Managing Editor, Features
Top 100 For-Hire Carriers Grow Despite Softer Freight Market
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Despite a softer freight environment, most of the largest trucking companies in North America continued to grow their businesses last year even as spot market rates dropped, truck capacity loosened and bargaining power swung back toward shippers.
Nearly all the companies that appear on this latest edition of Transport Topics’ Top 100 For-Hire Carriers list posted full-year revenue gains in 2022.
Net income results were more mixed for carriers that reported that information, but a majority still managed to increase their profits amid less favorable market conditions, which have continued through the first half of 2023.
Top-ranked UPS Inc. exemplifies the steady growth of large transportation and logistics companies. The package delivery giant last year became the first company on this list to surpass $100 billion in annual revenue.
No. 2 FedEx Corp. also is drawing close to that milestone with 2022 revenue of nearly $93 billion.
XPO dropped to No. 5, from No. 3 a year ago, as the company moved forward as a pure-play less-than-truckload carrier after spinning off its freight brokerage division as a separate company now known as RXO. The company previously split off its contract logistics division, which is now GXO.
See the 2023 Top 100 rankings
►Growth Despite Softer Freight Market
►The Truckers of Tomorrow
►Taking Aim at the Parking Shortage
►Managing Regulatory Compliance
►Sector Rankings Show Growth, Acquisitions
The Top 100 list also highlights how consolidation is changing the trucking industry’s competitive landscape.
No. 7 Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings’ blockbuster acquisition of No. 24 U.S. Xpress Enterprises is poised to reshape the truckload segment. That transaction, announced in March, had not yet closed at press time so the companies retain separate rankings this year, but the addition of U.S. Xpress would have pushed Knight-Swift to No. 4 on this list based on the companies’ combined 2022 revenue of nearly $9.6 billion.
Meanwhile, truckload carrier Heartland Express climbed to No. 58 on the list, up from No. 66 a year earlier, on the strength of two major acquisitions. The company acquired truckload hauler Smith Transport in June 2022 and purchased CFI’s nondedicated U.S. truckload business and CFI Logistica in Mexico from TFI International in August 2022.
Diversified Canada-based carrier Fastfrate Group climbs to No. 59 on the Top 100, up from No. 72 a year ago, after acquiring a majority stake in cross-border trucking company Challenger Motor Freight, which had ranked No. 78 on the Top 100 list.
Further consolidation also has taken hold in the refrigerated trucking segment. No. 45 Hirschbach Motor Lines last year acquired another Top 100 company, John Christner Trucking, which had ranked No. 87 on this list.
This year’s Top 100 also features several new names.
No. 47 ITS Logistics operates an asset-based dedicated fleet as part of its logistics and supply chain service offerings.
Making its debut at No. 67 is intermodal trucking and logistics company RoadOne IntermodaLogistics.
Also cracking the list at No. 100 is Irving, Texas-based National Carriers, which provides refrigerated truckload transportation and livestock hauling services.
The Transport Topics Top 100 list and industry sector lists presented in this publication rank the largest for-hire carriers in the United States and Canada based on 2022 revenue.
Most of the information is based on companies’ responses to an annual survey conducted by Transport Topics, along with data from financial reports and other public sources. SJ Consulting Group provided revenue estimates for some companies that did not report data. The lists also include some information compiled by legal services firm Culhane Meadows.
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