October 2021

Trucking’s Top 10 deliver the pumpkins and spice this Halloween

Putting on a happy if not crooked, toothy face on the logistical nightmare before Christmas, Jack O’ Lanterns costumes and all the rest of the festoonery still made it from warehouses to retailers and to Moms in time for this year’s Halloween. Truckers delivered the pumpkins as well, by the ton. According to Truckload Shipping farmers plant more than 50,000 acres of pumpkins each year across all states in the U.S. This year, trucks will have delivered an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins to the kitchens, porches and squirrels of America.

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Monsters of the road, America’s top 10 trucking companies

Trucking’s delivering the spice as well apparently. When fall temperatures cool, cooking in the kitchen resumes, and the packaged spice category is at the center of it all. Retailers, note the Retail Dieticians Business Alliance, find the 12 weeks prior to Thanksgiving is the strongest period of retail spice sales, according to data by Nielsen Retail Measurement Services. Dollar sales of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, sage, ginger, thyme, rosemary and allspice – were a collective $121 million in packaged form in the period ending by Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of spice.

With all due respect to the apple, trucking is as American as pumpkin pie, and fleets delivered every item listed on the recipe this year including the whipped cream. Although the entire trucking industry contributed to the Boogie-Woogie of the season, some real giants remained dominate this shipping season.

Bringing the goods at the top of the supply chain

Each year, Supply Chain counts down the Top 10 trucking companies. There are an estimated 1.2 million companies in the U.S. trucking industry. That’s a long list, but at the top are these 10 monsters:

  • 1. UPS, Inc. – 500,000 employees
  • 2. Fed Ex – 425,00 employees
  • 3. XPO Logistics – 100,000 employees
  • 4. J.B. Hunt Transportation – 120,000 employees
  • 5. Knight-Swift – 28,000 employees
  • 6. YRC Worldwide – 19,000 employees
  • 7. Schneider – 40,000 carriers
  • 8. Landstar System – 10,000 drivers
  • 9. Old Dominion – 21,000 drivers
  • 10. TFI International – 10,000 drivers

Most consumers know the top two, but the others should be familiar to most of those in the industry by now, some of these giants have been at the top of the beanstalk for decades but that is not surprising considering the attention these company’s must be paying to the details in their operations.

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Giants but of the nimble variety

Looking across the websites and corporate presentations of these giants, they attribute their growth, longevity and sustained financial success to three fundamental things they invest in: people, processes and technology. Safety and attention to operating details are also keeping drivers and regulators in the driver’s seat where they belong. That’s the jack that has been keeping them nimble.

Regardless, when it comes to bringing the pumpkins and spice, every Halloween is a party these guys are invited to. It’s been a scary year, full of goblins and bugs ,but trucking continues to make this Halloween season less frightening and more fun for us all.

Bob Tales