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

05 Aug 2020
The disruption and dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic puts a premium on shipper visibility into LTL networks via digitization, as well as “touchless” pickups and deliveries.
04 Aug 2020
The less-than-truckload (LTL) industry is catching the wave of digitization transforming supply chains, as e-commerce heightens shipper demand for improved service and visibility.
30 Jul 2020
Amid reports of tightening LTL capacity, ODFL, ArcBest’s ABF Freight, and XPO look to put more distance between their businesses and April’s steep decline in volume.
28 Jul 2020
The spin-off of its third-party logistics business allows Roadrunner Transportation Systems to concentrate on rebuilding and expanding its less-than-truckload business.
23 Jul 2020
More door-to-door, less-than-truckload freight will add revenue and freight density to Forward Air’s airport-to-airport lanes and create new final-mile opportunities, the company’s CEO says.
21 Jul 2020
Roadrunner Freight is adding new LTL terminals on two coasts and in Chicago, tightening its network as it wins more e-commerce freight and expands in a recession.
20 Jul 2020
A bipartisan congressional commission questioned a $700 million US loan to YRC Worldwide, but its ability to scuttle the loan is questionable.
15 Jul 2020
Moroun made the trucking real estate deal of the century when he acquired the Ambassador Bridge in 1979 and shaped the flow of goods between the US and Canada for decades.
13 Jul 2020
By launching a door-to-door, less-than-truckload business in Savannah, Forward Air is adding more freight and building density in its airport-to-airport network.
09 Jul 2020
US Payroll Protection Program loans, once forgiven, will give small trucking outfits a chance to invest in much-needed technology, a tax and accounting advisory firm says.
03 Jul 2020
Shippers looking to cut costs should examine how much digital integration they have with their less-than-truckload (LTL) partners and whether their transportation and dock operations are as efficient as possible, panelists told JOC Uncharted.
02 Jul 2020
The US government’s $700 million loan to YRC Worldwide guarantees LTL stability in an uncertain economy.
01 Jul 2020
The US CARES Act loan to YRC Worldwide keeps US military LTL shipments moving, and gives the US taxpayer a nearly 30 percent share in the company.
24 Jun 2020
Shippers split between those growing during recession and those struggling need to focus on long-term supply-chain improvements to reduce costs, rather than short-term rate cuts.
18 Jun 2020
Payroll Protection Program loans could keep struggling small trucking companies in business, and prevent a truck capacity crunch shippers fear — if enough carriers apply for them.
10 Jun 2020
Business is slowly coming back, but safety concerns will force changes in ways carriers, shippers operate, Pitt Ohio CEO Chuck Hammel says.
09 Jun 2020
US businesses are rushing to develop a clearer picture of customer demand and freight capacity as they move beyond the early stages of reopening stores and factories.
04 Jun 2020
Lower fuel prices are helping small trucking businesses survive the worst economy since the 1930s, according to Donald Broughton, which means shippers may find more truck capacity and less pricing pressure than expected this fall.
03 Jun 2020
Shipments were down year over year in May at less-than-truckload carriers ODFL and Saia, but not by as much as in April, a sign the US industrial economy is beginning to improve.
01 Jun 2020
The acquisition of FMIC from Chainalytics helps transform DAT Solutions into a broader freight intelligence business aimed at enabling shippers, brokers, and truckers to understand freight costs and pricing.
14 May 2020
The new final US hours-of-service rule gives truckers more flexibility in how they use their daily hours, but shippers get a gift of capacity that could help extend their pricing power.
12 May 2020
YRC Worldwide says a double-digit drop in freight volume will accelerate efforts to consolidate its less-than-truckload networks while keeping its individual carrier brands.
08 May 2020
The recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has erased years of trucking employment gains, bringing payroll headcounts below 2006 levels, US data shows.
06 May 2020
A 9 percent boost in organic last-mile revenue signals more consumers are purchasing goods, including heavy goods, at home, a trend XPO’s CEO thinks could be permanent.
05 May 2020
A survey by two US trucking organizations reveals a shift in capacity to shorter haul lanes as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly changes trucking markets and the mix of freight.
27 Apr 2020
Trucking companies large and small are focused on getting through the next month or two, after which they hope freight volumes will begin to recover. But that recovery may be a long one.
24 Apr 2020
A new international distribution center in Houston blends US trucking and containerized imports as less-than-truckload carrier Averitt reaches deeper into US consumer markets.
22 Apr 2020
An American Transportation Research Institute analysis of vehicle location data across six states shows trucking activity plummeting 8 to 10 percent in April as the COVID-19 lockdown spread across the US.
21 Apr 2020
Daimler and Volvo will combine efforts to develop hydrogen fuel-cell technology for heavy electric trucks to meet future emissions and shipper sustainability targets.
20 Apr 2020
Job losses, damage to small business shippers, and diminished expectations for a fast restart for truck freight push pandemic recovery into 2021.
16 Apr 2020
XPO Logistics CEO Bradley S. Jacobs believes the US and global economies will recover in “fits and starts” in the second half of 2020, and supply chains will become more resilient.
15 Apr 2020
Detention is a problem for truckers in the best of times. It’s worse amid the pandemic as shippers handle high volumes with fewer dock and warehouse workers available.
10 Apr 2020
YRC Worldwide can breathe easier as its creditors waive restrictions on EBITDA, cash payments. An activist investor, however, wants to force change at the company.
07 Apr 2020
Regional carrier A. Duie Pyle is cutting wages from the top and asking for volunteers to take temporary furloughs as COVID-19 ravages freight volumes in the Northeast.
06 Apr 2020
Trucking companies need plans to keep their drivers healthy, financially whole, and on the road amid the coronavirus outbreak. They need plans for when they get sick, too.
02 Apr 2020
US trucking companies are preparing to brake hard once the current surge of essential freight fades. The loss of demand and capacity will complicate the eventual recovery.

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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