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2020 Top LTL & Truckload Freight Companies Blog Feature
Rick LaGore

By: Rick LaGore on October 14th, 2019

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2020 Top LTL & Truckload Freight Companies

Truckload | LTL

We talk with shippers daily about LTL, truckload and truckload brokerage potential service solutions. And this should be expected with over 50% of the freight spend in the US is with these two modes of service.

US Freight For Hire Size & Market Share

 

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

While this is somewhat of a subjective question because every carrier has its niche, it is objective if one counts revenue as the standard by which shippers vote for who they believe are the tops in the freight and logistics industry.

Top FTL Freight CompaniesTop 20 Truckload Freight Companies

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

The LTL and truckload freight modes address specific needs for shippers, which we’ll address in the next two sections of this article.

Less-than-Truckload (LTL)

top ltl freight companiesLTL 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 to create an efficient freight move for shippers that do not have the volume to operate full truckload shipments for all their freight lanes or to utilize a freight consolidation and pooling program from their own docks.

Cost saving opportunities with LTL shippers can be found through LTL volume pricing quote, LTL classification under an FAK program or consolidation program.

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

Temperature controlled LTL shippers need to be aware that the service runs on sailing schedules, and co-mingling of other products on the trailer does cause some challenges for shippers. 

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 is the complicated NMFC LTL classifications and the implications the classifications has on cost and cargo liability coverage.  An additional challenge is the potential for various additional LTL accessorial charges.

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 in weight on LTL and truckload shipments between 7,500 and 15,000 pounds because the cubic capacity in the trailer may be much larger than its actual weight, which drives FTL to be more economical for some freight.  

An example to illustrate the point is a company that ships styrofoam.  The entire trailer could be filled with product, but it weighs no more than 10,000 pounds.  An LTL freight provider would have a heavy premium on its pricing for this load because it is not within its target market.

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

Truckload also offers liquid tankers and various flatbed mode options.

FTL is the most plentiful freight mode service offered with roughly 700,000 for hire motor carriers.  While this does provide a great number of options for carriers, it 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 requireFreight 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.

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Top LTL Freight Companies

FedEx Freight

Location: Memphis, TennesseeFedEx-Logo

Website: https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/freight-services.html  

Founded: 1973

 

YRC Worldwide

Location: Overland Park, KSyrc freight

Website: https://www.yrcfreight.com

Founded: 1924

 

XPO

Location: Greenwich, CT1280px-XPO_Logistics_logo.svg

Website: https://www.xpo.com/

Founded: 2011

 

Old Dominion

Location: Thomasville, North Carolinablob-3

Website: https://www.odfl.com/Home/

Founded: 1934

 

UPS Freight

Location: Atlanta, Georgiaups freight

Website: http://ltl.upsfreight.com/

Founded: 1907

 

Estes Express Line

Location: Richmond, Virginiablob-4

Website: https://www.estes-express.com/

Founded: 1931

abf_freight

 

ABF Freight

Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Website: https://arcb.com/abf-freight

Founded: 1923

 

R&L Carriers

Location: Wilmington, OHR&L Carriers

Website: https://www.rlcarriers.com/

Founded: 1965

 

Saia Inc.

Location: Johns Creek, Georgiablob-5

Website: https://www.saia.com/

Founded: 1924

 

Southeastern Freight Lines

Location: Lexington, SC1200px-Southeastern_Freight_Lines_logo.svg

Website: https://www.sefl.com

Founded: 1950

 

trcukload ltl expedited freight capacity

 

Top Truckload Freight Companies

 

Knight-Swiftknight swift logo

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Established: 1990

Website: https://www.knighttrans.com

Services: Truckload / Dedicated / Brokerage / Intermodal / Drayage

 

Schneiderschneider logo

Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Established: 1935

Website: https://schneider.com/

Services: Truckload / Dedicated / Expedited / Intermodal / Specialized

 

Landstarlandstar logo

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Established: 1988

Website: https://www.landstar.com/

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

 

JB Huntjb hunt logo

Location: Lowell, Arkansas

Established: 1961

Website: https://www.jbhunt.com/

Services: Intermodal / Drayage / Truckload / Dedicated / Brokerage

 

Primeprime inc logo

Established: 1970

Location: Springfield, Missouri

Website: https://www.primeinc.com/

Services: Refrigerated Truckload, Flatbed, Tanker

 

Werner Enterpriseswerner logo

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Established: 1956

Website: https://www.werner.com

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

 

CRSTCRST logo

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Established: 1955

Website: https://www.crst.com

Services: Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated, Flatbed

 

US XpressUS xpress logo

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Established: 1986

Website: https://www.usxpress.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

Cretecrete carrier logo

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Established: 1966

Website: https://www.cretecarrier.com

Services: Truckload, Temp Controlled, Specialized

 

CR EnglandCR England

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Established: 1920

Website: https://www.crengland.com

Services: Truckload, Temp Controlled, Intermodal, Dedicated

 

Roadrunner Transportationroadrunner transportation logo

Location: Downers Grove, Illinois

Established: 1984

Website: https://www.rrts.com

Services: Truckload, LTL, Temp Controlled

 

Celadonceladon logo

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Established: 1985

Website: https://celadontrucking.com/

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

Covenant Transportcovenant transport logo

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Established: 1986

Website: https://www.covenanttransport.com/

Services: Truckload, Expedited

 

Western Expresswestern express logo

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Established: 1990

Website: https://www.westernexp.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated, Flatbed

 

Heartland Express

Location: North Liberty, Iowa

Established: 1978

Website: https://www.heartlandexpress.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

RuanRUAN logo

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Established: 1932

Website: https://www.ruan.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

Cardinalcardinal logistics logo

Location: Concord, North Carolina

Established: 1981

Website: https://www.cardlog.com

Services: Dedicated

 

MartenMarten Logo

Location: Mondovi, Wisconsin

Established: 1946

Website: https://www.marten.com/

Services: Temp Controlled Truckload

 

Universaluniversal truckload logo

Location: Warren, Michigan

Established: 1932

Website: https://www.UniversalLogistics.com

Services: Truckload, Dedicated

 

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

Location: Tontitown, Arkansas

Established: 1980

Website: https://www.pamtransport.com

Services: Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated

 

Next Moves on FTL & LTL 

As you’re making the decision as to which truckload or LTL company will work best for you, we suggest you read the following articles to best position yourself on obtaining competitive pricing:

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

We hope you found this article helpful.  If ever you are looking at alternatives for your truckload and LTL freight requirements we would love to be a part of that conversation, so please visit our website to learn more about how we can help and follow us on our weekly blogs.

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About Rick LaGore

Rick is the co-founder and CEO of InTek Freight & Logistics, a company focused on being the place where companies come when faced with a logistics problem.

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