Top 25 LTL Trucking Companies

Top 25 LTL Trucking Companies

In 2017, the 25 largest less-than-truckload carriers in the US increased their combined revenue 7.8 percent, as higher industrial production and disciplined pricing raised their topline. That sizable gain followed a flat year for LTL revenue in 2016 and a revenue drop of 0.5 percent in 2015, as freight demand tumbled in the latest slowdown in the long-running economic recovery.

The US economy grew at a faster rate in 2017, and strong industrial production helped create more pallets of goods to fill LTL terminals and trailers. The combined revenue of the 25 largest LTL carriers in the US reached a new record of $34.5 billion. Just two LTL carriers reported less revenue year over year in 2017, compared with 10 in 2016 and 12 in 2015.

Some of the fastest-growing LTL carriers, however, weren’t on the list. The smaller LTL and cartage companies that didn’t make the Top 25 grew faster as a group than their larger competitors, increasing combined revenue 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion. That revenue would make those small companies the fourth largest LTL carrier if they were one trucking company.

Key stories in LTL:

Top 25 LTL 2017: LTL carriers pave way to growth in challenging market

Top 25 LTL 2016: Lower fuel surcharges, soft demand squeeze revenue

Top 25 LTL 2015: Revenue up 9.1 percent for largest US LTL carriers

Top 25 LTL 2014: Revenue Growth at LTL Truckers Drops

Top 25 LTL 2013: Economic Slowdown Detours LTL Growth

Top 25 LTL 2012: LTL's Second Wind

Top 25 LTL 2011: LTL's Incomplete Recovery

J. Harwood Cochrane: Present at the Birth of Trucking

Special Coverage

25 largest US less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers
Compared with the freight boom of 2018, last year was disappointing for US less-than-truckload carriers, but pricing discipline allow the largest operators to maintain — and in some cases increase — their top line revenue.

