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Viewpoint: Quest for Quality—simply the best

By Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director
August 01, 2013

It’s my distinct honor to present the logistics and transportation community with the results of the 30th Annual Quest for Quality Survey. The publication in your hands marks the culmination of a six-month research project conducted by Peerless Research Group (PRG) that’s become known over three decades as the single most important measure of customer satisfaction and service performance excellence available in the logistics and transportation industry.

Over that time, Logistics Management (LM) has used its August issue to officially announce the results of the Quest for Quality Survey and celebrate the carriers, third-party logistics providers (3PL), and U.S. ports that have earned the ultimate vote of shipper confidence by receiving the highest scores across our service performance criteria.

But what makes the survey stand out in the market is the fact that the lists of winners you’re about to see have been determined by LM readers—the buyers of logistics and transportation services who put these carriers and service providers to work around the clock and around the globe.

In fact, the most important element of the Quest for Quality Survey is that it allows shippers to vote in the type of services that they use on a regular basis and rank those carriers and providers that they work with every day.

“The voting is by invite only,” says Judd Aschenbrand, PRG’s director of research. “In order to evaluate a provider, the voter must have experience with that specific provider at some point over the past 12 months. So, the Quest for Quality Survey goes beyond name recognition and popularity and is based on the merits and performance of the service provider.”

This year our research group received 6,179 total responses—1,470 more than last year. This terrific level of response resulted in 129 transportation and logistics service providers walking away with Quest for Quality gold this year.

We’ve made a couple subtle tweaks this year in an effort to better represent the levels of services offered by 3PLs. With the help of Evan Armstrong and the team at Armstrong & Associates, the leading 3PL market analyst firm, we split the 3PL questionnaire into two categories: transportation management and value-added warehousing and distribution operations.

“Customers evaluate and select 3PLs based on 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.”

Last year we re-established our Ports category, and we’re pleased to be delivering the Quest for Quality Survey scores of the top North American Ports once again this year—and for many years to come. The positive response from shippers and the ports themselves following last year’s results re-confirmed our belief that as these critical players continue to expand their portfolio of offerings they’re becoming an even more integral part of the global supply chain solution.

But now it’s time to recognize and celebrate the winners of the 2013 Quest for Quality Awards. The lists that begin on page 30 represent those carriers and service providers that LM readers believe have gone above and beyond over the past 12 months to earn Quest for Quality Gold.

About the Author

Michael Levans
Group Editorial Director

Michael Levans is Group Editorial Director of Peerless Media’s Supply Chain Group of publications and websites including Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management Review, Modern Materials Handling, and Material Handling Product News. He’s a 23-year publishing veteran who started out at the Pittsburgh Press as a business reporter and has spent the last 17 years in the business-to-business press. He’s been covering the logistics and supply chain markets for the past seven years. You can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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