A stolen truck, a freight scam and a big re-evaluation on the road to small fleet success

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Updated Sep 17, 2022

When Florida-based small fleet owner Chris Porricelli started his CAP Trucking company as a one-truck business, he was still in his 20s, and struggled for the first six months. But 11 years into it today, the five-truck fleet has excelled in North-South LTL reefer lanes with mostly direct customers for produce headed north from Floirda and South Georgia, and a bevy of commodities headed south.

In this edition of Overdrive Radio, hear Porricelli's story in his own words, with part of my conversation with the owner attendant to his company’s semi-finalist recognition in Overdrive’s 2022 Small Fleet Championship. CAP Trucking is one of five semi-finalists in the 3-10-truck category for the program this year, with five more contenders also in the 11-30-truck category.

Last week, we started running stories about all 10 of the fleets (with four live so far) and will continue that through the end of the month. Finalists will be announced in early October, with the winner named in a ceremony at the annual conference of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies October 20-22 in Nashville, Tennessee. (NASTC is the Small Fleet Champ award's principal sponsor). 

[Related: CAP Trucking refocuses on asset business, growing success in North-South LTL reefer lanes]

Howes company logoOverdrive Radio is made possible with the support of Howes. Find out about their diesel additives, lubricants and more via HowesProducts.comWhether or not you missed the story earlier this week about CAP Trucking, I know you'll hear in this week's podcast a man in clear control of his business. He's got a real acumen for all the planning and thinking that goes into consolidation of LTL loads, with his family’s lineage extending back four generations in the wholesale produce business at Hunts Point Market in New York City. There, Porricelli cut his teeth as a night receiving foreman before venturing into over-the-road trucking on his own in the early part of the last decade.

Getting to where he is today was in no way an easy path for the young man, though. Recent years presented a trifecta of difficulties with a stolen truck, an expensive brush with scam artists, and no shortage of self-reflection after taking on a little too much. It all led him to stark choices that have allowed the business to re-emerge all the better for it. Take a listen: 

Also in the podcast: 

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Presented by Rand McNally
  • Porricelli explains his rationale for moving the business, now in its 12th year, into a S Corp structure for the tax savings and simplification enjoyed there. If you're unfamiliar with the structure, generally it makes sense for an owner-operator when net income exceeds a certain level (the $70,000 annual figure is often offered as a rule of thumb). Read much more about it in this how-to coverings the questions of why, when and how to make the switch.  
  • Hear about how the owner's refocusing moves in recent years have allowed him to reduce debt loads considerably, and much more.  

Contents of the video version of the podcast at the top: 

00:00 - Intro: A Conversation With Cap Trucking Owner Chris Porricelli
04:42 - How Chris Got His Start in the Trucking Industry
07:50 - Why Chris Keeps His Fleet Small
10:30 - Running a Small Fleet and Selling Produce at the Same Time
11:45 - Paying off Trucks and Buying New Ones
13:45 - How to Track Refrigerated Trailers and Why You Should Do It
17:40 - Truck Theft: How Chris Lost His Flagship Truck
23:47 - How to Prevent Truck Theft
24:46 - Why Chris Almost Left the Trucking Industry
27:22 - How Chris Was Scammed Out of $21,000
29:12 - Higher Expenses Due to Inflation
30:00 - Brokers Vs. Direct
31:32 - Becoming an S Corp: Why Do It?
34:12 - Outro & Credits

Podcast transcript: 

Todd Dills: When Florida-based small fleet owner Chris Porricelli started his CAP Trucking company, it was a 1-truck business. He was still in his twenties and struggled for the first six months. But 11 years into it today, the 5-truck fleet has excelled in North-South LTL reefer lanes with mostly direct customers for produce headed north from Florida and South Georgia and a bevy of commodities headed south.

I'm Todd Dills, your host for this September 9th, 2022 edition of Overdrive Radio, where you'll hear owner Porricelli run through of his story in a conversation recorded in August. Tended to his company's semifinalist recognition in Overdrive's 2022 Small Fleet Championship. C-A-P, CAP Trucking is one of five semifinalists in the 3 to 10-truck category for the program this year, with five more contenders also in the 11 to 30-truck category. We're running stories about all 10 of the fleets through September at overdriveonline.com/small-fleet-champ. Finalists will be announced in early October with the winner named at a ceremony at the annual conference of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies held October 20 through 22 in Nashville here.

