15 Largest Trucking Companies In North America

By Chris Kolmar - Feb. 18, 2021

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Whether transporting large or small loads, trucking companies are a necessary part of this world in many ways. You may be ordering a small parcel online, or shipping tons of raw material to a processing plant, but either way you’re going to need the help of a truck.

The trucking industry is a huge part of the economy that is unfortunately overlooked or even devalued as a job in many other sectors of industry.

In fact, nearly every industry in existence relies on truck transportation in some form. Heavy industries such as mining, construction, and infrastructure work, would not exist without trucks delivering and transporting materials.

It’s not just large construction and infrastructure that would fall without truck transportation, but every industry that helps us function in our day-to-day lives. Trucks are necessary for the functioning of electricity, transportation of medical and hospital goods, stocking grocery stores, and more.

Truck transportation is responsible for moving 70% of all freight within the U.S., and 80% of American communities rely on trucking services to deliver necessary items such as food, medicine, toiletries, and more.

According to the most recent census data, 3.5 million Americans make a living as truck drivers. Add in other workers, including mechanics, trucking company executives and managers, and dispatchers, and that number rises to 7 million people employed by the trucking industry.

Trucking services, and by extension trucking companies, largely fall into two categories based on what is being shipped.

When there are enough goods or materials being transported to fill an entire truck, this is called full truckload shipping, or simply truckload shipping. When the items being transported do not fill an entire truck, this is called less-than-truckload shipping.

Due to recent purchasing trends, less-than-truckload shipping is now more in-demand than ever. As online shopping habits grow, so does the requirement for less than truckload shipping to get these goods from one side of the country to the next. Truckers help to bridge the gap in these increasingly common online transactions.

However, while demand for less-than-truckload shipping services is high, the trucking industry is one of many industries that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Business closures and layoffs within the trucking industry have caused over 88,000 individuals to lose their jobs.

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Though the pandemic-induced recession has taken a toll on business in all forms, the trucking industry still remains a vital part of the American economy that will continue to grow steadily.

Some companies, however, are the main contributors of growth. In this article, we’ll talk about the top 15 largest trucking companies in North America. Here’s a quick list of the top 15 companies, explained in more detail down below.

The 15 largest trucking companies in North America are:

  1. Fedex Freight

  2. Old Dominion Freight Line

  3. XPO Logistics

  4. YRC Freight

  5. Swift Transportation

  6. Estes Express Lines

  7. UPS Freight

  8. Schneider National

  9. J.B. Hunt Transport Services

  10. Landstar System

  11. ABF Freight System

  12. Prime

  13. Werner Enterprises

  14. R+L Carriers

  15. Saia Motor Freight Line

The companies listed above will ship within the United States, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

How We Ranked the Top 15

In order to determine the top 15 largest trucking companies, we used revenue data which included fuel surcharges, calculated by Logistics Management. All numerical data regarding revenue comes from Logistics Management’s list of 2019 trucking companies.

The data given includes 2017 revenue in millions, 2018 revenue in millions, and the year-over-year percentage change in revenue from 2017 to 2018 which shows whether the revenue has increased or decreased. We utilized the most recent revenue data for our lists, while taking the year-over-year percentage change into account.

In our top 15 list, we also decided to include full truckload and less-than-truckload services in the same list using the same metrics.

Though technically these are two distinct categories of company with different markets and different expectations for revenue, we found that comparing them within the same list was the most appropriate and easily understood format.

Thus, the most accurate title for this list would be “Top 15 Largest Truckload and Less-than Truckload Companies Operating In North America Based on the Most Recent Revenue Data,” but we think our chosen title has a better ring to it.

North America’s 15 Largest Trucking Companies

  1. Fedex Freight

    Revenue (mil.): $7,352

    Our first entry on this list, and the grand prize winner of largest trucking company, is Fedex Freight. Fedex Freight is a less-than-truckload shipping company and a subset of the Fedex Corporation, an American company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

    The name “Fedex” is a portmanteau of the organization’s original name “Federal Express,” which was used from the company’s founding in 1973 up until the year 2000. The company not only has trucking services, but air and ocean freight shipping as well.

    According to the company’s website, Fedex Freight has about 25,000 trucks in operation, 43,000 team members, and an average daily shipment volume of 105,000.

    Fedex’s employees are a diverse mix of people, in race, sex, and political affiliation. Interestingly, Fedex employees are slightly more likely to identify as Republicans, with 55% of Fedex employees self-identifying as Republican Party members.

  2. Old Dominion Freight Line

    Revenue (mil.): $3,983

    Second place on our list goes to the less-than-truckload shipping company Old Dominion Freight Line. Old Dominion Freight Line was founded in 1934, and it has built up quite the reputation (and average annual revenue) for itself.

    Old Dominion Freight Line was founded by Earl Congdon, and the Congdon family maintains ownership over the company to this day. The company is based in Thomasville, North Carolina. According to odfl.com, the company also operates 245 service centers with around 41,000 tractors and trailers for shipping.

    For whatever reason, Old Dominion Freight Line employees have a high probability of being Republicans, with 85% of employees politically identifying with the Republican Party.

    If this sounds like your ideal work environment, Old Dominion Freight Line also happens to be on our list of the best transportation companies to work for, at number 56.

  3. XPO Logistics

    Revenue (mil.): $3,830

    XPO Logistics is our bronze medal winner, and both the third-largest trucking company in general and the third-largest less-than-truckload service. XPO Logistics is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. According to their website, they focus on being service-driven, safe, and inclusive.

    XPO Logistics was founded in 1989 and supports around 100,000 employees. The average employee at XPO Logistics makes an annual salary of $38,369 per year, which is lower than some of its largest competitors.

