A shout out to Southeastern Freight Lines


Of all the major trucking lines in the nation, it’s believed just one has avoided laying off workers during the ongoing economic slowdown – Southeastern Freight Lines of Lexington, SC.

It’s not because Southeastern hasn’t been impacted, but rather because the Cassels family, which has owned the company since its inception more than 50 years ago, is committed to doing right by its employees.

Tobin Cassels, Southeastern’s president, recently identified the secret of his company’s success: “Take care of our people who take care of our customers who take care of our future.”

But you’re not likely to read or hear about Southeastern’s willingness to hold onto to each and every one of its 6,800 associates during the current hard times because the company has long been reluctant to promote itself.

However, those within in the company say it’s always been the Cassels’ way to take care of their people, and they’ll do whatever it takes, even if it means digging deep into their own pockets, to make sure their corporate family remains intact.

It’s not like the past few years have been easy ones, either. Skyrocketing fuel costs have hurt the trucking industry. At least 100 trucking companies in South Carolina, albeit mostly small ones, have shut down since the middle of the decade because of fuel costs, according to a 2006 report in The State newspaper.

Despite the hard times, Southeastern remains one of the largest trucking companies in the country, running more than 2,500 company-owned trucks.

Just last year, Southeastern expanded into Mexico, and to assist with the expanded operations, opened a new service center in Laredo, Texas.

Southeastern, founded in 1950, specializes in next-day service in the Southeast and Southwest, and operates 76 service centers in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The company has a network of service partners to ensure transportation services in the remaining 38 states, Canada, the Virgin Islands and Mexico.

It’s refreshing to see that in an era when so many corporate executives appear more interested in lining their own pockets rather than doing right by their employees and customers, Southeastern still understands that the key to success rests with satisfied, loyal employees.

20 thoughts on “A shout out to Southeastern Freight Lines

  1. this is a very awesome and true article and i feel so very fortunate to be an employee of sefl and the cassels are just faboulous caring christian people who sincerely care about their employees, customers and take the utmost pride in their business i’m very proud and honored to know them and to work for them!!!

  2. I feel truly blessed to be able to work for such a wonderful company as Southeastern Freight Lines! The owners are the best people I have ever worked for and they are such caring and Christain people. May God bless them!

  3. This was an outstanding article and very true in every aspect. I have had the honor and privilege to work for Southeastern Freight Lines and the Cassels family for forty plus years.
    Without question this is a company who values people above profits. The primary concern of our ownership and leadership group has been and continues to be finding a way to keep our people working in this economically challenging time.
    My prayer is that God will continue to bless this very special company in a very special way.

  4. I have been blessed to be a part of Southeastern for 15 years. The Cassels family truly care not only for there employees but every customer. Not just in this time of need but everytime. My family lost everything in Hugo and Southeastern was there helping all of their employees pick up the pieces and once again they are here helping us get through these times. I pray everyday for God to continue to bless the Cassels and our company.

  5. I have been truly blessed to be considered Southeastern family member for the last 11 years. Thru this times and in the past times when the trucking industry was struggling where other companies were having to lay off or cut hours this time is my first time in my 11 years that I personally felt the effect. Because of the excellent care and concern that the Cassels give to their employees, to make sure they do there best for their employees “Take care of our people, who take care of our customers, who take care of our future. I pray for God to continue to bless the Cassels.

  6. I would also like to add that we are blessed in everyway to be a part of a family oriented company that believes in their employees. I left to be with my baby for over a yearand when I was ready to return to work I was given the welcome back. Now working over 10 years I could not ask for a better group of people to work for. The cassels are truly a great family and I am honored to work for them.

  7. I would not be surprised if every associate who reads this article leaves a reply on the site. I have been with SEFL 13 years and loved every minute of it. It is a blessing to go to bed each night knowing God and the Cassel family are watching over this great company and our individual families. Many companies have slogans but very few have true servant leaders like we do. In these hard times it is great to work for owners who keep people first and value them before the things of this world. Alhtough the Cassels have done well on earth their wealth here is nothing campared to the riches they are storing up in heaven!!

    This is truly a special place to serve!

  8. While I am not an employee of SEFL, I am a customer. A very satisfied customer taken care of by a wonderful rep, Jan Drebert, in Houston, Texas. Jan embodies everything that apparently the Cassel family stands for and I can testify that SEFL and Jan have taken care of this customer for twenty something years – so Cassel family – keep it up – it works.

  9. Unlike the others, I cannot say I have been with Southeastern for an extensive period of time. However, I can say that my few years here have been a wonderful experience and I plan to put in many more. This company is what American corporations should idolize and strive to be like. The Cassels’ commitment to satisfying and valuing customers COMPLETELY and dedication to taking care of their people is an uncommon thing in these times. I am very proud and thankful to be an employee of this wonderful company!

  10. I have had the great fortune of having been an associate of Southeastern Freight Lines for 13 years. While this article is true in every aspect, it does not begin to tell the entire story of what the Cassels family has done for their associates. They have a true understanding that their treasures are laid up in heaven and valuing people over profits is just one of the reasons why they have amassed great heavenly wealth. I consider it an honor and a privilege to work for a company that has this level of commitment to the long-term security of the associates they employee.

  11. Let me start by saying”Thank God for the Cassels &
    Southeastern”.I have been in the trucking business for
    42 years and 15 of them with Southeastern. In these 15
    years I have seen a company that really cares about
    their people & our customers.It makes my heart feel
    good to see what they do for us all.We are not just a
    number or dollar sign on paper.I relay this every day
    to anyone who will listen.Thanks again for who you are
    and what you stand for!

