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Mar. 17, 2014

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38 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE MARCH 17.2014 TOP LTL AND TRUCKLOAD CARRIERS SPECIAL REPORT Revenue growth at the 25 largest LTL truckers drops for a second straight year, but signs point to a stronger 2014 FASTEST-GROWING TRUCKING COMPANIES n Year-over-year revenue growth at the fastest-growing less-than-truckload and truckload carriers in 2013. Source: SJ Consulting Group TOP 25 RANK CARRIER NAME TYPE RANKING PERECNT GROWTH 1 CENTRAL TRANSPORT LTL 15 2 UNIVERSAL TRUCKLOAD TL 22 3 NFI INDUSTRIES TL 23 4 PITT OHIO LTL 17 5 CENTRAL REFRIGERATED TL 21 6 WARD TRUCKING LTL 25 7 OLD DOMINION FREIGHT LINE LTL 5 8 ROADRUNNER & DAYTON LTL 13 & 16 9 CELADON GROUP TL 18 10 DAYLIGHT TRANSPORT LTL 21 DAYLIGHT TRANSPORT CELADON GROUP ROADRUNNER & DAYTON OLD DOMINION FREIGHT LINE WARD TRUCKING CENTRAL REFRIGERATED PITT OHIO NFI INDUSTRIES UNIVERSAL TRUCKLOAD CENTRAL TRANSPORT 28.4% 14.6% 11.3% 10.9% 10.2% 9.8% 9.5% 9.4% 9.2% 8.6% THE LESS-THAN-TRUCKLOAD INDUSTRY is finally close to recovering revenue lost in the Great Recession, with the biggest LTL car- riers already matching pre-recession sales. Progress in 2013 was painfully slow, however, as the 25 largest U.S. LTL trucking companies raised their combined revenue just 3.9 percent to $29.5 billion, according to The Journal of Commerce's 2014 list of the Top 25 LTL Carriers, prepared by SJ Con- sulting Group. That compares with a 4.4 percent growth rate in 2012, a much stron- ger 12.4 percent growth rate in 2011 and a 9.1 percent gain in 2010, the first year of the U.S. economic recovery (SJ Consulting revised data for recent years to reflect LTL acquisi- tions in 2013). Chalk up the second consecutive year of slow LTL growth to a weak U.S. recovery in which quarterly GDP growth bounced from quarter to quarter, rising from a low of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 4.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013 and dropping back to 2.4 percent in the last quarter. LTL and truckload carriers are increas- ingly optimistic about 2014, based on strong tonnage gains in the second half of 2013 through December and anecdotal reports of rising demand in the first quarter — despite disruption and delays caused by severe win- ter storms. They were optimistic at this time last year, as well, however. Even plodding along, the Top 25 LTL carriers managed in 2013 to drive past the $29.3 billion pre-recession revenue record they set in 2008 by approximately $200 mil- lion. They also grew much faster than their truckload counterparts. The 25 largest truckload carriers, ranked by sales, increased combined revenue 0.6 percent in 2013 to $25.7 billion, according to SJ Consulting. Total LTL revenue rose 3.1 percent to $33 billion in 2013, still about $300 million short of the $3.3 billion in total LTL revenue reported for 2008 and $700 million short of the pre-recession LTL industry peak of $33.7 billion in 2006. Combined revenue

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