How a trucker built his multi-million dollar transportation business
Rebel One, a mission-driven venture capital firm based in New York City, recently launched a new online series for aspiring investors and founders on RBL1 Live. In these live sessions, viewers are able to learn from the experiences and insights provided by company CEOs and investors.
In a recent episode, CEO of Fleeting, Pierre Laguerre, dives into his 17 years of experience working in the trucking industry and his journey from growing up in Haiti to founding his own trucking service company here in the United States.
Fleeting is an online recruiting service and marketplace that matches vetted CDL (commercial driving license) drivers with on-demand trucking jobs offered by companies like Amazon and Sysco Foods.
According to Laguerre, a truck driver spends an average of 250 nights a year away from home. As someone who spent over a decade as a trucker and owner operator himself, Laguerre understands the tradeoff a trucker has to make between important family time and work.
He sought to provide a solution that would help aspiring truckers obtain their CDL, find companies to work for, and still have control over their lifestyle.
Laguerre believes that a large part of Fleeting’s success has come from their ability to build a product based on customer feedback rather than assuming what customers want.
Because the trucking industry operates in an “old-school mentality”, and the average age of a trucker is 55 years old, Laguerre emphasizes simplicity in their product. “There’s an age barrier where drivers ages between 25–34 can easily get the product and then you have the older drivers, the 54 and 62 year olds that we don’t want to leave behind“, Laguerre explains.
By adapting and learning from the trucker’s perspective, Laguerre has created an inclusive and effective product that drivers can use to maximize their earnings while still preserving valuable time for loved ones.
As for the company’s near future, Laguerre is confident that the Fleeting community and the trucking industry will progress well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite massive business shutdowns across the country, Fleeting continues to fulfill the high demand for qualified truck drivers with the vital role of delivering daily products to distributors and supermarkets that ultimately reach homes all around the country.
Laguerre states that even in this climate, “there is still a shortage of 200,000 drivers.”
His optimism however, is challenged by industry leaders and truckers who are concerned with the risk of artificial intelligence and self-driving trucks replacing their jobs.
In response, Laguerre says, “Even if autonomous [trucks] happen, the need for a driver will always be there.” Furthermore, he mentions the many complications and challenges posed by safety regulators, insurance companies, and investors who aren’t willing to take the risk with autonomous trucks just yet.
Laguerre sends a message to the truckers out there: “Do not be afraid, do not let autonomous stop you… because that thing is still years away and I think we have time to actually capitalize on trucking before autonomous happens, if it does get to happen.”
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If you’re interested in learning more about Laguerre’s experiences, click here to watch the full episode. If you are a motivated investor or young professional like me, I would highly recommend checking out RBL1’s Youtube channel for more videos on how entrepreneurs and founders are changing the world.
Thank you for reading and stay safe!
Rebel One is a global community of investors and entrepreneurs focused on training aspiring investors and venture capitalists and accelerating founders innovating for a better world. Brian Ou 04/01/20