Long-term successful agents and business capacity owners (BCOs) use their relationships and the many Landstar resources – experienced staff, vendors and technologies – available to them to improve their businesses and find their success. 

Coming off the roller coaster ride the truckload spot market experienced the last couple of years, as of mid-February it appeared the supply of and demand for trucks in 2020 may be a little more stable. Absent any major disruptions, the supply of trucks and demand for freight movement seemed to be moving toward more of a balance. Not to say that 2020 will not have its challenges, such as the impact from the COVID-19 virus impact to imports, the supply chain and the broader economy, but the virus notwithstanding, the large swings in spot truckload rates experienced in 2018 and 2019 seem less probable in 2020.

Significant growth in BCO truck count occurred in 2017 and 2018 (1,160+). Approximately 70% of this growth from 2017 and 2018 remained at year-end 2019, despite the aforementioned roller coaster ride in the spot market. The company’s turnover rate was 36% in 2019, higher than we are accustomed to seeing, yet superior to most peers in the industry.

Competition to secure and retain freight volume was fierce in 2019 when compared to the tight-capacity environment experienced in most of 2017 and 2018. The company’s independent freight agents were under rate pressure for most of the past year in an effort to retain solid loading opportunities.

After just several weeks of 2020, it appears that the transition from 2019 to 2020 will be less volatile and more manageable. The freedom and independence of the model are key to why so many small business owners succeed at “the big blue star.” Another key is coming to understand how each business can be successful, whether agent or BCO, based upon its own unique operating characteristics. All the best in finding your road to success in 2020!

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