We thought it would be an interesting exercise to take the 2019 Fortune 500 list and
break out the Top 100 shippers of freight. The Fortune 500 is an annual, iconic
tradition that lists the Top 500 companies in the U.S. by revenue, public or private as
long as they file financial statements with the U.S. government.
We then narrowed down the list by removing any companies that do not
consistently pay to move physical goods or freight as part of their regular operations.
Doing so eliminated virtually all technology, healthcare, financials, utilities and some
industrials (such as airlines) from the list. We also removed any transportation
companies that made the list as moving freight would be revenue and not an
Once we narrowed down the Fortune 500 to the Top 100 shippers, we then made
several important assumptions. First, we assumed that the biggest shippers in the
U.S. spend 5% of their revenue on transportation. Second, we used the chart below
from Goldman Sachs and SJ Consulting that breaks down the North American
logistics market in 2018. As one can see, the $743 billion trucking market (including
both for-hire and private fleets) accounted for 62% of total transportation spend.
Therefore, we assumed that, of the 5% of revenue that top 100 shippers spend on
transportation, 62% of it was spent on trucking. When you run through those
assumptions, the bottom line is that the top 100 shippers in the U.S. account for 23%
of total trucking spend.
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