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

While the economy has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, 2014 is different in that it could be the best year from an economic output perspective in the last several years. That outlook was offered up by Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Matching last week, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline dropped 2.3 cents, bringing the average price per gallon to $3.755 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A number of key topics impacting the freight transportation and logistics marketplace were front and center at a panel at the Council of Supply Chain Management Annual Conference in San Antonio last week.

The relationships between third-party logistics (3PL) service providers and shippers are seeing ongoing developments due in large part to the continuing emergence and sophistication of omni-channel retailing. That was one of the key findings of The 19th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was released by consultancy Capgemini Group, Penn State University, and Korn/Ferry International, a global talent advisory firm.

Optimism in the form of increasing profits was a key takeaway in the Annual Survey of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) CEOs, released earlier this week at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in San Antonio.

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