Customers are looking to their third-party providers for more creative ways to offset increases in transportation costs, says Jeff Lindner of Pacer Distribution Services. One way that Pacer is responding to this demand is through a transload service that moves freight out of ocean containers and into 53-foot intermodal containers that can then be moved via Pacer's stack train service to destination. "We are sometimes able to get the contents of three ocean containers onto two intermodal trailers, which creates significant economies," Lindner says.
Another way that Pacer can help companies reduce costs is through a vendor managed inventory program, Lindner says. VMI has proved very beneficial for companies that have shifted product production to offshore manufacturers, he notes. These marketing companies can require their suppliers to ship products into a VMI hub, managed by Pacer, and to retain ownership of those products until Pacer receives an order to ship them on to a customer, usually a retailer. "This has huge cash flow benefits for the marketing company, so we are seeing renewed interest in VMI from these types of companies," he says.
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