Choosing a freight carrier is often one of the most difficult parts of LTL logistics. In an industry known for complicated tariffs, price structures, accessorials and classifications—deciding which carrier is right for your LTL shipping needs is overwhelming. Certain carriers excel where others don’t, and quality and price aren’t always related.
We want to take the guesswork out of the carrier decision. FreightorGator is launching a Carrier Review resource to help our shippers decide which carrier is right for their LTL needs. Shippers will get the opportunity to review their experience with carriers after each shipment. These are LTL real shippers, doing real shipping, writing real reviews. These reviews will populate on our Big List of Freight Carriers resource so shippers will know what to expect with each carrier.
FreightorGator partners with dozens of reliable carriers, but with the list of LTL freight providers in the United States so long, we recognize we can’t contract with everyone. But, we want to provide the information you need to choose a carrier. So, we commissioned an independent review of every major LTL carrier in the country to create The Big List of Freight Carriers. Think of it as your go-to glossary of LTL carriers.
Until our Carrier Review system is up-and-running, take a look at The Big List to decide if a certain carrier is right for your shipping needs. When our shippers start reviewing carriers, this list will populate with our shippers’ experiences to create the ultimate LTL shipping resource. Take a look at the carriers below:
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AAA Cooper operates 74 facilities in the Southeast and Midwest, and regularly lands in the top 25 LTL Freight Carriers for its excellent service. It’s worth noting that several shippers have had issues with damaged freight and an unresponsive claims department.
Aberdeen Express offers quality LTL freight service to the Midwest and Ohio River Valley. Exceptional service, sound deliveries, and reasonable LTL shipping prices are pillars of the company’s success, and Aberdeen Express has maintained a strong, positive reputation.
ABF Freight (Arkansas Best)
ABF focuses its quality on quality service: with more than 99 percent of their shipments claim free, you can guarantee that your shipment will arrive damage free with ABF. Certain shippers have had trouble with late deliveries and spotty administrative work, but their handling service is top notch.
Averitt Express has received numerous awards for its service: the company often collaborates with other reputable LTL freight carriers, demonstrating a desire to put its customers first. Averitt delivers exceptional service and undamaged deliveries. Even better is that the company still operates its customer service from a small business mindset. So if anything ever happens to your cargo, Averitt will cover the damages without question.
Employees and clients alike rave about Beaver Express which, in truth, is very rare. Serving LTL freight needs in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and New Mexico, Beaver Express is worth the higher prices they charge thanks to its excellent service and deliveries.
Out of business as of 3/9/2015
Canadian Freightways/ Kingsway Transport
As part of The Reliance Network (TRNET), Canadian Freightways has delivery capabilities throughout North America. Operating out of Western Canada, Canadian Freightways has competitive LTL shipping rates, expedited services, and a superior service history. Like most LTL freight carriers in The Reliance Network, Canadian Freightways focuses on customer service and has become one of the most reputable LTL carriers because of its consistent service and delivery standards.
Celadon is one of the largest trucking companies in the US, and it is often overlooked for its LTL freight services. Celadon’s brokerage network is extensive and efficiently delivers cargo on time, intact, and undamaged. Celadon may have higher prices, but each dollar you pay is well worth the excellent delivery and customer service.
Central Freight Lines
Serving a greater portion of the lower 48 continental states, Central Freight focuses on competitive pricing. While some shippers have experienced customer service issues with late deliveries, you’re sure to find great rates and receive your freight intact and undamaged with Central Freight.
Repeatedly listed as one of the top 25 LTL freight carriers, Central Transport has a service center in nearly every state, delivers to Mexico, and has recently begun seeking approval to deliver to Canada. With their extensive freight network, Central Transport is a good option for longer hauls. But, as with many larger freight service providers, certain shippers have encountered issues with late and damaged shipments.
Clear Lane Freight Systems
Clear Lane takes a unique approach to the LTL industry, offering economic long haul LTL service to exclusively 3PLs. Consistent A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau and positive reviews make Clear Lane a great option for shippers willing to submit to longer transit times in return for competitive low rates.
