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An in-depth look at the capacity, capabilities and challenges of the nation’s largest carriers

Does size matter? Increasingly, yes. A number of factors are coalescing to make fleet size worth a lot more than sheer bragging rights. Shippers faced with more complex supply chains are moving toward...


Does size matter? Increasingly, yes. A number of factors are coalescing to make fleet size worth a lot more than sheer bragging rights. Shippers faced with more complex supply chains are moving towards core carrier programs to ensure they are dealing with carriers that have both the sophisticated services and the capacity necessary to meet their needs. At the same time, however, the capacity shortage appears to be a long-term issue. And investors are developing distinct impressions about the size a company needs to attain in order to attract investment, a key consideration in an industry requiring a steady infusion of capital to keep up with equipment and technology demands.

Many motor carriers fully aware of these facts are aggressively pursuing mergers and acquisitions in order to better position themselves in the marketplace. Just as deregulation remade the face of the industry almost two decades ago, the capacity crunch and resulting M&A activity is certain to reshape the industry yet again.

It is with this important development in mind that we bring you our first Top Tier report, a comprehensive look at the nation’s largest for-hire motor carriers. In the following pages you will find analysis of the consolidation trend among Canada’s largest carriers and a guide to the capacity and capabilities of the 100 largest carriers, as well as the next 25. This comprehensive guide is not intended as a mere tally of vehicle counts. In fact, we have chosen not to list the top 100 carriers by size. The top 100 carriers, as well as the next 25, are listed in alphabetical order because we believe that after a certain threshold, optimum fleet size is a reflection of the different markets these fleets are meant to serve.

Our report also provides detailed exclusive statistics about the truck and trailer replacement strategies employed by the nation’s top carriers and how they plan to handle issues such as hours of service and the 2007 engine emissions standards which are certain to affect buying patterns and capacity. The data is from the Equipment Buying Trends and Transportation Buying Trends surveys conducted annually by our sister company, Transportation Media Research.

While their sheer size alone ensures that the influence top carriers will have on the evolution of the industry will be greater than ever before, the sophistication with which they are approaching equipment and technology investments is also making them important trend setters. We hope our report serves as a tool not only for the largest carriers to keep tabs on their competitors but also as a tool for the smaller and medium-sized fleets to contrast their buying strategies with the industry’s biggest and understand how industry consolidation may affect them in the long run.

We would also like to thank the founding sponsors of our Top Tier report, Peoplenet Communications, Mack Canada and Kinedyne Canada. It is thanks to their support that we are able to bring you such a comprehensive report.

Of course, we welcome your feedback.


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