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Landstar Case Study: The Information Age of Transportation
Information is power and the fast evolving technology of this “Information Age” we live in has fundamentally changed nearly every aspect of society. Nowhere is that more evident than in transportation and logistics, where more and more shippers are placing emphasis on visibility and data reporting within their supply chain to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, and are looking to 3PLs to provide such.
The ongoing technology revolution has made information more attainable, at faster speeds than ever. But being able to analyze, strategize and execute on that information is where the rubber meets the road for providers of transportation and logistics. That’s exactly how independent Landstar Agent Peter Terkildsen has been winning over a leading international supplier of plastics and resins with over 30 manufacturing and support facilities in North and South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Since April of 2014, Landstar has completely taken over every aspect of the company’s logistics operations, both domestic and international, including inbound, outbound, LTL, truckload, bulk, rail, international air and ocean, and even management of the customer’s private fleet.
“They were not only looking for somebody who could execute from a delivery standpoint, but also provide them with very useful and intuitive technology tools. It’s not always just about execution, but rather having someone helping them figure out what they’re spending and how the data can help them benefit in other areas and identify ‘weak links’ in their supply chain. They wanted a better idea of how they spend their money and that’s what differentiated us from other providers. Intelligence in today’s world is so important and the intelligence you can gather now is just remarkable,” said Terkildsen. “Although cost savings is always a factor, it’s more about the complete package we provide…execution, information, adaptability and trust.”
This customer’s trust in the ability of Landstar to manage their supply chain is paying off. Through collaboration with Landstar, Terkildsen and his team have worked to consolidate and optimize the customer’s massive supply chain operations and pinpoint areas where they are spending wisely and unwisely.
“It’s an enormous company that is currently in a big growth mode. They have eight or nine different operational systems that we are trying to streamline together with the client,” said Terkildsen, who handles the customer’s international logistics and overall account management and partners with Landstar
Agent Robby Stewart to handle the domestic side.
“Our technology is able to identify where they are wasting money throughout their supply chain and offer up opportunities for savings. They love it.”
On the domestic side, Stewart says his Landstar agency acts as the middle man between the customer’s corporate operations and their 18 warehouse plants in the Americas.
“Through various technological integration tools, we’re able to communicate with the customer’s ERP to properly manage their supply chain. We do load planning for all 18 warehouses each day,” said Stewart. “By way of our systems and technology, all the data is uniform and they don’t have to book carriers anymore. Instead of having to contact and work with 30 carriers to get things moved, they just contact us.”
On the international side, Terkildsen handles all modes of transportation, whether it is air, ocean or other logistics services.
“Focus on customs and trade compliance are also major factors differentiating us from the competition. We do more than just moving cargo from A to B,” Terkildsen said.
This simplification of operations, combined with the load optimization and visibility into their supply chain network has resulted in significant cost savings for the customer, who has been “very impressed” with Landstar’s abilities, say Terkildsen and Stewart. But both are quick to point out, however, that having technology and information is only part of the equation when it comes to successfully serving the customer.
“The data is no good if you don’t review it and make adjustments,” said Stewart.
Terkildsen adds that monthly WebEx conferences are held with the customer to discuss the findings and each quarter they meet with them face-to-face to go over the data and latest strategies for improvements and savings.
“Both Robby and I have phenomenal teams who cannot only execute better than anyone else, but also put systems in place and create efficiencies beyond what technology can do.”
Landstar Executive Vice President, Northern Field Division Al Reisman says Landstar’s ability to manage a customer’s supply chain is adaptable to any business model.
“Landstar’s approach from the start is a bit unique in that we do not come in with a canned approach or sell. By getting up close to the customer’s current state and outlook from day one, we are able to learn and provide the best solution for the customer,” said Reisman. “By staying engaged with the customer and their various team members, Landstar is able to ensure a successful approach to managing their supply chain.”
That’s valuable information for any shipper looking for the right 3PL solution!
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