Louisiana is the southeastern U.S. state on the Gulf of Mexico. It is known for its mixed plate of cultures. And no doubt, it is one of the most multicultural and multi-ethnic states in the country.
It is one of the largest producers of seafood-related agriculture. And, in the Port of South Louisiana, it houses the largest bulk cargo port in the world. It offers a huge number of jobs across all sectors, especially transportation. That’s why it is such a great place to start your trucking career.
This article will tell you all about the best trucking companies in Louisiana. If you are a Louisiana resident who wants to join the trucking industry, reading this article till the end will prove to be advantageous for your future career.
How to Become a Truck Driver in Louisiana
To become a truck driver in Louisiana, you need to earn a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) issues it. It allows you to haul commercial vehicles, but you have to get an additional endorsement if you want to haul HAZMAT vehicles. You must also be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driving license, though it does not necessarily have to be a Louisiana state driver’s license.
We highly recommend that you enroll in a truck driving school to learn everything you need to know. In Louisiana, the cost of such programs is quite low. Some institutes not only help you obtain a CDL but also offer a job-placement to help you find a suitable job.
Obtaining the CDL is a two-step procedure. First, you have to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). You can visit your nearest DMV office and submit the required documents for approval.
Once you are approved, you will take a written test. This is where your truck driving education will come into play. The more prepared you are, the better are your chances of passing the test.
The Louisiana CLP remains valid for 60 days, and you can apply for the CDL after keeping it for 14 days. We highly stress that you practice your skills with a valid CDL holder during this time.
Once you are prepared and ready, you can schedule an appointment with an approved third-party tester. This tester will come with you on a test drive and mark you on the basis of a pre-trip inspection, basic skills exam, and a road test.
If you successfully pass the test, the examiner will issue you a Certificate of Successful Completion. It will be given to you in a sealed envelope. Don’t open or tamper with it in any way. An open envelope can lead to the invalidation of your test results.
Bring the envelope to your OMV office, and they will issue you your full CDL.
What Makes Louisiana a Great Place to Start a Trucking Career?
Louisiana is the 31st largest state in the US. With a strong economy, it boasts a low cost of living. It has one of the lowest utility rates of the nation, making it a very comfortable place to call home. You wouldn’t want a better place to start your trucking career. Here is why.
It Houses the Largest Bulk Cargo Port in the World
The port of South Louisiana is the largest bulk cargo port in the world. It is the premier sea gateway for U.S. export and import traffic. A huge number of trucks and trailers enter and exit it on a daily basis. The traffic brings with it a bulk of opportunities for aspirants who want to establish a sound and successful career in the trucking industry for themselves.
Opportunities Here Are Unlimited
Louisiana has a strong economy. Forbes named Louisiana, “America’s New Frontier for Business.” It is an attractive place for both national and international companies to do business. That’s why it offers unlimited opportunities for new truckers. Anyone who is willing to commit can make the best of these opportunities and build a handsome paying career out of them.
Truckers Get Handsome Pay and Job Security
Louisiana boasts the fourth lowest cost of living and the fifth-lowest tax burden. Starting your trucking career here will benefit you in the long run. It also does not hurt that freight company operating here pay their employees handsomely. Also, since the entire economy is dependent on trucking, the demand is steadily increasing. So, you have a sense of job security.
Largest Producer of Sea-Food Related Agriculture
With the Gulf of Mexico on its South, Louisiana is the largest producer of seafood-related agriculture. The industry heavily relies on truckers for timely deliveries. This improves the chances for new aspirants as the demand will not go down any time soon.
Review of the Best Trucking Companies in Louisiana
Louisiana is home to some of the best freight companies in the US. Some of them boast an open and friendly working environment with lots of opportunities for new drivers. Below we have listed some of the best trucking companies in Louisiana where you can start your truck driving career.
Best Trucking Company in Lafayette, LA:
Dedicated Transportation LLC.
- Address: P.O. Box 93557, Lafayette, LA 70501
- Phone Number: 800-961-0096
- Website: www.shipdedicated.com
Who is Dedicated Transportation LLC.?