  12. I have been with SEFL nearly 2 years. In this short time I have been able to meet both Tobin and Mr. Cassels. Mr. Cassels reminds me of my own grandfather, good-hearted and a genuinely caring man. Tobin is identical to his father. I am blessed to work for a company that stands beside their people. While living in Atlanta for many years working with 2 different marketing firms I can honestly say I was shocked when I came to be on the SEFL team. My leadership (from the Cassels, my Regional VP’s and my SCM) truly are about taking care of their employees. I am proud to go out in the field everyday and know I represent the “BEST” in the business for the service that I have to offer to another company that needs transportation services. I am blessed and thankful to represent SEFL.

  13. I have been blessed to be a part of SEFL for 20 of my 38 years. I cannot say I have given over half of my life to this company, because the Cassels and SEFL have given me more than a lifetime of service can repay. I thought I was joining a company back in July 1988, but I was actually becoming part of a family that has grown more than three-fold since that time, due to the Servant Leadership of the Cassels family, and the principles and wisdom instilled in them by our founder, Mr. W.T. Cassels Sr. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cassels, but having worked for, spoken with, and having been trained by both Mr. Billy and Tobin in numerous seminars and company updates, it is evident his philosophy and belief that SEFL would always take care of its people, who would take care of the customers, which would take care of our future is our driving force today. I thank the Cassels for all they have done, and all they plan to do to bring us through these challenging times as leaders in our industry.
    It is a joy to work for Christian leaders who do so much for their employees in a time when so many business leaders are looking out for themselves.

  14. If Fox News had not told me that this Country was in the worst shape it has been in since I have been born, I would not have known. My company stands tall in so many ways I can not count. Most importantly my company honors GOD! What a joy to work for these men and women that built the company we know today. The Cassels family have placed our company in the hands of an eternal Creator. What better place could we be in while the world is in such shape. I could not feel more secure and appreciated.

  15. I know Southeastern Freight Lines only from second hand information from my son Tristan. He is currently working for the company in Dallas, Texas, I can tell by the enthusiastic reports he has given me about his employment with the company, from his start as a forklift operator in Tampa while attending USF. to his current position in Dallas, that Southeastern seems to be a company built on solid buisness principles as well as good Christian values.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our country’s leaders had just half as much integrity and ethics that is being shown by Southeastern owner Mr. Cassels. I feel very fortunate that my son has chosen a company like Southeastern to work with.

  16. I have been an emploee at the Sherman Tx location for just shy of a year and the replys left on this site startle me the way other terminals are so happy and have a leadership chain that supports them makes me sad that in Sherman we dont have that the last statement that Mr castles states is that the key to sucess rests with satisfied, loyal employees is true but not all employees are being valued and not all employees are givin the chance for success at this company. I am currently having an issue over not being able to drive a truck that someone else smokes in so I was given the option to Leave the company or deal with it and I am looking for a way to resolve this. My email is dustinelam@yahoo.com it is 5-07-09. I called Ken Bazil our regional human rescources and he said because Southeatern cannot tell a man not to smoke I have to accept it or “Im not fitting in at southeastern” and the choice is mine to stay or go I called Allise in dallas and spoke with her then attempted to call the corp office and was told Jon pryor is on vacation and that someone named Laurie will call tommorrow I hope she does. The point Im getting at is on paper and during Orientation this appears to be a god sent company but when it comes to some of the people running parts of it those values ang the hard work people took to build it is lost.

  17. Wow, seems like a nice place to work. I would almost believe it, if i didnt work there myself. I work out of the ft myers terminal. As far as taking care of their employees, mr cassills failed to mention he dosnt pay his employees overtime. What i thought was the law, somehow he weaseled his way out of it. As far as no layoffs, heres how it works, if the terminal is slow, you just dont work , i seen days where 12 of 18 guys sat home with no pay. while the other 6 guys had 20 stops each. Lets not forget the on call procedure, you call 7:30am to see if they need you,without pay. Also, you are forced to purchase a pallet jack and hand truck for $400, its nice because they dont tell you ahead of time, you find out a few weeks later,when they take it out of your pay.The benefits are good, expensive but good. We do get 3 combined sick and personnel days per year. As far as being treated like family, if you clock in 1 minute early, you are “stealing co. time” and can be fired for that. Half of the the guys take no lunch, we get no breaks. We are told that the trucks dont have to have a working a.c.. We are constantly reminded how many guys applied for our jobs, and where the door is if were not happy, or if we complain. We have a great leader, a man known for his honesty, and cursing at the 8 year olds he coaches. He’s the kind of guy who will look you in the eyes,and lie like hell. A man who values his customers, he actually invented the term ” fake exception number” and always reminds you that everything is “concealed damage”. You have to understand he has a bonus to earn. He’s the kind of guy who fills out the yearly company survey for you.
    This is the kind of person mr cassils puts in charge of his terminals. Southeastern tries to brain wash its employees, and if that dosn’t work, you will be fired. Like many have been. Of course management will tell you they quit, until you see them on the street, and the truth comes out.
    So, Mr Cassils you talk a good game, thats about it. You go on these sites and pat your self on the back. Do you realy think you deserve that? Was it your father who said “SELF will always take care of its people, who would take care of the customers, which would take care of our future” ? He must be so proud.

  18. WHY DONT YOU PAY YOUR DRIVERS OVERTIME PAY AFTER 8 hrs in a day or after a 40 hour work week? You are a damn crook, a typical preacher of religion. You must be related to Lyin’ Ted !!!
    Ps: and don’t tell me you don’t pay overtime because of some ridiculous agricultural law or railroad act. The Teamsters should represent this and every other shady trucking outfit. Pay your drivers what they deserve.

  19. Pingback: Teamster lackey: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing | The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

  20. Pingback: Teamster lackey: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing | The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

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