How much freight do the top 470 shippers in the U.S. control?

In a recent whitepaper (“How much freight do the top 100 shippers in the U.S. Control?”; March 6), we examined how much freight the top 100 shippers account for in the U.S. This whitepaper is a follow-on to that report, and we would suggest reading it first.

We then assumed that the top 100 shippers in the U.S. spend 5% of their revenue on transportation. Next, 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% was spent on trucking. When one runs through those assumptions, the bottom line is that the top 100 shippers in the U.S. account for 23% of total trucking spend.

Instead, after some consideration, we thought it would be interesting to reexamine some of our key assumptions and see how the end results differed, if at all. Namely, we used the Fortune 1000 (as opposed to the Fortune 500) and questioned our assumption that all Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sectors that regularly move freight spend 5% of their revenue on transportation.

To fine tune our assumptions, we assumed that only five of the 11 GICS sectors routinely move freight: consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, industrials and materials. Health care as a sector undeniably moves a material amount of freight in terms of medical supplies, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, but we chose to exclude it because in general it is more of a services (as opposed to a goods) sector.

The end result of this process was that those five GICS sectors — consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, industrials and materials — assuming differing transportation intensities spend a cumulative total of $175 billion on trucking annually in the U.S. This equates to 23.6% of the total $743 billion (both for-hire and private fleets) trucking market in the U.S. It also implies that the remaining 76.4% of trucking spend annually in the U.S. comes from non-Fortune 1000 shippers.

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