Chris Porricelli: So, we're pretty much produce from October 15th through August. And so, that's 10 months out of the year. And August, September, beginning of October not so much produce floating around where we will run, but we will do some local work in New Jersey to New York with produce to the market. That's our mainstay northbound freight. Coming south, we primarily haul liquor, wine, and refrigerated and frozen meats and perishables. So, could be anything from beef to chicken. Turkey. We bring down some healthy juices to supermarket chains, frozen meats and hamburgers and stuff like that. Our main haul coming south is the frozen and fresh LTL.

Todd Dills: Chris Porricelli's clearly got an acumen for all the planning and thinking that goes into consolidation of LTL loads, and his family's lineage extends back four generations in the wholesale produce business at Hunts Point Market in New York City, where he cut his teeth as a night receiving foreman in the family produce business before venturing into over-the-road trucking in the early part of the last decade. Getting to where he is today was in no way an easy path, though. And recent years have presented the trifecta of difficulties with a stolen truck...

Chris Porricelli: I'm thinking it got impounded. I'm thinking it got towed because they saw it at a hotel. And I said, "Well, everything's gone?" He says, "No, the trailer's still here. The truck's gone." And he said, "Chris, the GPS is on the grass. I just found it."

Todd Dills: ... an expensive brush with scam artists ...

Chris Porricelli: It was the first time in 10 years that I got beat for money from a customer.

Todd Dills: ... and a feeling of just being overworked that led him to stark choices that have allowed the business to reemerge all the better for it.

Chris Porricelli: Scaled back. I wound up dissolving the brokerage recently, taking on some of that freight ourselves direct, and just basically giving out whatever I couldn't handle.

Todd Dills: We'll dive into CAP Trucking's history all the way back from the beginning with Chris Porricelli himself after this quick message from Overdrive Radio's sponsor.

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Todd Dills: That's Howes. H-O-W-E-S. Howesproducts.com. And I'll say, the virtual Howes Hall of Fame is truly something to behold. Among members are longtime truck drivers and owners, trucking radio personalities like Red Eye Radio's Eric Harley. Plenty more. I know they'd appreciate your nomination. Okay. Here's CAP Trucking owner Chris Porricelli taking us back to the beginning.

Chris Porricelli: I was born in New Jersey and actually worked in the Hunts Point Produce Market in New York before getting into this. So, my father, it's third generation with him. Fourth with me. It's a wholesale produce company, so that's how I got into logistics. We used to receive in trucks all night long with fresh produce, and then deliver it to restaurants, supermarkets, chains, et cetera in the New York City area. I was a receiving form in there. Yeah, it was night shift. I used to start at 5:30 PM at night, and I used to work till about 4:00 in the morning, sleep, and do it all over again Sunday through Thursday night. They were long hours. Business is still going on. My dad's still running it.

Todd Dills: That would be Ciro Porricelli, third generation leader of the Jerry Porricelli Produce company.

Chris Porricelli: Yeah, he's a customer seven months out of the year with produce. So, I was working for my dad and I was doing some local runs for a friend of mine at the time, and I think I wanted something a little bit more than just working nights in New York City. And so, I'd asked my dad for some more management positions that were open with him, and he basically said I was too young and he wanted somebody older in there and all that and kind of pushed me away.

So, I wanted to buy a house and everything in New Jersey at the time, and still, was very expensive. So, I said, "You know what? I'm going to reverse this. I'm going to keep renting." Because I had a real cheap place in North Jersey and I bought a house in Florida, and I said, "I got it for a good price and I'm either going to rent it out or it'll just be a vacation home, but I can't really touch anything in Jersey right now for what I want to spend."