Dedicated Transportation LLC. was established in Feb 2000 at Port Barre, LA. Ben Hogan is the founder, president, and CEO of the company. Earlier, he worked at Saia Motor Freight for 20 years in different management positions. But when he gathered enough experience, he broke off and started Dedicated Transportation LLC. as a venture of his own.
Today, the company transports dry goods throughout the continental US. It also offers a wide array of transportation services to any business that wants to work with it. The company has seen many tough times and survived them all thanks to its dedicated employees whom it takes pride in.
Dedicated Transportation LLC. has been around for 20 years. It does not employ a lot of people but surrounds itself with some of the best. The total number of employees working here is estimated at 50 only. The company offers a number of openings for people who are about to launch their careers in the trucking industry. You can work as a driver, a dispatcher, a supervisor, or more.
You must be at least 23 years old and have a two-year OTR dry van driving experience to drive for them. The process of application is fairly simple. All you have to do is go on their website and fill out the online form. They will contact you for further assistance.
Salary and Benefits
Like its name, the company is dedicated to providing for both the financial and personal goals of all employees. The drivers here make around $55,000 per year. They really care about the people who work for them and pay off their hard work with financial rewards. That’s why their drivers are all quite happy to work for them.
This entire article is all about the different companies that are just as great as this one. But what truly sets Dedicated Transportation LLC. apart is its pride in its employees who work hard every day to make it successful.
Best Trucking Company in Shreveport, LA:
- Address: 670 Emberwood Dr. Shreveport, LA 71106
- Phone Number: 877-242-3383
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.afs.net
Who is AFS Logistics?
AFS Logistics was established in 1928. Back then, it was a one-man freight audit company that operated out of a garage. It is now a part of the Freight Forwarding Service Industry and provides global logistics management services and information technology solutions. The entire process is supported by superior technology and a strong leadership team that has gained experience from the industry’s top carriers.
For three consecutive years, AFS Logistics has been on the list of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the world. Logistics Tech Outlook also chose it as a Top 10 Transportation Management Solution Provider. The company is a great choice to launch your career as a trucker.
AFS Logistics is a global organization. It has seven different branches spread all over the world. Yet, Shreveport, LA, is their oldest site. Here they have an employee force of about 75 individuals. The company offers less-than-truckload, air freight and expedite, parcel, truckload, international, auditing, and information technology services. Hence, besides drivers, they employ a full team of skilled professionals.
You can join their team as a truck driver, freight lifter, auditor, data entry clerk, product manager, engineer, Java developer, or more. You can also join their talent community to be informed about the new openings that are more suitable for you.
Salary and Benefits
AFS Logistics offers vast and varied opportunities for individuals from every educational background. You will join their team as a newcomer but rest assured that they will welcome you with open hands. Their number of employees is not very large; hence, they are very supportive of each other.
Truck drivers here make about $42,615.15 per year. Product managers have a slightly higher pay at around $60,000. Data entry personnel make about $37,000, and so on.
The perks of working here include a wellness program, annual family day, recreational sports activities, holiday celebration, and corporate discounts, amongst other benefits.
Best Trucking Company in Baton Rouge, LA:
L & B Transport L.L.C.
- Address: P.O. Box 74870, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4870
- Phone Number: 800-545-9401
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.landbtransport.com
Who is L & B Transport L.L.C.?
L & B Transportation L.L.C. is one of the oldest trucking companies in Louisiana. It was founded back in 1984. Originally, it strived to provide quality service for the chemical industry of South Louisiana. It continues to meet the ever-increasing needs and high service expectations. Transporting rubber-lined trailer service for strong acids is their specialty. They also ship all types of commodities, including HAZMAT, that too in bulk across the entire US and Canada.
Today, after nearly 30 years, the company is expanding steadily. Their terminals stretch over the Southern United States. These operate closely with a fleet of trailers unmatched by any other company in the Gulf South. They really work hard to provide the highest quality service for a very economical cost.
As a part of the Truckload Carriers Industry, L & B Transport L.L.C. employs 370 workers across all of its locations. But in Louisiana, their total number of employees is around twenty. And with the ever-increasing demand for new talent, the company is almost always looking to add new members to the team. Currently, the company is looking for drivers and owner-operators to help distribute the burden.