Covenant specializes in the delivery of hazardous materials. While the company predominately focuses on full-truck loads, they also operate a brokerage that works within their preferred carrier network of small and private fleets that provides LTL services. Some shippers have had issues with customer service, but if you’re transporting hazardous materials, Covenant is your go to.
CRH Transportation specializes in LTL freight deliveries in the Midwest, but maintains the capacity to deliver nationwide. CRH still has a mom-and-pop feel, and has some of the lowest LTL shipping fees in LTL delivery, especially in fuel surcharge.
Crystal Motors Express
Crystal Motors Express has been serving the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions for the last six decades, and is well known for quality service and superior delivery practices. Many shippers boast about the exceptional LTL service offered by Crystal Motors Express.
Listed under the top 25 LTL carriers in the United States, Daylight Transport boasts the fastest long haul LTL services in their region. Serving predominately the West coast, the company has comparable rates to other quality LTL carriers. However, the super-fast delivery Daylight promises isn’t always met.
Dayton Freight Lines
With 47 service centers located in the Midwest, Dayton Freight offers 1 and 2 day service to a number of points within their 12 state area. In cooperation with their Strategic Alliance Network, Dayton is able to provide service to all of the US, as well as parts of Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The company has been listed in the top 25 LTL carriers for years, and for good reason: they offer excellent service with consistently undamaged and intact deliveries.
Dedicated Delivery Professionals
Servicing the Southwest region, DDP provides a handful of freight services with a focus on securing next day transit on all shipments. DDP boasts a low claims rate of 0.4 percent of sales, but some customers have complained about faulty customer service.
DHL offers reasonable pricing and quick delivery times. One perk is their extensive network, which gives customers the opportunity to ship just about anywhere internationally. It’s worth noting that many shippers have encountered issues with late, damaged and missing shipments with DHL.
Dohrn Transfer Co
Dorhn Transfer is a smaller LTL freight with full coverage available to several states in the upper Midwest, and partial coverage to Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and South Dakota. The company offers reasonable pricing and good service, and overall, maintains a positive track record with deliveries.
Dugan Truck Line
Dugan is a dedicated LTL carrier with a service area in the Midwest. Between several of its Midwestern terminals, Dugan provides guaranteed one-day shipping options.
Operating out of the Northeast, A. Duie Pyle is focused on quality equipment and a strong infrastructure. For shippers, this means a higher likelihood of your shipment arriving on-time and in one piece. The company stands by its phrase “Pyle Culture” which exhibits one of the most high performing LTL freight services in the industry, and repeatedly delivers outstanding service to clients nationwide.
Dynamic LTL freight predominately services the Midwest to the West Coast. Dynamic focuses on providing top-of-the-line equipment and technology so that shippers’ cargo arrives on-time and as safely as possible. The company’s superior customer service means that shippers will actually be taken care of.
Estes Express Lines Estes is the largest privately held LTL freight company in the United States, and regularly stands as one of the 10 top LTL carriers. The company has extensive coverage, with over 750 million 1 and 2 day shipping points. Shippers have made complaints about rude and unwilling delivery drivers working for Estes, but they maintain on-time, reliable shipping service.
FedEx Freight offers the big name, fast transit, and basic LTL services to anywhere in the US and Canada. Can’t say much more than that. FedEx Freight is simply built for basic needs and gets the job done.
FFE Transportation Services (Frozen Food Express)
FFE Transportation has the only temperature controlled LTL freight in the US, and 14 service centers located throughout the United States. The specialized service the company provides makes it a clear option for individuals and companies needing to ship refrigerated or frozen goods, and its reasonable pricing makes it affordable. However, the company’s reputation of delayed deliveries has landed it with an F from the Better Business Bureau.