Fast forward about a year after I bought the house in Florida, wasn't really getting anywhere in New York with either a raise or a new position, so I went for my CDL-A. I got it, and I had some money saved up so I said, "I'm going to go buy something." So I bought a used truck out of Atlanta, and I bought a used trailer that was involved in a rollover accident that I fixed, and I started trucking. It was a disaster for six months. It was a disaster. And I thought I was going to be driving back to New York one of those times to just start working there again.

And little by little, it started coming around, and I was able to get into a new truck after a couple years and that really turned things around, little by little. I got up to seven trucks at one point and scaled back just a little bit, and five seemed to be the magical number. And then, I'll trip lease some guys in the wintertime when it's busy for us, and they'll either rent a trailer or just trip lease with their own. And that seems to be the sweet spot for us right now. I know guys that have tried to get me to add more trucks to the fleet, but I don't believe in quantity over quality, in my [inaudible] at least.

Todd Dills: I mean, when you say it's a sweet spot for you, what are your parameters for being a sweet spot? Is it just your personal ability to keep up with everything maybe?

Chris Porricelli: Yes.

So, I have a dispatcher and fuel tax person that works with me. She gives me about 25 hours a week, and she helps with communicating with the drivers and making phone calls to the customers, et cetera, which takes some pressure off of me. I have a 13-month-old son, so he can be a handful at times. My wife works, so he goes to daycare a few days a week. He stays home with us a few days a week. Try and split everything up. So, it was a sweet spot because, right before COVID hit and all that jazz, I had an office in Sanford with a warehouse. I was driving like 35 minutes each way, and I had a brokerage at the time so we were brokering out about five to ten loads a week. I was running my five to six trucks a week. And, yeah, after a while I was like, "Man, this is a lot."

I was not sleeping. I was not doing anything healthy. I gained a lot of weight, and I was like, "This is not good." So we scaled back. I wound up dissolving the brokerage recently, taking on some of that freight ourselves direct, and just basically giving out whatever I couldn't handle. And monetarily, it seems to be where I'd like to be, running this many trucks. I'll always yearn for more, but at some point, you become content, let's say, and stick with that. So I try to be consistent. We run pretty much contracted freight for the same customers, so we go through our busy seasons and slow seasons and ebbs and flows with that. This is technically our slow season from literally now until about the first week in October. So the next six or seven weeks, it's a little bit quieter for us.

Todd Dills: As noted earlier, we were speaking in early August, as maybe obvious to the attentive listener.

Chris Porricelli: You plan and budget for it, like anything else. But yeah, I mean, especially with the market right now, it's so volatile with truck prices and rates and fuel and everything. I don't know if I'd be out there buying three to five trucks right now at the prices they want and trying to find some good drivers to put in them. It's become a sweet spot where we're at.

Todd Dills: It wasn't by any stretch an easy road to get there though, and Porricelli traces the beginnings of a fork in the road for him back to 2019, just pre-COVID, with his workload at its very highest.

Chris Porricelli: Actually 2019, as if I wasn't doing enough with brokering and running the trucks, I took on a salesman position at a farm that we direct for, and I was selling produce for them for about five, six months, I guess. I was living in a hotel with a dog five days a week down there trying to produce, making money with them, driving back up to my office on the weekends, cleaning up all the paperwork from my secretary, checking out the warehouse that we had downstairs, making sure everything was good there, going home for a day, doing laundry, going back out, doing it again. And I was like, "Okay, yeah, you're making money, but this is [inaudible]. This is absolutely crazy." I had to walk away from selling produce and had to walk away from brokering as when he loads those brokering and just cleaned it up. Just cleaned it up and took what was yielding me the most revenue and profit and ran with it.

And the biggest thing that I wanted to do... Because at some point around year five or six in business, I had a pretty substantial amount of business debt, and the biggest thing I wanted to do in the most recent years was consolidate that. I wanted to eliminate as much as that is possible, pay off equipment, et cetera, and therefore see a better return at the end of the year. I wanted to have at least half of a fleet paid off, and it wasn't a business tact that I was after following when I say that. In my mind, if I could take seven trailers and five trucks and say, "Okay, twelve pieces of equipment, six of them are paid off. I've got six basically generating income on top of that." You balance it all out.

