Global logistics: ODFL adds three Taiwanese ports to Pacific Promise service

Less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services provider Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) said this week it has expanded its Pacific Promise service in an effort to meet increased shipping demand from Asia.

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Less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services provider Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) said this week it has expanded its Pacific Promise service in an effort to meet increased shipping demand from Asia.

Rolled out in March 2009, the Pacific Promise is a less-than-container load (LCL) service between ODFL and various ocean carriers. This is a joint guaranteed LCL service from China to the U.S., which allows importers to move LCL quantities “with a much higher degree of velocity, predictability, and visibility” than has previously been available and is also backed by a money-back guarantee.

ODFL is adding three Taiwanese ports to the Pacific Promise service: Taichung, Keelung, and Kaohsiung. The service also is active in 10 China-based ports: Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen/Yantian, Xiamen, and Xingang.

“We are constantly looking at opportunities to expand our service offerings,” said Greg Plemmons, vice president of OD-Global, in an interview.  “This particular expansion into Taiwan was in the works for several months.  Demand was really the key driver. Our customers who have used our Pacific Promise service from our 10 pre-existing ports in China also import from other markets. We wanted to ensure that we met those increasing demands and synched with our customers’ networks.”

ODFL officials said that the company has seen a more than 30 percent increase per year in shipments from China and Taiwan. And over the next five years, they explained that industry analysts predict that shipments from China to the U.S. could increase by 28 percent while shipments from Taiwan are projected to increase by 16 percent.

The Pacific Promise service, said ODFL, is geared towards importers in various categories, including shippers of high-value products, time-sensitive goods and seasonal or promotional items. And they added that it also for companies that are shipping from a single origin to multiple destinations or those that are paying air freight rates because they cannot entrust their time sensitive shipments to a traditional LCL service.

“For shipments that cannot be trusted to standard ocean LCL service, Pacific Promise offers customers an LCL shipping solution that is up to 75 percent less expensive than air freight,” said Plemmons. “Customers also benefit from the service’s predictability, visibility and reliability.”

In a previous interview, Plemmons said that customer demand has driven this program from its inception and will drive further expansions in the future.

Plemmons commented that the Pacific Promise service has generated a lot of interest, and while bookings started off slowly in 2009, he said it has grown considerably, as customers who are tired of paying air freight rates have learned that they can accomplish almost the same service with better visibility and savings of up to 70 percent.

When asked about specific transit times for the Pacific Promise service, Plemmons explained that transit times vary depending upon the origin and destination. ODFL officials added that shippers can ten days or more from standard LCL transit times.

Other examples of LCL services in the marketplace include an Asia-Memphis LCL service rolled out by Averitt Express in July 2008 and OceanGuaranteed, collaboration between Con-way Freight and APL Logistics that was first introduced in August 2006.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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