3PLs Recognized for Excellence

Sept. 1, 2008
The second annual third-party logistics service awards presentation by eyefortransport recognized companies in seven categories that 3PL users nominated and voted “best.”

The second annual third-party logistics service awards presentation by eyefortransport recognized companies in seven categories that 3PL users nominated and voted “best.” Here are brief profiles of each of the companies recognized in the 2008 online poll.

DHL Exel


This is the second year in a row Exel has received recognition for its services. Last year it received two awards both for work in Pharma, Chemical and HazMat and in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods categories.

This year's recognition comes because leading companies around the world collaborate with Exel's retail business on a number of core logistics services including warehousing, order fulfillment, transportation management, and delivery to stores and homes. As a single source provider, Exel's customized supply chain solutions help retailers enhance their competitive position in the marketplace. Exel's portfolio of services encompasses everything from supply chain strategy to network design and in-store logistics.

Exel is a wholly owned entity of Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN), the world's leading logistics group. In 1985, after being privatized by the government, the UK-based National Freight Consortium acquired several independent warehouse and transportation management companies in the US.

The new company was re-branded Exel and the Americas headquarters was established in Westerville, OH in 1992. It prospered, expanding territorially as it grew its portfolio of solutions. In late 2005 it was purchased by DPWN and rebranded as DHL Exel Supply Chain. The 3PL provides integrated supply chain solutions around the world. Its North American contract logistics operations continue to operate under the Excel brand and it retains headquarters for the Americas in Westerville.

Today, Exel Americas Contract Logistics generates $4.7 billion in annual revenue, operates 511 locations and employs more than 40,000 associates. The company offers comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solutions.

For retail Exel is sensitive to requirements of demanding customers, hyper-competitive markets, the need for increased customization, and other retail challenges having major implications for logistics. Its offerings include analyzing, optimizing, and managing transportation, warehousing, and other retail logistics. It has significant infrastructure and operational presence in most global retail markets.

Exel's solutions extend beyond retail to a wide range of industries, including consumer, technology, life sciences, chemical, industrial and automotive. In this latter regard it has most recently expanded its relationship with US automaker Chrysler to provide dedicated delivery service to 270 Midwestern auto dealers.

Exel will deliver Mopar parts to 270 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin from Chrysler LLC's Mopar Parts Distribution Center (PDC) in Naperville, IL. Exel's centralized delivery service support team utilizes a suite of dedicated fleet technology solutions — such as electronic proof-of-delivery, wireless communications and scheduling applications — in addition to effective fleet management to drive efficiencies and optimize delivery routes. Exel now provides dedicated delivery services to 10 Mopar PDCs — nine in the United States and one in Toluca, Mexico.

Logistics Management Solutions (LMS)

Industrial Supply Chain

Non-asset based Logistics Management Solutions (LMS) was voted best North American third party logistics provider (3PL) for industrial supply chains. This is the second consecutive year the company has received the honor. “To be named ‘Best 3PL’ for the second consecutive year is a special honor, and we are grateful to have earned so many votes from 3PL users throughout the industry,” said Dennis Schoemehl, president and CEO of LMS.

The company's 12-year history began when it was formed out of the logistics division of Monsanto. Among its offerings is a proprietary, Web-enabled transportation management solution that it says allows customers to cut transportation costs without a large investment or system commitment.

Recently, the firm was selected to provide transportation management services and technology solutions to True Fitness. The St. Louis-based manufacturer of cardiovascular and flexibility products for residential and commercial use serves more than 250 dealer locations throughout North America. LMS uses its Web-native transportation management system TOTAL to handle freight destined for the dealer sites.

An on-site logistician from LMS works from the manufacturer's headquarters to plan, execute and track shipments. LMS conducts carrier negotiations and manages billing and freight claims for True Fitness.

“As we expand our business model, we need to partner with an experienced logistics provider that can support our growth without increasing our costs,” notes Tim Haeffner, director of service for True Fitness.

According to Haeffner, the LMS TOTAL system interfaces with the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to secure and process orders. Authorized True Fitness personnel are able to track freight movements and access performance reports online.

According to LMS, the TOTAL system can handle order management, shipment optimization, automated load planning, continuous move programs and collaborative networks. Its execution component does planning, load tendering, shipment verification, shipment tracking and tracing and customer/carrier communication. It will also manage compliance programs along with rate management and freight payment.

In addition to its technology base, LMS offers two types of multi-shipper collaboration programs. These programs leverage the collective freight activities of high-volume customers, allowing individual users to reduce transportation costs, says LMS.

Collaborative continuous movements transform separate truckload shipments from multiple shippers into efficient, multi-stop trips to reduce one-way movements, empty miles and high-cost minimum charges.

Co-loading combines less-than-truckload shipments from multiple shippers into full truckloads to increase asset utilization and reduce freight costs.

