April 6, 2010
Estes reduces LTL standard transit time by a day from Upper Midwest to 47,491 destinations.
RICHMOND, Va.—As part of its continual improvement process, premier freight transportation provider Estes has reduced standard transit times in its less-than-truckload (LTL) network by a full day from 15 terminals in the Upper Midwest to 47,491 destinations in the U.S.
Estes has re-engineered its freight routing network, including the conversion of its Des Moines, IA, terminal into a hub, to improve operational efficiencies and reduce transit times. This past fall the company reduced transit times from 26 terminals in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest regions to more than 28,000 destinations.
“Since fourth quarter 2009, we have reduced transit times by a day to more than 75,000 destinations in the U.S., and we aren’t finished yet,” said President and CEO Rob Estes. “Every Estes employee is committed to finding ways we can work smarter and more efficiently to provide the most exemplary customer service in the industry.”
Customers can utilize Estes’ online Transit Time Calculator under “Shipping Tools” at www.estes-express.com or call their local terminal to determine transit times for specific shipments. Estes provides service to more than 760 million one- and two-day destinations in its normal network from more than 200 terminals.
The Typical Life of a Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Shipment The three main players include the shipper, the LTL carrier and the consignee. First, the shipper fills out a Bill of Lading (BOL). Then, when the carrier’ pickup and delivery (P&D) driver arrives at the shipper’ to pick up the freight and take it to the local terminal, both the shipper and the driver sign that BOL. Technically, the BOL becomes a legal contract at this point, and any changes to it must be made in writing. Once the freight arrives at the carrier’ nearest terminal, referred to as the origin terminal (OT), the carrier company enters the information into its system. From that, a “short form” or “travel copy” is generated, which will travel with the freight along with the manifest that lists and describes the freight. The short form information can be entered into the system quickly to allow the freight to keep moving. Once the freight is back on the road, additional information is entered into the system and will be used to generate the final delivery receipt (DR). At the origin terminal, the freight is “cross-docked” to the right line-haul trailer. That trailer is then hauled to either the final destination terminal or to a “break-bulk” or “hub” terminal. (Think about it like an airline system. For example, to get to Los Angeles from Washington D.C., unless the plane is full of passengers going directly to L.A., it must stop at the hub in Dallas to pick up more passengers and drop some passengers off before going on to L.A.) Once the freight reaches the destination terminal, the long form freight bill that serves as a delivery receipt is printed. loaded onto a P&D truck and delivered to the consignee. At that point, the driver will have a copy of the freight bill for the consignee to sign.
Richmond, VA-based Estes is a full-service freight transportation provider offering a full range of shipping solutions including LTL, Time Critical, Volume & Truckload, Global and Custom Solutions. Founded in 1931 by W.W. Estes and still owned by the Estes family, the company has grown from a small, local carrier into one of the most respected total-solutions providers in the industry. More information about Estes and its shipping options is conveniently available on www.estes-express.com and www.worldofways.com.