Other than that, you can also apply for an administrative position. The application process is completely electronic. You can either download the form available on their website and fax it to them or submit it online.
Salary and Benefits
L & B Transport L.L.C. is widely acclaimed in the trucking industry for its market-competitive salaries. It is a good organization to start from. Drivers and owner-operators working here get 65% of freight, accessorial, fuel surcharge, toll fees, scale fees, weekly payments, and a free uniform, amongst other things.
The owner-operators make around $100,000 per year as they receive the highest percentage of revenue and have access to many resources. They are also entitled to a health care program along with their families at discounted rates. It comes with free life insurance and Dental & Vision Discounts.
Best Trucking Company in Monroe, LA:
Southeastern Freight Lines
- Address: 420 Davega Road, Lexington, SC 29073
- Phone Number: 803-794-7300
- Website: www.sefl.com
Who is Southeastern Freight Lines?
Southeastern Freight Lines is one of the biggest and strongest players in the Louisiana trucking industry. The company was set up in 1959 and made its first delivery in 1960. The vision behind its establishment was to provide each client with a service that exceeds expectations. This stood behind that first delivery and applies to each made today after all these years as well.
W.T. Cassels founded the company, and now, his son W.T. Cassels Jr. operates it with the same enthusiasm and dedication. Their efforts have really paid off, making this company one of the best ones. This is evident from the 390 quality awards they have received over the years.
It is a huge corporation that employs a total of 6,600 associates. The company takes pride in every worker it has employed. As it is a leading provider for regional less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services, you can either join the company as a driver or apply for one of the many non-driving openings.
The jobs they offer include the posts of supervisors, dock workers, freight handlers, mechanic, or customer service administrative, amongst numerous others. You can check out the current openings listed on their website. Choose the one you are more compatible with and start on a sound and secure career pathway.
Salary and Benefits
The salary and benefits Southeastern Freight Lines offers are some of the best in the industry. You can join the transportation department as a truck driver or a P&D driver and make about $73,500 per year. The different non-driver posts also have a good pay scale. For example, supervisors get about $64,000; managers earn $73,000, freight handlers get $43,000, dock workers make $48,000 yearly, and so on.
They have a proven track of financial strength and boast, not a single layoff throughout their existence. That is proof of job security here. As a driver, the benefits you can get include a retirement plan, complete insurance plan with health, dental, disability, and vision coverage. You are also entitled to paid time off as well as a wellness program and 401K matching.
- Address: 200 Westbank Expy, Gretna, LA 70053
- Phone Number: 504-368-2510
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: http://www.acmetruck.com/
Who is ACME Truck Line Inc.?
ACME Truck Line Inc. is one of the oldest and well-known freight operators in the US. It originated in Louisiana as an intrastate oilfield hauler. The company used to operate with three employees, six trucks, and two small sheds in Harvey, Louisiana.
Today, it is an important part of the Truckload Carriers Industry. It now operates with a fleet of more than 1,500 trucks over a vast network of 40 service points and 80 offices nationwide and across Canadian operating authorities. Headquartered in Gretna, Louisiana, Acme Truck Line Inc. has a 60-year experience of in overcoming challenges and responding to the ever-changing industry.
This organization has always relied exclusively on owner-operators. This is because doing so creates a strong motivation for providing excellent customer service. The equipment they utilize is all leased, which is why they want to share the opportunity and responsibility with their employees.
Apart from hiring owner-operators, they offer a number of driving, administrative, and non-driving positions. The non-driving staff they hire include terminal managers, dispatchers, supervisors, sales representatives, and support staff members. They also hire terminals, agents, pilot cars, and escort vehicles.
Salary and Benefits
Acme Truck Line Inc. is one of the most trusted trucking companies. This is primarily why more than 2000 owner operators are happily working for them. The average salary here ranges from $32,879 per year for a dispatcher to $202,583 per year for owner-operator drivers. Payments are made on a weekly basis, and both direct deposit and debit cards are available.
Employees working here can participate in the Employees Stock Ownership Plan. They also have a superior safety award program and employer-sponsored Health and Wellness Insurance. Bobtail and physical damage insurance can also be availed at an inexpensive rate. Drivers are also eligible for 401K plans.
