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Performance Metrics Used by Freight Transport Providers - page 6 / 35





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W. Cottrell

Cal Poly Pomona

these providers was headquartered in California, although all had satellite offices nationwide. The largest FTL carriers headquartered in California were Pacer International ($406.0 million) and Beneto Bulk Transport ($73.4 million). The largest California-based LTL carriers were GI Trucking ($215.5 million) and Dependable Highway Express ($79.5 million). The industry is under a constant state of flux, with mergers, acquisitions, and market-oriented modifications.

Major parcel carriers had traditionally included United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx). Both carriers “upgraded” to LTL status, however, with UPS’ purchase of Overnite Corporation in 2005, and FedEx’ acquisition of Viking Freight (in 1998) and American Freightways (in 2001). The

third-largest parcel carrier, DHL, is also classified as LTL. (www.parcelshippers.org) membership list includes 59 companies.

The Parcel Shippers Association

Combination trucks, which perform the bulk of truck shipments, are served by the National Network (NN). The NN is essentially identical to the Interstate System. In most States, additional truck routes facilitate penetration into areas not served by the Interstate System. In California, for example, Terminal Access, Service Access, and California Legal routes enable large, legally-sized trucks to access terminals, authorized service routes, and non-Interstate highways. Combination trucks traveled 143.66 billion miles on the National Network and other truck routes in 2005 (BTS 2007).


As of 2002, there were 552 railroad carriers in the U.S., operating over 141,698 miles of track, and earning $36.92 billion in revenue. There were four categories of railroad: Class I, Regional, Line-haul, and Switching & Terminal. Class I railroads had revenue of at least $347 million in 2006. The seven Class I railroads earned 92% of the U.S.’ freight railroad revenue in 2002. The Class I railroads were:

  • Burlington Northern & Santa Fe

  • CSX Transportation

  • Grand Trunk Corporation (Canadian National, Grand Trunk Western, Illinois Central, Wisconsin


  • Kansas City Southern

  • Norfolk Southern

  • Soo Line

  • Union Pacific

Regional railroads covered at least 350 route miles and had annual revenue between $40 million and the Class I threshold. There were 31 Regional railroads in 2002. Line-haul railroads generally provide point- to-point service within a single State, operating over fewer than 350 miles and with annual revenue less than $40 million. Switching & Terminal railroads perform pickup and delivery services for one or more connecting line-haul carriers. There were about 300 Line-haul and 200 Switching & Terminal railroads in 2002. Class I railroads dominate the industry in terms of freight revenue. Some 40,000 miles of track are owned and used by non-Class I railroads, however.


Waterborne transportation was involved in the movement of about 9% of freight in the U.S. in 2004. This amounted to 2.4 billion tons of goods in 2003. Container ports handled over 65,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units) per day in 2004. Most container units were involved in a form of intermodal exchange, either between ship and rail or ship and truck. Freight transport providers within the maritime sector can be divided into two major groups: ports, providing the infrastructure for freight movement and exchange, and the marine vessels that actually move the freight. Maritime differs from the other modes in that the freight infrastructure (ports) may be owned by government or independent authorities (in trucking, the infrastructure is generally government-owned, while in railroads, the infrastructure is private-


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