Commitment to customers and growth prove keys to success for Georgia 3PL.

PortCity’s largest facility has 3 million square feet of space and is located in Savannah, Ga., only .7 miles from the GPA.

As technology and trade lanes continue to expand, so do the challenges that face the logistics industry. When compared to historic transportation of freight from point A to point B, today’s logistics companies are often confronted by more modern and time-consuming problems. Delays related to infrastructure construction as well as bottlenecks at ports – along with various types of staffing and technology issues – are being consistently blamed for increased shipping costs and decreased company profits. As such, some logistics companies that are eager to grow are unable to do so, due to financial limitations that are forcing them to postpone their plans for expansion.

Among logistics companies that are currently looking to increase their clientele and related bottom line, creating new and innovative solutions to existing industry issues may seem like the answer to success. However, at PortCity Logistics, a well-known third-party logistics company (3PL), their success isn’t based solely on new technology. It also comes from the age-old method of taking the time to build and maintain customer relationships and provide clients with the streamlined supply chain solutions that they need – a practice the company has adhered to since they began operation in 2001.

Eric Howell, PortCity Logistics CEO

Disruptions & Deliveries

According to Eric Howell, CEO at PortCity Logistics, acknowledging the challenges facing the logistics industry is only half of the issue – the other half is how you react to the challenges.

“Volatility and disruption are the biggest issues in the logistics industry right now, and how you overcome these things and still provide peace of mind to your customers is very important. Right now, there’s an overcapacity of trucks and trailers in the market, so disruption is definitely the name of the game. But it’s really how you pivot that matters. Building a customer relationship in the short term can create a better relationship with the client in the long term,” Howell said.

Rusty Bragg, COO at PortCity Logistics, added, “Customers want flexibility and consistency, and they want PortCity to take away any challenges that can affect their freight deliveries. So, we focus on better consistency and visibility for our clients. We have the staff and resources to help when things in the industry get out of whack, and our team members are also involved in making the decisions that determine how we meet the challenges we face.”

Another common problem facing logistics companies is the security of the containers that are transported. To meet the needs of their clients, PortCity Logistics currently has three secure warehouses where freight arrives and departs. The largest facility has three million square feet of space, and is located in Savannah, Ga., only .7 miles from the Georgia Port Authority (GPA). PortCity Logistics also has two locations in Greer, S.C., which total one million square feet of space, and within the next few years, the company anticipates the completed construction of a 150,000-square-foot facility, which will be located in Wilmington, N.C.

Rusty Bragg, PortCity Logistics COO

Streamlined Security Solutions

When asked about existing solutions that enhance the security of containers as they arrive and are processed for transport, Howell pointed out the value and benefits of digital technology.

“As part of the container processing, we have a virtual peel pile system that helps us move stacked containers for our higher-volume shipping customers. With information about container accessibility sent to us from the GPA, we can move the containers faster, which helps reduce turnaround time and costs,” Howell said.

He added, “The GPA also uses digital gate tickets, which saves time and paperwork. There are also cameras on the trucks for greater visibility during transport, and our location close to the ports helps reduce the time available for anything bad to happen. We go above and beyond basic security for all high-security items, and feel we offer better visibility than many others do.”

Bragg pointed out, “The Flock cameras at the gate are also tied into local law enforcement, which means they catch images of license plates as the trucks leave the warehouse. This not only helps us with any activity that seems suspicious, it also shows our customers how we personally ensure the security of their items.”

Running on the Road

Even with an impressive reputation that spans almost 25 years, PortCity Logistics can’t do everything alone, and occasionally needs to work with other 3PL companies. Howell noted that while 80 percent of PortCity’s business is done through just their company, the other 20 percent of their business involves the short-term assistance of other 3PL companies.

When it comes to the preferred method of transporting freight, Howell reported, “We transport freight 100 percent by truck, because it’s currently faster and cheaper for our customers to run on the road versus rail. By running on the road, we can reduce turnaround times and costs.”

Bragg added, “The types of products we transport are very diverse, and each require a certain amount of special consideration to ensure they arrive where they need to be and on time. Some examples of the products include items for food businesses, retail, non-hazardous chemicals, resins, electrical, batteries, car parts, and flooring, among many other items.”

He continued, “There is a seasonality with freight, with certain items needing to move more quickly than others. For example, with customers trying to figure out what they want, along with where and when they want it, summer months will see the arrival of items for Christmas and it’s our job to make sure everything is delivered on time and in advance of the holiday. This is the kind of service that gives our customers peace of mind and helps us maintain that relationship year after year.”