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2024 Top LTL & Truckload Freight Companies

November 28, 2023 Rick LaGore

top freight truckload company

We talk with shippers daily about the best trucking companies, which offer LTL and truckload freight service solutions. And this should be expected as over 50% of the freight spend in the U.S. is with these top trucking companies.

US Freight For Hire Size & Market Share

 

The number one question we are asked is: who are the top freight carriers in the industry?

This is somewhat of a subjective question because every freight transport carrier has its niche. But it's objective for shippers that count revenue as the standard for who is tops in the freight and logistics industry. In other words, those who are looking for the largest trucking companies in the United States.

Top 20 Truckload Freight Companies

  • Knight-Swift
  • Schneider
  • Landstar
  • JB Hunt
  • Prime
  • Werner Enterprises
  • CRST
  • US Xpress
  • Crete
  • CR England
  • Roadrunner Transportation
  • Covenant Transport
  • Western Express
  • Heartland Express
  • Ruan
  • Cardinal
  • Marten
  • Universal
  • P. A. M. Transport

LTL shipping and truckload freight carriers address specific - and often not overlapping - needs for shippers on the roadways. We'll  address those in the next two sections.

If you'd rather view your lists in video form, watch ours here:

 

Less-than-Truckload (LTL)

top ltl freight companiesLTL freight shipping is used for shipments over 150 pounds, but less than 15,000 pounds. The benefit of LTL for shippers is it combines freight from multiple companies onto one truck. This creates an efficient freight move for shippers lacking the volume to operate full truckload shipments for some freight lanes. That lack of volume can also prevent them from utilizing a freight consolidation and pooling program from their own docks.

Cost saving opportunities for LTL shipments can be found through

Shippers have both dry and temp-controlled service options available to them.  

Temperature controlled LTL shippers should know that the service runs on sailing schedules. And with LTL, co-mingling of other products on the trailer does cause some challenges.

LTL brings a number of benefits with residential, inside delivery / pick-up, expedited, liftgate and limited access capabilities.  Outside of expedited truckload service, truckload freight options are very limited on the other previously listed benefits.  

On the downside of LTL freight are complicated NMFC LTL classifications and their implications for cost and cargo liability coverage.  An additional challenge is the potential for various additional LTL accessorial charges working with truck driving companies.

And a note: A major event occurred in 2023, affecting the LTL list moving forward in 2024 and beyond. One of the top businesses in this space is no longer - with the shuttering of Yellow Trucking (also known as YRC Freight).  The other leading carriers have been picking up the slack - and terminals - since the news broke in August.

Full Truckload Shipping (FTL)

top freight truckload companyFull truckload shipping is used for shipments ranging from 7,500 pounds up to 44,500 pounds.  

There is a crossover on LTL and truckload shipments between 7,500 and 15,000 pounds. This is because the cubic capacity in the trailer may be much larger than its actual weight. In cases like these, FTL freight service can be more cost effective for some cargo.  

An example to illustrate the point is a company that ships styrofoam. The company's freight shipments could fill an entire trailer with product, but it would weigh no more than 10,000 pounds. An LTL freight provider would place a heavy premium on pricing such a load as it's not within its target market.

Like LTL, full truckload standard and expedited options are available for either dry and reefer service for shippers.

Trucking companies also offer liquid tankers and various flatbed mode options.

FTL is the most plentiful freight mode service offered with roughly 700,000 for hire freight hauling companies.  While this does provide a plenty of carrier options, navigating the trucking industry can also feel like hunting for a “needle in a haystack” when looking for the “right” motor carrier for the job.  

To overcome this challenge, shippers often turn to a freight broker to help them find the freight capacity they require.  Freight brokers bring additional benefits, but immediate freight capacity is often the number one reason to bring them into a company’s freight and logistics strategy.

With all the key details addressed above, let’s walk through the top LTL and truckload companies (with trucking company logos).

