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Schedule Reliability Brings Customer Satisfaction

A container of fresh fruit can’t sit in a congested terminal indefinitely, and a shipment of raw materials won’t be welcome at a production plant after quitting time. These are reasons why schedule reliability is a priority for shippers navigating today’s supply chain.

Everyone wants performance stability – a supply chain that operates smoothly and efficiently over time, with pick-ups and deliveries made according to plan and a quick recovery when plans go awry.

Schedule reliability has been an issue for many ports, with skipped vessel sailings, missed feeder connections, lockdowns and congestion. JAXPORT has no such problems. Sheila Cox, Director of National Container Accounts, said the port’s spacious, expanding facilities and large carrier base with competitive transit times (by dozens of ocean carriers serving 140 global ports, 100 trucking firms and 40 daily trains) enable timely connectivity.

Late delivery can be more than inconvenient. Spoiled perishables, missed sale days, delayed re-sale receipts, or, in an extreme case, a plant shutdown can quickly escalate to a costly problem.

Setting the Standard

Trailer Bridge Employees

Trailer Bridge, an ocean carrier, non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) and third-party logistics (3PL) provider, is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Trailer Bridge CEO Mitch LucianoThe company’s national and global business expansion of its NVOCC division, Trailer Bridge International, speaks to its rapid growth. CEO Mitch Luciano said, nowadays, Trailer Bridge can ship anywhere in the world with its international services, including end-to-end shipments, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, warehousing and trucking. Those services handle a variety of cargoes, such as containers, automobiles, heavy equipment and more.

One of the secrets to the company’s explosive growth is a focus on schedule reliability. “When containers arrive on time, it sets your standard of service,” Luciano said. Trailer Bridge’s experience with its shipping assets has provided the company capacity to offer one-stop-shop logistics solutions for international loads beyond the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

That reliability will become increasingly important. On the heels of the pandemic, warehouse inventories remain high. When those levels fall, Luciano said, the lack of cash in the market and tight credit will force the supply chain to deliver just in time to keep inventory levels stable.

Schedule reliability is always important for last-mile deliveries (versus a 45-day ocean voyage) and food and health products, especially perishables, but more consumer goods will soon need the same reliability.

Luciano said Trailer Bridge’s ocean-shipping strategy underscores timeliness: “If a vessel is late, stevedoring costs may be double. When we keep our costs down, we keep our customer’s costs down.”

Delays and added costs end up permeating any supply chain. Choosing partners who prioritize schedule reliability is vital. One of those robust partners is JAXPORT. Luciano said, “I drive over the Dames Point Bridge every day. [Barring severe weather] I’ve never seen a vessel waiting. There is a general ease coming in and out of this port.”

consider it done

Ike Sherlock is President and CEO of Jacksonville-based 3PL Air Van.

He said, “Clients trust us with their products and supply chain. The expectation is for us to be on time, every time.”

Air Van’s schedule reliability is its competitive edge. With clients like manufacturers that need just-in-time components and distribution centers with strict outbound truck schedules, having the right technology for real-time visibility helps.

Air Van President and CEO, Ike Sherlock“We need to know exactly where a truck is to be proactive if there is an accident or road closure,” Sherlock said. 

Exceptional staff, who embrace the company’s “Consider it Done” philosophy, is also key. And using an uncongested port with reliable global connections is the icing on the cake.

Sherlock refers to JAXPORT as one of the most efficient ports in the country. “I’ve worked with a lot of ports, and Jacksonville is a cut above in service and reliability,” Sherlock said. “We can do multiple gate turns at both Blount Island and Talleyrand and that makes us efficient.”

As more transportation and logistics providers focus on schedule reliability, shippers can confidently plan their supply chain, knowing that their cargo will be delivered on time.

Story by Lori Musser

Edited by Kim Norman

Design by Amy Klinkenberg