In an era of downsizing, Francisco Franco doubled the size of his business in June.
His trucking company added two customers: LA Fashion Apparel Inc. and Elotex International Inc., both importers of clothing and fashion accessories from Asia.
And now, Franco – who just turned 20 – no longer drives his own truck. Instead, he oversees operations of Franco Trucking, a
Carson company he created in 2009 from an office in his parents’ den.
“Trucking runs in my family,” says Franco, who started the business at 18.
In fact, his father owns and drives a big rig and doubles as a diesel mechanic. His older brother, Sergio, is also a trucker, as are many of his cousins. So it was no surprise that Franco decided to follow their tracks – although it was a surprising that he did it so young.
“I opened my eyes and realized that I had to do something for money,” he said. He got his Class A license and all the permits required to do business at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles soon after graduating high school. Then, with his dad’s help, he financed the purchase of a $50,000 Peterbilt truck.
To find customers, Franco simply drove around. He acquired his first client one day in Valencia after coming upon a container-laden dock at Siena Floral Accents, a company that imports dry flower arrangements from the Philippines. The company needed help ferrying containers from the port and remains a customer today.
These days, Franco Trucking makes 15-20 trips daily for four importers. It also employs four drivers: three who own their own trucks, including Franco’s 23-year-old brother, and one who drives the company Peterbilt.
Now that he’s given up driving himself, Franco’s main duties include scheduling, dispatching, invoicing and accounting. All of which brings in about $350,000 in annual revenue, enough to be profitable.
“I could get more work but don’t have the money to buy more clean trucks,” which are needed to work at the ports, he said. They can cost $100,000.
So he’s saving up. His goal: at least one new clean truck by the end of next year. Eventually, he’d like to have 30.
“We’re just waiting for the prices to come down,” Franco said.