To me, that was a good standard to at least run with for about a year or two, build up some escrow, build up some savings, and then, "Okay, I'm ready to go out and buy two trailers. I'm ready to buy two trucks." Whatever. Tomorrow, I'm actually flying to Dallas. Yeah, we're looking at some trailers out there because, I'm sure as you know, equipment right now is just insane. And I've got a new custom 54-foot multi-temp that was being built from March of '21. I just got the purchase order two days ago. I gave them a deposit in March of '21. Purchase order was sent to me on Monday [inaudible]. Had no clue what the price was going to be till then. And now they're telling me the trailer might be done December. If not, definitely by January.

Todd Dills: So, it's like, it's two years later, right?

Chris Porricelli: Yeah. And listen, I'm fine with it. It's what I need for what we haul. It's a multi-temp trailer. We do a lot of LTL, so I need split temps. So, you have dual-temps and tri-temps. We only run dual-temps. Some of our trailers are single-temps, but we don't go up to tri-temps was what I meant. The way that works is you can haul something frozen and something fresh. So we do a lot of that with our LTL consolidation, where we'll have dry freight and we'll have refrigerated freight. We'll have frozen freight. We'll have refrigerated meat or juice. So, take a 53-foot trailer, you can pretty much split it up however you want and bulkhead it, and you've got your Zone 1 and your Zone 2. And everything gets monitored.

The biggest thing I did, about two years ago, was convert all the trailers over to tracking. And now I can monitor all the temperatures of all the trailers and how fast they're going, and when they need fuel, and all that stuff. I mean, you name it, it tells you what the trailer's doing. And that has been a huge help, because sometimes I'm able to tell a driver there's a problem before he even knows. He could be on the road, on the phone, talking to his wife, and I get a code texted to me. I call him up, "Hey, you got a problem." He can pull over before he even knew there was an issue.

Todd Dills: Did the driver have the opportunity to get those alerts too, though, I imagine?

Chris Porricelli: Yeah.

Todd Dills: Just might not see it if they're on the road.

Chris Porricelli: Yeah. Thermo King is the holder of the program. It's called TracKing, so "Track" and then capital K like Thermo King. You can utilize it on online. You can download an app to your phone. And when you set up the alerts as the owner or dispatcher, what have you, you can set it up to email or text specific people. So, because some of my guys drop and hook trailers, it wouldn't be fair to just sign them up for all these alerts. Well, I've got one driver that pretty much pulls the same trailer, so for him, I let him just get the alerts. But for the most part, it comes directly to my dispatcher and myself; and if she's working, she'll grab it. If not, I'll grab it. And that's how that works.

One of the biggest reasons why I went with it was because, and we don't get claims a lot, but when we did, you'd have to drive to Thermo King to get a download to prove where your set point was and what your return air was for the load. And number one, you've got driver time, fuel truck wear and tear. You get to Thermo King, you have to wait for them to plug in and print it out, email it to you. They charge you about $160 bucks give or take. Half the time, if you're in the right, the customer will reimburse you the $160 bucks, but I can't bill them an extra $200 bucks for my driver's time and fuel.

So, this program, which costs me a fraction of that per trailer... It's like, I don't know, $30 a trailer per month, let's say. I'm able to get a download whenever I want, any trailer, inclusive of the program. So it saves me and the drivers a ton of expenses. It was a no-brainer to make. And there's multiple platforms that offer this service now. Carrier has theirs. Thermo King has theirs. There's a third-party company called iBright. Not cheap, but very thorough. Tells you when the doors are open on the trailer and when they're closed, which really helps if you're sitting at a loading dock for 10 hours, you can prove, "Hey, my doors were open for 10 hours. Your product might be warm." There's some cool features with this stuff now that can really help protect the trucker, that I think if you are willing to spend the money, which it's not a lot, it's a big investment in the long-term.

Todd Dills: As I intimated up top, CAP Trucking owner Chris Porricelli has been investing in that long-term more and more of late. Some big shifts in the business last year that, in some ways, hinge on the story of his, at the time, flagship rig: a beauty of a 2015 custom Pete 389 Glider he dedicated to his grandfather, Angelo Porricelli, who passed on around the time of the purchase of the rig in 2016.

