Category Archives: Editorial

U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

April is Distracted Driver Awareness month and to combat distracted driving, the Department of Transportation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is leading an effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel.

The campaign, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” is an effort designed to crack down on distracted driving nationwide. From April 10th through the 15th, state and local law enforcement will aggressively ticket drivers who are found to be texting or using their mobile devices while driving.

The NHTSA campaign is also designed to save lives. NHTSA data shows at least 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013 and that 424,000 Americans were injured in distracted driving accidents.

NHTSA recommends motorists follow these guidelines in order to prevent distracted driving:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before driving
  • Be good role models for young drivers, talk to teens about distracted driving
  • Speak up if you are a passenger and the driver is using their electronic device while driving
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the biggest defense against unsafe drivers

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a variety of creative campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. You can learn more about the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign on the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving: http://www.distraction.gov/

Follow this link from the NHTSA for more information and statistics on distracted driving: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812132.pdf.

Big Fuel Discounts with LCAPP

by Rocco Davanzo, Exec. Vice President of Capacity Development

It’s the Holiday Season! A time of year synonymous with festivities, gifts and, unfortunately, spending a lot of extra money. But what if as an owner-operator you could actually save money during the holidays and the rest of the year too? Thousands of Landstar BCOs are doing just that by way of amazing fuel discounts through Landstar’s Contractor Advantage Purchasing Program (LCAPP). Just last week, Landstar owner-operators saved over 60 cents a gallon over the regular retail price, with one BCO reporting saving more than $1 per gallon on fuel! How’s that for putting a little extra jingle in your pocket for the holidays?

Landstar’s ability to secure the cheapest fuel prices for its owner-operators would make even Ebenezer Scrooge jealous! In 2013, Landstar BCOs saved over $19 million on fuel purchases through the LCAPP program…and the savings for 2014 are shaping up to be even more impressive, at nearly $24 million in fuel cost savings with a few more weeks to go.

The average savings on fuel purchases through LCAPP for 2014 year-to-date is around 22 cents per gallon. That equates to substantial savings when calculated throughout the entire year.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected the average retail price of on-highway diesel fuel for the second half 2014 to be $3.86 per gallon. At that price, an owner-operator who drove 110,000 miles this year and averaged 6.5 miles per gallon would save approximately $3,800 in 2014 on fuel purchased through LCAPP. Given that you don’t pay taxes on money saved, some financial experts say that additional dollars saved are even more beneficial to your businesses’ bottom line than additional dollars earned.

Spending retail cost on fuel this Holiday Season? Landstar says, “Bah! Humbug!”

Landstar Gives Thanks

Landstar Gives Thanks

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time of year when people take stop to reflect upon those things they are most grateful for in their lives. We at Landstar are no different. During this holiday season we are thinking about the immense appreciation we have for our agents, capacity providers and customers, without whom Landstar would not be the industry leader it is today.

This year is shaping up to be one of the most successful in company history and that’s a testament to the talent and hard work of Landstar’s agents and capacity providers, as well as the trust and loyalty demonstrated by our customers.

We would like to thank each and every person who has played a role in Landstar’s success this year and in the past and wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Apps for Success

by Joe Beacom, Landstar Vice President and Chief Safety & Operations Officer

The long-awaited agent workflow tool “Shipment Manager” is now operational and in the hands of several agents. A sincere thank you to the many agents who invested their time and energy into defining the functional aspects of the tool, reviewed and tested the various components and were ultimately critical to the project’s success. Feedback from the initial group of agent users has been very positive, confirming the intent which was to improve shipment visibility from tender through invoicing. Shipment Manager allows for key customer-specific milestones to be monitored; creating the opportunity for exception management.

Landstar Connect, an equally impactful tool is being rolled out simultaneously. Landstar Connect is a smartphone app that simplifies the ability for BCOs and carriers to provide shipment visibility and status reporting. The onerous task of telephone calls, voice mail and returned calls can be eliminated with Landstar Connect thanks to the use of the smartphone’s GPS information. Each customer’s status reporting requirements are sent via the app to the phone, allowing the operator to provide only those updates that are required, while providing the agent and/or customer with shipment visibility from origin to destination.

This technology is not new to the industry, however its integration into shipment visibility at Landstar is a nice enhancement that provides an opportunity to provide significant visibility, more efficiently and effectively.  A testament to the ease of use and benefit to productivity is seen in one BCO’s request that we make certain each of the several agents he works with are trained on the app, eliminating the telephone calls back and forth throughout the day or night to provide customer peace of mind.

Increasingly, customers see quality information equal in value to timely and damage free transportation. These tools are intended to allow Landstar agents and BCOs to meet these requirements more effectively and with greater efficiency. If you are interested in learning more about Landstar contact us 1-800-622-0658 or recruiter@landstar.com.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

By Pat O’Malley, Landstar Vice President and Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer

We’re now at the midpoint of our financial year and it’s an exciting time to be at Landstar. Coming off a second quarter that saw another successful BCO All-Star Celebration which included a second truck giveaway for the year, the grand opening of our Fort Worth, Texas, Orientation Center and record-setting revenue performance, it’s clear that the “Next 25 Years” of our company is off to an outstanding start.

Agents, BCOs, third-party capacity providers and employees should be confident that the aforementioned are all indicators that Landstar is thriving – tangible signs of a company on the rise. You may be familiar with the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats.” That belief is certainly applicable to Landstar and the symbiotic relationship it has with its constituents, most of whom are also thriving. Our success is a product of the success of the individually-owned businesses that make up Landstar.

What are some of the tangible signs of success in your own business? More loads, new customers, increased pricing? If your business is not experiencing this year’s uptick, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your operations and reach out to take advantage of the many tools and resources that Landstar offers to improve your profitability. We want each and every one of our associating businesses riding the wave of this success. Take pride in knowing that you are affiliated with a financially strong company willing to reinvest in itself. That, along with Landstar’s outstanding capacity pool, gives you a competitive advantage over the competition. Capacity is tight and customers are looking for unique, customized solutions and are coming to Landstar because we can provide what they need. This year’s strong performance thus far is not by chance. It’s a result of the collaboration, expertise and execution between agents, capacity and corporate that allows Landstar to help customers navigate the rough seas of transportation and logistics. Congratulations to all for a job well done. Let’s keep the momentum going as we sail into the second half of the year!

Meeting Customer Expectations

by Joe Beacom, Landstar Vice President and Chief Safety & Operations Officer

Demand is strong! Demand for capacity. For information. For efficiency. For solutions. At the recent Landstar Agent Convention, these customer expectations received well-deserved attention. Across the industries we serve, weather has played havoc with supply chains in the first quarter and beyond. Havoc for some, is opportunity for those prepared to work smart, commit to service and offer flexibility; all strengths of the Landstar asset-light model.

Three key deliverables intended to improve the flow of information, create efficiencies and offer solutions are soon to be realized in 2014: improvements in agency work flow, technology to simplify the shipment tracking process and enhanced reporting capabilities are all operational enhancement priorities in the works.

The concept is simple – allow agents and BCOs to spend as much time as possible doing those things that make them the most productive and most profitable. The concept gets more complicated by the fact that each agent and BCO is an independent business that determines how they operate to meet customer expectations for load acceptance, on-time pick-up, status reporting, claim-free delivery, accurate invoicing and much more.

These enhancements build upon the foundation of dedicated agents understanding customer expectations, working cooperatively with capacity providers to keep customers informed and satisfied while strengthening the Landstar brand. Expect to see more to come on Shipment Manager, GPS Shipment Tracking and Customer Reporting.