Forward Air Complete
Forward Air Complete offers one of the industry’s leading expedited LTL services. The company created its LTL service to provide airport-to-airport customers the ability to transport cargo via ground deliveries to wherever they need to arrive. By keeping all services in-house, Forward Air is able to control the quality of its services, and although has higher prices, consistently delivers excellent and expedited services.
Frontline Freight offers award winning service to and from Southern California. The company offers competitive LTL shipping rates and a well-designed online transportation management system to customers, and is dedicated to providing strong customer service and undamaged and intact deliveries. Just a heads up, Frontline is a consolidator, which means that they aren’t always the most appropriate option for time sensitive deliveries.
Gully TransportGully Transport offers services throughout the Midwest, the Ohio River Valley, and parts of the South, including Texas. Gully is a smaller operation but it touts great customer service and low LTL shipping prices, making it a great option.
Gold Coast Freightways
Gold Coast is a regional LTL carrier who has gained a reputation for its consistent East Coast delivery network. A recent refocusing effort dropped the Midwest region out of its service area, but in doing so, Gold Coast can provide a 99.8% claim free delivery rate – one of the best in the LTL industry. If you are shipping along the East Coast, Gold Coast Freightways is an excellent carrier option.
HollandIf you want something delivered the next day in the Midwest, Southeast, or even parts of Canada, book with Holland. Holland boasts the most next-day deliveries of any LTL company in its region and has the network needed to support such service. The company is also quick to remedy any issues, excellent customer service, competitive LTL shipping rates, low claims, and provides consistent safe deliveries. Simply put, Holland is a company with integrity, and the BBB gives them an outstanding rating.
Lakeville Motor ExpressProviding 100 percent coverage in the upper Midwest, Lakeville Express is a part of The Reliance Network (TRNET) which allows it to offer LTL freight services across North America. Lakeville was even named by Commercial Carrier Journal Magazine the ‘2009 Innovator of the Year’ for forming the Reliance Network, and has since well-profited from creating an efficient delivery network. Like most carriers within The Reliance Network, LME focuses on offering superior customer service, and has become highly reputable because of its consistent and reliable services.
Land Air Express
As part of The Reliance Network, Land Air Express has the capability to deliver to numerous locations throughout North America. They have high standards for customer service and deliveries, which translates into customers getting their shipments on-time, intact, and undamaged. The company has recently increased its surcharges fee to help cover the cost of expansion, but still offers reasonable rates considering the quality of service it provides.
Landstar LTL Services
Landstar is a full service freight company with multiple independent owner-operators. Operating as a dispatcher gives Landstar the ability to deliver LTL services throughout the United States and offer low rates, but they sacrifice control over the quality of service they provide, and some shippers have made mention to inconsistent late and damages shipments.
Lazer Truck Lines
Lazer is a small trucking company offering both LTL and Full Truck services to California. The company’s motto “Big enough to serve you, small enough to know you” is accurate and indicative of the type of service they provide customers. Lazer offers various pricing packages to meet small business needs, and has a consistent history of delivering cargo intact, undamaged, and on-time.
Midwest Motor ExpressMidwest Motor Express serves the upper Midwest, Plains, and Northwest regions of the US, and has 33 service stations throughout its service area. MME is dedicated to providing reliable service, and is known to quickly resolve any issues customers may experience.
Mountain Valley Express
As part of The Reliance Network, Mountain Valley Express bring excellent service and safe deliveries centrally to California, Nevada, and Arizona with capabilities to carry throughout North America. The company has a consistent history of making deliveries on-time and keeping them intact, and of providing competitive rates. In fact, the company boasts a 99 percent on-time rate and a .45 percent claims ratio.
Nebraska Transport Company
The Nebraska Transport Company is a full service freight carrier built around the principles of excellent customer service. NTC utilizes interline carriers to make LTL connections to and from anywhere in the United States, but their terminals are located predominantly in the Midwest.
