LM Viewpoint: 37th Annual Quest for Quality Awards highlight pristine service amid challenges

By Michael Levans, Group Editorial Director · August 12, 2020

For nearly 40 years, the Quest for Quality has been regarded as the single, most important measure of customer satisfaction and service performance excellence in the logistics and transportation industry.

In fact, our Quest for Quality Awards stand out among other awards in the industry because they are not a popularity contest, nor the result of the number of clicks on a ballot. Instead, this annual survey of LM readers is by invitation only, allowing those qualified shippers to vote in the type of services that they use on a regular basis and rank the carriers and providers that they work with every day.

For 2020, Peerless Research Group (PRG), our internal research division, received more than 4,500 total responses that yielded 144 winners—providers of freight transportation and logistics services that have posted the highest scores across our lists of critical service criteria.

When you consider that our Quest for Quality survey was conducted from January through May of 2020, I believe many of the winning carriers and service providers will put extra weight on the importance that the awards hold this year.

Keep in mind that winners have been measured and applauded by shippers for their high level of service through our survey process, and coming out with above average weighted scores during one of the most challenging operating environments in history is a remarkable achievement.

“When you consider the headlines in the truckload market over the course of the first half of this year, it’s nothing short of astounding,” says contributing editor John Schulz. “Tonnage was down double-digits, there were places where there was demand and no supply, and other spots where there was supply and no demand, but yet we found 37 carriers winning Quest for Quality gold this year in a category that faced some of the most adversity.”

Ocean carriers were another group that found themselves under substantial operational strain pre-pandemic due to slowing global economies, continued trade tensions and increased costs.

As executive editor Patrick Burnson reported last month, a recent global shipper satisfaction survey conducted by London-based Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council found that many shippers were finding the availability of space and equipment, reliability of bookings, and carrier financial stability all of growing concern.

“It’s very encouraging to see that 11 ocean carriers scored above the weighted average this year,” says Burnson. “While other modes have felt strains, no other group has felt them with such weight and on a global level. Seeing the high customer service scores this year should be encouraging to the both the carriers themselves and the shippers that they serve.”

The staff of Logistics Management would like to thank the more than 4,500 readers who took the time to respond this year. It is your time and insight that drive the Quest for Quality and keep it the purest snapshot of carrier and service provider quality available in the market.

August 12, 2020