Chris Porricelli: So, I drove that truck for the first two or three years that I had it and hired a driver still with me now. He's been with me about five or six years. Was in the Marines. A little bit younger than me. He came out of the Marines. He was working for a company in North Florida. And we met up one night at a truck stop, started talking, et cetera. I said, "Yeah, I'm starting to hire drivers and this and that. Trying to find the right person to drive this truck," et cetera. So, anyway, I wound up hiring him. Fast forward however many years it was... Three. I would assume four. He would take the truck home sometimes. He lived outside of Jacksonville. And he was under a load. He had a brand-new trailer. Stainless steel, 53-foot utility trailer.

Todd Dills: Wow. A beautiful one, right?

Chris Porricelli: With a load of frozen bread inside. The thing was, the load had to pick-up on a Friday, but it didn't deliver to Monday. And where he was loading to where he lives, I said, "Look, it would make a lot more sense if you just took the truck with you." Because at the time we were parking at this hotel, we knew the manager, et cetera. So it was real quiet. There was a sheriff's station diagonally across the street. A hospital. I'm like, "This can't be a terrible area."

I was wrong. He went there with the load. Parked it. He checked on the truck that Sunday morning. By Sunday evening, the truck was gone. He got in Monday morning, 4:00 or 5:00. I don't know. 5:00 in the morning, let's say. And he called me and he said, "The truck gone." I'm thinking it got impounded. I'm thinking it got towed because they saw it at a hotel. And I said, "Well, everything's gone?" He says, "No, the trailer's still here. The truck's gone."

Todd Dills: Wow.

Chris Porricelli: Well, then my antennas went up. He almost started crying. He says, "Chris, the GPS is on the grass. I just found it." So, anyway, the hotel wound up playing back the security footage. And at the time, and even still to this day, there was a crew going around South Georgia/North Florida, they were driving a black Ford dually diesel pickup truck, all tinted out, had Texas license plates on it. Well, they wound up finding this truck and finding some sort of house that they were using somewhere in the woods of Florida. And it looked like a "Gone in 60 Seconds" wall of cars, except they were trucks.

Todd Dills: Wow.

Chris Porricelli: And they had pictures of guys that I know with beautiful, beautiful rides sitting there in truck stops and rest areas at receiving places. They had pictures of these trucks.

And on there was a picture of two of mine. So, I wound up using that information to tell a few of my friends, "Hey, your truck's hot. They got you. Watch yourself." And we were all on our... I mean, my guys were scared for a few weeks. I mean, nobody wanted to even drive or park the truck. They were scared of being held up or whatever. So, it was a scary time. My wife was pregnant at the time, and it was just a bad time for me. I paid the truck off after four years of owning it. I got the truck, and I didn't know it was the time, but I bought the truck on the day my grandfather passed away.

So, inside the truck, I had a plaque made where the Peterbilt side is in the passenger side of the air ducts, and it said, "Custom built for..." and it had my grandfather's name on it. And I did that first run up to New York myself, and my dad told me that he had passed away in the hospital when I got there.

Todd Dills: Oh, man.

Chris Porricelli: So I was like, "Man..." Truck had a lot of sentimental value to me. Goes without saying. We had put it in a few truck shows down here in Florida. I had put a lot of time and effort into it. The driver kept it clean. Everybody knew me, knew that truck. Never recovered. Insurance offered me an insult of an offer on it. I said, "You can keep your claim. I'm not going to even put that on my record for three years and be penalized for it, because it's not going to buy the truck back." It wasn't even close to buying the truck back. I was a mess, though. I rode around on my motorcycle and my pickup. I probably covered every square inch of Florida in a few days. I mean, looking all over.

I even had two people try and blackmail me for $500 or $1,000 dollars fast forward a few months, saying they knew where the truck was. It was in Georgia. It was in the woods. It was this. It was that. We sent cops up there. I had a private investigator. I mean, we did the whole nine yards, and it had never turned up. But, in my mind, I'm thinking: it's a pretty unique color. It was called diamond white metallic. It wasn't a super popular color for Peterbilt for the year. And you'll see it. It's kind of like a cream color. You'll see them out there, but there's not a ton of them. It's not a pearl white.