LMS runs shipment data of participating customers through its TOTALOptimization and TOTALCM systems to identify co-loading and/or continuous-move opportunities. The system is programmed with freight compatibility and service parameters to ensure loads are matched safely and in compliance with customer specifications. Once the loads are matched, routes are configured. When shipment plans have been reviewed and approved, transportation planners tender the shipments and work with carriers to ensure proper execution.

Savings are distributed proportionately to the participating customers.

LMS leverages an annual freight spend of $550 million and works with more than 5,500 carriers.

LMS is also a Responsible Care Partner. The Responsible Care program is the American Chemistry Council's (ACC) comprehensive environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) program wherein member and partner companies commit to advancing the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.

UPS Supply Chain Solutions

Hi Tech & Electronics

Moving product at high-speed is critical for manufacturers of high tech equipment. UPS Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) has proven industrial experience with computers and peripherals, consumer electronics, logistics, and international trade services.

UPS SCS's global network and advanced IT systems are designed to deliver business solutions needed for time-definite delivery, distribution, inventory management, and in-facility and in-transit visibility.

In addition it offers post-sales capabilities enabling customers to leverage its global distribution and field-stocking network to gain a competitive advantage in post-sales support of critical parts for high-tech equipment. The company can provide service parts logistics and field tech support to returns and repair management.

Other vertical market areas in which UPS SCS offers solutions include automotives and industrial manufacturing, consumer goods, government and defense, healthcare and retail.

For international movement of merchandise, the provider offers its Trade Direct solution to bypass distribution centers and move shipments directly to retail stores or final customers. Using the UPS global network, Trade Direct provides consolidation of international freight, air, ocean and ground transportation, customs clearance and direct delivery to multiple addresses within the destination country, all through a single source.

With Trade Direct UPS picks up or receives shipments, consolidates them, transports them to the destination country, providing customs clearance, then deconsolidates into individual shipments, dropping them into either the UPS package or less-than-truckload (LTL) network and delivers them directly to customers.

To support its Canadian operations, UPS is expanding its Burlington strategic logistics campus that serves as headquarters for SCS in Canada. Originally constructed as an 800,000-square-foot two-building facility, it is now adding a 175,000-square-foot third distribution center. One of the two original buildings offers specialized healthcare freight services, with focus on the needs of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries that require compliance with governmental regulations and strict quality assurance. The new facility will support after-sales activities and critical parts inventory management for high value technology components and computer products.

In discussing the expansion, Jan Macaulay, vice president of Business solutions for UPS SCS noted that the company, “is focused on giving Canadian businesses a competitive edge, and the services offered by this expanded facility will increase the efficiency of our customers' supply chains. For us, involvement at the local level will remain a key aspect of our operations, and we look forward to a long, healthy and prosperous future in Burlington.”

As part of overall UPS business, Supply Chain is a healthy contributor. In its most recent financial reporting, revenues for the segment increased 11%, year over year, and operating profits were up more than 50%.


Best Consumer Goods

In speaking of its advantages as a lead logistics provider Transplace puts it proprietary Dense Network Efficiency (DNE) platform to work. DNE integrates three critical elements for lowering logistics and supply chain costs. One, Transplace offers shippers freight and carrier capacity. Two, collaboration and visibility are enabled through Web-based system connectivity bringing together both shippers and carriers. Three, technology is brought into play to optimize transportation synergies that reduce costs and improve service.

A non-asset based third-party supplier, Transplace is a Lean Six Sigma service company that emphasizes elimination of waste, simplification of processes and continuous improvement.

Yearly, Transplace creates a carrier asset network to present an available large volume of shipment possibilities via truckload, intermodal and less-than-truckload. Through use of its optimization algorithms Transplace matches shipper freight with the best carrier for the load. For carriers loads are increased, empty miles are decreased along with fewer detention hours.

Transplace offerings include transportation management systems and solutions; load control center management; inbound order and supplier management; logistics optimization technology; logistics design and consulting services; single source freight management; and carrier capacity coverage through Transplace Brokerage.

Recently the company launched Transplace Consulting, aimed at delivering comprehensive logistics engineering analysis, design and consulting to customers in manufacturing, distribution and retailing. The service focuses on identifying supply chain improvements in order to uncover areas where customers can reduce total transportation and inventory holding costs. Through utilization of best-in-class benchmarking information and sophisticated analysis tools Transplace Consulting seeks to provide customers with the technical expertise and direction to maximize efficiency without sacrificing service or performance. Discussing the value of Transplace Consulting, Matthew Harding, vice president of consulting for the company reflects that, “We provide insights on customers' complex supply chains in an evolving environment that has reached a new tipping point in terms of cost to serve and supply chain trade-offs.”

Transplace Consulting helps bring greater vision to the company's full suite of value opportunities for new and prospective customers. “Importantly,” continues Harding, “we are held accountable for delivered value. Our procurement services have to work because we own the execution, and our supply chain analysis ultimately leads to Transportation Management Services configuration that drives daily value. Since we are a 3PL, service and cost-based auditing are a given in our business.”

