Figuring out the 11 largest trucking companies by number of trucks was a bit of a personal venture for me. Today marks the day my other half starts truck driving school, so needless to say, the topic is quite fitting. And like many of the topics I set out to conquer, obtaining the necessary information for the said topic was no easy task. It wasn’t necessarily coming up with the largest trucking companies (2017) – that was relatively simple! – but finding the “number of trucks” part was what got me. Okay, maybe that along with the fact that I’m such a perfectionist!
Let’s take, for example, two different sources I found on the largest trucking companies in the world – —one being a Top 100 list and the other focusing on the Top 50. If you take a look at the first list, it is concentrated more on the largest private trucking companies, whereas the latter encompasses the top 50 trucking companies (2017) in a more general way. The difference between the global freight and these privately owned carriers is that private [trucking] companies only haul their own goods. Still technically a trucking company, but to me fits in more with the broader topic of logistics, in which case would be better suited for another recent list of the Top 10 Logistics Companies in the World in 2017, or even 15 Biggest Logistics Companies in the World in 2017. That leaves me with the “top 50” list, which as you can see doesn’t include the number of trucks, whatsoever as did the first list… Grrr!
Had this list been focusing on the top 10 Biggest Trucking Companies in America according to their annual revenue, there would have been an abundance of sources to verify that information. Even according to Forbes, the richest trucking company is United Parcel Service (more commonly referred to as UPS). And while they do, in fact, reign supreme across the board and have remained that way for the last couple years, I just can’t bring myself to classify them as just a trucking company. Plus, I’m after what trucking company has the most trucks – NOT who’s making the most money. Although with more revenue, it would be safe to say that a company could afford more trucks. So the topics kind of go hand-in-hand.
With that being said, sometimes a smaller company has a higher revenue due to the types of materials they are hauling. For instance, hazardous material such as gas and propane, along with items that need to be refrigerated simply cost more to ship than say bibles or coffee mugs (just using these items as a reference since I have both within arm’s reach). Flat out, the more common everyday items that don’t require special handling or care during shipment are not going to cost as much to get from point A to point B. The types of trucks it takes to ship those hazardous materials and refrigerated items are also more costly, so the assumption that with larger revenue comes a larger fleet of trucks isn’t always the case, either.
For this particular article, since I was looking more for 2017/2016 largest truck fleets I didn’t take revenue into consideration, whatsoever. So, the sources I previously mentioned were obsolete. Like I said before, it wasn’t easy, but I finally found exactly what I was looking for! The table even included everything from the tables I had been finding prior and then some! SCORE!
Finally, I was able to properly rank the 11 largest trucking companies by number of trucks. I compared the total number of trailers along with the total number of tractors that companies whose primary operation is in general freight or dedicated contract carriage (DDC) have. And although the total number of trailers was more often than not greater if not equal to the number of tractors, I based the list off of the companies with the most tractors, because what is a trailer without a tractor to pull it?
11. US Xpress Enterprises Inc.
Kicking off the 11 largest trucking companies by number of trucks is U.S. Xpress. They offer numerous transportation services including solo (one driver), a team (two drivers working around the clock for faster deliveries), dedicated, international deliveries and more! With 6,457 tractors and 16,163 trailers, it’s hard to believe the company started out with just 48 trucks back in 1986. They claim to have reached an annual revenue of $1 billion faster than any other truckload (TL) carrier in history. Sounds like they stay true to their motto: U can depend on US.
10. Estes Express Lines
Every great company had to start somewhere. This particular top trucking company started during the Great Depression with just one man in one truck hauling farming supplies, and has since grown to a fleet of 6,516 tractors and 25,150 trailers that haul anything just about anywhere! Estes is considered to be the largest LTL (less-than-truckload) carriers in the country and among the biggest names in TL carrier, as well. From that lonely guy using a single truck out of just one location grew a company that now has over 200 terminals with “total shipping solutions that bridge the gap” conquering the land, air and sea, making it possible for them to transport goods virtually anywhere!
9. Werner Enterprises Inc.
Coming in at number 9 of the 11 largest trucking companies by number of trucks is the company that “keeps America moving”. Werner offers an array of transportation services including those temperature controlled trucks I previously mentioned, which is ideal considering they mainly transport grocery products along with retail store merchandise, consumer products, and manufactured products. With offices on almost every continent and a fleet of 7,242 tractors and 23,815 trailers, it’s crazy to think that a 19-year-old boy birthed what would later turn out to be such a prestigious company back in 1956.
