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

US economic growth and concerns over import tariffs combined with high truck utilization rates and tighter regulation of drivers to send freight rates soaring last year, spurring double-digit revenue growth at the largest US less-than-truckload and truckload carriers.

News & Analysis

16 Jan 2020
Expect the sale or spin-off of some business to make XPO more a “pure-play” LTL trucking company — smaller, but more focused on US shippers and better positioned to increase shareholder value.
10 Jan 2020
Trucking employment slipped in December as US manufacturing remained sluggish, but there are signs demand, and perhaps payrolls, may improve in 2020.
09 Jan 2020
Two technology firms are taking an ambitious step toward bringing shippers, trucking companies, and logistics providers together on one transportation management platform.
07 Jan 2020
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement may speed the processing of goods at US borders, but won’t necessarily speed transportation at the congested Mexican border, experts warn. That will require further investment in infrastructure and technology.
06 Jan 2020
The electronic logging device (ELD) eventually will help shippers find trucks more quickly, help trucking companies better manage drivers, and help drivers better manage hours. But more integration of ELD data with other systems and more development are needed to deliver bigger benefits.
27 Dec 2019
Less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers maintained pricing discipline and focusing on their bottom lines in 2019, but the overall outlook for the sector in 2020 still depends largely on a flagging US manufacturing industry.

Commentary

The electronic logging device means big data analysis is possible across the trucking/logistics sphere — and that opens up a world of opportunities for improved efficiency, fleet optimization, and more.

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