The Transport Topics Top 100 For-Hire Carriers

7/28/2014, Joey Slaughter

Transport Topics just released their list of the top 100 for-hire carriers. There was nothing really surprising to me on the list, but some people may be surprised to see who’s on there and who’s not. Due to the nature of a blog, I can’t go over the entire list, but here is the top 10 and their revenue:
1. UPS, Inc.($55.4 Billion)
2. FedEx Corp.($45.1 Billion)
3. J.B. Hunt Transport Services($5.6 Billion)
4. Con-Way, Inc.($5.5 Billion)
5. YRC Worldwide($4.9 Billion)
6. Swift Transportation($4.1 Billion)
7. Schneider($3.6 Billion)
8. Hub Group($3.4 Billion)
9. TransForce, Inc.($3 Billion)
10. Landstar System($2.6 Billion)

Here are some interesting points that put these numbers into context.
• UPS and FedEx’s combined revenue of 100 billion exceeds companies 3-100 combined (98 billion) Knowing how large a billion is, there’s a good chance that the big 2 has revenue that would exceed companies 3-500 if such things were measured.
• Out of the top 10, only 3 companies are primarily long haul, U.S. OTR operations; Swift, Schneider and Landstar. TransForce is a Canadian powerhouse with OTR companies within, but I’m not sure of their primary segment.
• J.B. Hunt and Hub Group earn their revenues primarily through the intermodal/drayage sector, not trucking.
• UPS and FedEx are primarily package couriers with their LTL and logistic operations rounding out the massive behemoths. There are many other companies under their umbrella, but the package courier, LTL and logistic operations are the dominant companies within.
The following statistics (from OOIDA) add even more context to the industry as a whole:
• 97% of all fleets are 20 trucks or less
• 90% of all fleets are 6 trucks or less

If you are an owner-operator leased to a carrier, you are counted with their numbers. Even though, my little one truck, trucking company is but a grain of sand on the beach of large carriers, I stand with the majority of small trucking companies that are moving the bulk of our nation’s freight.


The average marginal cost per mile in 2012 was $1.63, a slight decrease from the $1.71 found in 2011, according to the American Transportation Research Institute’s latest update to An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.
The research, which identifies trucking costs from 2008 through 2012 derives directly from fleets’ financial and operational data, provides carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with real world data for future infrastructure improvement analyses.
After the Great Recession and a sharp decline in fuel prices resulted in decreased industry costs between 2008 and 2009, industry costs steadily rose through 2010 and 2011. The slight decrease in average operting costs in 2012 was most liekly due to the weak economic recovery and softening freight conditions experiences in the second half of the year.

Fuel costs were higher, at 64.1 cents per mile compared to 59 cents in 2011, while driver wages were slightly lower at 41.7 cents compared to 46 cents in 2011. Truck/trailer lease or purchase payments also dropped, form 18.9 cents per mile to 17.4 cents.

“Although we have seen condition improve since the Great Recession of several years ago, an uncertain economic fugure means we have to be ever diligent in watching costs. ATRI’s report provides critical financial data for carriers to use in benchmarking fleet performance and seeking opportunities for improved operations,” says Phil Byrd, Sr., president and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express and first vice chairman of the Americnan Trucking Associations.

Since its original publication in 2008, the Operational Costs of Trucking reports continue to be one of the most requested ATRI reports among industry stakeholders. In addition to average costs per mile, ATRI’s report documents average costs per hour and includes cost breakouts by industry sector.

A copy of this repoert is available from ATRI at