working with leaders and the trucking companies that have supported the industry for many years.

Can you think of other possible solutions for a sustainable oil and gas industry environment?