Trucking companies are unobtrusively involved in almost every aspect of the country’s economy. Trucks dominate the domestic transportation industry, delivering 70 percent of all freight tonnage in the United States, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Eighty percent of American communitites receive goods exclusively by truck, the ATA says. And as the economy gradually recovers, trucking companies are seeing increased demand for their services.

Minnesota is home to many large transportation companies. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., for example, is the state’s 11th largest public company and works with companies worldwide, hiring the appropriate transportation providers, and offering supply chain analysis, freight consolidation, and other services. But how does the state’s transportation industry compare to other areas of the country?

In 2010, Minnesota ranked 17th among the states in the value of freight shipped and 22nd in transportation and warehousing employment payroll, according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Minnesota has the fifth largest highway system in the country, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). And DEED reports that the state has more than 600 million tons of products transported; truck and carload rail shipments accounted for nearly 73 percent of those shipments.

A major issue for trucking companies is the need for qualified drivers. In December, the ATA estimated a shortage of 20,000 to 25,000 drivers for the industry as a whole. Earning a commercial driver’s license is one barrier for the unemployed—a training course may cost $5,000 or more. But trucking companies also face annual turnover rates from 90 percent to more than 100 percent. Drivers new to the industry may balk at the days and weeks away from home required of them, working and sleeping in their trucks.

If your company has transportation needs, check out our list of the 15 largest trucking companies in Minnesota (for-hire motor carriers only).

NOTE: Dedicated Logistics, Inc., of Oakdale and Transport Designs, Inc. of Burnsville would likely have ranked on this list, but declined our request to provide information.

To view the list of Minnesota's 15 largest trucking companies, click here.

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