When searching for a 3PL to manage your distribution and fulfillment services—it can be a huge advantage if that provider can also handle all your drayage and intermodal needs. Having a strong partner that does both means you don’t need to worry about coordination between dray carriers and distribution centers and you can simply focus on running your business. We chatted with ITS Director of Supply Chain Solutions Kasia Wenker and VP of Intermodal and Drayage Paul Brashier about how ITS Logistics helps customers save time and money by offering both distribution and fulfillment and drayage services together.
Kasia Wenker, Director of Supply Chain Solutions
Paul Brashier, VP of Drayage and Intermodal
Q: What are the benefits of ITS handling the drayage for your distribution customers?
KW: “When we provide both distribution and drayage services together for a customer, it’s a one-stop-shop. Our customers don’t need to worry about coordinating appointments with carriers and distribution centers or any of the logistics in between. All scheduling and details are handled for the customer. We also have custom applications that provide live tracking updates on containers, so you’ll never be left wondering when your products will arrive. Additionally, we are able to minimize demurrage charges by operating a container pool into our Reno, NV and Indianapolis, IN facilities to save you time and money.”
Q: Can ITS Logistics get my containers from the port?
KW: “Absolutely. We offer container drayage services in every major port across the nation—a service that is particularly helpful for our fulfillment and distribution customers in the Reno and Indianapolis markets. We can get the container seamlessly from the port and deliver to the distribution centers without our customers having to coordinate between the DC and multiple carriers or freight forwarders.”
Q: What is the drayage transit time for your West Coast and East Coast locations?
PB: “We leverage our strong relationships in the ports and ramps and strategically pre-pull containers and stage them for delivery in our yards to ensure they are available for delivery at the appointed time. If there are enough containers on a vessel, we work with the terminals to place them in a free flow pile to avoid the need for appointments. In Reno, we offer same-day transit times for containers from Oakland and next-day service from LA/LB and in Indianapolis we offer same-day transit times from Chicago.”
Q: What kind of visibility do you provide for the containers?
PB: “Container visibility is one area where we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service. With our tracking software, we can track containers as soon as they hit the water overseas and make the transit to the US. Our drayage customers can expect immediate response upon DO receipt, container updates daily and upon request, and GPS tracking on every load. ITS is staffed 24/7/365 and our drayage customers are provided with a dedicated team and a single point of contact, so you’ll never be without an update when you need one and you’ll always know where your products are and their expected delivery times.”
Q: How does ITS manage accessorial fees?
PB: “We offer superior accessorial cost management through a variety of methods. When possible, we pull containers within 24 hours of availability at the terminal or ramp and if the terminals have appointment availability we prefer not to wait until LFD unless requested to do so. We also return all containers to the port or ramp as soon as possible. In addition, we can request free flow piles to pull containers when available. Our drayage solutions are efficient and cost-effective, and we are always looking for ways to save our customers time and money.”
Q: What ports/ramps do you use for Reno and Indy?
KW: “Reno is mainly serviced by the Port of Oakland, which generally has less congestion than the Port of Los Angeles. The Port of Oakland is less than four hours from the Reno area. A lot of the time, it can take anywhere from five to seven days to get a container out of the Port of LA or Long Beach and delivered in the LA area. Currently, at the Port of Oakland, we can pull containers on day 1, deliver them to Reno on day 2 and return them to the port on the third day. Additionally, the current extreme wait times at the Port of LA for vessels to be offloaded only adds to the operational congestion after the container is taken off the vessel. Currently, 99% of vessels go to the port of LA or LB first, but there’s been a growing trend of coming to the Port of Oakland directly. We have been able to take advantage of the smaller level of congestion in Oakland and help our customers get their containers faster.”
PB: “For our Indy location, we primarily pull from Chicago and Indianapolis but we also have clients that get service from Cincinnati, St. Louis, Columbus, Memphis and other regional ramps.”
Q: If we are in a pinch to get freight to Reno, can you grab the containers from Los Angeles, Seattle or other regional ports/ramps?
PB: “Of course. We service over 30 ports and rail ramps in the US with dedicated operations. That service footprint gives you the flexibility to route freight from almost anywhere in the US to Reno.”
Q: What does the team that manages your drayage look like?
KW: “Every customer we provide drayage services for is assigned a dedicated team that learns every aspect of your business and your unique needs. Someone is available 24/7/365 to answer any questions or give you tracking information whenever you need it. We also create a dedicated standard operating procedure (SOP) for every customer and ensure each team member is trained on it. We respond to requests for paperwork, updates and inquiries immediately to ensure you’ll never be without the answers you need.”
Q: What is the proximity of rail yards to your distribution and fulfillment centers?
PB: “Our Reno-Sparks facility is about 5 miles from the closest rail yard/ramp, around 6 hours from Oakland or Salt Lake City, about a day from LA and a day and a half from Seattle. For our Indy location, we’re 30 minutes from the closest rail yard/ramp, 5 hours from Chicago or Columbus, 6 hours from St. Louis, and a day from Memphis.”
Distribution + Drayage solutions at ITS Logistics
At ITS we are proud to offer comprehensive solutions that are tailored to our customers’ individual needs. We create out-of-the-box solutions that save you money and increase efficiency across the board. Our drayage division is currently ranked number 19 in North America and offers exceptional door-to-door intermodal solutions, cross dock/transload services and port and rail drayage services. Our distribution and fulfillment division offers strategic omnichannel distribution, supply chain management solutions and national distribution services with over 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space. No matter what combination of services you need—we have a solution for you. Give us a call to learn how we can help you today.