Top 10 specialized transport companies in North America

By D.Ann Shiffler and Lewis Tyler09 December 2022

ACT’s exclusive ranking of North America’s largest specialized transportation companies.

Aerial shot of specialized transport operation Photo: Omega Morgan

The 2022 top list ACTtransport50 has shown two straight years of modest growth after a retraction in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While growth is slight, the Transport 50 appears to be strong and poised to meet economic obstacles that may lie ahead.

There are two big things to point out in the 2022 ACTtransport50. Number 1 is that there are seven new companies on the list.

Number 2 is that the ACTtransport50 index saw gains in every category except for number of terminals and total capacity of specialized trailers.

In terms of total capacity, a couple of the new companies didn’t reveal their total capacity (in U.S. tons), which made that index a bit smaller than it really is. But it still surpassed 2021 numbers.

In terms of number of employees, the ACTtransport50 saw a gain of 74 employees.

Top 10 specialized transport companies in North America

  1. Landstar Transportation Logistics
  2. Daseke Inc.
  3. ATS Specialized
  4. Maxim Crane Works
  5. All Erection & Crane Rental
  6. Bennett Motor Express
  7. Barnhart Crane & Rigging
  8. Combined Transport Inc.
  9. Bay Ltd.
  10. Deep South Crane & Rigging
Specialized transport growth since 2020

Looking back, in 2020, every index of the ACTtransport50 was down from 2019 and 2018. In 2019, the ACTtransport50 saw a small growth in total capacity from 1,245,246 U.S. tons in 2018 to 1,272,474 US tons in 2019.

The 2019 ACTtransport50 saw declines in several categories including number of employees, number of terminals and number of Modular/Hydraulic Platform Trailers/Dollies.

A table that represents the evolution of the ACT50 since 2020. The evolution of the ACT50 since 2020. Photo: KHL

In 2020, the total capacity of the ACTtransport50 was 1,219,119 tons, down almost 55,000 tons.

In 2020, fleet size was 53,000 units, down 64 units from 2019. But 2021 and 2022 saw gains.

In 2021, the total capacity of the Transport 50 was 1,244,376 U.S. tons. The fleet size of the ACTtransport50 last year was 53,471.

Other points to make about the 2022 ACTtransport50 is that merger and acquisition activity was slower this year.

We didn’t see any companies fall off the list due to being acquired by another company.

Top 10 specialized transport companies by fleet size

Due to ties in fleet size, 56 companies are represented on the 2022 ACTtransport50 list.

Some seven companies didn’t report from last year to this year. Their place was taken by the newcomers, including Highway Heavy Hauling, Borsheim Crane Service, Turner Industries Group, Bricker Transport, Oxbo Inc., Collett & Sons USA, and W.O. Grubb Crane Rental, which is the highest ranked newcomer at Number 25.

Top 10 ACTtransport50 by fleet Top 10 ACTtransport50 by fleet. Photo: KHL

The top five on our ACTtransport50 stayed the same with Landstar, Daseke, ATS Specialized, Maxim Crane Works and ALL Erection rounding out the top five.

In fact, the top eight companies on the list are the same as last year. Bay Ltd. moved up two spots to Number 9, entering the top 10 for the first time.

The biggest gainer on the ACTtransport50 was NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul which jumped to 22 from 32. Boss Crane & Rigging also jumped from 40 to 32.

As for our ACTtransport50 ranking, Landstar Transportation Logistics kept its long-time Number 1 spot with a fleet size of 14,740, slightly down from a fleet size of 14,844 in 2021.

Landstar is no longer the Number 1 company in terms of capacity. In fact, the company’s capacity decreased some 25,000 U.S. tons this year.

Daseke is the Number 1 company in terms of fleet capacity at 87,469.

The full ACTtransport50 is available in the December issue of ACT.

ACTtransport50 methodology

While most of the major players in the North American transportation sector are on the ACTtransport50 list, there are changes from year to year based on participation.

The ACTtransport50 is ranked by fleet size and then by total maximum transport capacity of all relevant trailers and transport systems in a company’s fleet (in U.S. tons). The ranking is based on information supplied on our ACTtransport50 survey form.

While we have worked to produce the most accurate ranking possible, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information supplied. We rely on the integrity and honesty of those who submit this information to assure our list is accurate and correct.

This year we reached out to more than 350 firms by email, telephone, social media and E-casts. In some cases, when data wasn’t available or updated, we marked them as estimates.

As with all our Top List databases, we made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information published, but the editors and staff take no responsibility for errors, omissions or incomplete information.

To participate in the 2023 ACTtransport50 please reach out to D.Ann Shiffler or Hannah Sundermeyer at D.Ann.Shiffler@khl.com or Hannah.Sundermeyer@khl.com.

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