Texas-based Pinnacle Logistics, formerly IAS Logistics, was established in 2008 as an asset-based trucking company. With a strong aviation heritage and direct airport access to international air freight, it can offer unusual specialised services such as direct aircraft-to-door delivery and handle high-value, high-risk shipments that need to pass through secure warehousing. Senior vice president sales and marketing Peter Weir talks to Airside about what makes Pinnacle special
Q: What sets Pinnacle apart from its competitors?
A: Pinnacle Logistics offers a range of services in the following areas:
• Daily scheduled Texas line-haul services
• Airport transfers (next-day service to airports including George Bush Intercontinental in Houston (IAH), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Austin Bergstrom and Laredo International)
• Local delivery, as well as cross-border operations from Texas into Mexico
• Bonded warehouse handling
• Flat-bed, heavy-haul and other specialised transport
• Intermodal operations, such as de-vanning, storage and drayage
• Warehouse management
• Third-party logistics (3PL) management
• Ground handling, at locations including DFW, IAH in Houston and Chicago Rockford
Most importantly, Pinnacle Logistics differentiates itself by being the only logistics company in the US that supports cargo airlines and freight forwarders with a seamless transition from the aircraft to the consignee, all in one transaction. Pinnacle Logistics is ‘Simplifying the Supply Chain’ for freight forwarders and airlines.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about investments you have made in recent months to build your business?
A: We have spent in excess of US$5 million over the last several months, investment in assets including 10 cargo loaders, four pushback tractors and numerous other pieces of GSE to support our operations. Pinnacle Logistics intends to continue adding to its fleet in 2017, with four more loaders being delivered in January and more support GSE for our future growth. We consider safety of flight paramount, so when purchasing we look to add anti-collision technology for enhanced safety measures.
Q: You recently acquired some TLD equipment?
A: Pinnacle Logistics has had a lot of industry support with its ground equipment for airline operations. We have purchased seven loaders from TLD that match the requirements of our operations, and we are looking to expand our relationship with TLD in 2017 by adding possibly another 10 loaders.
We have also received great support from JBT, from which we have bought several new maindeck loaders, new B1200 pushbacks and several JBT ground power units (GPUs).
FAST has been our vendor of choice for dollies, carts and stairs, and they’ve been excellent at meeting our needs and quantity at a moment’s notice.
Ground Support Specialist (GSS) has been our vendor of choice for its state-of-the-art belt loaders that are equipped with anti-collision technology. We currently own five of these units, with options for 10 more.
Q: How do you see road feeder services (RFS) and ground handling businesses changing in the US, and how do you expect to evolve to meet changing requirements?
A: RFS is still very much an important part of the logistic chain. Our strategic ‘on-airport’ locations allow us to retrieve our customers’ freight quickly. Traditionally, ground handling agents’ (GHAs’) focus has been on the breakdown to airlines’ contracted service level agreements (SLAs) and very little focus and attention has been placed on the most important element – the first and the last 10 feet of delivery. This is where Pinnacle Logistics culturally understands the importance of customer service throughout the entire supply chain: ‘time is money’.
Our current customer base is predominantly made up of the freight forwarder community, which is always looking at adding value and providing consistent service delivery. This allows us to interact for them right through to the consignee – thus condensing the handling process.
Q: What will be your strategy going forward?
A: Our continued strategy will be to be where our customers need us to be, and to remain nimble, flexible and attractive to customers that truly care about service quality and compliance.