- Address: PO Box 19771 Houston, TX 77224 United States
- Phone Number: 800-581-2600
- Email: Houma: firstname.lastname@example.org
Morgan City: email@example.com
Port Fourchon: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Orleans: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.jhwalkertrucking.com/
Who is J.H. Walker Trucking?
Johnny Walker is the founder of J.H. Walker Trucking. The company started in 1981 when Johnny bought his first two 18-wheeler tractors at an auction. Now, nearly 40 years later, it is a name of quality transportation services. Their area of services includes dedicated contract carriage, international priority, trailer staging, and team drivers.
The company has a constant focus on the safety of its employees. It has carefully gathered the finest personnel to be a part of the team. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, it has five different facilities in Louisiana alone. This aspect certainly makes it a good option to consider.
J.H. Walker Trucking is one of the few companies that hire team drivers. Their driving staff consists of truck drivers, owner-operators, company drivers, and teams. With around ten locations scattered around three different states, the company almost always has a new opening. They hire flatbed, gooseneck, local delivery, and oilfield drivers, flatbed owner-operators, and many more.
You can join their team as a driver, and if that’s not what you want, you can work as a dispatcher, clerk, sales representative, customer care support, manager, or supervisor. They also hire contractors for the different equipment they may need.
Salary and Benefits
This company is one of the highest-paying employers in the trucking industry in Louisiana. An average J.H. Walker truck driver makes around $66,525 per year, while an owner-operator working for them earns about $95,647 per year on average.
The employee benefits package they offer is very comprehensive. The company believes its employees are the most valuable resource, so they have maintained an open-door policy where all employees are equally important.
People working here enjoy paid vacations, a profit-sharing plan, a 401K retirement plan, life, disability, and medical coverage, and a health savings account. Drivers have assigned trucks; they are home most nights and also enjoy safety award programs.
- Address: 201 Energy Parkway Lafayette, LA 70508
- Phone Number: 337-237-84715
- Website: https://www.duprelogistics.com/
Who is Dupré Logistics?
Dupre Logistics is private, asset-based transportation and logistic service. It all began with Reggie Dupre, who faced a lot of difficulties to get fuel transported to his small service station in a rural part of Louisiana. He decided to switch roles and, in 1980, established Dupré Transport in Lafayette. The company was originally a hauler of bulk liquid commodities.
Today, Dupre Logistics is a diverse logistics service provider whose reach expands to Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. With an established network, the company serves all of the contiguous 48 states and parts of Canada and Mexico.
The company is one of the largest logistic operators in the US. It employs over 1,100 drivers that drive the fleet of 750 trucks. Their services are safe and reliable; that’s why more and more businesses are joining hands with them. This ultimately means new openings for truck driving aspirants.
They hire fuel drivers, chemical van drivers, yard hostel drivers, OTR, and lots more. Non-driving positions include operations assistant, operations manager, branch manager, accounts manager, load planners, dispatchers, customer service representatives, mechanics, and dispatch floor managers. If you want to join Dupre Logistics, the opportunities are endless.
Salary and Benefits
Working for Dupre Logistics means stellar pay. An average driver here can earn as high as $83,000+ annually. The company is very caring and thoughtful about its employees. The annual salaries it offers include $43,483 for dispatch manager, $71,079 for truck drivers, $69,597 to local drivers, around $100,000 for chemical operators, and $76,414 to crude oil haulers.
The perks of working for them include medical, dental, and vision coverage, paid life insurance, free uniforms, and PPE, paid vacations, paid training, an accelerated bonus program, and a generous driver referral incentive, amongst others. The pay structure is performance-based, and you also get a $1,500 sign-on bonus.
- Address: 8125 W 70TH St Greenwood, LA, 71033
- Phone Number: 318-938-5396
- Website: https://gentrytrucking.com/
Who is Gentry Trucking LLC?
Gentry Trucking is a family-owned-and-operated business. It was started by James T. and Linda Gentry in 1966. They started with one truck operating from their home. Now, the company owns 40 trucks and 51 refrigerated reefers. They specialize in refrigerated truckload and truckload services.
