Catching the Spotlight
May 1, 2001 12:00 PM
The Internet has become a marketing tool that tank truck carriers are using to not only provide customer service, but to put company profiles before the public. As improved technology produces fast and efficient Web access, more shippers are turning to the Internet for information about carriers without having to contact the companies directly.
In today's environment of intense competition, added expense from fuel costs, insurance and driver recruitment and retention, marketing becomes even more important. That's where the Internet comes in. Although it is only one more tool, it is one that can be utilized to aid the bottom line by attracting customers.
As the following Web site reviews show, carriers are taking advantage of the Web to attract customers.
Groendyke Transport Inc, Enid, Oklahoma, has won the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) Safety Award this year for the sixth time. With such a record of focused operation, it's no surprise that the business also would focus on the Web as a marketing and customer service tool.
The page on safety is a prime example of the way Groendyke markets its services on the Internet. A company's safety record is key today for hazardous materials shippers. Visitors to the Groendyke site will note the safety awards the company has received from associations. Equally important, the site lists recognitions from shippers, and posts the percentages for equipment acceptance, on-time loadings, and on-time deliveries.
In addition, the page discusses the safety structure the company has, which includes company wide safety administrators and staff, safety and maintenance field checks of drivers and equipment, mandatory monthly safety meetings for all employees, full-time training director and coordinators, and in-house training with audio and video productions.
The company safety focus also is demonstrated on the pages dedicated to driver employment. Groendyke has a stringent qualification list, as well as an incentive package for retention. Benefits, such as vacation, holiday pay, savings plan, group insurance, and compensation and pay, make it clear the priority the company places on driver retention. Each subject is discussed in depth, which makes the opportunities and requirements clear for both prospective employees and shippers.
Groendyke provides extensive information about the technology the company uses daily to boost customer service. A computerized dispatch system gives dispatchers instant access to customers, drivers, product, previous load, and current status information. A Rand McNally MileMaker package is used to generate order routes on screen.
Electronic data interchange (EDI) supports the process and links the company to customers. A national communication network ties terminals together, and all are linked into the corporate logistics center.
H R Ewell Inc of East Earl, Pennsylvania, designed a site that offers information about its various transportation services, including a three-bay foodgrade wash rack. As a long-time edibles carrier, the company understands the quality required for tank cleaning. The site notes that the company has Kosher certification and is approved and certified by major bottlers and manufacturers of sweeteners, chocolate, and vegetable oil.
The company has an in-depth page dedicated to driver requirements. Minimum hiring requirements are listed and the hiring process is explained, including an orientation for prospective drivers. The information makes it clear what the company expects of its driver applicants. Similar appropriate information is posted for other employment — owner operators, mechanics, tank washers, dispatchers, and administrators.
Another section of the site discusses equipment maintenance and the operations of the five-bay shop facility. The section lists specific tools used for specific jobs and discusses periodic inspections and other maintenance procedures, including the preventive maintenance schedule.
One page contains buttons for information on each of six satellite terminals and the corporate headquarters. An extensive list of personnel and telephone numbers is also readily available.
Bork Transport Inc headlines safety on its home page as its number one priority. The Summit, Illinois, carrier lists a 1999 Grand Award from NTTC and its relationship with the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois as part of its safety credentials.
Additional information includes a list of equipment used for hazardous liquids, the company's commitment to regulation compliance, safety ratings, and driver qualifications and requirements.
As a marketing feature that demonstrates performance, Bork lists its four-year history of percentages for on-time pick-ups and deliveries.
Grammer Industries, a carrier in Grammer, Indiana, promotes a hazardous materials training program it provides to fire departments, response teams, and Department of Transportation (DOT) personnel. The program also is used by agricultural and industrial companies for training personnel. Posting the information on the web site is just one more way to market the companies' services.
Another page lists tank trailers the company has for sale.
Among other services the company provides are specialized transportation for anhydrous ammonia, liquefied petroleum gases, carbon dioxide, nitric acid, bulk liquid corrosive hazardous waste, liquid fertilizer, and dry fertilizer. Other divisions include services for emergency, rail car offloading, consulting and development, and installation and facility management.
Hazmat Environmental Group Inc of Buffalo, New York, profiles a segment of the company, Specialized Transport Repair Inc, that was established in 1997. The web site displays a photograph of the 10,000-square-foot shop and lists the services provided there, including certified welding, pump service, frame and structural repairs and modification, and wet-line installation and repairs.
On the transportation page is information about the company's hazardous waste transport and hazardous materials management services. A brief description of the fleet is offered, as is a discussion of maintenance standards, drivers, and customer support.
HazMat operates a training and consulting service and its content is discussed, including discount policies, regulatory compliance support service and auditing, and personnel training.
Full-service tank cleaning information is a feature of the Krajack Tank Lines Inc web site. A list is available of the amenities that are offered for drivers while their tank trailers are being cleaned, as is the 24-hour, Monday through Friday service schedules. In addition to tank cleaning, Krajack provides tractor and trailer repairs.
Krajack, a Keasbey, New Jersey, company, also supplies information about its specialized fleet of tank trailers, noting the availability of stainless steel trailers with up to five compartments, aluminum trailers up to seven compartments, and insulated and non-insulated vessels.
A J Weigand, Bolivar, Ohio, posts examples of its safety awards, including the NTTC Competitive Safety Merit Award and Safety Improvement Award, the latter for 11 consecutive years. Drivers also win awards for accident-free miles and compete for driver of the month.
As part of the safety emphasis, the site points out that driver logs are analyzed via computerized compliance software. A software program is also used to track on-time deliveries, service standards, billing, miles and revenue by mile. The information is used to analyze performance monthly in an effort to identify trends before they become problems.
TMW Systems Inc and Trimac Corp have agreed to roll out TMW PowerSuite dispatch enterprise operations systems at 34 additional terminals. The new facilities were acquired when Trimac purchased DSI, a Houston TX-based bulk carrier.
Chosen originally to replace as many as four different management information systems, TMW PowerSuite is in use at nearly 100 Trimac locations.
Operational productivity and efficiency gains have been achieved through installation and use of a single "best-in-class" core information system, said Al Kobie, director of operations development at Trimac. "PowerSuite facilitates increased equipment utilization and results in reduced empty mileage through optimization of traffic lanes. While our day-to-day operations are heavily supported by the software, we are also using the information it provides to analyze hauls, loads, and lanes, thereby supporting decisions that will further improve our efficiency."
Kobie says implementation of PowerSuite systems at DSI facilities is on track for completion soon. During initial rollout of PowerSuite at Trimac terminals, the fleet developed a streamlined process that includes taking old systems out, converting data, conducting computer-based training, and providing on-site support when each location goes live.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus