(Feb. 3, 5:15 p.m.) It's been a very busy start to the new year for Donovan Francis.

Francis, 37, who has a background in telephone communications and real estate, opened Flyline Distributors & Truck Brokers LLC in Gilbert, Ariz. He filed incorporation papers Dec. 17.

Since then, it's been what seems a never-ending process of making contacts, getting his new company's name out in the marketplace and drumming up business.

"We're making forward progress," Donovan said. "We've only really been up and running since the beginning of the new year."

Francis doesn't own any trucks himself. As a transportation broker, he sets up shipments and makes sure all parties and their cargo are taken care of.

"I basically help provide sellers of product and purchasers with good, reliable freight," he said. "So the stuff they order is in the same condition when they get it as it was when it was sent off, and everyone gets what they ordered."

"I'm also buying and selling some produce. I'm finding clients and purchasing more product to turn around and sell to other produce brokers," Francis said.

He said he's also identified another project he's working on.

"I'm trying to identify things that need to come back from where the produce is going," he said. "There are a lot more empty trucks on the highway, more than I ever thought."

The rest of Francis' days are filled with building his budding company.

"It's just making contacts, building lists, getting my name out," he said. "I'm doing it the old-fashioned way by making one contact at a time."