If at First You Don’t Succeed: Meet Former Teacher, Black Owner of $3.5M Intermodal Drayage Service
You might remember that growing up, people always told you to follow your dreams, but this entrepreneur who went from teaching to trucking proves what you can really do if you never give up.
Ashley Williams-Booker, the founder of Complete Logistics Service, switched her career path as a geometry teacher to start what is now a multimillion dollar asset-based company that supplies intermodal drayage services in Houston. In an interview with a source, Booker shared that she transports over 2,500 containers per year.
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“I am in the intermodal industry, meaning that I assist with the drayage, which is the truck we pick up from the port,” Booker said.
“We deliver to the receiver or the shipper and we bring it back to the port or I pick it up from rail and sea.”
“I deal with the part of intermodal that basically is needed for every human to survive from tissue paper to what you order on Amazon, all that comes through sea and through rail. So, my niche is mastering the port and the railroads and making sure that everyone receives their product in bulk,” Booker told the source.
When the former educator was introduced to the trucking business by a friend, she became a quick learner, and made ten times her earnings as a teacher when she first launched in 2014. The business owner admitted that she faced several speed bumps after she first launched her venture that caused her to take a back seat and put her business on hold for an entire year.
“The box truck industry is very hard to survive because you’re limited on the amount of space and weight that you can put on your truck. So, for a load that will go for $1,500 in an 18-wheeler with a full 53-foot trailer, I would only be able to get $300 or $400 of that because I had a smaller truck that could only limit a certain amount of freight on it,” Booker explained.
“So, it wasn’t really the money, it was just the frustration of getting partial loads. I didn’t like it. So, I failed.”
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Booker got back on track in 2018 and purchased two semi-trucks, which resulted in a $50,000 profit that she invested to bring long-term security for the company. From now financing trucks worth up to $60,000, to purchasing her own lot, Booker shares her success to inform others about the industry.
“So, I was able to purchase a 10-acre lot in what we call the mecca of trucking in Houston in the prime real estate area for trucking,” Booker said.
“That’s when I knew, I made it.”
“I am not different from my next-door neighbor or from anybody that I’m approached by. I’m just some regular person. I just took time out to invest in myself and invest in my family and you shouldn’t be afraid to do that either.”
Booker disclosed that her company is now worth $3.5 million.
She is the author of the book, Surviving Intermodal, and teaches others about intermodal drayage through her Surviving Intermodal Mentorship Academy.