Harbor Haulers put work ethic first

Marblehead High School rising seniors Ryan Duggan, left, and Jacob Bourne started Harbor Haulers. Photo by Spenser Hasak

The Harbor Haulers’ origin story is a rather simple one. When 17-year-old Marblehead High rising senior Ryan Duggan’s family bought a truck from their neighbor, he and Jacob Bourne, a lifelong friend of the same age and grade, were quickly inspired to utilize their newly-acquired driving privileges to start a business with it. Shortly after the pair created a website, word of their new company started to spread.

The Harbor Haulers use their vehicle to do clean-outs, disposals, and moving jobs at customers’ properties. 

“We just set up a website and it was live,” Bourne said. “The next thing we knew we were on the ‘All Marblehead’ Facebook group and then we were getting people asking for our services. Since then we’ve been pretty busy.”

Duggan and Bourne have done 20 individual jobs since they started more than two months ago. Bourne noted that they had the market to do even more in that time frame, however they did not want to overbook themselves while the school year was still wrapping up. That general principle of quality over quantity would remain for the entrepreneurial pair even after summer began.

“Our whole thing is about being fast,” Bourne said. “We want to be in and out because we’re not really about money, we just want to help people.”

Duggan added to the sentiment that the Harbor Haulers’ priority is not to elongate the length of jobs with the goal of making extra profit.

“We’re not rushing, we don’t want to rush,” Duggan added. “But we don’t want to waste time… especially when it’s hourly. Some of the gigs, we just do a flat rate and that’s fine because we’re getting paid a certain amount.”

One additional component of the Harbor Haulers’ daily business is that of the buying and selling of unwanted belongings. Duggan and Bourne have sold items that their customers no longer want, and once the item has sold, negotiate a profit-sharing outcome.

The Harbor Hauler’s scope goes beyond the town line of Marblehead, as Duggan and Bourne expressed they would be willing to go inter-state as well if the job required.

“We try to stay around Marblehead, Lynn, and Beverly. But if someone wanted us to move them and take stuff up north to Maine or Vermont, we would be happy to do that,” Duggan said.

The duo detailed their most recent job in a Lynn apartment on July 13, and how it presented some unique challenges in comparison to jobs at houses. In addition, like most of their projects, it took a physical toll.

“That was a little bit less routine than normal,” Duggan said. “There’s a couple heavy doors that got a little chaotic.”

“It’s fine, it’s part of the job. You’re going to get scratched up,” Bourne said. “We’ll be working lifting stuff and get out and realize we got scratch marks all over us… it means we’re working.”

The operation is fully realized with its website, but also has business cards, an email address, and job quotes. Duggan and Bourne each have other jobs in town, but they consider Harbor Haulers to be their full-time position.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into this,” Bourne asserted.