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Five Questions Answered About Becoming an Independent Landstar Agent
Have you considered becoming a Landstar independent freight agent? Every Landstar agent is an independent business owner with the tools and support of a multi-billion dollar, industry-leading transportation company. And while running your own business is challenging, it also gives you the freedom to operate the way you want to, fitting into the life you want to lead.
The Road To Success® magazine sat down with Landstar’s Matt Dannegger, executive vice president of the Northern Field Division, to ask the questions that many prospective agents have when considering Landstar. Dannegger and the rest of the field team are responsible for building and maintaining relationships with agents and customers and are among the first in contact with prospective agents.
TRTS: What does an independent Landstar agent do?
Dannegger: Landstar is entirely agent-based. Our independent freight agents work with customers to find the best solutions for their transportation challenges. Landstar provides agents with back-office support, access to capacity, a network of other agents and a well-known brand. Agents coordinate the transportation plan, secure capacity through the connections of the Landstar network of capacity providers, and communicate with customers every step of the way.
TRTS: What kind of experience does a person need to be a successful independent Landstar agent?
Dannegger: It’s not a one-size-fits-all look. We have some agents who come from the transportation industry and were previously in operations or sales roles, or perhaps a broker. While we prefer they already have an established book of business, some agents have existing relationships or potential customers that we can help develop as needed. It is not an absolute requirement that the person has a book of business on Day 1 though. We also have agents who come from outside the transportation industry and are very successful – those people typically have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and considerable sales experience.
TRTS: Is there a start-up cost for becoming an independent Landstar agent?
Dannegger: There are no start-up costs or franchise fees payable to Landstar. Essentially, if you have a telephone, a computer and access to the internet, you can get started. The question our recruiters usually ask interested prospects, particularly those starting without any existing customers, is how quickly do you think you can generate revenue so that you can pay your household bills and make a living? This is important for any entrepreneur starting out – do they have enough money set aside to get them through the start-up of a business or can they bring in enough money quickly? A benefit of Landstar is that the set commission rate is paid weekly from the start, so if the new agent can quickly move freight – he or she will get a settlement payment each week.
TRTS: In addition to generating revenue, what else helps an independent Landstar agent have success in the first year?
Dannegger: Landstar’s regional management staff offers new agents support from Day 1. Their success is our success. We offer training on our systems during the onboarding process and any operational assistance. Landstar also offers sales support through our corporate sales staff and field support staff. One huge advantage is that we provide back-office support by taking care of customer credit checks and carrier approvals. We also provide pricing tools and analytics to help agents stay competitive and predict customer trends. In short, Landstar enables agents to focus on what will make them money – finding customers at a rate they can move their freight.
TRTS: How is becoming an independent Landstar agent different from other agent-based programs?
Dannegger: Landstar’s business model gives our agents access to a capacity and support network that is unmatched in the industry, with the industry-leading name of Landstar and the customer and capacity strength that name brings. In addition to the back-office, sales and mode expertise support, we have a network of entrepreneurs who each have a vested interest in every load hauled. We offer more than 10,500 leased owner-operator trucks, plus an additional 90,000 Landstar-approved third-party capacity providers, which gives agents and customers access to a variety of trailer options – from van and straight trucks to platform and specialty trailers.
To learn more about becoming an independent Landstar agent, contact Landstar at 888-949-2880 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the agent pre-qualification form, and someone will reach out to you.