Deeper analysis reveals some interesting tidbits
As you surely have noticed by now, this issue of Commercial Carrier Journal features the CCJ Top 250, our annual ranking of the largest for-hire trucking companies. To whet your appetite for the editorial package that starts on page 60, here are some other observations about the CCJ Top 250 carriers.
Independent contractors represent as much as 20 percent of the CCJ Top 250’s driving force. Carriers in the CCJ Top 250 use nearly 684,000 drivers, and they directly reported 91,408 independent contractor drivers. Not all carriers volunteer that information, but those carriers operate 50,083 leased tractors. Sure, some are true equipment leases or leases from affiliated companies, but most probably are independent contractor units. And some surely are teams, increasing the driver count further. Not all independent contractor drivers are one-truck owner-operators, however. Some CCJ Top 250 carriers lease entire small trucking companies or, as with moving companies, use them as agents.
Illinois has the most CCJ Top 250 carriers. Surprised? Illinois is home to 18 CCJ Top 250 carriers, but only three of them are in the top 100. And only one – Sirva – is in the top 90. Tennessee might make a better case to be the leader, as eight of its 17 carriers are in the top 100, and five are in the top 50. Indiana and Texas are close behind at 14 each, followed by Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania with 12 carriers each.
Nine U.S. states aren’t represented in the CCJ Top 250 at all: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. Five Canadian provinces are represented in the CCJ Top 250, which ranks all for-hire carriers authorized for U.S. operations.
Some CCJ Top 250 carriers are related by common ownership. We consider all carriers operated under a corporate umbrella or with the same management team as one carrier for purposes of ranking. Otherwise, we rank carriers separately, even if they might share ownership interests.
So while it’s commonly known that Jerry Moyes runs the public company Swift Transportation and controls both Central Freight Lines and Central Refrigerated Service, we rank those companies separately. Similarly, the Cassels family controls both Southeastern Freight Lines and G&P Trucking, but we treat them as separate companies as well.
Or consider the Moroun family. CenTra Inc., headed by Manuel Moroun, controls Central Transport International. Moroun and his son, Matthew, also control publicly traded Universal Truckload Services Inc., and Matthew Moroun serves as chairman of the board. Meanwhile, Matthew Moroun also serves as chairman of publicly traded P.A.M. Transport Services and is a stockholder.
Private equity plays a significant role in trucking. You might associate private equity with Internet startups and such, but it’s increasingly common in trucking, too, as indicated by a number of CCJ Top 250 carriers owned or controlled by investment entities. Two public carriers – Ceva Logistics and Quality Distribution – are effectively controlled by the same private equity firm, Apollo Global Management. The table on this page identifies some of the CCJ Top 250 carriers that are owned by or have significant equity investment from private equity firms, but it’s not an exhaustive list.
AVERY VISE is executive director, trucking research and analysis for Randall-Reilly and senior editor, industry analysis for Commercial Carrier Journal. E-mail email@example.com.
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