Quest for High quality 2021: Much less-than-truckload (LTL)

Ten years ago, the thought of handling e-commerce deliveries hardly excited less-than-truckload executives due to the cumbersome way that deliveries were made. “It wasn’t terribly efficient. It was costly. It was time-consuming. And deliveries to private homes were even worse,” says contributing editor John Schulz who has followed the LTL sector for LM for over 20 years.

However, Amazon, Wayfair and a whole host of e-commerce behemoths changed the game. We’ve watched e-commerce quickly evolve, and we’re happy to report the nation’s leading LTL carriers have transform right along with it.

“Today, LTL carriers are doing lots of middle-mile deliveries to warehouses for those online giants,” says Schulz. “And, as a result, they have become big, reliable customers to shrewd LTL carriers. It was business that was always there, but now LTL carriers are now managing it differently and pricing it smarter—a fact that has led to an economic revival of the LTL sector.”

And according to the readers of Logistics Management, the 23 LTL carriers listed in the following section have not only evolved to meet the grueling e-commerce challenge, they have done so by provide world-class service along the way.

In this year’s National LTL category, FedEx Freight pulls in with an impressive 46.37. FedEx Freight put up top marks in On-time Performance (10.98), Information Technology (8.88) and Equipment & Operations (8.80) on the way to the highest weighted score. XPO took top billing in Value (9.28) and Customer Service (9.35) this year as art of its notable 46.10 weighted score.

Over in the Multi-regional LTL category this year, Old Dominion Freight Line and R+L Carriers put up top marks, scoring well over the weighted average. Old Dominion led the way in On-time Performance (12.84), while R+L took a slight statistical edge in Value (10.80), Information Technology (8.28), Customer Service (10.04) and Equipment & Operations (8.61).

Pitt Ohio put up an impressive 49.94 weighted score in this year’s Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional LTL category. Pitt Ohio led the way in four out of the five attributes categories in the region. Ward Transport Logistics posted a top mark of 10.80 in the Value attribute this year.

In the South/South Central Regional LTL category we find Southeastern Freight Lines (52.34) and Averitt Express (51.55) posting the two highest weighted scores in overall LTL category. Southeastern put up top scores in On-time Performance (13.29), Value (11.52), Customer Service (10.80), and Equipment & Operations (9.00). Averitt scored a notable 9.18 in Information Technology, the highest score in this attribute across the entire LTL category.

Dayton Freight Lines scored a 46.49 weight score in our Midwest/North Central Regional LTL category, while Holland put up a 43.19 making them the only two carriers that scored above the weighted average of 43.11 in the region. Dayton led the way in four of the five attribute categories, with Holland putting up the top mark in Customer Service (9.45).

In the always heavily contested Western Regional LTL category we find six carriers taking home Quest for Quality gold this year, an indication that LM readers are finding excellent service throughout the region. Peninsula Truck Lines led the way in On-time Performance (12.38), Information Technology (8.93), Customer Service (10.13), and Equipment Operations (9.00), while Carlile Transportation put up the top mark in Value (10.82). Oak Harbor Freight Lines rolled in with the highest overall weight score at 47.51.

The Surface Package category is always a two-horse race, and this year we find FedEx Ground pulling in with a notable 47.46 and UPS posting a 43.67. According to our readers, FedEx put up highest marks in all five of our attribute categories.

Get news, papers, media & research, delivered.

Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Supply Chain 24/7.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and we’ll keep you up-to-date.