    Another unfortunate fact is the high turnover rate, with employees working an average of only 1.7 years at this company before leaving.

    However, many XPO Logistics employees find that it is a great work environment, and its overall revenue has only been growing throughout the years.

  4. YRC Freight

    Revenue (mil.): $3,153

    Rounding out our top four is yet another less-than-truckload company, YRC Freight. YRC Freight is a subset of YRC Worldwide, which is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

    YRC Freight is one of the oldest companies on our list, having been founded back in 1924. At this time, it was known as Yellow Transportation. Since then, YRC Freight has become one of the leading less-than-truckload companies in North America.

    YRC Freight employees make an average of $43,303 per year in salary. Engineers at the company net the highest average salary, with an annual amount of $81,000.

  5. Swift Transportation

    Revenue (mil.): $3,146

    The fifth entry on this list, Swift Transportation, is our first full truckload company. This makes Swift Transportation the largest truckload shipping company. Swift Transportation is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and is also known as Knight-Swift due to a merger with Knight Transportation.

    Swift Transportation was founded in 1966 by Jerry Moyes. Swift Transportation operates around 23,000 trucks and employs 21,900 workers in various positions. The average worker at Swift Transportation makes about $53,892 per year.

  6. Estes Express Lines

    Revenue (mil.): $2,787

    Estes Express Lines is a less-than-truckload shipping company based out of Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 1931 by W.W. Estes, the company is still owned by the Estes family. Estes Express Lines has around 16,000 employees, over 200 work terminals, and over 30,000 trailers and 6,700 tractors for shipping needs.

    The average Estes Express Lines employee makes a salary of around $43,464 per year.

  7. UPS Freight

    Revenue (mil.): $2,706

    UPS Freight is a less-than-truckload shipping company and a subset of UPS, or the United Parcel Service. UPS at large employs around 335,520 employees in various positions and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1907, UPS is the oldest company on our list.

    UPS Freight has over 200 facilities in the United States, along with over 22,000 trailers and 6,700 tractors. The average employee at UPS makes around $33,651 per year.

  8. Schneider National

    Revenue (mil.): $2,675

    Schneider National may be number eight on our list, but it is the second-largest truckload company, after Swift Transportation. Schneider National was founded in 1935 and operates out of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The organization describes its workers as “safe, courteous, and hustling”.

    Schneider National has around 19,300 employees, with the average salary of these employees being around $65,250 per year.

    After over 85 years of doing business, Schneider National is a leader within its industry. They operate over 190 facilities throughout the U.S.

    Schneider National has a reputation for being a top company to be employed at, falling at number 78 on our list of the best transportation companies to work for.

  9. J.B. Hunt Transport Service

    Revenue (mil.): $2,581

    J.B. Hunt is the ninth entry on this list and the third-largest truckload shipping company. This truckload shipping company is headquartered in Lowell, Arkansas, and was founded in 1961.

    The company employs over 24,000 individuals. It operates more than 12,000 trucks and 100,000 trailers and containers. The average J.B. Hunt employees make around $54,763 annually and will work for the company for about 2.2 years before leaving.

  10. Landstar System

    Revenue (mil.): $2,243

    Landstar System finishes off our top ten and sits comfortably at fourth place compared to other truckload shipping companies. Landstar System is a Florida-based company operating out of Jacksonville. The company was founded in 1968 and employs over 10,000 owner-operators.

    Landstar System has over 1,273 employees and happens to make our list of best transportation companies to work for at number 80. This company also has a unique interest in hiring graduates of the University of North Florida, with 14.7% of its employees having graduated from there.

  11. ABF Freight System

    Revenue (mil.): $2,128

    ABF Freight System is a less-than-truckload shipping company based out of Fort Smith, Arkansas. ABF Freight System is a subsidiary of Arcbest, a logistics solutions provider. It is quite a seasoned company, with a founding date in the year 1923.

    ABF Freight System has around 13,000 employees. Interestingly, it is one of the only trucking companies in which employees are more likely to be members of the Democratic party rather than Republican, with around 54% of ABF Freight Systems employees identifying as Democrats.

    ABF Freight Systems parent company, Arcbest, falls at number 65 on our list of the best transportation companies to work for.

  12. Prime

    Revenue (mil.): $1,937

    Prime Inc. is the fifth largest truckload shipping company, operating out of Springfield, Missouri. The company was founded in 1970, and describes its company culture as “one of a kind.”

    Prime has around 3,750 employees with facilities stretching across the United States. Prime employees make an average of $52,676 per year.

  13. Werner Enterprises

    Revenue (mil.): $1,853

    Werner Enterprises is a less-than-truckload shipping company operating out of Omaha, Nebraska. It employs around 12,784 people and has an average employee salary of $72,304, which is considered to be in the high, competitive range for the industry.

    For this reason, and others, Werner Enterprises lands at number 70 on our list of the best transportation companies to work for.

    Despite the high salary potentials, Werner Enterprises tends to have a high turnover rate. Employees at this company stay an average of 1.5 years before leaving. The company has more than 8,000 tractors and 23,000 trailers, which transport mostly merchandise and consumer products.

  14. R+L Carriers

    Revenue (mil.): $1,692

    R + L Carriers, founded in 1965, is a less-than-truckload shipping company. It operates a fleet of over 21,000 tractors and trailers, and employs over 10,000 individuals, with employees making an average of $41,838 per year. The company is based in Wilmington, Ohio.

  15. Saia Motor Freight Line

    Revenue (mil.): $1,654

    Our final entry on this list is Saia Motor Freight Line, a less-than-truckload shipping company. The company was founded in 1924 and employs 8,900 people. Saia boasts great employee retention, with the average employee staying at the company for around 3.5 years.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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