What caught me by surprise was they left the trailer. I mean, every bit of a $90,000 trailer. Trailers are a lot easier to get rid of than trucks in the theft industry, so it's like, you left that, but you took the truck? Fast forward, now I have totally hidden GPSs in the trucks. GPSs in the trailers. I even spent, God, probably $5,000 or $6,000 installing these chip keys. I don't think I have one on me handy right now, but there are these additional keys that have to go in the truck in addition to the actual ignition key. And actually, if that key's not in, the fuel pump and the starter will not turn on. So if somebody tries to hot wire it, it's not going to work.

If somebody has a spare key made because they steal the VIN, it's not going to work. So, yeah, I was so paranoid, and probably would be a liar if I didn't say I still am now, I did it to all my personal vehicles. I had a brand-new pickup. My wife was driving a relatively new Jeep. I had them done. I mean, every single vehicle that had my name in it, the guy came and he did it. And I almost... And I mean pretty close. I almost walked away from this business after that truck got stolen. I just didn't have it in me.

Todd Dills: It sounds like that is also involved with your rethinking of the size of the business and-

Chris Porricelli: Absolutely.

Todd Dills: That all kind of happened around the same time.

Chris Porricelli: Absolutely.

It's hard to have the energy to go out there. I mean, this trip that I'm taking tomorrow is probably the first... Well, it's probably the third time if you want to be technical, but in the last two years, that I've really ventured out and been like, "Okay, I'm going to go look at some equipment." I used to go all the time. I mean, all the time. I'd be driving my truck down the road... Because I used to drive full-time up until just a few years ago. I'd be driving a truck down the road. I'd see a dealership with something, I'd pull over and just kick tires and look, just to figure out what things were going for, what the values were of stuff. Last year, I wound up buying two used trucks. I had to drive to Iowa to get one. I flew to Pittsburgh to look at another. And then, I wound up buying another one in Mississippi at the truck market.

I wound up using them for a little bit, and then I'll fix them up and then I'll flip them and make some money, and then replace them with something else. I've got my "Steady Betties" as I call them, that they like their nice trucks and I just keep them in it. I got a couple guys that don't care. They work local or whatever and they just want a clean, nice truck. So, I use that as a means to get my write-offs and buy equipment and sell equipment and what-have-you. But, yeah, that whole era just really... It shook me. I can't even hide it. It was a bad time. My wife being pregnant did not help. I, at the time, had been in business 10 years. Now I'm 11 going on 12. And it was the first time in 10 years that I got beat for money from a customer. And I'm still in legal deposition with him. So it was just a rough six months. It was not fun.

Todd Dills: You can read more about that period in our Monday, September 5 profile of CAP Trucking if you missed it via the Small Fleet Champ section of overdriveonline.com, where four of our eventual ten awards semi-finalist stories have been published as of today. Find it at overdriveonline.com/small-fleet-champ. Keep tune to it through the end of this month to read about all fleets. For Chris Porricelli, all that came to a head, engendering a refocusing of his business priorities a little more than a year ago when his and his wife Lauren's child was born. Chris Porricelli picking up the story on a bit of an extended stay they had in the hospital around the birth. Part of the time spent...

Chris Porricelli: ... arguing with these guys to pay me, and it became such a personal vendetta. And I remember driving home after two weeks with my wife and son in the back, and I told her. I said, "I have no energy to do this anymore. They've taken my truck. My beautiful, paid off truck that I worked my butt [inaudible]. They've just beat me for almost $21,000 from this customer here. I have no desire to wake up and do this again tomorrow." And between her and my father, they pretty much slapped me around until I had some sense knocked into me that, "You still have good customers and you still have good employees and you still have this. Every business takes a hit. If it took 10 years for you to get to this point, then take it in stride and run with it."

And I did, but I still went forward with the lawsuit against them, even though it's probably not going to get me my money back; and if it does, the lawyers are going to get 30% of it off the hop, but it's principle. Why should I just let you get away with these three or four loads that we hauled for you? And fast forward, come to find out this guy was not venturing out into any sort of new business venture. He was scamming people that he told he was moving furniture for. I have this problem where when people piss me off, I just work really, really hard. So, we wound up moving a lot of freight last year, and, yeah, we had a great year last year.