They are DOT-approved Class 1 motor carriers. The terminal is situated in an industrial area of Greenwood, Louisiana. It is large and accommodates a shop, office areas, dispatcher residence, and a bay that can house up to five trucks at a time. They offer 24/7 service with an on-site dispatcher.
Though the company is not huge, the employees they have are quite satisfied with their work. The company is steadily progressing; that’s why they are almost always on the lookout for new owner-operators, long-haul drivers, trainees, and support staff.
In order to apply for their driving positions, you need to have at least three years of on-the-road experience as well as a clean driving record. Their dedicated runs usually get you home on a weekly basis. That’s why it is a great company to work for.
Salary and Benefits
This company prides itself on having a very friendly and comfortable working environment. Dispatchers, as well as drivers, all get along very well. The superiors are also very kind and supportive. They help their employees when needed. Old or broken equipment is fixed or replaced immediately. And sometimes, even a rental is bought to fill in.
The many benefits of working for them include health, dental, and vision insurance, paid vacations, paid holidays, weekly and quarterly bonuses, affordable insurance, free food at safety meetings, and more. They strive to be “the ideal place to work.” They invest in exceptional talent and reward loyalty generously.
- Address: 5700 B J Cement Road, Lake Charles, LA 70615
- Phone Number: 800-256-2785
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.lakecitytrucking.com/
Who is Lake City Trucking?
Lake City Trucking is all about commitment to safety. Established in 1988, the company provides safe, reliable, and efficient transportation services. Based in Charles Lake, Louisiana, the company strives hard to become a premier transportation provider in southwest Louisiana and across North America.
Their services include safe and timely deliveries of oil, petrochemical, steel, timber, and construction industry materials. Their services also extend to include transporting hazardous cargo and waste. So, they strictly adhere to the USDOT safety standards. For them, customer satisfaction is the number one priority, and each driver they employ is dedicated to delivering the load on time every time.
The company operates on an open-door hiring policy. Their fleet extends to include flatbed trucks, vans, dump trucks, step decks, roll-off trailers, and dumps. So, they are open to hiring talented individuals who can expertly handle these. The working environment here is great, and you get assigned trucks. This works in your favor because you can personalize the truck to enhance your experience on the road.
Aside from the driving jobs, the company also hires people for administrative and corporate positions. You can work for them as a customer care representative, a dispatcher, a freight handler, forklift operator, support staff member, and more. The application process is very simple. You can download the form from their website, so there is no need for physical attendance unless you are called for an interview.
Salary and Benefits
Lake City Trucking offers market-competitive salaries with lots of benefits. The pay is offered as a weekly settlement. You work for one week and get paid the next. The payments are prompt, so you don’t have to wait. Bonuses and compensation plans follow up the excellent pay.
The benefits include complete health insurance with group rates, paid holidays and vacations, annual specials awards, and top-of-the-line equipment, which is not older than three years. The drivers working for them are usually home for weekends. Some are even home most nights. The working environment is great, and you get to learn a lot from coworkers.
10. Saia LTL Freight
- Address: 104 Woodlawn Ranch Road, Houma, LA 70363
- Phone Number: 985-851-2316
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.saia.com/
Who is Saia LTL Freight?
Saia LTL Freight is an American less-than-truckload trucking company. It began in 1924 when Louis Saia, Sr., a produce dealer by profession, decided to try his hand in delivering it too. The company started with a family car converted into a truck. And from there on, there was no looking back. In the next 45 years, the company flourished and established its terminals throughout Louisiana and Texas.
Today, Saia LTL Freight has a vast network of 166 terminals spread across the 42 states of the US and some parts of Canada too. It employs almost 10,500 individuals for different positions who all strive hard to make this company what it is.
Since the company is expanding steadily, they are always on the lookout for new employees. In fact, they even host Class-A CDL Driver Events to seek out talented individuals who can work for them. The different job positions they offer include truck driver, forklift operators, dock workers, operation clerk, local delivery driver, line haul driver, local city driver, customer care representative, and dispatcher, amongst many others.
Saia LTL has a long history of success. So anyone who wants to build a successful career for themselves should really look into joining their team. They offer best-in-class opportunities to motivate and inspire anyone who wants to work for them.
Salary and Benefits
Saia LTL Freight is recognized for offering compensation packages to all its employees. Their average employee tenure is eight years, and around 300 employees have been with them for over twenty years.
