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Companies in this industry provide long-distance, general freight delivery of less-than-truckload shipments. Major companies include US-based ArcBest, Con-way Freight, FedEx Freight, Old Dominion Freight, and YRC; as well as DHL Freight (Germany) and TransForce (Canada).
Wealthy nations such as the US, Japan, and Germany are top markets for trucking. Though trucking companies have traditionally focused on providing service in their home countries and neighboring nations, growth in emerging markets has prompted some companies to expand overseas. Such growth is typically achieved through the acquisition of established local trucking networks in the target country.
The US less-than-truckload carrier industry includes about 8,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $40 billion.
Less-than-truckload carriers handle multiple shipments combined onto a single truck for multiple deliveries within a network. Companies that provide long-distance transportation of freight from a single shipper by truckload are covered in the Truckload Carriers profile.
Demand is driven by manufacturing output, residential and commercial construction activity, and retail spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations. Large companies have advantages in fleet size, economies of scale (particularly related to bulk fuel purchasing), scope of services, and geographic reach. Small companies can compete effectively by offering daily or next-day deliveries within a small region, or providing specialized services such as transportation of oversized loads or delicate equipment. The US industry is highly ...
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