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

News & Analysis

03 May 2021
US LTL pricing continues its climb, as inflationary pressures from driver wages to the cost of purchased transportation accelerate rate hikes. Both carriers and 3PLs report high LTL volumes.
30 Apr 2021
Estes Express Lines is gaining new business near seaports, but the fourth-largest LTL carrier is also investing in infrastructure, technology, and people, propelling its growth ahead of competitors.
26 Apr 2021
Despite a sharp overall drop in the number of truck driver speeding violations last year, excessive speeding remains a problem, FMCSA violations data show.
22 Apr 2021
The second-largest standalone US LTL carrier says it will build four to six additional terminals this year, as demand for retail and industrial freight pushes LTL carriers to expand.
20 Apr 2021
Unadjusted US tonnage data from the American Trucking Associations shows freight returned to the highways after a frozen February, propelling truck spot pricing to a new ceiling.
19 Apr 2021
The asset-light, long-haul LTL carrier Roadrunner Freight is pursuing 'enterprise’ shippers as well as 3PLs as it re-engineers its network while focusing on service quality and operating margins.
13 Apr 2021
Darrel Harris joined the former YRC Worldwide in November and will now lead efforts to transform Yellow into a profitable multi-regional less-than-truckload carrier.
07 Apr 2021
Technology firms driving autonomous trucking forward are seeking the investment and partnerships they need to expand rapidly, anticipating growing demand.
05 Apr 2021
US trucking companies reversed a three-month decline in jobs in March, but they haven’t escaped the employment crater created by the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.
01 Apr 2021
US trucking companies already running at full capacity will soon be receiving even more freight as manufacturing activity expands.
30 Mar 2021
Truck driver pay is improving, and that may be keeping more drivers behind the wheel, rather than jumping from job to job.
11 Mar 2021
US freight demand is “through the roof” after supply chains broke down during February’s winter storms, trucking companies say. More freight may be shifting from spot markets to contractual partners as networks are restored.
11 Mar 2021
Small regional or localized LTL carriers may also be riding the e-commerce wave, providing capacity for local fulfillment and delivery, while their larger competitors carve out middle-mile business.
09 Mar 2021
Greater use of drop trailer pools and e-commerce sales are generating demand for yard drivers — also referred to as hostlers — to handle trailers at warehouses and distribution centers, but those drivers are in short supply.
05 Mar 2021
The transportation and warehousing sector lost fewer jobs than anticipated in February, but trucking companies saw deeper than expected job losses in a storm-wracked month.
04 Mar 2021
The digitization of truck manufacturing will directly benefit shippers by creating more capacity and making more capacity readily available, a study by IBM suggests.
03 Mar 2021
To secure capacity, truck shippers must offer freight that ‘fits’ a carrier’s network of lanes, vehicles, and drivers, speakers at a virtual TPM21 panel said.
02 Mar 2021
Old Dominion Freight Line in February handled more and heavier LTL shipments than a year ago as shippers hit hard by winter storms searched for truck capacity.
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.

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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