Big LTL Carriers Getting Smaller

Big LTL Carriers Getting Smaller

Seven of the top 25 less-than-truckload carriers reported more than a billion dollars in revenue in 2009, according to a study of the LTL industry.

Together, they accounted for $16 billion in LTL sales, 63.4 percent of the total revenue of all LTL carriers in the United States, according to the SJ Consulting Group study.

That $16 billion is 25.8 percent less than the $21.6 billion in LTL revenue the same carriers had in 2008.

The carriers were YRC Worldwide, FedEx Freight, Con-way Freight, UPS Freight, ABF Freight System, Old Dominion Freight Lines and Estes Express Lines.

The recession squeezed the next revenue class, cutting the number of carriers with $500 million to $999 million in LTL revenue from six to four last year. They were R+L Carriers, Saia Motor Freight Line, Southeastern Freight Lines and Vitran Express.

Two carriers with more than $500 million in LTL revenue last year moved down to join six others in the $200 million to $399 million ranking, Averitt Express and AAA Cooper Transportation.

Other carriers in that revenue range were Central Transportation International, Roadrunner Transportation, New England Motor Freight, Pitt-Ohio Express, Dayton Freight Lines and A. Duie Pyle.

The number of carriers with less than $200 million in LTL revenue in the top 25 grew from three to five. They were New Century Transportation, Central Freight Lines, Daylight Transport, Wilson Trucking and Oak Harbor Freight Lines.

No carriers were dropped from the list in 2009.

The complete report on the top 25 LTL carriers will be published in the March 15 issue of The Journal of Commerce, and will be available to subscribers online.

Contact William B. Cassidy at