About Mike Eberl
Mike Eberl’s story CEO & Founder of Customodal
Mike Eberl has been a business owner of companies providing freight services for 20 of his nearly 30 years in freight. As the CEO of Customodal Inc, Mike is responsible for running all facets of the business. Standing at the helm of transportation and logistics companies for two decades has allowed Mike to harness extensive knowledge on asset-based ground freight, parcel shipping, air freight, and charter flight services into Customodal Inc, a Top-Tier logistics company.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mike majored in finance, banking, and investment. His breadth of knowledge is not contained to transport and logistics though, he’s a licensed private pilot and previously held certification as an NOAA Weather Observer. Today he endeavors to take at least one class per year related to freight, logistics, supply chain management, or business.
Mike jumped into the working world in high school as a retail worker, then continued to work through college as a commercial property manager and stockbroker assistant. Fresh out of college, Mike continued in property management and became a commercial Realtor before breaking into the transportation and logistics industry.
Leaving real estate in the 1989-90 recession, he accepted an accountant position, which opened the door to many other responsibilities at Flex-Air, an on-demand charter operator, flight school, and aircraft repair facility. His role grew over the ten years he was with the company leading to him eventually managing the entire operation.
Fulfilling a dream of business ownership, Mike founded Applefox Inc and began operating franchises of Straight Shot Express emergency delivery in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. As a franchisee, he took the business from the startup stage to employing more than 75 drivers to support manufacturers’ time-critical needs. During this stage of his career, Mike consistently turned business cost centers into profitable stand-alone businesses including Bridget’s Auto Repair Co, AFX Leasing Corp., and Patriot Express.
In the early years, Customodal Inc was known under a different guise. Founded as Patriot Express, it started as a full truckload dry van operation in 2003 to support manufacturing and distribution businesses across the midwest.
In 2006, Mike changed the name to AFX Logistics when he transitioned the business from asset-based to brokerage-based in response to changing industry dynamics and children’s emerging special needs. The company continued its transition to Customodal Inc in 2008 when the company became an RR Donnelley DLS Worldwide agency providing brokerage, freight forwarding, and supply chain consulting services. The last of the asset-based operations of Applefox were divested in 2015, completing the strategic transition from asset-operation to pure “asset-agnostic” broker/forwarder.
Since 2011 Mike has volunteered as a Commissioner of his local electric, gas, water, & communications utility dealing with strategy, governance, risk, capital allocation, and other issues. He became the President of the board in 2014 and continues to fill the role today. Twice he has been elected to the Policy Maker’s Committee representing the industry before elected officials in Washington DC. His participation in the organization has allowed him to develop a nationwide network.
When he’s not in the office or fulfilling his Utility Commissioner role, Mike enjoys cooking to explore the expressions of cultures through food. His downtime is spent with his family, reading a mix of fiction and non-fiction, writing short stories, photography, and exploring the outdoors. He’s currently learning to play the harmonica and checking off the major barbecue “shrines” of the U.S. by taking road trips any chance he gets. Mike is happily married to his wife of over 22 years, with whom he has two teenage sons.
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