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Anne Schaeddel: Transforming Logistics Through Customer-Centric Innovation

Global Logistics Expertise!

The logistics industry plays a crucial role in the global economy, facilitating the movement of goods and connecting countries and economies efficiently and effectively. This sector encompasses various activities, including transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and supply chain coordination. The industry’s focus is not only on moving goods but also on optimizing processes, reducing costs, and ensuring timely delivery, all while navigating regulatory environments and technological advancements.

In this industry, a seasoned professional, Anne Schaeddel, Owner and Managing Director of Project One Logistics, has carved out a niche for herself. With over two decades of experience spanning Germany, Brazil, and the United States, Anne’s passion for logistics has been a constant. Her expertise lies in ocean transportation and breakbulk logistics, areas she finds incredibly interesting due to their unique nature. Anne’s customer-centric approach sets her apart, with a firm belief in understanding and catering to the specific needs of each project.

Anne’s dedication and expertise culminated in the creation of Project One Logistics. The company, under her leadership, prioritizes long-term customer relationships over short-term profits. The company’s culture is built on mutual respect, valuing each other’s knowledge and experiences, and nurturing a conducive environment for growth. Project One Logistics demonstrated Anne’s vision of a customer-centric, respectful, and collaborative workplace in the logistics industry.

Let’s explore how Anne is pioneering the logistics industry with her expertise and dedication:

A Journey Through Global Logistics

Anne has been working in logistics for over 20 years. Her journey began in Germany, continued for several years in Brazil, and for the last decade, she has been based in the US. She has always been very passionate about logistics, especially ocean transportation, from a young age due to her desire to see the world.

Upon her arrival in the US, she was captivated by the business culture and the variety of customers she was able to work with. For Anne, her priority has always been the customer and the needs of their specific projects. She finds breakbulk logistics incredibly interesting, as no two projects are the same.

While some companies in the industry focus on short-term profits, Anne’s belief has always been that treating customers right and growing long-term relationships should be the focus. Quite simply, she wanted to do it better, so she started Project One. The word “ONE” stands for her belief in making customers her number ONE priority.

When Anne started Project One, she also wanted to build a great workplace where people could feel comfortable and have their thoughts, ideas, and input to the company heard. She strongly believes that this is how you grow a successful business and that the people inside the company are the most important assets. The company culture at Project One is built on mutual respect, and they value each other’s knowledge and experiences so they can grow together.

Navigating Global Logistics Challenges

Anne acknowledges that each country has its own regulations, laws, and cultures. She quickly learned when working with people around the world that each country presents its own challenges. However, with a good and reliable network, these challenges can be overcome together, making their customers’ transportation as smooth as possible.

Understanding and respecting regulations is crucial, as failure to do so can lead to extra charges and delayed cargo, something both Anne and her customers are keen to avoid. For instance, import duties from China can pose a costly challenge for their customers, so they always work with them beforehand to help them understand what charges may apply.

Currently, her team is facing challenges with both the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal, which can potentially cause heavy delays in ocean freight. This leads to them declining certain vessel sailings due to these issues, and instead, they need to identify new routes for their cargo.

They focus on being as open and upfront as possible with their customers about potential challenges and charges. While they can’t foresee every potential issue, they find that being honest about costs and timelines reduces their customers’ stress levels and allows them to properly plan.

Tailoring Solutions for Unique Projects

Anne understands that every project is different. Therefore, her team analyzes and converses with the customer to fully comprehend their scope of work before providing a solution. They are always reachable, and based on their knowledge and experience, they explain to their customers the best way to transport their cargo in a timely, cost-effective manner within their given scope.

Sometimes the transit time is more important, sometimes a specific route is more important, and sometimes costs are more important. They provide options, explain how these options differ, and empower their customers to make decisions that fit their needs based on good information. This is their focus.

While planning is important given the complex intertwined operations involved in a breakbulk, things will happen. Their customers know that if their vessel arrives on a holiday or weekend, Project One Logistics will still be there.

Strategic Planning in Cargo Transportation

Upon receiving a bid, her team read through it thoroughly. They ask questions to fill in any gaps and start by making an overall plan for how to transport the cargo. They check the job sites on both ends to see how feasible they are for a particular operation and then map out the entire route, especially with heavy loads, where permits and route surveys are required.

They always try to find solutions to different ports, which may be longer in mileage but overall more cost-effective considering the challenges for each port. For example, routes with more bridges take longer to receive the permits needed.

Due to their years of experience and portfolio of diverse projects, they understand the difficulties and challenges in each state in the US. This helps them explain better solutions to their customers, which might look to be the shortest route on Google Maps but might be the better solution for a particular operation. They like to provide their customers with options so they can clearly understand any trade-offs and why they think a particular route or solution is the best option.

Building Trust through Successful Project Delivery

Anne’s team considers collaboration with their customers and vendors to be necessary from day one. They always analyze every project they are working on with their customers, assessing its feasibility and determining the most cost-effective route. They explain their solutions and tailor-made concepts to their customers, listening to them about their scope and what is important to them.

