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Case study:
Guria Express.

Guria Express

“It’s the best solution for me.”

– Ilia Jakeli, Guria Express

Love at first sight leads to love for the long haul.

Ilia Jakeli and his wife Marianna met in 2009 in Georgia, the country. He spoke Georgian, she spoke Russian, but somehow, they communicated. After spending just one week in person getting to know each other, they married. It took nearly two years for Ilia to get approval to move to America, where Marianna had already gone to find work and earn money. It wasn’t long before Ilia’s father-in-law, a truck driver himself, suggested Ilia get a CDL and learn the business. Today, the Jakelis own a two-truck reefer operation, Guria Express, named after a region in Ilia’s home country. They rely on Truckstop Load Board Pro to find 100% of their refrigerated loads and Truckstop Factoring to get paid fast.

The challenge

As a young family with 3 kids, ages 7, 6, and 4, the Jakelis have their hands full. Life can be chaotic, and money can be tight. Finding the right reefer loads that suit Ilia’s desire to stay close to home and enjoy a flexible schedule is a must, as is getting paid with timeliness to keep the cash flowing to provide for his family and grow his business. And being a non-native English speaker presents its own challenges. Ilia needs access to easy-to-use tools that get him on the road quickly, help him earn good rates without lengthy negotiations, and help him do business with minimal paperwork and from anywhere.

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“You have to have a place to find the loads and to get paid quicker. I only have two trucks. I can’t afford to not get paid.”

– Ilia Jakeli, Guria Express

The solutions

Find the right loads fast.

“I have Truckstop so I have the loads I need. The more loads, the more trucks I can get to grow my business.”

Trust was built early when Ilia first signed up with Truckstop and when he needs customer support: with patience, warmth, and friendliness from day one. He uses Load Board Pro because he relies on its real-time load updates, speed and ease of use, and the Rate Insights tool for negotiating with brokers to get fair rates.

And now that RMIS Carrier Onboarding is part of Truckstop, everything Ilia needs is truly all in one place. He can update his information for all the brokers he works with at once, saving countless hours he’d spend if he had to update each one separately and manually. Many brokers Ilia works with onboard carriers using RMIS tools, so it’s all very familiar and comfortable for him to book loads with brokers he knows and trusts.

Get the peace of mind to move ahead.

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“For truckers, small companies, we can’t afford to lose money. Even if it’s a $500 a load, we can’t afford to lose it.”

– Ilia Jakeli, Guria Express

As a small owner-operator with a young family to support, Ilia doesn’t take chances with getting paid. When he first started driving, the long wait between loads and paychecks made Ilia uneasy. That’s why he turned to Truckstop Factoring. Not only does he rely on factoring to get paid fast, but he can also factor loads on the road from anywhere with the mobile factoring app. Truckstop Factoring also reassures Ilia that the brokers he’s working with are trustworthy because they’ve already been pre-qualified by Truckstop.

Although Ilia was led to the load board by Marianna, factoring was a decision he insisted on, in part because Truckstop provides non-recourse factoring, so even if the broker fails to pay, Ilia still gets paid. That benefit, combined with the low flat interest rate, made Ilia’s decision to factor with Truckstop an easy one.


Today, Ilia factors 100% of his loads. At any given time, he can look at his pay all in one place at a glance and see how much money he’s made, how many loads he’s been paid for, and how many payments are still outstanding. This also comes in handy at the end of the year and at tax time.

Factoring also affords Ilia the same flexibility that motivated him to become a carrier in the first place. Whether he’s sitting in the comfort of his own home or in a roadside restaurant, he can upload everything through the app, get a confirmation email, and rest assured he’s going to get paid promptly. It’s a system Ilia’s come to rely on, and he’s got it dialed in. He knows if he sends the invoice before afternoon, he’ll get a confirmation from Truckstop Factoring by the end of the day. By the time he wakes up the next morning, the funds are in his account.

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“If Truckstop Factoring doesn’t trust that broker, I don’t. I’m just the one guy so I don’t want to take a risk. I would rather have Truckstop shield me from that.”

– Ilia Jakeli, Guria Express

The best relationships are built on trust.

The Jakelis know a thing or two about trust. Imagine the trust required to pick a life partner after such a short courtship, followed by a long-distance relationship with a literal ocean and several time zones creating a divide. Imagine the trust Ilia had to have to wait for the government to approve his journey to join his wife. Imagine the trust he must have had in Marianna to leave his home country for the promise of a more fruitful life in America.

With trust at the core of who he is, it’s no wonder trust comes up time and time again when Ilia talks about Truckstop. He trusts Truckstop to help him find loads, get good rates, and keep him on the road. He trusts Truckstop with his hard-earned pay. And he will look to Truckstop to help him grow his business for the next generation of Jakelis. Whether or not they follow in their grandfather’s and father’s footsteps will be up to them.

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“You want to have a place where you find the loads and you want to have someone who you trust and who does all the hard stuff, invoicing, checking brokers for you, to make you feel safe. If you have those two combined, then you are safe and you see more loads and you feel like you can grow.”

– Ilia Jakeli, Guria Express

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