Freight Costs Insiders look freight pricing

Top LTL Freight Companies

FedEx

Location: Memphis, TennesseeFedEx-Logo

Website: www.fedex.com  

Founded: 1973

 

XPOXPO,_Inc_(2023)

Location: Greenwich, CT

Website: www.xpo.com

Founded: 2011

 

Old Dominion

Location: Thomasville, North Carolinablob-3

Website: www.odfl.com

Founded: 1934

 

TForce Freight

Location: Richmond, VirginiaTForce_Freight_Logo

Website: www.tforcefreight.com

Founded: 1935

 

Estes Express Line

Location: Richmond, Virginiablob-4

Website: www.estes-express.com

Founded: 1931

abf_freight

 

ABF Freight/ArcBest

Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Website: arcb.com/abf-freight

Founded: 1923

 

R&L Carriers

Location: Wilmington, OHR&L Carriers

Website: www.rlcarriers.com

Founded: 1965

 

Saia Inc.

Location: Johns Creek, Georgiablob-5

Website: www.saia.com

Founded: 1924

 

Southeastern Freight Lines

Location: Lexington, SC1200px-Southeastern_Freight_Lines_logo.svg

Website: www.sefl.com

Founded: 1950

 

Averitt Express

Location: Cookeville, TNAveritt Express

Website: www.averittexpress.com

Asset / Non-Asset: Asset

Founded: 1971

 

Freight Costs Insiders look freight pricing

 

Top Truckload Freight Companies

 

Knight-Swift TransportationKnight Swift Logo

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Established: 1990

Website: knight-swift.com

Services: Truckload / Dedicated / Brokerage / Intermodal / Drayage

 

Schneiderschneider logo

Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Established: 1935

Website: schneider.com

Services: Truckload / Dedicated / Expedited / Intermodal / Specialized

 

Landstarlandstar logo

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Established: 1988

Website: www.landstar.com

Services: Truckload, LTL, Dedicated, Expedited, Heavy Haul

 

JB Huntjb hunt logo

Location: Lowell, Arkansas

Established: 1961

Website: www.jbhunt.com

Services: Intermodal / Drayage / Truckload / Dedicated / Brokerage

 

Primeprime inc logo

Established: 1970

Location: Springfield, Missouri

Website: www.primeinc.com

Services: Refrigerated Truckload, Flatbed, Tanker

 

Werner Enterprises2560px-Werner_Enterprises_logo

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Established: 1956

Website: www.werner.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated, Expedited, Temp Controlled, Flatbed

 

CRSTCRST logo

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Established: 1955

Website: crst.com/transportation-solutions

Services: Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated, Flatbed

 

US XpressUS xpress logo

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Established: 1986

Website: www.usxpress.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

Cretecrete-carrier-corp-logo2

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Established: 1966

Website: www.cretecarrier.com

Services: Truckload, Temp Controlled, Specialized

 

CR EnglandCR England

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Established: 1920

Website: www.crengland.com

Services: Truckload, Temp Controlled, Intermodal, Dedicated

 

Roadrunner Transportationlogo-rrf-blue

Location: Downers Grove, Illinois

Established: 1984

Website: www.rrts.com

Services: Truckload, LTL, Temp Controlled

 

Covenant Transportcovenant transport logo

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Established: 1986

Website: www.covenanttransport.com

Services: Truckload, Expedited

 

Western Expresswestern express logo

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Established: 1990

Website: www.westernexp.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated, Flatbed

 

Heartland Express

Heartland+logo+large+with+registration+mark

Location: North Liberty, Iowa

Established: 1978

Website: www.heartlandexpress.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

RuanRUAN logo

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Established: 1932

Website: www.ruan.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

CardinalCardinal Logistics (1)

Location: Concord, North Carolina

Established: 1981

Website: www.cardlog.com

Services: Dedicated

 

MartenMarten Transport logo

Location: Mondovi, Wisconsin

Established: 1946

Website: www.marten.com

Services: Temp Controlled Truckload

 

Universaluniversal truckload logo

Location: Warren, Michigan

Established: 1932

Website: www.universallogistics.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

P. A. M. TransportPAM Transport, Inc. logo

Location: Tontitown, Arkansas

Established: 1980

Website: www.pamtransport.com

Services: Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated

 

Next Moves on FTL & LTL Transportation Trucking Companies 

As you decide which trucking carrier is best for you, read the following articles for help with pricing your freight class:

Freight Costs: An Insider’s Look on Freight Pricing Buyers Should Know

How-to Negotiate & Execute Best Freight Rates: Comprehensive Guide

Freight Contract Rates vs Spot Rates - Comprehensive Guide

If you are looking at alternatives for your freight truck shipping options, we would love to be a part of that conversation. Simply fill in our Request a Quote form to learn more about how we can help.

 

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