As our veteran trucking correspondent John Schulz has been reporting, the once beleaguered LTL market is enjoying a revival of sorts, thanks to its substantial investment in technology, the boom in e-commerce as well as increasing demand in non-traditional areas that the leading carriers are now servicing.
“It’s about market share and pricing power,” says Schulz. “In fact, the top 25 LTL carriers account for nearly 90% of market share.” And with the biggest players upping the ante with multi-million dollar investments in technology and operations improvements, the LTL sector continues to enjoy pricing power that the highly fragment truckload (TL) sector simply can’t realize.
According to David Ross, veteran LTL analyst for Stifel Inc., 2017 will be “generally good” for LTL carriers, with results improving as the freight year progresses.
“The expectation remains for better times ahead in LTL due to the prospect of lower taxes, reduced regulation, increased capital spending and the administration’s stated focus on domestic jobs, infrastructure and manufacturing,” says Ross. And according to our readers, all nine of the winners listed below enjoyed a pretty terrific 2016 in terms of service excellence.
In the National LTL category, FedEx Freight put up a solid 48.00 weighted average, leading the way in On-time performance (11.83), Information technology (8.72), Customer service (9.11) and Equipment & operations (8.87). XPO Logistics took top marks in Value (9.57).
Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) scored an impressive 49.60 weighted average, the top score in a very tight Multi-regional category. ODFL saw highest results in On-time performance (12.33), Value (9.72), Customer service (9.96) and Equipment & operations (8.98). FedEx Freight scored a category leading 8.67 in Information technology.
In what is traditionally the closest race in the Quest for Quality survey, Surface Package Carrier FedEx Ground scored a 50.83 weighted average this year, pulling in just ahead of UPS with a 49.08.
2017 Quest for Quality Winners Categories
NATIONAL LTL | REGIONAL LTL | TRUCKLOAD | RAIL/INTERMODAL | OCEAN CARRIERS | PORTS | 3PL | AIR CARRIERS and FREIGHT FORWARDERS