February 6, 2020
If you have ordered product from Harbor, then chances are you’ve interacted with someone from our transportation department. Our transportation team is vital to ensuring product makes it out the doors from our warehouse to the shelves of our customers’ stores.
About The Team
Between LDC & RDC distribution centers, the transportation team is 95
members strong. There are several roles that contribute to the success of
the team. Delivery Drivers are the team members taking the product into
stores. They take care of customers and safely negotiate the daily hazards of driving a semi-truck in and around gas stations or strip mall parking lots.
The team also has Shuttle Drivers who travel the freeways getting the
loaded trailers to the Delivery Drivers who live in other areas of the states
we serve. Shuttle Drivers will also bring the empty trailers back to the
distribution centers. Driver Assistants are often team members who have
started in the Warehouse and want to start a driving career at Harbor.
Driver Assistants help on the longer, heavier routes assisting Delivery
Drivers unload. The transportation team also has a group of Administrative
Professionals who are behind the scenes every day making sure stops are
routed correctly, laying out how the trailer will be loaded, and communicating between departments and the transportation team. All of these individuals come together to ensure our customers are receiving on time and accurate orders.
Delivery Drivers start at seven different satellite hubs in addition to our two distribution centers: Mount Vernon, Everett, Pasco, Yakima, Vancouver, Medford, Bend and Redding.
How A Route Works
Harbor’s routes start at all hours of morning and night. On an average day, a Delivery Driver working nights start around 10pm, whereas a day route Driver starts around 3AM. Before starting the route, the Driver will ensure his driving logs are up to date and accurate, ensuring no customers are missed on the route. He checks his paperwork to see if there are any special instructions, what stops he has that day, and how the load looks. Before heading out on a route, a pre-trip inspection of the entire truck is conducted. This is one of the most important action items a Driver will do before setting out on the route. This inspection ensures the truck and trailer are in working condition. At Harbor, we take our responsibility as professional drivers very seriously.
The first stop for a Driver can be anywhere from ten minutes to three hours away. All routes are consistent, so our customers see the same friendly faces each week to develop relationships with their Delivery Driver. A Driver typically has anywhere from 12-15 stops on his route, and the entire load on the truck for these deliveries can weight up to 20,000 pounds! For most routes, everything is unloaded by one Driver, pushed into each store or restaurant one load at a time.
Our team has grown a lot over the years, and like everyone, they rely on technology more than ever for safety and order accuracy. Our team has gone from filling out paper driver logs and manually counting every piece delivered, to electronic logs on an in-cab computer and scanning orders for proof of delivery. As we continue to develop our use of these technologies, consolidating systems and simplifying data will lead to even more efficiencies and serving our customers even better in the future.