New Century Transportation
Discontinued operations in 2014
New England Motor Freight (Shevell Group)
As one of the largest LTL carriers in the Northeast, New England Motor Freight offers award winning service. With over 1,385 drivers employed and an extensive terminal network, NEMF provides direct service to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US, as well as Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, and the Chicago area. Regular service is provided to the rest of the continental US, including Alaska and Canada. Although they offer consistently safe deliveries, certain shippers posted negative reviews concerning NEMF’s customer service.
New Penn Motor Express
As part of the YRC Regional Transportation company, New Penn has superior service and access to a well-integrated, extensive network. New Penn does have higher prices, but you get what you pay for with New Penn – on time, intact deliveries and award-winning customer service.
Oak Harbor Freight LinesOak Harbor Freight Lines provides direct service to Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Idaho, with regular LTL services provided nationwide and to Canada. The company has been in operation since 1916, and truly knows LTL shipping. Oak Harbor has reasonable rates and a consistently positive delivery and customer service history.
Old Dominion Freight Line
Consistently listed in the top 5 of the Top LTL Carriers and is one of the fastest growing LTL carriers in the nation. With 222 service centers throughout the U.S., you can guarantee that they will be able to get your cargo to wherever you need it delivered. The company also offers a variety of LTL rates to help fit the financial needs of any customer.
Pace Motor Lines
Providing both transportation and logistics services, Pace Motor Lines is a leading LTL carrier in the Northeast region. Pace offers a variety of logistics support, including warehousing and distribution capabilities. Their LTL practice focuses on supply chain needs and can accommodate overnight service to its terminals in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Metro New York, Long Island and Metro New Jersey.
Peninsula Truck Lines
Peninsula Truck Lines is part of The Reliance Network (TRNET) which means you can expect quick and safe deliveries and strong customer service. With the ability to deliver cross-continentally and use the extensive TRNET, there’s hardly a location that Peninsula can provide dependable, on-time delivery to.
Pitt Ohio Express
As part of The Reliance Network (TRNET) and a company regularly listed in the 25 Top LTL Carriers, Pitt Ohio can be expected to provide reliable LTL deliveries and exceptional customer service. Customer Driven, People Driven, and Quality Driven is Pitt Ohio’s motto, and customers will definitely have a superior delivery experience. The company provides direct LTL deliveries to the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions through a 21 terminal network, and has complete coverage across North America. To this day, Pitt Ohio carries an impressive background with a 97 percent on-time service rate and a low claims prevention ratio of .5 percent.
Pyramid touts itself as being the number one company for the temperature controlled LTL freight services, and its impeccable customer service record would suggest they’re right in making that claim. Pyramid services are provided nearly nationwide, and they also offer dry LTL freight services for those simply interested in working with a great company.
R+L Carriers (Regional and Longhaul)R+L is your one-stop shop for LTL services. R+L is widely considered one of the most reliable LTL carriers, and is backed by comprehensive services that provide multiple delivery options. R+L will ship anywhere in the U.S. and provides discounts for LTL “hot lanes.” The company delivers on time and keeps cargo intact, with only a few mentions of poor customer service.
As part of the YRC Regional Transportation Company, you can expect nothing short of perfection when working with Reddaway. The company provides western regional coverage, including Canada and Alaska, and has the one of the highest on-time reliability rates and the lowest claim ratio in the West. Furthermore, it has the best record for next-day and 2-day delivery services.
RoadRunner Transportation implores the use of intermodal freight to extend low LTL rates to shippers nationwide. Given the complexities of intermodal freight operations, shippers often confront delayed shipments and damaged freight. If your shipment is not time sensitive, RoadRunner is still a great option for less expensive LTL shipping.
SaiaConsidered one of the most successful LTL carriers in the U.S., and consistently ranked in the top 10 of the Top LTL Carriers, Saia is no doubt an industry leader. The company has a well-established network, and knows how to move cargo efficiently and without damage. In spite of the company’s high praise from other agencies, shippers post mixed reviews about their customer service practices.
