On this week’s episode of Taking the Hire Road, host Jeremy Reymer chatted with Marina Ivanov, co-founder of Apex Transit, a North Carolina-based carrier. The duo discussed the grit and determination required to start a trucking company, as well as the importance of being active and engaged in the industry.

Apex is a true family-run business. The business was co-founded by Ivanov, her husband and her brother-in-law about 10 years ago. The company’s culture is deeply rooted in the family’s values.

Ivanov emigrated from Ukraine when she was 10 years old. In 2000, shortly after the family arrived in the U.S., Ivanov’s father began working as an owner-operator to provide for his family while still adjusting to life in America.

Her father’s trucking career gave Ivanov the opportunity to experience the trucking industry firsthand. While watching her father struggle with industry issues like hours of service, Ivanov actually swore off the trucking industry.

As an adult, however, she realized the trucking world offered a plethora of opportunities for hard-working individuals and innovative thinkers. She fell in love with trucking.

Despite her passion — and her company’s success — Ivanov noted that the ongoing freight recession has created challenges for Apex.

“It hasn’t been easy,” Ivanov said. “We have seen a decline in freight availability, and that has impacted us greatly.”

During this time, Ivanov has been laser-focused on helping Apex continue to thrive while ensuring the company’s drivers do not suffer from the negative state of the industry.

In fact, Apex has been able to retain a large portion of its drivers without reducing benefits, slashing hours or cutting pay.

“I am proud of the way we treat our people and who we are as a company,” Ivanov said. “We have worked really hard to make sure we don’t reduce driver pay or ruin their livelihood.”

Ivanov’s deep empathy for drivers is a direct result of her childhood experience as a truck driver’s daughter. Some of those same childhood experiences pushed her to pursue radical success for the overall business.

Throughout the freight recession, Apex has increased its operational efficiency by taking a detailed look at its policies and procedures to pinpoint areas of potential improvement, then making revisions as needed.

“I believe that, even in the tough times, there are always people doing well. I want to be one of those people,” Ivanov said.

Other highlights from this episode of Taking the Hire Road

Book recommendations: “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck, “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention — And How to Think Deeply Again” by Johann Hari, and “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy

Music recommendation: Ukrainian rock and pop band BoomBox

Sponsors: Career Now Brands, The National Transportation Institute, Asurint, Transportation Marketing Group, Driver iQ, Seiza and DriverReach

The post Grit and determination: In pursuit of the American Dream – Taking the Hire Road appeared first on FreightWaves.

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