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Ocean shipping: ODFL makes expansions to Pacific Promise service

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 21, 2010

Less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services provider Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) said it has seven China-based ports to its Pacific Promise service.

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.

When the service was first introduced, ODFL executives commented that the Pacific Promise service will provide shippers with velocity and predictability when sourcing products in China and be able to remove money and time from their supply chain operations and transport freight more quickly to the U.S.

With yesterday’s announcement, the China-based ports added to the Pacific Promise service include: Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen, and Xingang. This brings the total number of ports served by the Pacific Promise service to ten, joining Shanghai, Shenzen/Yantian, and Hong Kong in moving goods into the U.S. at nearly any domestic destination, said ODFL.

Customer demand has driven this program from its inception and will drive further expansions in the future,” said Greg Plemmons, vice president of Old Dominion Global, an ODFL subsidiary, in an interview. “We had always planned to expand the program to include additional origins in China and throughout Asia.”

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, especially in the last couple of months 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.

ODFL collaborates with several ocean carriers for the Pacific Promise service and chooses whatever carriers make sense for its customers and for the transit times it has committed to, according to a company spokesman, whom added that no one ocean carrier offers the fastest transit times between every port pair so ODFL picks and chooses specific carriers depending on the need.

“Compared to traditional LCL transit times, Pacific Promise transit times are eight to 10 days faster on average, depending on origin and destination pairs,” said Plemmons.

An ODFL statement cited shippers of the following types of products as those most likely to benefit from this new service: high-value products; time-sensitive goods; seasonal or promotional goods; shippers to multiple destinations from a single origin; and products that cannot be trusted to “a traditional” LCL service.

ODFL added that rates for this service are quoted as a simple single rate per cubic meter, with rates up to 75 percent less than air freight.

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 headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Article Topics

News · ODFL · LCL · Pacific Promise · All topics

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