Companies in this industry provide long-distance transportation by truck of general freight, in which freight from a single shipper makes up a truckload. Major companies include JB Hunt, Swift Transportation, Schneider National, and Werner Enterprises (all based in the US), along with Seino Transportation (Japan) and TFI International (Canada).
Wealthy nations such as the US, Japan, and Germany are top markets for trucking. Though trucking companies have traditionally focused on providing service in their home countries and neighboring nations, growth in emerging markets has prompted some companies to expand overseas. Such growth is typically achieved through the acquisition of established local trucking networks in the target country.
The US truckload carriers industry includes about 35,500 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $95 billion.
Full truckload (TL) shipments have trailers dedicated to a single shipper's cargo. In contrast, less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers transport the consolidated cargo of several shippers on one truck, dropping goods off at multiple delivery points. LTL carriers are covered in a separate industry profile.
Demand is driven by consumer spending and manufacturing output. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations. Large companies have advantages in account relationships, bulk fuel purchasing, fleet size, and access to drivers. Small operations can compete effectively by providing quick turnaround, serving a local market, or transporting unusually sized goods. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 40% of industry revenue.
Trucking competes with other forms of cargo transportation, including rail, air, and water. However, the shift toward intermodal transportation means that these modes of delivery are often more complementary than competitive.
Products, Operations & Technology
A truckload (TL) customer typically loads a trailer full (or nearly full); the carrier then transports the container, and a receiver unloads the contents.
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms