SSA Atlantic’s ‘Peel Off’ Strategy Increases Shipper Efficiencies

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SSA Atlantic's Terminal Supervisor Vivian Patterson
Feb 1, 2021 | Cargo Blog

Whitney Croxton, Sr. Marketing Coordinator     By Whitney Croxton, Sr. Marketing Coordinator, JAXPORT

Unseasonably high import volumes continue to put a strain on supply chain fluidity for shippers on the U.S. West Coast.

Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence Maritime Analysis, attributes the continued rise in volumes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Murphy anticipates the high volumes will continue as long as the pandemic continues to force US consumers to spend on “merchandise rather than on services such as travel and entertainment.” (Source:  

The delays caused by the influx of volumes are creating significant challenges for shippers – in meeting customer demand and profit margins. This is yet again another opportunity for shippers to review their supply chain and tweak their approach to delivering a product to the marketplace.

In Jacksonville, Florida, Vivian Patterson, Terminal Supervisor at SSA Atlantic, is helping shippers increase efficiencies and find cost savings with what the company calls a ‘peel off’ strategy. It’s an approach that combines her 40-plus years of experience working in all aspects of port operations and a personalized approach to customer service. 

Already in place for several shippers at SSA’s Blount Island Marine Terminal, the ‘peel off’ strategy sorts the customer’s cargo into a designated space in the yard as it comes off the vessel. The benefits – higher velocity of cargo through the port, reduced turn times for truck drivers, and elimination or reduction of detention and demurrage fees. 

Patterson and the team at SSA offer a personalized approach – explaining in an interview with JAXPORT the company strategically stacks containers so the customer gets a mix of cargo delivered to their warehouse. 

“To provide real value, we must understand the needs of the customer and then discuss how the flexibility of this process can benefit them the most,” said Patterson. “We can help manage the manner in which the import loads are stacked on the terminal in a way that supports the company’s inventory management goals.”

Another key component in the strategy development is Jacksonville’s trucking community. This segment of the industry has direct insight into how the shipper prioritizes cargo and arranges appointment schedules. “Working as a team – SSA with our ocean carrier and trucking partners – the flow of import cargo through JAXPORT has no limits,” said Patterson.

That’s the type of customer service that permeates Jacksonville’s transportation and logistics ecosystem. “Whether a customer has 5 boxes or 50 boxes – they each receive the same level of service. In Jacksonville, you’re a customer, not a number,” said Patterson. 

Whether a customer has 5 boxes or 50 boxes – they each receive the same level of service. In Jacksonville, you’re a customer, not a number.
– SSA Atlantic Terminal Supervisor, Vivian Patterson
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The ‘peel off’ strategy offered by SSA is just one of the many cost-saving benefits shippers are finding in Jacksonville.

JAXPORT offers freedom of movement for container vessels – with little to no delays at the sea buoy and two-way river traffic – as well as a deep and talented workforce, final mile delivery partners, and an extensive intermodal network. 

As the industry continues to face cargo delays on the West Coast – similar to 2015 – shippers stand to benefit from considering the Port of Jacksonville as their global gateway.

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Connect with a member of JAXPORT’s container team today for a personalized review of your cargo needs and the solutions Jacksonville’s transportation and logistics network can provide.