TCL shippers: willing to pay for service that works

By: | Issue #659 | at 08:00 AM | Channel(s): Logistics  

TCL shippers: willing to pay for service that works

The Wine and Spirits Shippers Association (WSSA), which represents some 600 members, moves quite a number of reefer containers. But despite being a major player, it doesn’t always get the kind of service it wants from carriers and ports.

Part of it has to do with rigid and outdated processes exacerbated by the application of technology. “If no gen set is available for the reefer,” commented Alison Leavitt, WSSA’s managing director, “terminals will not release the container even it’s going only 15 miles.”

Truck reservation systems at ports are meant to relieve congestion but have proved to be no panacea for TCL shippers like WSSA. They are often too rigid, leaving dray drivers in the lurch if a specific container is not available for pickup and the system doesn’t allow the driver to service another container.

“Automation doesn’t solve everything,” said Leavitt, to an audience at the port of New York and New Jersey’s 17th annual Port Industry Day in early October. “Sometimes you really need to get someone on the phone to solve a problem” but that’s increasingly difficult in today’s environment.

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Peter Buxbaum's avatar

American Journal of Transportation

More on Peter Buxbaum

Peter Buxbaum has been writing about international trade and transportation, as well as security, defense, technology, and foreign policy, for over 20 years. Besides contributing to the AJOT, Buxbaum's work has appeared in such leading publications as Fortune, Forbes, Chief Executive, Computerworld, and Jane's Defence Weekly. He was educated at Columbia University.