A large part of what drives the success of Star Distribution Systems, Inc. is their Star Transportation Company division, run by Ronnie Mattioli, Transportation Manager. A native Floridian, born and raised in Tampa, Ronnie was 17 years old and a car and truck enthusiast when he joined his brother, David Mattioli, at the family’s third-party logistics company. He had been studying auto mechanics, but he enjoyed the challenge and thrill of trucking more than working on cars. So, 39 years later, he is still here.
“It continues to be a great ride,” Ronnie said. “I love every minute of it!”
In the beginning, the Mattioli family–owned business was called Star Terminal. In 1985, Star Terminal merged with Tampa Bay Warehouse, owned by Larry Jimenez, Sr., and his family, and became Star Distribution Systems, Inc.
Star Transportation Company is an LTL trucking firm with 95 drivers, 75 tractors, and 250 trailers. They specialize in LTL (less than truckload) freight consolidation and handle more than 800 deliveries a day, delivering various products throughout the state of Florida from their Central Florida–based, 1.5 million-square-foot warehousing facility.
In addition to traditional LTL shipments from the warehouse, Star offers a customized pool-distribution and cross-docking option. Star has more than 300 valued clients that range from food and beverage, high-end appliances, HVAC equipment, building construction materials, consumer packaged goods, and the retail industry. For Ronnie, the Star Transportation Company manager, keeping track of it all is a 13-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week endeavor.
“It’s trucking. There’s never a dull moment,” Ronnie said. “The huge diversity of needs we fulfill brings different challenges every day: Does someone need to move a full trailer or less than truckload? Do they need expedited service with team drivers? Maybe they require refrigeration or have frozen product to move. In addition, we interact with many different people and personalities—our customers, our drivers, our dock personnel—we’re not doing the same boring routine every day. It’s very motivating.”
This year, 2020, has been anything but boring. “At first the pandemic caused major concern,” said Ronnie. “It was really slow because we handled a lot of retail deliveries and all the malls and outlet malls were closed. But since about mid-May we have been extremely busy, especially with air conditioners and major appliances, and the retail sector is also picking up. The last three or four months have been the busiest in our company’s history.”
Because of the uptick in commerce, Star Transportation Company is so busy they need additional drivers and dock personnel and are constantly hiring and training new team members.
Star is family-owned, and although it is a fairly large organization, it has a small-company feel. “We know all our employees by name and treat them with respect, like they’re family,” said Ronnie. “We’ve all got families—brothers, parents, wives, kids—so we all have similar issues and understand. We like to help the people who work with us if we can.”
In the same way, Star Transportation Company “is very customer-oriented,” said Mattioli. “If a customer has a pressing need, we do our best, immediately, to accomplish it for them. Customers come first. It’s very rare for us to have a customer complaint, because we do all we can for them. We haven’t had any issues with our customers in a very, very long time.”
To learn how you can partner with Florida’s premier transportation and logistics company, contact Larry Jimenez at Star Distribution Systems, The Brightest Name in Distribution, at (813) 659-1002, ext. 256, or firstname.lastname@example.org.