A large, non-hazardous chemical export, beneficial cargo owner (BCO) was faced with inconsistent trucking service that lacked visibility or reliability. The BCO had traditionally signed ocean carrier contracts to support their business that were inclusive of door pickup service. They were frustrated and looking for a provider to come on board and provide an all-encompassing “first mile” solution that provided a fixed amount of capacity and equipment. They also sought one point of contact that could handle coordination among multiple ocean carriers and separate intermodal departments within those carriers. Adding to the challenge was matching plant schedules and outbound loading capacity at their warehouses with the volatile ocean carrier schedule cutoffs. Entrusting multiple parties to create and balance these schedules caused service failures for the client to their end customers overseas and disruption within their supply chain. The client’s air freight and expedited freight spend was growing due to service failures and lack of communication of missed shipments by the carriers, and was increasing their overall freight spend substantially.
Dunavant proposed the exporter move forward with their plan to change their ocean carrier contracts to only cover service from the rail ramps and ports. Additionally, Dunavant recommended a business model that would provide the door pickup service from their plants with a fixed weekly drayage capacity allocation. This plan would contain an implementation of chassis equipment in their key strategic markets of Chicago, New Orleans, and Dallas, and package together a service model that included a hybrid of both Dunavant and non-Dunavant trucking assets to service the weekly volume fluctuations.
Because managing ocean and road separately was a brand new way to split their business, the client was initially unsure of the exact KPIs they wanted from Dunavant until after implementation. Dunavant collaborated with the corporate headquarters of the client along with their plants and freight forwarder to determine what the best process and metrics were to maintain visibility, reporting, and monitoring of their business to leverage the new business model for their inland transportation.
Dunavant now provides fixed reporting on key items like on-time pickup, on-time plant loading schedules, and a weekly volume summary. This reporting lets Dunavant take advantage of the client’s advance load tendering notice. The added visibility and consolidated communication flow allow for adjustment of capacity needs at least one week in advance in the event that the client doesn’t need the full fixed capacity. In the case of additional volume needs, it outlines the need for more capacity that Dunavant can plan to provide. Previously, with the client having to deal with the ocean carriers directly and separately, the process was done individually by ocean carrier, and it was difficult for the client to compile information in a consolidated format. Dunavant is able to provide that customized approach by delivering a clear and concise picture of their current intermodal transportation network, along with the financial elements that help them analyze and control their freight spend on a more timely, proactive basis. Their air freight and expedited freight spend has gone down significantly as a result of the first mile solution that Dunavant offers.
Senior Vice President, Customer Experience