Paul Kazan, president of Target Interstate Systems Inc., at Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY, told The Produce News that one of the company’s primary focuses currently is the beta testing of its website: producelogistics.com.
“This website offers the ability to view a pushpin-type of icon that indicates where the viewer is searching,” said Mr. Kazan. “You can have a pushpin in every place where you have a load. Instead of having to look at a list, you can see the interaction of where the truck was previously, and know the precise time it will take to get to its destination.”
Target Interstate, he noted, developed the software. Mr. Kazan’s son, Evan, works with his father and helped to develop the programs.
But there are even more exciting new high-tech projects in the works at Target Interstate.
“We are now working with developers to create and develop a smart phone app that will trace and track units through smart phones,” Mr. Kazan explained. “It will enable us to pick and choose loads and to find loads. Our customers can also use the app to find out where their loads are located.”
He noted that within the overall realm of brokers it has always been about rating and reputation that separates logistics’ competitors. But today it’s also about technology and communications.
“It is a nearly seamless process today, which helps to save our customers time and energy, and that adds up to us providing better service,” said Mr. Kazan. “The amount of phone time is reduced because when a customer has a load they can simply go online and drop it into the program.”
Another focus point for Target Interstate today is the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Compliance Safety Accountability, commonly referred to as CSA. The program’s goal is to improve commercial truck and bus safety by reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities related to commercial motor vehicles.
“This program will continue going forward,” said Mr. Kazan. “The government rates carriers based on the traffic tickets, log violations and unit mechanical problems. There are several factors that are considered in determining a safety rating. Target Interstate has invested a lot of money to have the top tier of carriers on our system.”
New rules related to environmental and sustainable issues are also now affecting the trucking industry, such as fuel consumption and efficiency. Mr. Kazan said that regulations coming from the California Air Resources Board are directing their energies strongly at small and independent trucking companies in California. On Dec. 12, 2008, CARB approved the Truck and Bus regulation to significantly reduce particulate matter, or PM, and oxides of nitrogen emissions from existing diesel vehicles operating in California. This was part of a national program, established by the EPA in 2001, called the Clean Diesel Truck and Bus Program.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, California law also requires freight brokers, forwarders, shippers and receivers to only hire and dispatch Transport Refrigeration Unit-equipped trucks, trailers, shipping containers and railcars that are compliant with the in-use performance standards if the perishable load will travel on California highways or railways. The program is referred to as TRU.
“These regulations will only get tougher in the future and will filter to other states across the nation,” said Mr. Kazan. “And Target Interstate wants to focus only on those who are compliant. We have the capacity to do this, and to guarantee that we do it to our customers. We have one staff member in our office whose only job is to oversee compliance.”
Target Interstate continues to leverage its four-X rating—which it has maintained since the 1980s — in the Blue Book and other rating systems.
“We opened agent branch offices in Oregon and Florida two years ago, and this year we opened one in South Jersey,” said Mr. Kazan.
“And we continue to maintain our branch offices in California, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, which handles the Chilean imports,” he continued. “We plan to continue to grow and open offices, but we want them to be in the right place and with the right people. Because our offices are networked, we can be on top of movements at all points in between. It’s like weaving a fabric that covers areas that have not been fully covered in the past.”