8. TFI International
When it comes to the largest trucking companies by number of trucks, it’s nice to know that these companies take our environment seriously. TFI International is definitely one that is always striving to make green initiatives in the trucking industry. And with 7,836 tractors and 24,715 trailers, it’s reassuring to know that some of these big-name trucking companies do all they can to keep their equipment as environmentally friendly as possible. And with TFI, they go above and beyond when it comes to keeping up with the latest technologies to reduce their carbon footprint.
7. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.
Is it just me, or is it seriously touching to know just how some of the largest trucking companies by number of trucks started out? Old Dominion is another company that started with just one truck running one single route. And now—over 80 years later—have 7,994 tractors and 32,898 trailers. You can tell that OD takes customer service seriously, not just due to their success and their company motto: “helping the world keep promises”, but the company has won the “Mastio and Co. Best LTL National Carrier” award eight years in a row! One winner (out of over 2,000 candidates!) is selected each year based on customer satisfaction along with an extensive report on anything from their pricing to their drivers’ attitudes.
6. XPO Logistics Inc.
XPO Logistics—where “results matter”! They are not only a leading company in the trucking industry but one of the biggest names in logistics in the world, as well. Fortune named them as one of the world’s most admired companies of 2018 and Forbes named them the top-performing U.S. companies on the Global 2000 in 2017. But their awards and recognition don’t end there! It’s no wonder why they average 160,000 shipments a day! And with all that to haul, they’ve gotta have an impressive fleet of trucks, as well – 8,363 tractors and 39,000 trailers to be exact.
5. Landstar System Inc.
Designed to respond and built to deliver – Landstar will do just that! And although they don’t have as many trailers as some of the other largest trucking companies by number of trucks, they really don’t need them considering they have 9,186 tractors. That’s not to say they don’t still have a decent 15,170 trailers, but like I said before, a trailer really can’t go anywhere without the tractor to pull it. Here is another great company that can and will haul anything (and I mean, any-thing!) anywhere!
4. J.B. Hunt Transport Inc.
As one of the youngest companies featured on the largest trucking companies by number of trucks, J.B. Hunt can still hold its own when competing with these other companies that have been around for even decades longer! They are proud to be a Fortune 500 company with their fleet of 13,807 tractors and 29,663 trailers. They have a unique operating strategy when it comes to logistics by teaming with third parties to get the job done. A strategy that they feel gives them a competitive edge.
Even though Schneider is one of the largest trucking companies by number of trucks, they’re not too big to forget about the little things in this world. Schneider has been making strides over the past 80 years and counting to making the world that we live in a better place. And not just in the world of transportation logistics, either! They wholeheartedly care about making a difference, and consider themselves as “an engine of positive growth for the people and communities we serve”. Aside from their fleet of 14,587 tractors and 41,941 trailers and being more than qualified to accommodate all transportation needs, they are the company behind the Schneider Foundation, which aims at giving back to their community and making a positive change.
2. YRC Worldwide Inc.
Any need. Any speed. Guaranteed! It’s fitting considering YRC has 15,135 tractors and 42,674 trailers to back it up. Not to mention they offer local, regional, national and international services AND are the holding company for YRC Freight, YRC Reimer, Reddaway, Holland and New Penn! And if that’s not impressive enough for you, YRC Worldwide companies have a laundry list of recognition awards and certifications to boot. YRC Freight was the top finalist at the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships and was even honored as the National LTL Carrier of the Year by J.B. Hunt. Holland has been named a Top 100 Trucker in 2017 by Inbound Logistics magazine and has earned the Quest for Quality Award for 32 consecutive years! New Penn and Reddaway were also among the Top 100 Trucker by Inbound Logistics, as well. Sounds like YRC Worldwide is on the right path!
No, the largest trucking company by number of trucks is not a tie. These two big-names in trucking have recently merged to form the “Goliath” of trucking companies. Although, Swift would have made it to the number one spot on this list without Knight’s added fleet of 4,547 tractors and 12,367 trailers. That combined with Swift’s whopping 18,636 tractors and 64,066 trailers! – these other trucking companies really didn’t even stand a chance when it came down to which trucking company has the most trucks. Honestly, that is quite impressive considering Knight is considered a smaller company (named on Top 200 Best Small company by Forbes for 15 consecutive years) and Swift is only about 50-years-old, which is compared to these other competitors, is more often than not 20-30 years younger. The trucking industry should definitely watch out for Swift, now!