Schneider Logistics


While the award is for activities in the automotive vertical, Schneider Logistics offers a wide range of services for many industries. It is a subsidiary of privately held Schneider National, a premier provider of transportation and logistics services. The country's largest truckload carrier, Schneider National is headquartered in Green Bay, WI, and has provided customers with expert transportation and logistics solutions for more than 70 years. A $3.4 billion company, it employs 22,000 transportation and logistics experts worldwide, including operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

For its part, Schneider Logistics has made careful moves over the past three years to build its already strong services offerings. Since 2005 it has acquired — and has now fully integrated — four logistics companies that significantly enhance its international product offerings. The four are American Port Services, Powers Transportation, American Overseas Logistics and BaoYun Logistics.

“Now as one company,” claims Tom Escott, Schneider Logistics president, ”we present a single-source solution for our customers' international supply chains — from a shipment's critical first mile to its final destination. We have quietly become one of the largest providers of port dray and transloading services in the United States, a growing freight forwarder, and a leading transportation and distribution company in China.”

Schneider Logistics has substantial offerings in Canada, as well. Earlier this year it expanded its brokerage services there with the opening of a new regional logistics center (RLC) in Toronto. It was the first RLC outside the US. Domestic RLCs have been highly successful for Schneider Logistics within the US. The first of its RLCs was opened in Evanston, IL in 2005. Based on its success, more locations have been added at Atlanta, Dallas and Reno. The Evanston location has been moved to Chicago.

Through the RLCs, shippers work with a single sales representative who matches their transportation needs with the best mode to fulfill their requirements, whether truckload, intermodal or less-than-truckload.

In reflecting on these moves by Schneider Logistics, Mitch Weckop, the general manager of transportation, notes, “Our regional logistics centers in the United States have had great success in becoming one-stop shops that connect our customers with any mode of transportation and effectively meet their transportation needs, whether they are focused on cost, transit time or both. Many of our US-based customers also ship in Canada, so adding an RLC in Toronto was a logical next step in helping provide them with top-quality service abroad.”

Ceva Logistics

Pharma, Chemical & HazMat and Fresh Food Supply Chains

A double winner, Ceva Logistics is a multi-faceted logistics services company with over 1,000 locations in more than 100 countries. Its presence in the Americas includes 19,300 employees and more than 370 locations. The Americas region accounts for 32% of its total revenues.

Ceva was formed in 2006 when Apollo Management acquired the logistics division of TNT. In mid-2007, Ceva merged with EGL Eagle Global Logistics. It recently completed the integration of its contract logistics and freight management units under regional management.

“We are delighted to be recognized by customers in the US for our contribution to their success,” said John Pattullo, CEO. “Coming shortly after equally high-profile awards we have won in the UK and Italy for solutions in the publishing and telecom sectors, these prestigious distinctions show that CEVA has industry-leading capability to meet the growing demand for impeccable operational performance both in contract logistics and freight management.”

In the healthcare sector, Ceva notes its customers operate in a marketplace with heavy regulation, long process cycle times, sensitive transportation requirements, and other often unpredictable factors.

The industrial sector involves the 3PL in markets that are shifting from a regional structure to an intricate, integrated process across continents. Supply chains are going global, production and assembly is being outsourced to emerging markets, such as China and India, and the pressure of shorter lead times is increasing. Delivery windows are tight, making the manufacturing of capital goods in today's market more complex than ever before, notes Ceva.

The volatile chemical and energy markets make demands for global resources from air charters and ocean transport, to continuous supply chain operations.

Ceva recently received the technology and innovation of the year award from the UK Warehousing Association.

The company also recently reported a contract award from JAL Group, a maker of professional safety shoes. Ceva will manage JAL's international logistics flows. The strategic challenge in this agreement, says Gianfranco Sgro, chairman of Ceva Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, “lies in the capacity to provide a real added value in terms of services and results while simultaneously having to tackle extremely complex situations within the logistics process.”

Ceva will employ a single platform to manage the collection and dispatching of raw materials in Rivoli, Turin province. Volumes indicate materials will arrive in 650 vehicles per year and another 331 will leave for Tunisia where JAL's main production facility is located. Finished product will be distributed from the Scarmagno, Ivrea hub.

With sales of €174 million and 5,500 employees, JAL produces 10 million units of footwear per year. It has a 30% share of the entire European market.

In the area of bulk cargo and freight, Ceva, in partnership with Brazilian BR-S Brasil Sistema Logistico, offers multi-modal and multi-cargo containers to transport steel, grains, solid bulks and other products. Initially targeted for the Brazil market, the service will expand to other Latin American nations.

Ceva will manage container information and logistics flow from the customer to the final destination. “We will use the entire network available in Brazil,” said Ricardo Melchiori, logistics operations director. “With cargo unification, we will perform better and reduce transit time, streamlining customer costs.”

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