Companies in this industry provide long-distance transportation by truck of freight that often has atypical shapes, weights, or sizes and may require specialized equipment such as flatbeds, tankers, car carriers, or refrigerated trailers. Major US companies include CR England, Jack Cooper Transport, New Prime, and Quality Distribution, along with units of general freight trucking companies like JB Hunt and Schneider National.
Demand is driven by manufacturing output and consumer spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations. Large companies have advantages in account relationships, bulk fuel purchasing, fleet size, and access to drivers. Small operations can compete effectively by providing quick turnaround or specializing in a particular industry. The US specialized trucking industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 35% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Specialized freight includes bulk liquid and gases (26% of industry revenue); climate-controlled box and pallet goods (16%); automobiles (11%); and dry bulk goods (8%). Other services include transportation of goods such as farm and forest products, sand and gravel, hazardous and nonhazardous waste, and recyclable materials, along with towing services for mobile homes. Specialized trucking operators often deliver cross-country and may cross international borders.