What’s the most challenging time-critical shipment you ever pulled off? How?
I worked for a 3PL in Holland that distributed surgical products. A Luxembourg hospital contacted us after hours, after realizing they did not have the right-size heart valve for a patient needing immediate surgery. One of our employees delivered the valve there in his car, saving the patient’s life.
Supply Chain and Logistics Consultant
We arranged and loaded 200 containers via a dedicated train from Los Angeles to Memphis to fulfill our customer’s sales objectives. After a 72-hour transit, our trucks met the train trackside at 2 a.m. to deliver all containers that same day.
—Mason H. George
A refrigerated truck broke down on a cross-country shipment for a priority customer. The part needed was on back order in the area and being a refrigerated shipment, time was limited. We were able to order the part somewhere else and fly out a driver to fix it.
VP, Traffic and Logistics
Alabama Motor Express (AMX)
a critical shipment of high-value, sensitive semiconductors needed to go from Austin to Malaysia in under 24 hours. We organized a hand-carry with our logistics provider, with couriers waiting on-site for pickup as the product finished final testing. The shipment was tagged and flown carry-on via passenger flight to meet the deadline.
Chief Customer Officer
Moving a warehouse facility from El Paso, Texas, to Chicago in 5 weeks. We maintained facility operations while simultaneously removing 450,000 pallet positions of racking, shipping to the new warehouse, and then re-assembling there, minimizing supply chain disruptions and meeting client goals.
VP of Sales
the UPS Foundation organized and shipped 100 pallets containing 5,000 ventilators to India amid pandemic shortages, alongside the Toronto Business Development Corporation and the Province of Ontario. The team worked around the clock managing shipping logistics at a time when air capacity was extremely limited.
Not one single shipment, but billions: I was the VP responsible for Prime hitting its promise to customers, which included billions of time-sensitive 1-day or even 1-hour deliveries. The secret was "logical logistics"—we leaned into automating decisions throughout the entire supply chain based on big data.
Former VP of Retail Systems and Services, Amazon
Co-founder and CEO
Recently the East Carolina University Football team needed their game clocks shipped from Missouri to North Carolina with a tight delivery window. We were able to use our regional LTL network to get the clocks to the stadium on very short notice in time for the clocks to be tested before kickoff.
Director, Sales & Expedited Services
Old Dominion Freight Line
During the height of the pandemic, our LTL partners had severe network backlog. Freight was being delayed due to high volumes and worker shortage.
In the middle of the pacific northwest, our client’s freight sat delayed at a partner’s dock.
TA Services worked with the LTL provider to rescue the freight from a small terminal. We brought in a straight truck and after hours of working with our partner, we were able to get the freight loaded. We were about 8 hours out and our automotive client’s line was going to go down in 12 hours.
When the driver turned on the truck, it went into flames. The driver quickly jumped out of the vehicle and the dock personnel at our partner carrier extinguished the fire. Everyone was safe and the freight was unharmed, but we now had just hours to find a rescue carrier on a Monday night in a non-populous area of the country.
TA Services Expedite team quickly sprang into action and found a recovery truck to get the hot freight. We were able to deliver within 30 minutes of the production site going down.
Director of Cross-Border Services
Moving over dimensional product is a challenge itself, but when you add in the consignee being an international airport, things get tougher. We would have to base unload times on when there was a break in arriving flights so the crane could go up to unload and hang the steel. This caused us to deal with many more challenges than normal.
When there is such a strict delivery window, you must constantly be thinking three steps ahead. If the truck breaks down, how quickly can you get a trailer interchange done, how much will it cost and are you stopping the crane? All in all, we had 40 trailers that the material would be transloaded on and when the crane could go up, we had local drivers onsite to ensure there were no time constraint issues while making deliveries.
Senior Account Manager, Mansfield, Texas
In April 2021, Pilot delivered critical medical supplies through its logistics facilities where "clean rooms" were established and used for medical engineers to inspect, clean, test, and validate supplies within 24 hours before they were repacked for delivery to hospitals.
Pilot Freight Services
With all of the recent trucking issues, we’ve anticipated hiccups—which came to light recently when a broker, with a scheduled load pickup, cancelled last-minute. Our rates were now more than doubling, but through connections we found an available trucker who was willing to meet us at our original rate.
Export Operations Coordinator
Recently, we had oversized lumber in a container which not all warehouses are able to unload. With only moments to return the empty container, we found a warehouse nearby that could help unload and deliver the cargo to the buyer’s door. Luckily, that warehouse was only a few miles away.
Transportation Logistics Manager
I started with NFW in February of this year and my first week, they were having huge challenges with a parcel carrier. It seemed all packages would go to Memphis and die, even an overnight to Denver that went to Memphis and sat for three days. My first week, we had a vital shipment of fabric that was needed for a backer on some samples of our Mirum (bio-based, sustainable leather alternative) that were going out to a vendor and would make or break the sale. The shipment made it to Indianapolis just fine, but instead of finishing the journey to central Illinois, it bounced up to Grand Rapids, Michigan instead!
Our business unit was lost on what to do, as they could get no information. I called the customer service number, and only found automated menus. I finally called back and chose "international shipping" and got a person that was kind enough to get me the number for Grand Rapids. I caught the manager just before he left for the day, and he was able to hand off the package to a representative that was going to meet me in South Bend, Indiana. They called from South Bend and I was still quite a ways away (they forgot the time difference). We ended up meeting in Gary, Indiana. I got the package, drove back to Peoria, Illinois, and handed it off to the production team that was on standby. Product was finished and in the air to the customer the same day. Sale was saved.
Brian C. Gaffney
Supply Chain Specialist
Natural Fiber Welding
From April to August 2020, my team at FreightPlus helped manufacturer Parkdale deliver 60 million+ medical gowns to U.S. healthcare workers. Through management and commercial negotiations for air and ocean freight, deconsolidation, and trucking, in five months, we facilitated shipping of 500+ ocean containers, 40+ air charters, and 600 truckloads to FEMA warehouses.
Arrive was called to provide support for the people in crisis from the recent storms that ravaged Louisiana. Our team executed 87 shipments throughout the month of September that were urgently needed. We provided meals, water, and supplies to support staff and people in crisis.
At the start of the pandemic, we helped with the logistics operations for PPE for the U.K.’s healthcare system, one of the largest global organizations. In three days, we implemented Rebus and connected to its WMS, aiding in the rapid, mass distribution of PPE across the country.
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