The Midwest is a central hub for national transportation. From agricultural commodities, to energy materials and construction goods, Illinois in particular plays an important role in keeping the domestic supply chain moving. As a result, Illinois trucking companies have grown to be some of the largest in the nation.
With thousands of freight businesses spread across the state, there are plenty of short- and long-haul trucking opportunities to be found. Whether you’re looking for a small family-owned and operated business or a nationwide operator, the best trucking companies in Illinois offer safety, comfort and fair compensation. Learn more about what these businesses have to offer.
Quicklook: Best trucking companies in Illinois
- Best for nationwide routes: Sutton Transport Inc.
- Best for competitive pay & new drivers: Roehl Transport
- Best for dry commodities: Beelman Truck Company
- Best for next-day delivery: Thrift Trucking
- Best for family-owned business: McLeod Express
- Best for LTL: A&B Freight Line, Inc.
6 best Illinois trucking companies
The following trucking companies in Illinois offer exceptional service, reliability and safety while playing a huge role in the transportation of goods. If you’re looking for CDL jobs in Illinois, these companies include benefits, flexibility and a variety of job offerings. Be sure to check company websites to see which jobs are available.
Sutton Transport, Inc.
Sutton Transport, Inc. is based in a suburb of Chicago and provides reliable, nationwide service, making it first on the list for trucking jobs in Illinois. Its Chicago terminal is located near O’Hare International Airport and the railway station, making it a central spoke for processing freight through one of busiest port areas in the country. Sutton’s Highland, Illinois terminal is a short drive from the intersecting transport arteries around St. Louis, Missouri, the nation’s “Gateway to the West.” It has 850 pieces of equipment and 13 transportation terminal centers.
Best for: Nationwide Routes
Location: Weston, Wisconsin
- LTL shipping
- Nationwide volume LTL
- Freeze protection shipping
- Hazardous material shipping
- Expedited and guaranteed shipping
Revenue: $96.6 million
Google Rating: 3.8/5 stars on 34 reviews
Ranked in the top 100 trucking companies serving the U.S. and Canada, Roehl Transport has more than 1,900 tractors and 5,000 trailers. It also offers drivers new vehicles with greater driving comforts, with an average truck age of less than two years.
With a founder and CEO who both started out as drivers and the latter still on the road today, Roehl is welcoming to new drivers and treats employees well, making it a good starting point for trucking jobs in Illinois.
Best for: Competitive pay, jobs for new drivers
Location: Marshfield, Wisconsin
- Intermodal transport
- Truckload services
- Fleet management
- CDL training
Revenue: $500 million
Indeed employee reviews: 3.1/5 stars with 678 reviews
Beelman Truck Co.
Founded in 1906, Beelman has more than 700 power units and drives over 70 million miles per year. This family-owned operation continues to expand, making it a leader in the dry bulk trucking business. Beelman is now a one-stop shop for rail and barge terminaling, specifically dry commodities.
Best for: Dry commodities
Location: East Saint Louis, Illinois
- Side-dump trucks
- End-dump trucks
- Pneumatic tanks
- Barge and rail terminals
- Dry commodity transportation
Revenue: $171 million
Indeed rating: 2.8/5 stars with 107 reviews
Located in Central Illinois, Thrift Trucking has been offering quick delivery services to most parts of the state, including next-day deliveries. The company takes pride in its friendly operations, courteous drivers and flexible range of diverse customer offerings. This full-service company provides national and regional shipping services backed with state-of-the-art technologies, and offers some of the best trucking jobs in Illinois.
Best for: Next-day delivery
Location: Peoria, Illinois
- LTL and less-than-container load (LCL)
- Full truckload
- Next-day delivery to Central Illinois
- Repalletizing and shrink wrapping
- Hazardous materials
- Inside and residential deliveries
- Lift-gate deliveries
- Trailer storage
- Hot-shot deliveries
Revenue: $17 million
Google rating: 4.5/5 stars with 17 reviews
McLeod Express started as a small family-owned and -operated business back in 1986. Since then, it has expanded to more than 400 employees, making it one of the most successful family-operated trucking companies in the U.S. McLeod emphasizes safety in its company culture, extending from upper management to employees, which makes it a place for some of the best trucking jobs in Illinois.
Best for: Family-owned business
Location: Decatur, Illinois
- Freight management
Revenue: $130.3 million
Google rating: 3.5/5 stars with 115 reviews
A&B Freight Line Inc.
A&B Freight Line was established in 1955. Since then, the company has grown into one of the Midwest’s most trusted LTL and distribution carriers. With hard work, attention to detail and superior customer service, A&B continues to be the preferred carrier for many businesses. Although A&B has grown substantially, the company is still small enough to demonstrate its appreciation for each customer.
Best for: LTL
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Revenue: $5.8 million
Google rating: 4/5 stars with 20 reviews
Final thoughts on trucking companies in Illinois
Trucking companies in Illinois benefit from their central location, which offers easy access to both coasts. The port of Chicago is a major hub of transportation and imports, exponentially increasing opportunities for trucking jobs in Illinois. Taken together, Illinois trucking companies offer excellent benefits, salaries and less downtime so you can drive more and earn more with diverse CDL jobs in Illinois.
Ready to get started? If you haven’t earned a CDL, find the best CDL schools in Illinois, and start planning your routes with some of the best roads for truckers.
CDL drivers’ salaries vary greatly in Illinois — from $22,500 to $98,000. This range accounts for both full-time and part-time CDL drivers with a range of experience. CDL drivers’ salaries also vary by employer, skill and bonus offerings.
Illinois is home to thousands of trucking companies. This includes over 2,000 in Chicago alone, with thousands more spread across the state.
To start a trucking company in Illinois, you’ll need:
A commercial driver’s license (CDL)
Any necessary endorsements required for your business
A U.S. Department of Transportation number that is used with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
A motor carrier operating authority number
You may also need International Registration Plan Inc. credentials and an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) decal
A legally-registered entity (such as a limited liability company) and IRS-issued employer identification number
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