The commercial transportation & logistics industry plays a strategic role in modern global supply chains. Shipping companies, logistics suppliers and other transportation businesses are all part of the process of keeping products and resources on the move. However, the recent economic recession forced most firms to cut costs considerably while identifying efficiencies in their operations. These efforts will allow transportation companies to recover and take advantage of growth and expansion opportunities.
Despite the current economic challenges, including constant shifts in fuel prices, Crowley Maritime Corporation has been able to remain competitive and provide valuable services to clients in a shrinking and quickly changing marketplace. Founded in 1892, Crowley is a marine solutions, energy and logistics services company with more than 5,300 employees worldwide. The company provides liner shipping services between the U.S., the Caribbean and Central America; logistics; marine solutions; ship assist and tanker escort; offshore tug and barge services; deep sea petroleum transportation; and petroleum transportation, distribution and sales in Alaska. It operates a fleet of 200 vessels, consisting of container ships, RO-RO (roll-on, roll-off) vessels, articulated tug-barges, tugs and barges.
Transportation and logistics companies in Puerto Rico need to adjust operations and heavily invest in new fleets in order to keep ahead of competition. That’s why, for the past 60 years, Crowley has been improving its capacity, equipment and sailing frequency to benefit its clients in the island. Today, its local office employs about 200 people and has a market share of about 46%.
Crowley’s executive team is focused on one mission: ‘to be a leader in our markets by providing world class services that ensure long-term company durability’. To accomplish this, they needed to streamline the company’s operations with a robust telecommunications and technology solution. This would allow the company to improve its agility, reduce costs and offer enhanced reliability to freight movements.
In order to improve its operational efficiencies, Crowley assessed its technology and telecommunications systems and identified key areas to improve, which included:
- Aligning the local system to the one used in US headquarters – IP CISCO equipment and licenses,
- Acquiring a switchboard with SIP lines capability and a backup solution for voice services – in case of power outages, and
- Contracting a vendor who would offer Crowley the attention and responsiveness that the company needed to optimize its productivity and business growth.
WorldNet’s experts analyzed Crowley’s telecommunication infrastructure to identify areas of opportunity. The team also held conference calls with the technical counterparts at US headquarters to better understand the specific requirements for the proposed solution and how to better match these with the IP CISCO system and licenses the company uses at the main office.
The solution quoted included 46 SIP lines, Ethernet connection and backup wireless for voice services with 400 DID’s. But as important as the solutions provided is the fact that Crowley now receives WorldNet’s exclusive VIP client service, which allows for the company to have a single point of contact and a faster service response for network requests — an added value to their purchase.
Crowley experienced major improvements in several areas. Financially, the company has been able to save an average of 65% on its monthly telecommunications costs. Operationally, the company has a more robust and agile communications system to address internal, external and headquarters calls with improved uptimes. Besides, the company was able to maintain its same numbers, so the change was transparent to users and clients. And businesswise, being able to rely on a solid telecommunications infrastructure lets the company focus on new businesses and projects in the island.
“Technology is essential for the operational success of our business, and will continue to transform the transportation and logistics industry. It is also closely related to our ability to grow and strengthen our competitiveness”, said Mr. José Ayala, Crowley Puerto Rico Vice President.
“By improving our telecommunications system and streamlining our operations in Puerto Rico, we can now focus on our core goal: growing our business and providing the best service possible to our clients. WorldNet has provided all the support we needed during this transformation process. Undoubtedly, WorldNet’s technology has helped us advance towards our goal of becoming the leader and most innovative logistics company in Puerto Rico”, finished Ayala.