Knight-Swift is a freight trucking company operating across North America specializing in full truckload shipments. The company is based in Phoenix, Arizona, and as of 2020 was the sixth-largest for-hire trucking company in North America by revenue. However, their revenue of just over 4.6 billion U.S. dollars is significantly smaller than the revenue streams of the industry leaders, UPS and FedEx, who saw segment revenues of over 84 and 78 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, in 2020. Despite this size difference, in an overall market of around 700 billion U.S. dollars there remains an abundance of space for mid-sized companies such as Knight-Swift to operate.
History of Swift Transportation
Knight-Swift can trace its origins back to 1966, when Swift Transportation was founded to transport steel and cotton between Los Angeles and Phoenix. The company grew over the following decades, until by 1990 it was a 125 million U.S. dollar carrier owning over 800 trucks. At this time Swift Transportation became a publicly listed company, and used the money raised to expand their operations by purchasing rival companies. By 2009, Swift reported revenue of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars and had operations across the United States, Canada and Mexico, although their size decreased following the 2008 recession.
History of Knight Transportation
Also in 1990, four cousins employed by Swift - two sets of brothers who shared the surname Knight – left to found their own freight trucking company, Knight Transportation. Originally starting with a small number of trucks transporting general goods between Los Angeles and Phoenix, the company’s revenue was around 13 million U.S dollars in 1991. By 2016, Knight Transportation had grown to report revenue of just over one billion U.S. dollars.
Merger of Knight and Swift
In 2017, Knight Transportation and Swift Transportation merged, to create the new company Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings. Each company still continues operating under their own brand as separate business segments, however, the trucking segment is the largest. The combined company had an operating fleet of 57,722 trailers and 18,448 tractors for 2020, and offers a range of dry van and refrigerated full truckload services, as well as rail intermodal and logistics services.
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