34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: 2017 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.

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For more than 30 years, Logistics Management’s (LM) 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 most productive evening of the year for carrier, port and 3PL executive networking.

This year’s Awards Dinner was no different: On Tues. September 26th at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis during this year’s CSCMP Annual Global Conference, our editorial staff presented the 2017 Quest for Quality Awards to the 127 deserving winners.

Following cocktails, dinner and the awards presentation, attendees were treated to comedian Louis Ramey.

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 sur-vey 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.

Alliance Shippers Inc.

What differentiates your company in the market?

Alliance Shippers Inc. is best known for its absolute commitment to customer service. Every customer receives dedicated resources and personnel—from the sales level to operations. Our quality assurance specialists and communications experts manage the very latest shipping and tracking technologies to ensure that customers have instantaneous access to the information they need. All of these factors drive Alliance Shippers Inc. to provide The Perfect Shipment® for every single customer.

What new opportunities will you be providing to shippers in 2018?

Our customers need to move their products to many different places—in many different ways. By tailoring services and customizing routes and shipping methods, Alliance Shippers Inc. ensures efficient and cost-effective transportation solutions. Our continual investment in the very best people, technology and services means customers can depend on us to handle all their shipping needs efficiently, safely and accurately.


This year our research group received more then 5,437 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.

Florida East Railway

What differentiates your company in the market?

FEC Railway is the largest regional railroad in North America, owning and operating 351 miles of track along the east coast of Florida.

Our exclusive access to Florida’s largest container ports, multiple daily train departures and interchanges with the national rail network allow us to seamlessly connect the world to Florida. Our extensive market reach allows us to deliver goods to 70% of the U.S. population within 4 days or less.

What new opportunities will you be providing to shippers in 2018?

We are on track to be the first U.S. railroad to convert our mainline locomotives to run on liquid natural gas (LNG). Using LNG improves overall supply chain sustainability. These efforts have led us to be proud members of the Smartway Transport Partnership of the EPA.

We are also exploring the use of autonomous vehicles in the transfer of shipping containers between our near-dock ICTF and Port Everglades.


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,
  • Logistics Information Systems.

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


What differentiates your company in the market?

Lynden began with a clear mission: put the customer first, deliver quality, and be the best at what you do. This year marks our fifth consecutive
No. 1 ranking and 21st overall Quest for Quality award as a Western Regional LTL Carrier, proving that our commitment to customers has never been stronger. We offer the largest network of service centers in Alaska and provide services throughout the United States, Canada, and the world via land, sea and air.

What new opportunities will you be providing to shippers in 2018?

Over land, on the water, in the air—or in any combination—Lynden has been helping customers solve transportation problems for over a century. We continue to offer innovative multi-modal solutions that allow customers to only pay for the speed they need. Lynden also continues to invest in technology that benefits customers, including the ability to receive email updates for important shipments as they move through the shipping process.  

“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.

TOTE Marine

What differentiates your company in the market?

TOTE Maritime brings a focus on reliability and service to their respective markets. TOTE Maritime operates the most environmentally friendly cargo fleet
in the US and is the first shipping company in the United States to utilize liquefied natural gas as fuel. TOTE Maritime Alaska will begin conversion of their ships to LNG this year and TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico is currently using the world’s first LNG powered containerships.

What new opportunities will you be providing to shippers in 2018?

In 2017, TOTE Maritime is partnering with ORBCOMM to provide telematics to their customers in both the Alaska and Puerto Rico trades. In doing so, TOTE can further improve key initiatives across safety, cold-chain, customer experience, and provide the tools to have the most efficient and safe supply chain in all markets.

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 attribute 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.


Ward Transport & Logistics Corp.

What Differentiates your company in the market?

Ward Transport & Logistics knows that our differentiator in the market is that our 1,400 Solutions Providers have embraced our cultural beliefs. One Ward: the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Customer First: everything we do is with the customer in mind first and foremost. Safety Rules: our employees put the safety of the public and their workplace first. Act Now: see an opportunity, react to it. I Matter: each employee understands their role and its importance to our success. Drive Change: empowerment of every employee to improve our processes.

What new opportunities will you be providing to shippers in 2018?

Ward Transport & Logistics is focused on improving our Ward Nation network utilizing improved technologies to enhance the customer experience providing industry innovations. Our Logistics Solutions Managers will be exposing the market to our multitude of service offerings inclusive of our new expanded Expedited Solution, Consolidation and Pool Solutions and an enhanced web site that will take the customer experience to the next level. Our outstanding Marketing Team has an exciting new plan that will provide
a unique user experience to the industry. 


2017 Quest for Quality Awards: 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 2017 Quest for Quality ballots. This year, more than 5,400 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 the 34th year.

Questionnaires for this year’s Quest for Quality Survey were sent out 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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