LEXINGTON, S.C. (Aug. 31, 2009) – While many trucking companies are struggling amid reduction in services and widespread layoffs during one of the worst economic recessions for the industry in history, Southeastern Freight Lines has been expanding services and setting all-time company records for the performance measurements that matter most to customers.
The company has traditionally led the less-than-truckload (LTL) industry in service performance goals for on-time and claim-free deliveries, and these are just two of many service goals that Southeastern is continuing to improve upon even in today’s challenging environment.
So far this year, the company meets its scheduled delivery 99.2 percent of the time, exceeding the company record of 98.95 percent of last year. In addition, the company averages 455 shipments before a claim for damage is filed, exceeding the company’s record of 345 shipments per claim last year. The company is also setting records in driver safety, pickup and delivery (P&D) cost, dock efficiency and load average.
“The foundation of Southeastern’s success is trusted and reliable service, and this is achieved first and foremost through our commitment to our employees,” said Mike Heaton, a senior vice president for Southeastern. “We attribute this success to excellent employee morale, which is at an all-time high.”
Last fall, Southeastern executives developed a “Keep Our People Working Task Force” to determine how the company could continue its practice of never laying off an employee. Strategies include finding creative ways to give everyone enough hours as well as reducing expenses – all conducted with a commitment to not erode customer service.
Heaton said that the company is committed to avoiding layoffs and is perhaps the only company to avoid layoffs in the LTL trucking industry. Employees recognize and appreciate the company’s commitment, resulting in an even greater focus on operational excellence and customer service goals. “The company’s leadership founded the company almost 60 years ago on the core value of being committed to our employees, knowing that in turn, they will take care of our customers. That heritage continues to benefit our company and customers today,” he said.
While other companies are cutting expenses in ways that often degrades service to customers, Southeastern has continued to invest in the future, such as expanding service into Mexico and providing customers with “real-time” shipping status reports. Investments in dock management systems reduce labor costs and increase efficiency, making the company very competitive in pricing.
About Southeastern Freight Lines
Southeastern Freight Lines, a privately-owned regional less-than-truckload transportation services provider founded in 1950, specializes in next-day service in the Southeast and Southwest and operates 76 service centers in 12 states and Puerto Rico. Southeastern has a network of service partners to ensure transportation services in the remaining 38 states, Canada, the Virgin Islands and Mexico. Southeastern Freight Lines provides more than 99.35% on-time service in next day lanes. A dedication to service quality and a continuous quality improvement process that began in 1985 has been recognized by more than 300 quality awards received from customers and associations. For more information, please visit www.sefl.com.