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EghtesadOnline: Schneider National Inc, one of the largest truckload carriers in the United States, is exploring an initial public offering (IPO) that could value it at as much as $5 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Schneider National has asked investment banks vying for an underwriter role in its IPO to make presentations later this month, the people said. The company may seek to raise as much as $700 million in its IPO, one of them added. The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Schneider National declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Schneider National's business has benefited from the willingness of consumers to make big-ticket purchases over the internet because its fleet of large trucks have an edge over United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) and FedEx Corp (FDX.N) in transporting heavy items.

Initial public offerings have picked up in the last few months amid a buoyant stock market and subsiding volatility.

Founded in 1935, Schneider National's customers include Wal Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Lowe's Companies Inc (LOW.N). It has annual revenue of $4 billion, according to its website.

Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schneider National, which is owned by employees and members of the Schneider family, contemplated an IPO and a spinoff of its logistics business in 2001 but decided against it, citing the state of the equity capital markets at that time.

In June, Schneider National acquired Lodeso Inc and Watkins & Shepard Trucking Inc, two smaller truckload carriers, for an undisclosed sum.

Schneider National Trucking Schneider IPO