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2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner

Those carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports that crossed the service-excellence finish line ahead of their competitors collected their Quest for Quality Awards at our annual Awards Dinner.

By ·
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By ·

For over 30 years, Logistics Management’s Quest for Quality Survey has been regarded in the transportation and logistics industry as the most important measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence—and the annual Quest for Quality Awards Dinner has been widely considered the best evening of the year for carrier and 3PL executive networking.

This year’s Awards Dinner was no different: On Tues. September 27th at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Fla. during the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference, our editorial staff presented the 2016 Quest for Quality Awards to the 129 deserving winners. 

Following cocktails, dinner and the awards presentation, attendees were treated to the hilarious comedy of Greg Hahn.

Winning Quest for Quality gold: About our research

To determine the best of the best, qualified LM readers rated carriers, third-party logistics provides (3PL), and now U.S. port operators strictly on the basis of service quality, making it the only survey of its kind in the market.

To determine who wins the vote, LM readers evaluated companies in all modes and service disciplines, choosing the top performers in categories including motor carriers, railroad and intermodal services, ocean carriers, airlines, freight forwarders, third party/contract logistics services, and ports. From January through May of this year, LM and Peerless Research Group (PRG), a division of Peerless Media, surveyed readers who are qualified buyers of logistics and transportation services.

This year our research group received more then 4,725 total responses. In order to be a “winner,” a company had to receive at least 5% of the category vote. The result of this overall effort offers the logistics market a crystal clear look at not only the overall winner in any given category, but a broad list of companies that finished above the average. 

Transportation service providers are rated on LM’s five key criteria: On-time Performance, Value, Information Technology, Customer Service, and Equipment & Operations. Due to the nature of services offered by third-party players, a different set of criteria is used to judge this category. Third-party logistics providers are rated on the following attributes: Carrier Selection & Negotiation, Order Fulfillment, Transportation & Distribution, Inventory Management, and Logistics Information Systems.

Again this year we split our third-party logistics providers (3PLs) into two categories in our ballot questionnaires with the help of Armstrong & Associates Inc., the leading third-party logistics analyst firm in the market.

“Customers evaluate and select 3PLs based upon their core competencies,” says Armstrong. “While larger 3PLs have integrated capabilities, the majority tends to be either transportation management or value-added warehousing and distribution operations centric. Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate providers separately in each segment.”

Four years ago we re-established our Ports category, using Ease of Doing Business, Value, Ocean Carrier Network, Intermodal Network, and Equipment & Operations as the five key criteria to measure service success. We’re pleased to be delivering the scores of the top North American Ports once again this year—and for many years to come.

The evaluation itself is a weighted metric. The scores take into account the importance readers attach to each attribute. Each year, readers are first asked to rank the attributes in each category on a five-point scale, with 5 representing the highest value and 1 representing the lowest value.

The PRG research team then uses those attributes’ rankings to create weighted scores in each category. For example, readers have historically placed the single highest value on the On-time Performance attribute—and they’ve done so again in 2016. In fact, the attribute was rated between 4.60 and 4.81 across the various carrier categories. 

After readers have ranked these key attributes in order of importance, they then grade each provider that they currently use on each of the five core Quest for Quality attributes, rating them on a scale of 1 to 3 (1=poor, 2=average, 3=outstanding).

To produce a weighted score, the research team then multiplies the provider’s average scores for each attribute by the attribute’s ranking. Next, the weighted scores are calculated for all five attributes for a given vendor and added together to create an aggregate number.

Companies score a quality win when their total scores exceed the average total weighted score in their category. But remember, providers must receive a minimum number of reader responses to qualify for a win—at least 5% of the total base for the category. 

 

 

Honorable Mentions 

Pitt Ohio

What differentiates your company in the market?  

PITT OHIO believes that exceeding customer expectations with reliable, dependable and on-time service is the cornerstone to what we do as a company. Continuing to provide this in a safe and secure manner makes us a quality carrier. Our sustainability initiatives focus on doing the best to achieve environmental and social responsibility. Service, Safety, Sustainability, and Security are PITT OHIO’s core competencies—how we deliver them is what differentiates us as an industry leader.

What new opportunities will you be providing shippers in 2017?

PITT OHIO continues to invest in our employees and our resources so that we can provide flexible and unique logistics solutions that customers need. We have the largest LTL heated trailer fleet in the United States, enabling us to offer second-to-none Heat Track (Protect From Freeze) service. PITT OHIO delivers industry-leading LTL, Truckload, Small Package and Expedite solutions that truly make us a full-service logistics solutions provider.

  

 

Southwest Cargo

What differentiates your company in the market?

Southwest Cargo® has two distinct advantages over our competitors: our People and our Relentlessly Reliable® service. Our Employees are proud to operate Cargo Facilities in a majority of Southwest Airlines® destinations, allowing our People to interact with our Customers daily. They are truly Relentlessly Reliable and go above and beyond to ensure our Customer’s cargo is well taken care of and arrives on time. Southwest Airlines stands above the rest with an unmatched flight schedule of over 3,500 flights across the network. With a high frequency schedule of flights to choose from, Customers can take advantage of our expedited air cargo service across the map.

What new opportunities will you be providingshippers in 2017?

Southwest Cargo is entrenched in the U.S. market. Southwest Airlines entered the international markets, by virtue of our acquisition of AirTran, in 2012. We since acquired a handful of international destinations that we do not fly cargo to because of systems limitations. The biggest components happening to cargo for 2017 is an investment in automation that will give us the capability to expand internationally. Southwest Cargo is working hard to build a system that supports our future vision. We have some of that system in production now and we will be fully implemented in 2017, and plan to launch international cargo service at that time.

Unyson

What differentiates your company in the market?

Unyson prides itself in creating custom solutions that perfectly match each of our client’s unique needs. Whether the shipper’s network is in a complex, just-in-time environment, or is a retailer with large delivery windows, Unyson will utilize its technology and expertise to build a program that solves their problems and drives improvements within their network. “Off-the-shelf” solutions are not found at Unyson! 


2016 Quest for Quality: From the Editors 

The editorial staff of Logistics Man­agement would like to thank the readers who took time out of their busy schedules to complete and submit the 2016 Quest for Quality ballots. This year, more than 4,725 readers offered their valuable insight and helped Logistics Management maintain the Quest for Quality as the premier benchmark study of logis­tics and transportation service excel­lence for 33 years. 

Questionnaires for this year’s Quest for Quality Survey were sent January through May. Sample mem­bers were selected for each category and were sent an invitation via e-mail asking for their participation in this year’s survey. The invitation included a URL linked to a dedicated Website that contained the questionnaire. Re­sponses were collected and tallied by a third-party, independent data collection facility. 


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