Originally from New York, Jorge Reyes, Founder and Owner of Logway Transport, moved with his family to Pasco County when he was a teenager. His family was in search of less crime and more opportunity. After working in a warehouse in Tampa and proving his work ethic, Reyes was presented with an opportunity he couldn't refuse.
"My manager saw that I was a great employee," he said. "They were picking new drivers and he offered me an opportunity to drive. It was a chance to make more money and learn a new skill. I said, 'Let's do it'."
Reyes went on to get his Commercial Driver's License and, in 2000, bought his first truck and became an independent driver. By 2012, after many years on the road learning the industry, he started his own transportation company. Reyes shared his thoughts around that decision along with some of the challenges he faced as he scaled the business.
"Over time, I really got to know the trucking business," he said. "I've always been a little risky, so starting my own company wasn't that big of a deal to me. I started with one truck and, as business picked up, I re-invested the profits and purchased more trucks. Rather than buying brand new trucks, I bought used trucks. Today, we have about 10 trucks and utilize independent contractors as drivers. We work with brokers to find loads and deliver to clients such as Walmart."
"It's a very competitive business, so that's always been a challenge," he said. "Perhaps the biggest challenge, however, has been finding good reliable drivers. Once you find a good driver, you have to learn their personality type and how to work with them. It requires a lot of patience."
Looking ahead, Reyes is working towards dealing directly with companies like Walmart instead of having to go through a middleman. As he explained, this type of 'straight contract' would improve the bottom line and help to take his business to the next level.
What advice does Reyes have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "To tell you the truth, entrepreneurship is not for everybody," he said. "Some folks are just meant to work for other people. There's nothing wrong with that. If you do decide to start a business it's important to know that you're taking a risk. However, you have to take a risk in order to achieve great success."