Although DCL’s clientele is broad, a majority of the companies we support are startups and smaller companies in the consumer electronics industry. We offer a turn-key solution for these companies who need help on all fronts—from inventory, to packing, shipping, and more.
Transportation tends to get the largest focus from our clients because outside the cost of the product, shipping costs are often the most expensive aspect of logistics. Our aim at DCL is to give our customers the best shipping experiencing, and we do that by pulling together a staff of experts, who are dedicated to excellent service and who will always strive to get the lowest cost.
With over 20 years of experience in transportation—from truck-load, small parcel, LTL, air freight, and more—DCL’s Transportation Manager, Jason Pronos, brings a comprehensive background of service to his work. We asked him about his role and how it fits into the larger scope of logistics.
My focus is how DCL and our customers move packages and freight. Transportation is an integral part of what DCL offers to our customers. These companies we support—they have a great product, they want to make it, market it, and get it sold, they need help doing everything from warehousing, to picking and packaging their orders, to transportation and shipment. And that’s why DCL is such a great company, we sell the services of a one-stop-shop, turn-key logistics provider—we can offer all of these things. And I’m a part of that.
What is LTL? And why should a small company work with a 3PL's LTL carrier, versus working with freight partners directly?
LTL stands for less-than-truckload; it is midrange freight, between small parcel (a box under 50 lbs) and truckload (upwards of 20 – 30 pallets of freight). LTL is freight that is anywhere from 150 lbs to ~5K lbs.
“LTL for most of our customers means they sell larger quantities of product and need to get the product into the hands of retail stores,” Jason states. Most companies start off by using the postal service or other small parcel companies for deliveries, but to grow they need to sell into more sales channels, like brick-and-mortar stores, which require expertise that Jason and his team have. “I know all the ins-and-outs of having to deliver something into a place like Best Buy, Target, or Walmart. I know the questions to ask—each one has specific requirements for equipment, number of orders per pallet, who’s bringing it in, etc—I know how to get that set up, and get the best service and the best price point so that our customers can succeed with these stores, and ultimately get the customer satisfaction that they need.”
What a small business gets when they work with a third party logistics company (3PL) is this attention to detail, minimized risk, and the best cost possible. Jason says, “It’s a unique challenge. Deliveries to most of these locations need to happen within a 1-day window on either side of a due date. Remember this is nationwide. So it’s helpful to know, for example, a carrier that is good for deliveries to the East Coast, or that FedEx likes to go into certain locations.”
Jason goes on to say, “If there’s a special order we need to fill, I know all the questions to ask to get the most accurate rate quote. Do they require a certificate of insurance for the carrier? Do they have a freight elevator? Everything has an additional charge, and if you don’t ask, you might end up with a charge that’s $2K more than your rate quote. We work to uphold the cost and service expectations for our customers.”
Looking at the past, present, and future of transportation and logistics, where does DCL stand as a modern 3PL?
The whole freight and inventory landscape has become more distributed in the last few decades—everything from warehouses and storage, to shipping and transportation, to the people who are doing all those jobs—it’s all much more distributed.
Jason says, “A few decades ago there were more distribution centers—all the big stores had up to 10 or 15 warehouses across the country. Then there was a big switch to just-in-time shipping, and that’s where LTL starting coming into play. Rather than a distribution center taking a full truckload of product, and holding it to sell out of their inventory, they are now taking only a few pallets direct into the store itself.”
One thing that has come up in the recent few years is Uber Freight or local moves by contract drivers. This model of on-demand delivery services for freight is a way companies are trying to minimize overhead costs. Rather than owning the equipment to make those deliveries, the work is farmed out to a contract employee to make those deliveries. It minimizes the overhead cost.
DCL is committed to growing and changing with the industry at large, and that shows up in how we deliver our customer’s products.
It’s the fact that DCL partners with platforms and companies like Amazon is the reason we can help our clients grow because they can get their products to customers in the way that customers are demanding. Jason says, “We actually work with Amazon, so that our customers are part of the Amazon product.” What DCL offers our customers is to grow as they grow. There are significant shifts along the way from being a tech startup to a multi billion dollar company, and we can be there for each step of the way. Jason goes on to describe, “There are a lot of recognizable household brand name products on DCL’s client list, many of them started with DCL and are still with DCL. And they have grown from small startups to big companies because we can support all of the different sales channels, from ecommerce to brick-and-mortar. We don’t just have such a small market share, we have a huge market share for what we do because we do it so well and we do it at such a great price.”
You’ve worked for many top logistics companies, what do you think makes DCL different?
“The diversity at DCL is amazing” says Jason. “I think we have people working here from every continent across the world. And among all the cross-cultural teams, what we all have is a common work ethic: everybody wants to do their best and to succeed. And to me that’s fun. Plus that diversity lends itself to benefit the diversity of clients we have at DCL.”
Jason goes on to explain, “What I see here is that we provide a service to our customers, and everyone wants to succeeds in everything we do, everyone from the front lines, people who are picking the product and putting it together, to the entire leadership team. The leadership here, doesn’t ever want to say no, they want to be a resource, they want to provide solutions to our customers. There are stories of the President and CEO working out in the warehouse, everybody here in leadership roles pitch in when they need to. If something needs to get done, that’s where we all go. The customer is number one.”
If you are looking for fulfillment and logistics support, or have questions about how to partner with DCL Logistics please contact us here.