Starting a Trucking Company, TCS Customer Spotlight

From Bus Driver to Cargo Van Business Owner

TCS Customer Spotlight: Blaine Logistics

Jacquelyn “Jacci” Blaine was a bus driver with the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) for three years when she got the idea to start her own transportation business. She left CTA not knowing exactly what she wanted to do but was offered to drive a semi-truck and met a couple of cargo van drivers.

With the idea of being her own boss and the possibility of traveling in the transportation industry, she started looking online to see what would be required to start her own transportation business and came across Transportation Compliance Service (TCS).

We sat down with Jacci over Zoom to learn more about her journey into the transportation industry and her experience working with TCS. Here’s what she had to say: 

Q: Tell us about your transportation company. When did you start your cargo van business, and why?

The pandemic really boosted the idea of getting into the cargo van business. I saw what was happening in the retail stores and thought, “How is everyone still being provided with the things they need?” Then 1 realized that transportation businesses that support the retail supply chain were about to experience a boom. So I thought, “I can do this. I transport people back and forth from their home to work every day. I’m sure I can transport, you know, toilet paper. I’m sure I can transport general freight.” So I thought, “Ok, let’s go for it.”

I talked with my husband. He is my team driver and my support system, and he works for the post office. That further prompted me to want to get into the transportation business. He had insight into the transportation community, and I, of course, had my own. We put it together, and here we are.

While my business was formed in 2015, we were an automobile company selling cars at that time. Then in May of 2019, we transitioned into logistics. Right around that time, I started talking with Caleb at TCS. He started letting me know how to properly go about starting a transportation business. But I didn’t jump and do it right away. Caleb and I continued talking, forming a bond, and I started building the transportation company. We received our operating authority on December 28, 2021

Today, Baline Auto Group LLC, dba Blaine Logistics is adding more vans and more drivers who will be renting vans from us as independent contractors. The ultimate goal is to help others get into the cargo van business who maybe can’t purchase their own business yet. We’re headquartered in Saint Louis, MO, and service the continental US, Canada, and Mexico. 

Jacci Blaine, Owner-Operator of Blaine Logistics, is on the road with one of their cargo vans.

Q: How did you discover TCS and their Managed Compliance Services?

The very first thing I did was I googled “operating authority” and how to obtain one, and TCS popped up in the top three results.

I liked the structure of the TCS website and trusted how it looked, so I thought I’d try them and two other places. When I called the two other places first, and I just didn’t feel the vibe. I didn’t get what I thought I should get; I didn’t get a welcoming person on the other end of the line.

When I contacted TCS, the representative was helpful and transferred me right over to a specialist, Caleb, and he was great. I thought, “Ok, this is where I’m supposed to be.” He answered my questions, he met my requirements, and I was like, “Ok, I’m sticking with this company.”

I didn’t pull the trigger that day because I wasn’t totally ready, but I kept sticking with him. We talked on the phone about starting my transportation company and corresponded via email and text messages. Over the course of months, he got me rolling. 

Q: Why did you choose Transportation Compliance Services? 

I’ve always been a researcher, and I knew I couldn’t just apply for all the things I needed easily online by myself. I knew I needed someone that could handle all of my new entrant and compliance paperwork for me. That way, I could focus more on the road, focus more on the actual dynamics of the business itself, and not have to do the whole paperwork bit.

It’s one of those situations where you stay in your lane, and you leave that to the professionals. That’s how I felt about it. I thought, “I can’t deal with compliance paperwork, mailings, and emails when I’m already dealing with brokers, shippers, carriers, and those things.”

I can’t deal with compliance paperwork, mailings, and emails when I’m already dealing with brokers, shippers, carriers, and those things.

— Jaquelyn Blaine, Owner-Operator, Blaine Logistics

I found comfort in knowing there’s a company that can manage all of my paperwork and keeps me compliant, and I don’t have to do that.

Q: What has your experience been like working with TCS?

Currently, TCS is taking care of my operating authority, my DOT registration and requirements, my compliance papers, my United Carrier Registration (UCR), and my International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) as well. And it’s been so good, actually. 

Whenever I have any sort of questions, I know all I have to do is call Caleb. He explained the SCAC codes (Standard Carrier Alpha Codes), Mexican border crossing compliance, and other issues. He was knowledgeable about most compliance issues. If he didn’t have the answer right away, he would research and get back to me promptly. TCS is the glue to my business. Great experience. 

TCS is the glue to my business. Great experience. 

— Jaquelyn Blaine, Owner-Operator, Blaine Logistics

Q: Would you recommend TCS to other transportation companies?

Absolutely. I stand behind TCS one hundred percent.

I’m able to come to Caleb at TCS and ask him about different things and then share that information with my community on TikTok and Instagram. My followers consist of other truck drivers who want to transition to the cargo van business. I’ve connected them with Caleb and TCS so he can help them as well.

I started my @OGBougieTrucker TikTok channel back in July 2021. But I didn’t start posting about my journey into the cargo van business until late in 2021. It is so hard to get good info about transportation start-ups and how to get going in this business. So if I can help provide good information that can change their lives, I want to do it.

Partnering with TCS is the best move I could have ever made. The advice I share on TikTok to new drivers is to keep educating yourself. TCS has absolutely schooled me and has given me insight into compliance that no one else has.

Let Transportation Compliance Service Help You

Getting started in the transportation industry is challenging. Multiple complexities around federal and state regulatory compliance are often discouraging. When you partner with TCS early on, even before you seek your operating authority, and you’ll be set up for success from the get-go.

Let the Managed Services Compliance Specialists at TCS help you keep your business on the road for the long haul.

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