The world’s largest retailer, $419 billion Wal-Mart Stores, is also one of its largest shippers, managing a transportation network supplying roughly 4,500 Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the U.S.
Wal-Mart identified some of the U.S. transportation suppliers it is using to reshape supply chains when it honored 11 companies for service to its distribution centers. These trucking outfits have been working with Wal-Mart to drive routing and loading efficiencies throughout its logistics network, mitigating rising costs.
To an extent, the list of carriers indicates who is winning business with the retail giant. Not surprisingly, some of the largest trucking operators are on the list.
Swift Transportation, the largest truckload carrier in the U.S., was named carrier of the year for grocery distribution — Wal-Mart is also the nation’s largest grocer. The Phoenix-based trucking company won new business from Wal-Mart last year, representing between $60 million and $80 million in annual revenue.
Schneider National, the second-largest U.S. truckload operator, was carrier of the year for general merchandise at the “diamond” level reserved for large carriers.
Wal-Mart honored fast-growing Celadon Group and Epes Transport with its platinum and gold awards for mid-sized and smaller general merchandise carriers.
Refrigerated truckload carrier C.R. England was named carrier of the year for grocery business. Heartland Express was named Sam’s carrier of the year.
Among less-than-truckload carriers, Wal-Mart honored national carrier Con-way Freight and regional LTL trucker Averitt Express in the Southeast. Con-way is the second-largest LTL operator in the U.S., after FedEx Freight.
Intermodal honors went to J.B. Hunt Transport Services, the truckload carrier that pioneered the conversion of over-the-road freight to intermodal rail.
Wal-Mart named Trio Trucking, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based division of Trio Enterprises, owned by Carvel Simmons, carrier of the year in its diversity category. Simmons, an African-American, founded Trio in 1982. The company provides regional truckload and intermodal services in the Midwest and Northeast.