Of course, a lot of things were inflated, so by the time you factor in fuel surcharge and all that, your numbers are up, but your expenses were up. So it's like, if you take my consistent $1.6 to $1.8 million years, and then add in an additional, let's say, $100,000/$200,000 in fuel, and then add on fuel surcharge on top of that, now you get a $2.1 to $2.3 million year. Did you really knock it out of the park? You might have made a little bit extra money, but your expenses were up. I mean, that's really what it came down to. If you can stay consistent though, if you can match what your expenses are and beat it, then, yeah, I guess you're doing well.

Todd Dills: Do you end up working with brokers on the way back after a lot of the guys have direct going out? How does it work?

Chris Porricelli: I actually was thinking about this, because I was trying to figure it out. About 15%, upwards no more than 20%, of my work is through brokers.

Todd Dills: Okay.

Chris Porricelli: Everything else is direct.

So, yeah, this time of year, I'm dealing with brokers more frequently to get out of Florida, get out of Georgia, head north; but almost all our freight coming back down is direct. And seven to eight months out of the year, I'll say eight, all of our freight leaving Florida is direct. So for that three to four month period of time where we're looking for loads one way, that's my broker freight. So, it accounts for no more than 20%.

And it's very difficult to deal with brokers nowadays. It amazes me that with fuel at the price it's at and expenses at where they're at, tires, brakes, et cetera, how they're getting away with these rates. Thankfully, most of our stuff is dedicated freight that pays very consistent and/or fuel surcharge gets applied correctly. So, at the end of the day, we're not sweating it too much, but we still have a minimum we need to meet one way, and it's amazing to me what these people want to pay. I mean, I don't know how trucking companies that only deal with the load boards are making it.

Todd Dills: I noticed that you said that you were going to move into an S corp-type structure.

Chris Porricelli: Yes. Yes.

Todd Dills: What prompted that?

Chris Porricelli: Taxes. Basically, right now, and for the last 10 and a half years, whatever it's been, I've been filing under a 1040 on W2 to my LLC, but at the end of the day, I'm still a single member, so you're basically just a sole proprietor at the end of the day. With all the assets that I have, and I don't really know when I surpassed it, but at some point I guess, when you've got a fair amount of trucks or trailers, whatever their worth is, let's say, it becomes more beneficial if you're an S Corp to them. So my accountant actually wanted me to switch over back in 2020, I think.

It's been about two years or three years he's been bugging me to do it. And between COVID and my wife being pregnant and all that, I was just like, "Man, I don't have the stomach for it. We're just going to have to figure this out. I'm not buying anything big. I already have our homes. We have cars. Nobody questions the integrity of my paycheck, so it's like, I'm not rushing for this, but I do understand the tax benefit." So, we officially form the company in May, so as we speak right now, Porricelli Trucking DBA CAP Trucking is open. Not a dollar has been passed through it yet.

At the end of this month, August, that's when our license plates renew on the trucks in the state of Florida. So with our IFTA/IRP account, that's when we're going to switch everything over to the new CAP Trucking. So, I did the "doing business as" CAP Trucking so that virtually nothing would have to change. You're just eliminating the LLC. Because we got to do decals on the trucks, decals on the trailers. My bank account is all set up now. But, yeah, so that was the prompt. I'm the only owner to the business, but I basically wanted it to be incorporated so that at the end of the year, I can do what I want with the write-offs and the expenditures and whatnot.

Todd Dills: The S Corp structure allows for tax savings in a couple of different ways, as we've noted in prior coverage. Catch my how-to from fall 2021 on setting up the business that way, including details on considerations to make related to why, when, and just how to do it via a story you'll find a link to in the show notes with this podcast, or the post that houses it, at overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio. It's the September 9th, 2022 edition. Here's a big thanks to Chris Porricelli for his time. You can check out all our small fleet champ semifinalists for this year via overdriveonline.com/small-fleet-champ all throughout the rest of this month. Here's good luck to all the contenders.

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