8189 S. Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75241
PROUD OF OUR ROOTS.
PROUD OF OUR ROOTS.
The Container Store
Carrier of the Year 2017
Great West Casualty
Five National Platinum, Three Gold & Three Silver Safety Awards
2007 - 2017
Lowe's Platinum Carrier Award 2010
Texas Trucking Assn. (TXTA)
Safety Carrier of the Year
Local 5M-10M Miles
Conagra Mills Regional Van Carrier of the Year 2011 Certificate of Appreciation 2013
BNSF Railway Safest Intermodal Trucker, Southeast Region 2007
We were founded by one of the true gentlemen in Texas trucking, Ira Jones...
who after almost a career as a corporate trucking executive, started his own company from scratch with one small investor, a volunteer bookkeeper and an idea. Taking advantage of the pre-deregulation environment that existed before 1980, Ira put together a small package service and pool distribution operation that between 1967 when he started and 1979 when he sold, provided a new cost savings tool for mostly national retailers burdened with small shipments going long distances. Years later, Ira admitted that his only real mistake was getting out too soon. Retiring at 60, he clearly missed the people and the daily challenges of competing in an industry that he knew, that he loved, and where he left a mark.
Purchasing Southwest Freight Distributors was Terry Kelley, a highly successful, young Dallas banker who saw great potential in the company, and wanted to see what it was like to be on the other side of a note payment. Terry recognized early on that the company needed to diversify. He added warehousing to the mix and began to take a look at the new rail intermodal phenomenon that was bringing steamship containers inland from west coast ports. As it turned out, intermodal drayage and the services related to it have been the main focus for the company since the millenium.
Retaining ownership, Terry returned to banking in 1983, leaving day-to-day operations to Rich Eberhart and Bob Luchsinger. He sold to the two in 1988. Bob retired in 2008, with CFO John Jenkins joining Rich in purchasing Bob’s portion of the business.
Through half a century of ups and downs, successes and hiccups, changes in culture and technology, Southwest Freight has endured and excelled. From Ira Jones on, the emphasis has always been on the employee, the customer, and providing a service that is reliable and safe. It’s worked.
Evergreen America Trucking Company of the Year, Gulf Region 2006
Rich Eberhart, President
Rich Joined Southwest Freight in 1981. He purchased an ownership stake and was named President in 1983. Prior transportation experience included 10 years with the Southern Pacific Transportation Co. (now Union Pacific) in both intermodal operations and sales management, and three years as a U.S. Army Transportation Officer with duty stations in Germany and Vietnam. He is past president of the Transportation Club of Dallas, and Distributors & Consolidators of America. Rich is a graduate of the University of Oregon and is a past board member of the university's Alumni Association.
John Jenkins, CFO
A CPA, John joined Southwest Freight in 2000 after holding senior financial positions in both the oil and gas and real estate industries, and spending time in public accounting with Deloitte and Touche. In 2008 John acquired an equity position in the company. An avid runner, John is a past member of the board of directors of the Dallas Marathon and. As a skilled hand with a hammer, he has served with volunteer groups on projects throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Costa Rica and India. He is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Neen Ponto, Executive Vice President
Neen began her career at Southwest Freight in 1987 as Office Manager and has been taking on added responsibilities ever since. She came to the company after 12 years with DJ Sekin, one of the original DFW area customs brokers where she started as a high school student. Highly respected in the industry, Neen has been the company key "go to" person in areas ranging from operations to pricing.
Robert Hooks, Vice President & General Manager
Robert has spent his entire working life in intermodal trucking, beginning in 1991 with Empire Truck Lines in Dallas. Subsequent stops include Mallory/Transus Intermodal and Diamond Logistics. He joined Southwest Freight in 2003 and took over sales in 2007. He was named VP & GM in 2012. Robert currently serves on the Regional Freight Advisory Committee of North Texas Council of Governments.
Dan Ponto, Vice President, Operations
In the summer of 1980, at the age of 17, Dan stepped into the warehouse of the Southwest Freight Farmer's Branch location and lifted his first carton. Except for a two year stint when he returned to his native Indiana, Dan has put in time at seven of the eight facilities the company has occupied in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. He has served in every supervisory capacity in both warehousing and trucking and assumed his current responsibilities in 2009.
Peggy Burns, Manager, Regional Dispatch
Peggy came to Southwest Freight in 1996 after 15 years in the steamship business with APL and three additional years with APL’s trucking subsidiary, APT, all in Dallas. In her time dispatching and supervising, Peggy has managed hundreds of drivers and has had to deal with every conceivable customer concern. Smart, tough and funny, Peggy has inspired long-term customer and driver loyalty.
Pat Gore, Manager, Local Dispatch
After six years with Spring Valley Cartage in Dallas, Pat joined the company in 2000 and became responsible for all dispatch operations within the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Playing what amounts to a chess game every day, Pat has to juggle multiple dispatches per driver in a hectic environment within a dynamic geography that always seems to be under construction. Keeping her sanity is a daily goal. So far, so good. Pat has previous experience in Dallas with Empire Truck Lines.
Chris Juknalis, Safety Director
Chris has a solid and lengthy background in DOT and OSHA safety, and came on board with Southwest Freight in 2013. His earlier experience includes five years as Operations Manager for Maalt Transport, a Texas based oilfield sand hauler, and 14 years with Federal Express where he held several management positions, serving as Regional Safety Manager with responsibility for 300 units in four states at the time of his departure. Chris played hockey at Western Michigan University and received his bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Metropolitan State College in Denver. He still holds a pilot’s license but is most proud of his CDL.
Ivars Circenis, Vice President, Business Development
With a resume highlighted by senior sales and marketing positions in international transportation and logistics, Ivars joined Southwest Freight in 2013. Beginning his career with Maersk Lines/Sea-Land in Seattle, Ivars was transferred to Dallas in 1993, and in the years since has held positions with Bollinger Industries, Kuehne & Nagel, Ceva Logistics, and 10 years with DHL Global Forwarding serving as Director, Business Development. Active in DFW logistics circles, Ivars has been a guest speaker at several events, and was President of the Transportation Club of Dallas in 2007-2008. He holds an accounting degree from Western Washington University.
Blake Bostick, Manager, General Dispatch
Blake came to Southwest Freight in 2004 as a fresh-faced graduate of Texas A&M with a B.S. degree in Industrial Distribution. He started in road dispatch and moved to our Grand Prairie facility a year later where he was assistant manager for our Comp USA account. Blake then managed our cotton warehouse in Arlington where his crews processed over a million bales without a claim. He returned to Dallas in 2008 where he assumed his present duties. Blake can lead, organize, pound a computer, and man a forklift with the best of them.
Key Contacts // 214-371-1901
All rights reserved. (c) Southwest Freight 2016