The pay rate for drivers working here ranges from $55,326 per annum for local drivers to $82,847 per year for team drivers. Their customer care representative makes about $33,466 per year, while a terminal manager and supervisor get about $66,656 and $52 897 per year, respectively.
They are dedicated to their employees and work hard to keep them satisfied and motivated. The employee benefits program includes comprehensive health, medical, dental, and vision coverage that does not require employee contribution after ten years.
Other benefits include a 401K plan with company match, paid vacations, credit union, wellness program, safety awards, educational scholarships, direct payroll deposit, employee stock purchase plan, driver uniforms, and annual employee engagement survey.
Job Outlook Salary For Truck Driving in Louisiana
With the spread of the pandemic, the economic environment is in a state of flux. Yet, the job outlook for truck driving in Louisiana still remains strong. Truckers are important for maintaining the economy. They keep the flow going by transporting consumer goods, raw materials, livestock, and more.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a two percent rise in truck driving jobs nationwide in the upcoming years. But, thanks to its steadily growing economy, Louisiana is projected to have 4.5 percent more openings for truck drivers. This means there will be more jobs for people who are aspiring to become successful truckers in Louisiana.
The salary of truck drivers in Louisiana estimates at about an average of $51,168 per annum. Usually, it falls between $45,183 and $58,674. The salary range also varies from city to city and depends on the experience, skills, certifications, and education level.
The pay also depends upon the operating mode of the driver. For instance, solo drivers need to take time off to sleep between shifts. Team drivers usually make the runs together while supporting each other. Meanwhile, owner-operators earn the highest gross salary, yet their take-home amount is generally lowered because of expenses.
Louisiana Cities With Highest Average Trucking Salaries
Truck drivers are mainly responsible for transporting cargo on a truck or trailer. Additionally, they receive, prepare, and provide the necessary documentation of the shipment they are supplying. In zone insurances, they also load, secure, check, and unload the cargo. This job requires dedication and focus. That’s why truck driver salaries are generally high all over the US.
Even in Louisiana, the investment you put into becoming a successful truck driver multiplies when you land a trucking job that offers a stellar wage. Here is a list of Louisiana cities with the highest average trucking salaries.
- New Orleans: $65,887 per year
- Baton Rouge: $63,205 per year
- Shreveport: $62,272 per year
- Sulphur: $61,953 per year
- Lafayette: $61,430 per year
Truckers have a popular slogan, “if you bought it, chances are a truck got it.” And they are not wrong. From the goods we receive through online shopping to those that we physically buy from a store, everything owes its presence to a truck and its dedicated trucker.
Louisiana is a great place to start your trucking career because it has a strong economy that relies on the trucking industry to move it. The demand for new truckers here is ever increasing. You can easily build a successful career for yourself, given that you are focused and dedicated.
People Also Ask
Everybody wants a sound paying job, specifically one that comes with good benefits. Being a truck driver is one of such jobs. And doing that in Louisiana is a huge plus. A state is a great place to live in and to start your trucking career. Doubt it? Here are some commonly asked questions to help clear your doubts.
How Much is Truck Driving School in Louisiana?
Louisiana is a great place to start your trucking career. There are 20 different schools here that offer diesel technology and trucking programs, that, too, at low tuition costs. The average cost of attending a truck driving school in Louisiana is $2,514. And on top of that, you can also apply for a scholarship program to reduce the fee even more.
What Major Trucking Companies Have a Fleet Location in or Near New Orleans, Louisiana?
New Orleans is, without a doubt, the cultural capital of Louisiana. It is situated near the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere, the Port of South Louisiana. Since it is the fourth-largest port in the world, many trucking companies have set up their fleet locations in or near New Orleans. These include Southeastern Freight Lines, Schneider National Inc., ACME Truck Line Inc., and Old Dominion Freight Lines.
Which Trucking Companies Hire Teams Out of Louisiana?
Trucking companies in Louisiana are mostly inclined towards hiring owner-operators. There are not many companies that hire teams out of Louisiana. Some companies that do are J.H. Walker Trucking, Saia LTL Freight, and Schneider National Inc.