Saturn Freight Systems
With multiple choices of LTL services, Saturn Freight Systems offers customers a more tailored experience depending on their level of need. Using owner-operators, Saturn Freight is able to find the right truck for your cargo and to find the option that best suits customers’ financial needs. The owner-operator model means Saturn sacrifices certain control over service, and many shippers have had negative experiences with their customer service.
Predominately specializing in full truck loads, Schneider does offer LTL services through its brokerage. Using its well-established network, Schneider offers multiple LTL options, including refrigerated and over-dimensional, and offers them at a relatively low price. The company also touts a long history of consistently great customer service.
SHIFT is a dedicated LTL service provider with a new take on premium LTL shipping. By employing the latest technology to their fleet and maintaining focus on customer service, SHIFT boasts a 95% on time rate and .05% claims rate—all while continuing to expand their service footprint across the United States. Many shippers have had great luck shipping LTL freight with SHIFT, and can take advantage of their Expedited and Volume services.
Southeastern Freight Lines
Southeastern regularly makes the Top 25 LTL Carriers, has won numerous awards, and has one of the best reputations for quality customer service. Providing more than 99.35 percent on-time service with next day deliveries, Southeastern operates services centers in 13 states and in Puerto Rico, and has a large network to service the US, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mexico. If you want your deliveries to be made on time and to be received intact and without damage, Southeastern is a great LTL option.
Standard Forwarding focuses on quality when delivering their LTL freight services, and they have a 99 percent on time and claim free delivery rate. Serving the Midwest directly, Standard makes sure deliveries arrive on time, undamaged, and from professional drivers without forcing shippers to pay high LTL shipping fees.
Superior Express has a smaller direct service area than many LTL freight service providers, but that doesn’t mean the services it provides are any less efficient or professional. Superior Express serves Southern Illinois, Missouri, and some cities in Indiana and Kentucky directly, and provides personal customer service at very reasonable rates.
SuperVan provides full LTL freight services to 37 states and operates from 10 service centers. SuperVan directly loads and handles all cargo ensuring that shippers deliveries are always safe and well cared for. The company strives to do better than most large, cumbersome shippers, and is quick to remedy any issues that arise for customers.
Towne Air Freight
Acquired by Forward Air
Reliable with nationwide coverage, UPS Freight is the workhorse of LTL freight carriers. With an extensive network and day-definite, on-time guarantees at no additional charge, UPS Freight is a popular choice.
Vitran offers services throughout Canada and the United States. Although a well-known provider in Central and Western Canada, Vitran doesn’t have the best service record with shippers.
Predominately operating East of the Mississippi, Volunteer Express states that it is “large enough to perform and small enough to care.” Their reviews suggest they are correct. Volunteer Express has numerous LTL freight service advantages, as well as short transit times and excellent customer service.
Ward TruckingServing 25 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Guam, Ward Trucking has one of the strongest networks in LTL freight shipping – which is probably why it’s listed in the Top 25 LTL Freight Carriers. Ward Trucking strives for no-nonsense deliveries and exceptional customer service. With Ward, shippers know what they are paying for upfront, and confidently know their cargo will be delivered on-time.
Wilson Trucking Company
Wilson Trucking is another Top 25 LTL Freight Carriers and services the Southern Atlantic US with over 30 service centers. Wilson, however, has some of the highest fuel surcharges in the business and a negative customer service record, according to shippers.
XPO Logistics (formerly Con-Way Freight)Formerly an asset-light logistics company, XPO’s recent acquisition of Con-Way freight makes it a major force in the LTL industry. Con-Way is regularly listed as one of the top 3 LTL freight carriers thanks to its trusted performance and massive network throughout the United States. Even with 365 integrated operating systems and a considerable number of deliveries each year, Con-Way continues to provide excellent service.
Listed regularly in the Top 10 LTL Freight Carriers, YRC offers multiple LTL freight shipping options each backed by a strong network and exceptional customer service. YRC simply knows LTL freights and can easily manage next and 2 day deliveries without running late or damaging cargo. They are an authority in the industry.