News & Analysis

25 Feb 2021
COVID-related dock bans on truck drivers and greater use of digital receipts are leading to more clashes over short or damaged shipments, according to speakers at a T&LC webinar.
22 Feb 2021
Less-than-truckload carrier Yellow is opening 12 driver training schools as operators across the US trucking industry are struggling to find enough experienced drivers to satisfy growing industrial and retail freight demand.
12 Feb 2021
Old Dominion Freight Line is closely following big box retail customers, adding new service centers as e-commerce spurs construction of new distribution centers.
08 Feb 2021
The loss of 84,300 trucking and warehousing jobs in January -- actual numbers before seasonal adjustment -- makes prospects for tighter capacity and higher rates for US shippers in the months ahead more certain.
05 Feb 2021
The former YRC Worldwide is expanding, not shrinking, Yellow CEO Darren Hawkins says, with plans for streamlined pricing and more regional services as it radically overhauls its business.
Transplace urges shippers to actively manage routing guides and optimize networks now, rather than attempt to “time the market.” Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.
03 Feb 2021
Fewer trucking companies are responding to shipper bids, as contract truckload pricing rises by high single-digit percentage rates, Transplace executives said Tuesday.
26 Jan 2021
Additional acquisitions will fuel growth for both XPO’s transportation and contract logistics businesses, soon to be separate companies, chairman and CEO Bradley S. Jacobs said.
25 Jan 2021
The sale of its $3.1 billion less-than-truckload (LTL) subsidiary narrows UPS’s focus and gives TFI International a much bigger presence in the North American LTL market, from Canada to Mexico.
14 Jan 2021
As author of the Q&A column, Colin Barrett answered detailed and often obscure legal questions on shipping for 48 years, educating generations of shippers.
08 Jan 2021
Trucking’s peak season extended well into December, blunting a seasonal decline in actual trucking employment numbers and boosting seasonally adjusted job gains, according to data released Friday.
05 Jan 2021
CEO Tom Schmitt says better pricing and targeted expansions beyond its air freight footprint will help Forward Air provide the shareholder value sought by activist investors.
30 Dec 2020
An $89.5 million stock purchase at Forward Air aimed at increasing shareholder value should be a “wake-up call” for other less-than-truckload providers that likewise may not be as profitable as activist investors think they should be.
11 Dec 2020
Pandemic-related LTL service issues that include long delays and missed deliveries have not gone away and may be resurfacing as COVID-19 surges and container volumes soar
10 Dec 2020
As the US Treasury Secretary defended the $700 billion CARES Act loan that saved one of the largest US trucking firms, a GAO report criticized the Treasury’s handling of the application.
07 Dec 2020
A tighter focus on transportation and technology following a corporate split will improve the service and experience XPO offers to shippers globally, the company and transportation analysts say
04 Dec 2020
Although trucking employment is rising, the year-over-year gap is still large enough to throttle back capacity and keep pricing pressure on shippers.
03 Dec 2020
LTL freight volumes and tonnage are increasing year over year in the fourth quarter, but the pandemic’s latest waves could slow growth until COVID-19 vaccines become available.
20 Nov 2020
The 95-year-old founder of A-P-A Transport helped define LTL trucking in the regulatory era, before establishing NY Waterway.
13 Nov 2020
Higher pay is just a starting point for the solution to a resurgent driver shortage, J.B. Hunt’s Shelley Simpson tells the JOC Inland Distribution Webcast. Greater efficiencies, more shipper cooperation are key to improving driver jobs.
06 Nov 2020
The number of new operating authorities issued to US trucking companies is surging alongside imports, but that doesn’t necessarily mean truckload capacity is increasing.
05 Nov 2020
An ‘insatiable demand’ for truck capacity and a US loan are helping LTL operator YRC Worldwide expand capacity and intermodal services in the Central-South.
05 Nov 2020
Rebid freight now or wait for what may be a calmer first quarter? That’s the question US truck shippers face, Echo Global Logistics chairman and CEO Doug Waggoner says.
26 Oct 2020
More large goods are being sold online and delivered by LTL carriers such as Southeastern Freight Lines, as retailers seek multiple capacity options to reach consumers
14 Oct 2020
The long run-up in spot market truckload rates and truck freight demand may be reaching its peak, but don’t expect a quick descent, speakers at the Transplace Shipper Symposium said Wednesday.
05 Oct 2020
A substantial increase in heavy truck orders in September begs the question: Who will drive those trucks? Trucking employment is improving, but still down 4.7 percent year over year.
01 Oct 2020
The new rate differential tracked by DAT chief scientist Chris Caplice is rising at a faster pace, a sign that shippers will see a greater increase in truckload contract rates.
28 Sep 2020
Rising local trucking employment in the US and higher pricing highlights a shifting balance in transportation networks accelerated by double-digit growth in e-commerce sales.
24 Sep 2020
US shippers are returning to the ‘shipper of choice’ model as a peak season unlike any other looms ahead, trucking executives told the virtual CSCMP 2020 Edge conference this week.
17 Sep 2020
A new integrated distribution center just outside Hagerstown, Maryland, will position regional LTL carrier A. Duie Pyle for greater growth in Virginia and along the I-70 and I-81 corridors as freight demand approaches 2019 levels.
16 Sep 2020
The acquisition of CLW Delivery gives expedited trucking operator Forward Air custom final-mile delivery services and new territory, as its LTL and final-mile businesses converge.
09 Sep 2020
US for-hire trucking companies are rehiring truck drivers at a rate slower than the acceleration of freight demand, contributing to rising pressure on truck rates and US shippers.
03 Sep 2020
The flood of imports to Los Angeles and Long Beach this summer is squeezing truckload and LTL capacity on inland truck routes, more than doubling spot rates to Chicago, as intermodal capacity and e-commerce deadlines remain tight.
02 Sep 2020
Less-than-truckload shipments and tonnage at Saia in August were about where they were a year ago, when the carrier already was growing faster than its LTL competitors. That underscores broader LTL growth.
28 Aug 2020
A proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pilot project would let truck drivers stop the hours of service clock for up to three hours and then resume driving, giving them more control over their schedules, but a longer day.
25 Aug 2020
After selling its last remaining non-LTL subsidiaries, Roadrunner Transportation plans to shorten transit times on more lanes, improve service, and win over LTL shippers and drivers.
13 Aug 2020
With a new integrated distribution center in Massachusetts and another under construction in Pennsylvania, northeastern regional LTL carrier A. Duie Pyle is resuming expansion plans interrupted by COVID-19.

Commentary

It is shocking that the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector continues to operate with legacy business practices from the reg

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