- Brittany Traylor said she didn’t need much capital to start her own trucking company in 2021.
- Through brokerage and dispatching, her business generated $1.4 million in revenue last year.
- She revealed how she built her company with no money and gained drivers’ trust.
It was never Brittany Traylor’s dream to become a truck driver, but after seeing her uncle do it, she took classes and became a driver, too.
“He started posting a lot of great pictures on Facebook and sharing his experience with me, and that’s when I wanted a piece of that,” she told Insider.
She was an open-deck driver, which meant she mostly hauled construction equipment. Once COVID-19 spread, manufacturers shut down, construction halted, and supply chains tightened, her loads became less reliable.
After driving for five years, Traylor took online classes and became a licensed broker, a role in trucking that connects drivers with freight jobs and manages the shipping process. In January 2021, she established her trucking brokerage and dispatching company, Traylor Transpo. Last year, the Dallas company generated $1.4 million in revenue, which Insider verified with documentation.
Through Traylor Transpo, she’s able to create opportunities for others, a component of entrepreneurship that’s important to her.
“I grew up in a foster system and I didn’t have opportunities,” Traylor, 31, said. “So being able to do that with trucking, I was able to partner with others, hire employees, and give them a platform that empowers them.”
Here’s how Traylor built a million-dollar trucking company in a year.
How to start from from ‘literally zero’
Traylor and Freddie Williams, a driver.
Traylor said she didn’t need much capital to start her brokerage, which was convenient since she had “literally zero” cash and was about three months behind on her bills. To get her business off the ground, she picked up freelance gigs delivering shingles, glass windows, and Amazon packages in her box truck.
“I was at my breaking point of thinking maybe I just need to go back into the job world,” she said. “Then that’s when we started excelling.”
She formed a relationship with a leasing company to get more trucks, which helped her pivot to an asset-based business, or a company that owns its equipment. Once she was ready to hire employees, she advertised on Facebook and waited for candidates to apply.
“At that time, I really didn’t even know how to hire people or how to interview people,” she said. “I was simultaneously digging into that subject and constantly educating myself to build this team.”
Her first hire helped her get her first shipper, which gave her the capacity to take on an aluminum supplier. Today, the aluminum supplier is the biggest account with her brokerage.
Traylor Transpo now has seven employees, four of whom are drivers. The company also works with about 50 contracted owner-operators, or truck drivers who lease or own their trucks themselves. Traylor holds daily meetings and regular trainings to ensure her team is always learning and growing.
One of the keys to her company’s success has been implementing technology to connect her team, track shipments, and manage orders.
Becoming a trusted ally in a difficult field
Traylor was a truck driver for five years before starting her business.
In the past two years, the trucking industry has seen a lot of ups and downs, from supply-chain issues to inflation. While the jobs aren’t going away, the payout can fluctuate depending on fuel costs and the type of freight.
“Last year, there was a boom of all these small carriers and owner-operators, and it was a great market to be a carrier at that time,” Traylor said. “This year, we’re on the flip side of that market, and it’s a broker/customer market.”
Today, freight can be difficult to find and fuel prices have skyrocketed, she said: “With the higher cost of doing business, the carrier is taking all those costs.”
Because of those challenges, it’s been imperative to support her drivers.
“We had to assist a lot of these carriers to directly pay them or give them fuel advances to even be able to haul these loads,” she said. “That’s where these good relationships come in that we have with our carriers, because we do go out of our way to make it happen, and we can all win.”
Yet Traylor encourages anyone interested in starting a trucking business not to be dissuaded by the market.
“Supply chain is such an ever-changing market that there is no right time necessarily,” she said. “Just do it and be open to allow the market to direct you.”