Trucking Companies

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 128,800 trucking companies in the US provide transportation services for a wide variety of goods. The majority of truck loads are full Truck Loads (TL), meaning a single customer fills the entire trailer. About 29% of loads are Less Than Full Truck Loads (LTL), where freight from multiple customers is consolidated into one trailer.

High Failure Rate

Small trucking start-ups have a high failure rate, with an estimated 85% failing before their second year of operation, according to the National Association of Small Trucking Companies.

Limited Driver Hours

The federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules dictate how long a driver can be on duty and behind the wheel.

Industry size & Structure

A typical trucking company operates out of a single location, employs fewer than 10 workers and generates about $3-4 million annually.

    • The trucking industry consists of 128,800 companies, employs 1.6 million workers and generates over $459 billion in annual revenue.
    • 88% of trucking companies operate out of a single location.
    • One in 4 drivers is an independent owner-operator who owns their truck and contracts out services to trucking companies.
    • About 80% of trucking establishments employ fewer than 10 workers.
    • Large companies include UPS, FedEx, DHL, YRC Worldwide, Ryder, XPO Logistics (Con-way), Penske Truck Leasing, and JB Hunt Transport Services.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Trucking Companies Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Nov 14, 2023 - Firms Cut Prices
                                • Trucking companies modestly decreased their prices in the first eight months of 2023 in response to decreasing demand. Employment levels decreased during the period while wages for nonsupervisory employees increased slightly.
                                • Retail diesel prices decreased in early October but were accompanied by rising wholesale prices, according to FreightWaves. The average weekly retail diesel price decreased 9.5 cents during the seven-day period ending on October 10 to $4.498 per gallon, according to US Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration (DOE/EIA) data. The decrease in the DOE/EIA price followed two days in which the price of ultra low sulfur diesel on the CME commodity exchange rose a combined 11.93 cents a gallon. Those upward moves were seen as a reaction to the Hamas attack in Israel and the Israeli retaliation that has begun but is expected to last for weeks or months. There was no immediate impact on oil supply from the conflict in Israel, according to FreightWaves.
                                • The US Senate failed to override President Biden’s veto of a Congressional Review Act which overturns the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) heavy-duty vehicle emissions regulations. The EPA issued a final rule in late 2022 that will impose strict clean-air standards for heavy-duty trucks beginning with model year 2027. The EPA estimated that the technology required to meet the new rule’s standards will cost between $2,568 and $8,304 per vehicle. The American Truck Dealers Association estimates that it is more likely a $42,000 increase per truck. The EPA projects that the associated costs of this new regulation could reach $55 billion over the lifetime of the program. The veto being upheld allows the EPA to move toward the regulation beginning with 2027 trucks. Legal challenges are expected.
                                • Up to 94% of trucker operator hours may be impacted "if automated trucking technology improves to operate in all weather conditions across the continental United States," according to a 2022 study by researchers at the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University. The study also found that the loss of operator hours associated with the automation of long-haul trucking – trips of 150 miles or longer – would "not be made up both in terms of quantity and quality by short-haul driving work."
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