Throughout the month of February, we’ve been celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Black leaders from across the trucking and logistics industries. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Fleeting CEO and Founder Pierre Laguerre. When we spoke with Laguerre, he explained that when he first got into the trucking industry, he was surprised to discover that there wasn’t any system in place to teach new truckers about entrepreneurship, building relationships with shippers and brokers, and the economics of trucking. Laguerre just recently launched Pierre’s Academy, an online trucking academy for people who are just starting out in the trucking industry.

Read on to learn more about Pierre’s Academy and what inspired Laguerre to launch it.

A Vision for the Future

Laguerre knew early on in his trucking career that he wanted to create a place where young men and women as well as marginalized communities could learn about trucking, how to get a CDL and become entrepreneurs.

“Once I got my CDL and got started in trucking, I realized that trucking didn’t have an ecosystem that teaches truckers about entrepreneurship, how to build relationships with shippers and brokers, and unit economics,” said Laguerre. “I was eager to learn more about trucking. I took a college course on supply chain logistics, but it taught me trucking on a macro level, but I was much more eager to learn about trucking on a micro level. I went on to become a freight broker and to be very honest, and this is not to vilify brokers or vilify anybody in this space, I also quickly realized how sometimes brokers take advantage of truckers’ ignorance because they don’t understand the business side of the industry.”

After running as an owner operator for several years, Laguerre started his own trucking company with three trucks, which he then scaled up to 20+ trucks. He also founded a trucking staffing agency, but the idea of starting a school or training program stayed in his mind and it was one that he never forgot.

About Pierre’s Academy

When we spoke with Laguerre, he had just launched Pierre’s Academy, which provides virtual courses to those who are new to the trucking industry. Current courses cover how to raise capital, dispatching, freight brokerage and trucking operations. Laguerre contends that educating people who have traditionally been outside the trucking industry can help address some of the supply chain challenges that the industry is currently facing.

“There are a lot more dispatchers getting into the industry and more freight brokers are coming into the industry,” Laguerre shared. “With Pierre’s Academy, I’m using my experience building businesses in trucking and logistics to teach founders how to raise capital and investors to get comfortable with crowdfunding. I want to teach people how to run a successful operation with two or three trucks and how to start and scale a brokerage firm. Because a lot of drivers out there are looking for dispatch support, I’m also offering a course on how to run a dispatching company. I felt like I had a moral duty to launch Pierre’s Academy to really teach people about how important dispatch is, the value that it brings to drivers and how to run a dispatch business from home. A mom at home can run a great dispatch service and provide real value to truckers. Our academy is there to help those who are interested in trucking to build transportation businesses that can start actually solving some of the issues in supply chain logistics.”

Fleeting’s Work with the Formerly Incarcerated

Through his company Fleeting, Laguerre also offers a three-month program for incarcerated folks that gives them the tools they need to obtain a CDL once they’re released. Fleeting currently is partnering with local CDL schools for the program, but Laguerre said he hopes to eventually provide the CDL training in-house. Laguerre believes educating previously incarcerated folks can bring new talent into the transportation industry and help solve some of its greatest challenges, as well.

“Our work with formerly incarcerated men and women is one of the most exciting parts of our mission,” said Laguerre. “For me growing up in a marginalized community, I realized that we all make our own decisions and we all have to live with the repercussions of making those decisions, but sometimes it’s very fair to realize that sometimes those people have been left out. There are about 200,000 formerly incarcerated men and women, but again there is no ecosystem to help these individuals. If they go home without employment, nine out of 10 times they end up re-offending and end up right back in the system again. I started thinking about how we could create a pipeline where we start educating individuals on how to obtain a CDL and how to get back into society. Most importantly, I want to make them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves and to give them opportunities. If someone who was formerly incarcerated can’t get a job, going right back into the street and committing crimes is not solving anything for our community and is not solving anything for our country. I believe the best way to stop the pipeline is by creating employment opportunities and by creating entrepreneurship opportunities. Those 200,000 formerly incarcerated men and women can definitely be a good pool of talent to tap into to help solve the supply chain logistics issues we have.”

To learn more about Pierre’s Academy, visit https://pierresacademy.com.

For more of our conversation with Laguerre, read “Celebrating Black History Month: Pierre Laguerre, Founder of Fleeting.”