Companies in this industry provide long-distance, general freight delivery of less-than-truckload shipments. Major companies include US-based ArcBest, FedEx Freight, Old Dominion Freight, XPO Logistics, and YRC; as well as DHL Freight (Germany) and TFI International (Canada).
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 concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 85 percent of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Companies may offer regional (less than 500 miles, 1-2 day delivery times), interregional (500 to 1,000 miles, 2-3 day deliver times), or national service (more than 1,000 miles, 2-5 day delivery times). Some providers also offer international freight forwarding service.