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Pella Carrier Services at a Glance

Company Name

Pella Carrier Services


Addison, Illinois

Year Founded




Market Reach

Nearly all of the lower 48 states

Recent Growth

Savings of up to six figures per year with First Merchants solutions


Growing a business. We made it happen.

Erik Popov

Owner/President, Pella Carrier Services

Addison, Illinois

In trucking, you have nothing if you don't have good, reliable drivers. I started with six of them in 2005. By 2009, I had nearly 30 who delivered temperature-controlled food across the U.S. for me. But without help from Kevin Wagner, a commercial lender at First Merchants, my business could never have grown.

Because many of my drivers own their trucks and lease them to me, they need to be paid promptly even if shipping companies don’t pay me on time. For the first five years, I used a freight-factoring company to pay drivers fast. At up to 5% interest, it was a lot of money out the door that could have helped grow my business further. But I wanted to do right by my drivers, and my old bank never told me I could be saving up to $100,000 a year.

Thankfully, Kevin did. In 2010, First Merchants gave me a low-interest working line of credit to pay my drivers. Only then did my old bank offer a similar deal. But this wasn't just about bottom lines. It was about partnering with people with the values to look out for my best interests and the expertise to help me grow my business.

After switching to a First Merchants working line of credit, I used what I saved to purchase trailers and build what drivers want most when they’re off the road - comfortable lounges, clean showers, office space, a secure parking lot, an on-site repair shop. And when First Merchants assisted me with a loan to buy the property in 2013, it created an entirely new revenue stream for me. Now, I rent out 90 parking spaces to other drivers, with 70 more on a waiting list.

Kevin and First Merchants didn't just save me money. They helped transform my business. I can now offer my drivers the sort of big-ticket amenities you usually only find at much larger companies. They've created opportunities for me to increase revenue. And they’ve helped me continue to attract the best of the best to Pella Carrier Services & most of whom now bank with First Merchants, too.

My goal was growing my business while keeping my drivers happy. First Merchants made it happen.

It's your goal. We make it happen.

At First Merchants, we see beyond the numbers by using powerful financial resources, prompt local decisions, and personal attention to make it happen for your business.

Stop in or call 1.866.833.0050 to learn more about our commercial banking solutions.

View more stories of how First Merchants has made it happen.