Averitt adds origins for express LCL service
Averitt Express, originally a multi-shipment regional motor carrier that now provides international logistics service, said Tuesday it will expand its new less-than-containerload service to the Port of Yantian in Shenzhen, China, and Hong Kong on Dec. 1.
The freight transportation company, headquartered in Cookville, Tenn., launched its Asia-Memphis Express service in July serving shippers at the Chinese ports of Ningbo and Shanghai.
Averitt has provided LCL service from Asia for several years, but the new service for the first time blends the LCL service with Averitt’s less-than-truckload network. The company said the hybrid ocean-rail-truck offering can shave up to 10 days transit time for final customer deliveries.
LCL shipments can face delays on both sides of the ocean journey because freight intermediaries often have to wait until they have enough shipments from multiple customers to fill a container and then deconsolidate at the first U.S. port of entry for onward distribution.
Averitt’s response has been to take more direct control and streamline the process.
The company relies on a revenue-sharing partner, China International Freight, rather than a contractor to consolidate the container shipments and book through-transport to Memphis with the ocean carrier, according to Charlie McGee, vice president international development.
When the container hits the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach it is placed on a BNSF train. Averitt picks up the cargo at the Memphis rail ramp and takes it to its main terminal, where it is deconsolidated and immediately put into the line haul network for distribution to local service centers that handle final delivery.
Averitt’s LCL product differs from the OceanGuaranteed express LCL service offered by Con-way Freight and APL Logistics because the latter is designed to capture deferred air freight customers seeking a reliable cost-saving option. Averitt’s less expensive pricing is targeted at attracting existing ocean customers.
“We are going to level the playing field for the medium-to-small importer who relies on LCL shipping and is trying to compete with the mass retailers, wholesalers and mega manufacturing entities,” McGee said in a company news release.
The other difference is that Con-way must first pick up the box at the vessel operator’s container freight station, shuttle it to its local service center, deconsolidate and repack trailers for inland distribution. Averitt cuts out a step by using in-bond intermodal transport to Memphis and combining its container freight station at the same location as its LTL cross-dock so freight is directly injected into its network. The process defers customs clearance until the cargo reaches Memphis.
Con-way and APL, however guarantee on-time performance within certain tolerances while Averitt does not have a guarantee. OceanGuaranteed chops up to 25 days from normal shipping schedules to the U.S. East Coast with shipment windows of 14 to 20 days. OceanGuaranteed also puts shipments directly into its trucking network, avoiding slower rail service. Averitt says its import transit times average 25 to 27 days depending on the port of origin.
Averitt plans to expand its LCL product to Busan, South Korea, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in the first quarter and to Tokyo and Yokahama, Japan, in the second quarter of 2009, he said on the floor a major intermodal expo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ' Eric Kulisch