Carrie Rengers

King of Freight ‘on a massive hiring spree’

Mike Ricklefs, right, and Greg Bolain are partners in King of Freight, a freight brokerage, and are expanding with more office space and employees.
Mike Ricklefs, right, and Greg Bolain are partners in King of Freight, a freight brokerage, and are expanding with more office space and employees. The Wichita Eagle

King of Freight is expanding again, and in a big way.

“We’re going on a massive hiring spree,” majority owner Mike Ricklefs says.

“We’re trying to map out a game plan … to where we can get 500 employees for King of Freight.”

He says that would make his company one of the largest freight brokerages in the country.

“It’s a really unsaturated market,” Ricklefs says. Also, he says, “There’s so much business out there because we service the entire country.”

Ricklefs started the company in 2008 with a laptop in his apartment.

Now, he has 105 employees, 54 of whom are sales representatives.

Ricklefs wants to hire 15 to 20 people every 15 days.

“Now we’re basically at the tipping point to where we can do that type of hiring.”

He says his commission packages are part of what is fueling the company’s growth.

Ricklefs says he’s offering a supervisor status for anyone who reaches $20,000 in regular monthly sales. Supervisors get 50 percent commission on those sales, plus they can start forming teams and get 10 percent of each of the sales from the people on their teams.

King of Freight has nine managers now, and Ricklefs wants about 40.

“I feel like that’s going to help me get to 500 employees,” he says. “My goal is within two years.”

In 2016, Ricklefs says the company had $44 million in sales.

“This year, we’ve already done that,” he says. He says sales are “equal to $45 million right now, and we still have the rest of the year to go.”

In order to hire and train more staff, Ricklefs is expanding King of Freight’s space again.

The company’s 20,000-square-foot headquarters is in the Sterling Building at 123 S. Market.

In October, Ricklefs is adding 10,000 square feet at the High Touch building at 110 S. Main, which is where the company previously was before it moved to the Sterling Building.

That gives the company a total of 30,000 square feet, and Ricklefs says he expects to add more soon.

“We’re going to be needing space within four months.”

Though it seems like there might be a lot of stumbling blocks for a company that’s growing so fast, Ricklefs says that’s no longer the case.

“I feel like a lot of the blocks are over. We’ve seen every problem that there really is to have.”

He says that includes stolen truckloads and identity theft, which is a big issue in the industry.

“We’ve developed a lot of systems to block those,” Ricklefs says.

He also now has a lawyer, Jason Janoski, on staff.

“He’s blocked a lot of potential threats that I didn’t even know about.”

Greg Bolain, who also is a partner in the company, runs technology for King of Freight. Ricklefs says that’s another key to the company’s growth.

“It’s just getting easier and easier for us every year it seems like.”

While his goal of covering the entire country may seem daunting, Ricklefs notes that “every single company in the United States ships.”

“I look at this as like a game, and I’m trying to beat it.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers