Stanley Furniture Company Named Shipper of the Year by the Port of Virginia

Jan 7, 2013

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Stanley Furniture Company, a leading designer and manufacturer of quality, stylish wood furniture, announced today that its Stanley Furniture brand has received the Port of Virginia’s Shipper of the Year award, which recognizes a company that has gone above and beyond the course of normal business to help the port grow both commercially and operationally. The Port of Virginia selected Stanley for the honor because of the company’s effort to champion the port’s new rail service to Greensboro, N.C. among steamship lines and other shippers, which has played an integral role in the program’s success.  
 
“Stanley’s support of our new rail service has had such a profound effect on the Port of Virginia that there was really no debate regarding what company would be named our 2012 Shipper of the Year,” said Tom Capozzi, vice president of global sales for Virginia International Terminals, the operating company for the Virginia Port Authority.  “Our new rail line would never have the success that we’re experiencing today had Stanley not encouraged steamship operators to back the rail service. The brand’s work helped overcome some resistance to change within the shipping industry and allowed other shippers to better understand the benefits that accompany a new transportation method.”

Stanley became one of the first companies to use the Port of Virginia’s Greensboro rail line, which began running in October 2011, after realizing that the service could improve supply chain efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation of its furniture shipments from the port to the company’s Martinsville, Va. warehouse facility. Prior to the launch of the service, standard container trucks carried Stanley’s shipments the approximately 250 miles from the port, which is located in Norfolk, Va., to Martinsville; however, thanks to the new rail line, the company now depends less on truck transportation. Today, Stanley’s containers travel by train to Greensboro and only the final leg of the route – the roughly 50 miles from Greensboro to Martinsville – is completed via truck.
 
“Although Stanley believed the new rail program would improve its overall supply chain efficiencies, the company’s ability to utilize the rail line relied on the cooperation of its steamship partners, who had to make operational and pricing adjustments to accommodate the new service,” said Capozzi. “Stanley’s negotiations with the shipping lines set a precedent that made it easier for other shippers to use the rail service, and as a result, our 2012 figures for the program have exceeded expectations.”
 
In addition to helping the port establish the rail line as a viable transportation method, Stanley’s use of the Greensboro rail service has had a positive impact on the company’s fulfillment of product orders by enabling a more consistent flow of shipments to its Martinsville distribution center. The combination of benefits offered by the Port of Virginia’s proximity to Martinsville and the creation of the new rail line has reinforced that the Norfolk-based port is the best option for Stanley by ensuring that retail partners receive their orders as quickly as possible.
 
“At Stanley, we are constantly looking for innovative solutions that will allow us to minimize costs and enhance our supply chain. Consequently, we pushed for the use of the port’s Greensboro rail service because we thought it could make a major difference for our business and ultimately how we provide better service to our customers,” said Steve Wolfe, vice president of global supply chain and logistics for Stanley Furniture. “We are very pleased that our adoption of the new rail line helped Stanley stand out from the thousands of shippers that use the Port of Virginia each year, and it is an honor to know that the port’s staff views Stanley as a true partner and collaborator that is worthy of the 2012 Shipper of the Year title.”

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