Landstar is one of the largest US-based transportation service companies focused on third-party logistics. It was founded in 1988 and today this company includes 10,000 owner operators in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Unlike traditional trucking companies, Business Capacity Operators that are part of Landstar are not forced dispatch. These Landstar trucking companies (Landstar agents) are searching for freight loads directly from shippers. This is obviously a good business model for Landstar agents, but how does it work for the clients? Is hiring a Landstar trucking company a good idea?
The benefits of hiring a Landstar trucking company
Independent Landstar agents are able to provide affordable, highly customized transportation services. They can also offer supply chain logistics which include different services like LTL cargo, Truckload, and Multimodal services.
Thanks to Landstar, these trucking companies have access to a wide array of trailing equipment which helps them provide successful transportation of any kind. There’s no need to hire different operators for different types of goods – everything is covered by one company.
In order to become Landstar agents, trucking companies have to meet certain criteria. This means that their professionalism and their capability to transport things is confirmed by the transportation giant. This is a proof that you are dealing with a well-established, safe and reliable company.
Today, Landstar has become a network that includes more than 1100 independent agents that have over 9000 leased owned operators. This is by far the largest transportation community in the United States. The best part is that most of these Landstar trucking companies are providing specialized transportation services. In other words, they are specialized in a few different industries like healthcare and pharmaceuticals, aviation and aerospace, food, music industry, retail, electronics and more. The size of the transportation project doesn’t matter because these operators can take care of any transportation task.
Selecting a Landstar trucking company
Even though Landstar trucking companies are following certain standards, the truth is that not all of them are the same. Namely, some companies are much better than the others. Obviously, if you are planning on using a trucking company of this kind, you should focus on the best ones.
Business owners, planners, and organizers who are interested in hiring a Landstar company should consider a few different factors before they make a deal with a Landstar trucking company. According to many experts, reliability and price are the most important factors in this process. There are some cheap trucking companies out there and they will certainly cut the cost of this process, but in case your goods don’t reach the desired destination in a timely manner or in the same condition as they were when they were loaded, it is obvious that the lower cost would not matter. Of course, overpaying for services like this is not an option either. Now let’s check some other factors that can help you make the right decision.
Insurance and licenses
It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to move equipment for the next trade show or a concert tour, you should find out what kind of documentation a company has. In this way, you can make sure that the Landstar trucking company you are about to hire meets every insurance and licensing requirements for the type of cargo you want to move from one place to another. Keep in mind that if you are shipping unusual items (in terms of nature or size), this issue is even more important. In case you don’t know what kind of requirements are there, you can get in touch with the authorities (state transportation department etc.). You can use the safety records if possible and check the driving records too.
It is very important to find out how the staff of the Landstar trucking company that you are interested in communicates on a personal level. For instance, when the freight is getting loaded, you definitely want to deal with a friendly, professional and experienced staff member. If the communication is poor and you are facing an unprofessional and/or unfriendly staff member, there’s room for mistakes. And even if everything goes smoothly, you probably won’t feel good after that.
The Landstar trucking company you want to use must have a well-maintained fleet. If this is not the case, you can expect delays and these delays can cost you a lot. It’s always a good idea to visit the premises of the trucking company and check their operations. The company must use modern equipment and follow the standards set by Landstar. This is especially important for a business interested in transporting goods that have specific characteristics like perishable products for example. Don’t forget that even if the company is prepared to cover your possible losses, you will still lose your reputation and sometimes this is something that money can’t buy.
Don’t hesitate to ask the Landstar trucking company that you want to use to provide references. Look for references from businesses that belong to your industry. The best Landstar trucking companies like Round the Clock Logistics, for example, have many references from businesses that belong to different industries – restaurant equipment and furnishing industry, tradeshow exhibitors and event participants, entertainment/touring, display fixtures and retail environments, stage production, and show management and more.
You are probably aware that tracking technologies have made a tremendous progress in the last few years. Modern trucking companies use GPS and/or RFID technology to monitor shipments. It would be a great thing if the transportation service provider gives you a chance to check the status of your goods. However, even if they don’t have real-time monitoring available to clients, they should be available via email and phone for them. In other words, you should be able to know the exact location of your items whenever you ask for information.
We really hope that this blog post will help you understand the advantages of using Landstar trucking companies and why you should choose one.