America's Best-Managed Companies
Landstar System: Success Without Employees
Jonathan Fahey 12.21.06, 6:00 PM ET


Landstar System of Jacksonville, Fla. moves 1.4 million loads of goods every year without a single truck, train, ship, plane, driver, pilot, captain, conductor--or even any sales representatives.

Landstar (nasdaq: LSTR - news - people ) contracts with 1,000 independent sales agents and 8,000 independent truckers to deal with finding the business and moving it. The agents get 8% of revenue, the truckers get 75% and Landstar gets the rest. After Landstar pays for the technology, insurance and paperwork, it is left with a pleasant profit: $120 million on $2.5 billion in sales in 2005. That's a 25% boost in sales and a 67% jump in profit from 2004.

Henry Gerkens, who joined Landstar as chief financial officer when it was formed in 1988, became chief executive in 2004. He's working to increase the number of sales agents in the U.S., and he's contracting with warehouse owners so Landstar can offer its shipping customers places to store goods. The next step: taking Landstar's assetless model abroad. The goal: increase revenue to $6 billion by 2013.

"The number one priority of Landstar is to bring in new business and take market share," he says.




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