Rags to riches: Carlisle man fulfills American dream through freight industry

Carlisle/West Shore

Rags to riches: Carlisle man fulfills American dream through freight industry

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — A man from Carlisle who sought refuge from his war-torn home country of Bosnia in 1998 has found the recipe for his success through the freight industry.

Seeking to accomplish “the American dream,” Ibnel Hrnjic (pronounced “hur-nich”) came to the United States at age seven from Bosnia with his family in 1998 after years of war and struggle. His family of five had $20 to their name.

Hrnjic graduated from Penn State in 2015 and began his experience in the freight industry working for a company based out of St. Louis, Missouri in June of 2016. He had just purchased his own sprinter van and began making deliveries. In the two and a half years that Hrnjic was delivering shipments, he tracked over 250,000 miles in his van.

Freight shipping is a little different than the normal tractor-trailer shipping companies we see every day, in that there aren’t as many rules and regulations due to much smaller hauling capacities. This means that these individuals are looking to take on shipments of anywhere from one to three thousand pounds, and anything that can fit in the van.

After gaining experience and learning about the industry, Hrnjic set off to create his own company. In June of 2018, he founded Flash Freight LLC, a shipping business. He was the only employee. Now, three years later, Hrnjic runs a team of 50+ owner-operators who own their own vans and have completed shipments in every state (except Hawaii) and Canada.

When asked about the biggest challenge Hrnjic faces as the leader of the company, he says “there are a lot of challenges in this business. My number one challenge is to keep the drivers and my customers happy. I’m the middle man here, so it’s my job to make sure everyone is on the same page and the job is done with excellence.”

This is the first time he’s led a company, so he’s built it from the ground up. “I’ve spent nothing on advertisement yet,” he said. “The way I get these drivers is through online job postings and word of mouth. Each driver that gets contracted through Flash Freight must own their own commercial vehicle.”

The company saw over $1 million in gross sales last year during the pandemic. They’re on track to double that amount this year.

Hrnjic plays a big part in giving back to the large Bosnian community in Carlisle and back home, donating money to different fundraisers. He also has sourced some of his jobs to people back home in Bosnia, helping him minimize some costs and employ some of the people who are experiencing those rough times his family experienced two decades ago. He’s also recently gotten into real estate in Carlisle to help extend his reach.

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