Long Distance General Freight Trucking

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 36,300 long distance general freight trucking companies in the US provide truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services between cities and across the country. TL trucks carry a load for a single customer, transporting the load directly to its destination. LTL trucks carry goods for more than one customer and make multiple stops to drop-off and pick-up freight. These trucking firms transport a wide variety of goods and may also provide services such as warehousing, packaging, and customs brokering for international transport. Long distance trips typically exceed 250 miles.

Volatility of Fuel Costs

Fuel consumption is a major expense for trucking companies, with nine miles to the gallon of diesel considered a good MPG range.

Rising Need for Drivers

Because of truck drivers’ difficult lifestyle and time spent away from home, many companies have trouble finding and retaining qualified long-haul drivers.

Industry size & Structure

A typical long distance general freight trucking company operates out of a single location, employs 23-24 workers, and generates about $5 million annually.

    • The long distance general freight trucking industry consists of about 36,300 companies, which employ about 754,000 workers and generate about $162 billion annually.
    • The truckload (TL) segment of the industry accounts for 88% of firms and 71% of industry revenue. The less than truckload (LTL) segment accounts for 12% of firms and 29% of industry revenue.
    • The TL segment is fragmented with the 20 largest firms representing 30% of the segment’s revenue. The LTL segment is concentrated with the 20 largest firms representing 77% of the segment’s revenue.
    • Large companies include Schneider, Old Dominion, YRC Freight, Swift Transportation, JB Hunt, and Werner Enterprises.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Long Distance General Freight Trucking Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Dec 2, 2022 - Diesel Price Remains High
                                  • Gasoline prices have decreased significantly from the highs of mid-2022, but diesel prices are falling at a much slower pace. The national average for regular gas was only up 8 cents year over year on December 1. Diesel was $1.51 higher year over year on December 1. Experts say that winter weather is playing a key role in keeping diesel prices elevated. The oils used in heating buildings are very similar to diesel. More of these oils are diverted to heating as the temperature drops, so there is less diesel on the market.
                                  • Kodiak Robotics announced that its self-driving 18-wheelers are hauling products from IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings retailer. Deliveries have been made seven days per week from the IKEA Distribution Center in Baytown, TX, to an IKEA store in Frisco, outside of Dallas, according to a news release from Kodiak, Human truck drivers pick up loaded trailers and then sit behind the wheel to oversee the autonomous delivery.
                                  • World trade in goods is likely to slow more in 2023 than previously expected, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Slowing demand in the West and China's economic struggles, driven largely by increasing bad debt levels related mostly to the real estate sector and to continuance of its Zero COVID policy, are weighing on imports and exports. The WTO lowered its forecast for global economic growth in 2023 to 2.3% from 3.3% and warned of an even steeper drop if central banks raise their key interest rates more than expected. A United Nations agency said in early October that raising interest rates to fight inflation could inflict worse damage globally than the financial crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 shock in 2020. The WTO also noted several long-term trends affecting international trade, including de-globalization — a reversal of decades of ever-closer economic integration, that accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
                                  • The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law in August, includes the Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle tax credit to accelerate adoption of electric medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. A tax credit of up to $40,000 is available to help make owning an electric truck cheaper than owning a diesel one in most use cases. Urban and regional electric trucks are likely to be cost-superior to diesel ones as soon as 2023, according to some analysts.
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