Seaboard Express Transportation Services LLC

“We started off with one truck, and we started with Axon immediately. We ramped up to 4 or 5 trucks within the first 6 months, and then slowly added additional trucks.
“We plan to grow by 40 trucks in maybe the next 4 years.”

 

Seaboard Express Transportation Services is a company that began with a plan. Richard Pomplun, an experienced businessman, knew how to hit the ground running. One of the first investments they made was in Axon software to help organize and run the company.

We met up with Richard hoping to learn something about the first few years at a successful new company.
“I’m Richard Pomplun. The name of our company is Seaboard Express Transportation Services LLC. Our office is located in Petersburg, Virginia. We have a small fleet of about 10 tractors and 15 trailers. We are small but growing, and we use Axon to help us keep up with things.
“Even though I have been in business for 38 years, we only started the trucking business about four years ago.
“We haul freight going out of Prince George County and Petersburg, southwest as far as Arkansas, then over to Miami, and then as far north as the Baltimore area, sometimes Pennsylvania. Since we have such a small fleet, we circle around and come back with backhauls.”

Has Axon helped you to manage all of that?
“Axon software helps us keep all of that together, which has been good for a young startup company like we are. It has been very easy to manage and understand.
“It takes about a week to get up to speed on Axon and then it becomes second nature, so it’s a good product. We have been using it from day one.
“We knew what we had to do as far as the trucking portion. What’s most important is being able to keep up with loads, tell when they are complete, find the next load coming up, when to get that other load billed out. Things have to move along quickly, and we are able to do that with Axon.”

How has your experience been overall with Axon?
“It is what it’s supposed to be, plain and simple. It is what was sold to us. Since we started using it, all the way until now, we have had absolutely no problems.
“It’s a good company, Axon. We like it. I’d say that Seaboard Express and Axon have a good partnership – and that’s how I look at it, as a partnership.
“It has been easy. With just average computer skills, and I can attest to this, you can make it work. It has just been an easy program. Hasn’t been hard.”

Can you tell us of some things that Axon has helped with?
seaboard express“Billing, payroll, when we need to go back and find out some information. We enter all those things into the system and we can go back and find things easily.
“We can make comments in the system regarding any kind of accessorial charges that have happened or anything like that.
“We are able to keep track of everything about any particular load that we do and keep all of that information in the system. It’s pretty easy.”

How do the drivers like their settlements?
“We have had zero complaints about driver settlements. It’s good. Every now and then, someone can forget to make an entry in Axon, like if there is more than one driver on the load. The driver will get his settlement and say, ‘You know, I’m missing a load,’ and it’s very easy for us to track where the error was.
“Everybody makes human errors in the business and Axon helps us figure things out when an error is made.
“I can tell you that the amount of errors we have had are very minimal. The size of the company would help explain some of that, but the fact is that things are going along very smoothly.
“I would recommend the product and I’m not just saying that because of this interview, I’ve said it to other people as well.”

Can you talk about your company’s growth?
“We started off with one truck, and we started with Axon immediately. We ramped up to four or five trucks within the first six months and then slowly added additional trucks. We don’t factor, so cash flow is important to us. We add trucks on as we can make sure that we can pay for everything.”

Have you increased your staff dramatically?
“No, and everything was by design. We have added people as the business could afford them – we have one person in dispatch, another in payables and receivables.
“We plan to add another 10 trucks this year, so now the person in payables/receivables is going to be helping with the dispatching portion of the business, and we’ve hired a controller to take care of the financials. Those three individuals are using Axon every day.
“When we add those 10 trucks, there may be a clerical person to come in, but we already have our three key people that we are going to need.
“We plan to grow by 40 trucks in maybe the next four years. We are going to add conservatively. We wouldn’t want to get too aggressive.”

Using your own numbers, has Axon saved you enough money to pay for itself?
“Yes! Just in sheer organization, it gets crazy with it, so I couldn’t imagine what it would be like without.
“It’s so easy to tell when a load is moving, when a load is complete, when a load is planned. It’s color-coded. It works simply, and that’s important because we’re not necessarily rocket scientists in this business.”

Do you think Axon helps with your customer relations?
“We have a large company that is our number one customer, and they have told us that we are the best carrier that they’ve had since being in business in this location. They have had large companies and I can’t say what their faults were, but we have no problem with billing errors or anything else.
“We hardly ever have problems with customers coming back to say, ‘Hey, I’ve been charged for this…’ Axon is a big part of it, and everything flows really well.”

How would you describe the training?
“We didn’t have to worry about people coming in from out of town. We were able to do it all through the computer and the telephone.
“It was easy to set up and easy to learn. The way I understood it, we would get help as much as it took to get us up to speed and get the program going enough to use it daily.
“Those folks were there for us and for any questions we had afterward; it was just a call. Everybody was friendly and easy and put us in touch with the right person. Problem solved.”

If someone in the industry asked about Axon, what would you tell them?
“I don’t know why anybody would need more. I know there are very expensive software companies out there, but I’m not sure what they could offer us that we don’t already have.
“Even if this was to grow to hundreds of trucks, it’s still the same program. Maybe we would need a bigger monitor to watch all of the goings on, but I don’t see how this program would need to be changed.”

“It’s so easy to tell when a load is moving, when a load is complete, when a load has been planned. It’s color coded it’s easy, it’s just a simple way to go… I can’t imagine it being much easier, it just works, simply.” – Richard Pomplun, Owner – Seaboard Express Transportation Services LLC – Petersburg, Virginia

Website: Seaboard Express Transportation Services, LLC