ST Frieght

Tony Abts was working for Elite Freight Solutions in 2010 when Steve Schenian bought the brokerage. Its name soon changed to ST Freight; other more substantial changes followed. “In 2010 Elite was a $3 million a year company,” Tony explained. “Last year ST turned $22 million.”

ST Freight is based in Manitowoc, Wisc., on Lake Michigan. Steve Schenian, owner of Steve Schenian Trucking in nearby Francis Creek, Wisc., is an entrepreneur who invests in local companies. In 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal, he bought and revived a bankrupt Manitowoc furniture factory. Two years later Schenian acquired Elite.

“I was working for Elite Freight Solutions as general manager. I came with the company,” Tony explained. “When Steve came on board he asked what we had to do to grow. I told him, let’s pay the carriers faster.” Elite was paying carriers in 45 days and more. ST changed that, and benefits quickly accrued. “It was like flipping a switch,” Tony noted. “Being able to pay the carriers in 14 days was a huge plus for us for growth. Cash is king to those guys. We pay them in 14 days and they love it.”

“The growth has been nice. We currently have eight inside brokers and 18 outside agents. We do a lot of food products, reefer and van. I have outside agents that specialize in flatbed, heavy haul, and over dimensional. We do some Canada and Mexico as well,” Tony said. “We grew our customer base in-house, but our biggest growth came from adding the right kind of outside agents,” Tony continued. “That’s where Aljex really comes in because it integrates so well. People can see what they’re supposed to see and they can’t see anything else.”

Actually, Elite had been using Aljex when Tony joined the company in 2007. “I have seen a lot of changes and I am loving them,” he said, adding that he trains new agents on Aljex Vision. “First and foremost Aljex has wonderful support. When you have a problem, they listen to you.” Here Tony stopped. “Wanna hear a little story?” he asked.

He also bought a server, sent people for training, and actually set up the system. But he never turned it on.
“Their support was non-existent,” Tony commented. “So I never went away from Aljex. They always had it. I went with another system and the service was not in any way comparable to what I get with Aljex,” he said. “Aljex is user friendly, easy to learn, provides the reports that you want, and the mobile apps are second to none,” he concluded.