Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Quest for Quality 2014: Reaching new service heights

Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and U.S. ports have reached the summit of service excellence over the past year? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
By Logistics Management Staff
August 01, 2014

The editorial staff of Logistics Management (LM) is proud to unveil the results of the 31st Annual Quest for Quality Awards. This year, a record 155 providers of transportation and logistics services have received the ultimate vote of confidence, posting the highest scores across our lists of critical service criteria.

For three decades, LM’s Quest for Quality Survey has been regarded in the transportation and logistics industry as the most important measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence. To determine the best of the best, qualified LM readers rate carriers, third-party logistics (3PL) service providers, and now U.S. port operators strictly on the basis of service quality—making it the only survey of its kind in the market.

To determine who wins the vote, LM readers evaluate 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, and third party/contract logistics services. 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.

This year our research group received 7,451 total responses—1,272 more than last year. In order to be a “winner,” a company had to receive at least five percent 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.

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; and Logistics Information Systems.

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

Two 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.

Evaluating the “best of the best”
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 attributes’ 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 2014. In fact, the attribute was rated between 4.79 and 4.69 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 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 five percent of the total base for the category.


2014 Quest for Quality Winners Categories

NATIONAL LTL | REGIONAL LTL | TRUCKLOAD | RAIL/INTERMODAL | OCEAN CARRIERS | PORTS | 3PL | AIR CARRIERS and FREIGHT FORWARDERS


home page

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

UPS today announced diluted earnings per share of $1.32 for the third quarter 2014, a 13.8% improvement over the prior year period. Operating profit increased 8.3%, resulting from balanced growth across all three segments.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico increased 4.4 percent from August 2013 to August 2014 at $100.6 billion.

As expected, global trade dipped from August to September but still saw annual gains, according to data issued this week by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

Transportation and logistics merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the third quarter saw annual gains, which were driven by smaller deals in the trucking logistics, shipping, and passenger air sectors, according to data issued in the Intersections report by PwC this week.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it appears retailers are not quite done getting inventory set up and on the shelves in time for what is expected to be a fairly active shopping season. That much was evident based on recent data for September volumes issued by the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB).

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA