Year-over-year revenue fell in 2015 at 26 of the enterprises that made the JOC.com list of Top 50 Trucking Companies, a sudden and sharp reversal from strong market growth in 2014, when revenue declined at only two carriers and grew by double-digits at 25 others.
Total Top 50 combined revenue grew, but by only 3.1 percent from 2014, compared with a 9.1 percent increase that year from 2013. That 3.1 percent growth rate is the slowest for the Top 50 since the end of the recession in 2009, according to SJ Consulting Group.
Total revenue for the Top 50 rose from $118.4 billion in 2014 to $122.1 billion last year, the fourth straight year the group had more than $100 billion in combined sales. Over the past five years, the Top 50 trucking companies have enjoyed a compound annual growth rate of 5.8 percent.
In 2014, the carriers on the Top 50 list, prepared for The Journal of Commerce by SJ Consulting Group, accounted for 16.9 percent of the $700.4 billion in total trucking revenue estimated by the American Trucking Associations. That compares with 14.4 percent of $660.3 billion in trucking revenue in 2008.
The 2015 Top 50 list consisted of 27 companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, two more than in 2014 and eight more than in 2012. The number of billion-dollar companies on the list has more than doubled since 2003, when there were only 12 billion-dollar trucking operators, including UPS.
Fast-growing XPO Logistics joined this year’s list, following its purchase of Con-way last October. The revenue figure for XPO includes two months of revenue from the former Con-way operations as well as intermodal revenue from the former Pacer International business.
This is the first year SJ Consulting listed intermodal marketing companies in the rankings, reflecting increased cross-market integration among transportation modes within U.S. domestic markets, fostered by acquisitions by XPO and others.