Estes expands service into Canada
August 23, 2010
In an effort to increase network efficiency, full-service freight transportation services provider Estes Express said it has rolled out a new three-day service to Toronto from eight terminals in Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas.
Company officials said Estes has accelerated processing time, reduced freight handling, and utilized direct lanes for this service, which runs from terminals in Memphis, TN; Alexandria and Hammond, LA; Jackson, MS; Fort Smith, Texarkana and Little Rock, AR; and Houston, TX. They added that Estes recently reduced delivery times to Vancouver from the Pacific Northwest from two days to one and initiated a three-day service to Calgary and Edmonton, Canada, from six terminals in Texas and Oklahoma.
“Estes continually seeks ways to service its customers and help them meet their own business goals,” said Ed Alderman, Managing Director of International Development for Estes, in an interview. “Our customers in the Southwestern U.S. were actively asking for a more timely transportation option to Toronto. We moved into a much larger terminal in Memphis at the first of the year, which gives us greater flexibility to support our customers’ Canadian needs.”
And in terms of the added value-add this brings to shippers, he explained that with a larger terminal in Memphis, Estes was able to re-engineer its network so that virtually all the freight in the southwest going to Toronto goes through Memphis. In most cases, he said, this has eliminated all but one re-handling of the freight.
“With these changes, we are able to reduce transit times (in some cases by up to three days), reduce the number of touches and travel fewer miles,” said Alderman. “For example, freight going from Houston to Toronto went from five days to three, and from New Orleans to Toronto the transit time went from six days to three.”
Along with reducing transit days, Alderman said this new service provides the opportunity for shippers to reduce inventory carrying costs, help to enhance their own production schedules, improve customer service and potentially, increase their sales. And less handling also reduces the opportunity for claims as well, and fewer miles traveled means lower emissions and reduced fuel consumption, he said.
Estes also said that a primary method in which the company has achieved higher efficiency to Canada is by consolidating freight at inland regional gateways, which avoids congested border terminals and initiates document processing before a customer’s shipment arrives at the U.S.-Canada border. The company has we 14 strategically placed, company-owned Canada gateways throughout the Estes network.
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