They work with their vendors to map out the best options and understand how these could affect timing and pricing. They sit down with the customer and their vendors and have meetings with all parties involved before a project starts. They then have individual operations meetings with the port captains, terminals, barge companies, trucking companies, stevedores, and any others involved to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands the ongoing operations.

Once they have an actual operation running, they always share any updates with their customers and stay close to them and all parties involved. They provide their customers with all necessary route information and are always transparent and honest in giving out this information. Sometimes they run into unforeseen problems, such as flooding, strikes, major accidents on the route, or shore construction, which can increase charges.

In these cases, they must act fast to change the route to avoid delays or even larger cost increases. Because they stay on top of the issue at hand and find solutions on the spot instead of only pointing out the problems, they achieve success in delivering projects. This approach makes their customers feel good about working with Project One and trusting them with their projects.

Embracing Technology in Streamlining Operations

Her team spent a significant amount of time reading trade and general publications, learning about new technologies, and staying on top of new regulations as they were developed and applied. They are members of several organizations that monitor the regulatory landscape, participate in industry events, and discuss trends, technology, and regulations with their vendors and other partners.

They have implemented several technologies to streamline operations and ensure that their customers’ experience is as smooth as possible. Although technology has drastically changed the shipping industry, breakbulk operations are probably one of the least automated areas of the industry due to the lack of standardization inherent in them. However, they are always open to new solutions that can reduce costs or improve the customer experience.

They make sure to use the technology that best fits their needs to continue their success. When regulations change, they abide by them no matter what and adjust accordingly.

Cultural Empathy in International Business

Anne believes that extensive travel and exposure to new cultures nurture open-mindedness and empathy for other cultures and the different ways other countries operate. This approach helps her team understand and work better with their partners.

The Project One team itself is very diverse, consisting of people from many different countries, including the US, Germany, Korea, Chile, and Trinidad. They speak many different languages, which helps reduce the risk of things being lost in translation.

Their experience has taught them that it’s impossible to be experts everywhere, which is why they focus on identifying and working with excellent partners around the world who have the local knowledge to ensure smooth operations with no surprises for their customers.

Efficient Handling of Air Cargo Operations

She acknowledges the challenges her team faces when crossing state lines inland. As every state operates individually, they must run routes and apply for permits in each state. Before they start handling any cargo, they ensure their routes are accepted and their permits are filed. They measure the cargo again at the port to ensure there won’t be any surprises. If the dimensions and weights are correct, they can refile the permit and start transport as soon as possible.

When it comes to crossing the border to Mexico, they face challenges with delays in customs clearance. Some importers in Mexico are not quick with the clearance and leave their trucks waiting at the border, which causes delays and extra charges for the customer. To speed up the process, they stay in touch with the customs broker before they even load their trucks.

Air cargo is handled very quickly as well. To avoid storage charges at the airport, they only have 24 hours for clearance and to schedule the truck to get the cargo out.

With all operations, the most important thing is to prepare all the documents, have the routes ready, trucks scheduled, and any other vendors they need for the operations lined up. They usually start working on the entire operation once the cargo is loaded at the POL or AOL, so they do not cause delays and are always prepared for unexpected issues such as road construction.

Staying Competitive with Cutting-Edge Software

At Project One Logistics, artificial intelligence is utilized to check for possible new routes. However, these routes are reviewed, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) always has the final say. AI is also used for initial rate estimates, enabling them to quickly estimate what they may be for a specific route. The world is changing rapidly, and to stay competitive, they keep track of the newest software and calculators.

All their work at Project One is cloud-based, allowing them to have access anywhere in the world. Their systems were built with cybersecurity at the forefront to ensure the safety of their and their clients’ data. They communicate with their worldwide partners about possible solutions and have been able to identify solutions on the cutting edge of technology.

Maximizing Space Utilization in Freight Cargo

Her team strives to minimize fuel consumption with their vendors by finding the fastest, most feasible routes for their trucking. They also aim to avoid packaging freight cargo unless absolutely required. This approach allows them to utilize space more effectively and efficiently, thus reducing the number of trips required for a given load.

They are eagerly awaiting the growth of more sustainable transportation solutions, including electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as sustainable fuels in sea and air freight. These advancements will enable their customers to reduce their carbon footprints. As these solutions become more available, they look forward to working with their customers to help them better understand these potential options for their cargo.

Empowering Women in the Logistics Industry

Anne aspires to continue doing what she loves and grow Project One at a smart pace. She believes that they can achieve their long-term goals with slow, steady, but sustainable growth to ensure that the company remains profitable and that their team is still well-positioned in the industry.

Being one of the only woman-owned logistics companies out there is already shaping the future of the company. Anne hopes that this will inspire more women to break free from poor management and start their own businesses, as she firmly believes that women are the future of logistics.

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