How Seasonal Shipper
Dutchman Tree Farms found peace and joy during the holidays with ORBIT TI® and its real-time tracking feature.

CHALLENGE

For a tree farm, Christmastime is the apex of their business. There are a few short months when the window for harvesting, packaging, and shipping holiday greenery, including large Christmas trees, is pivotal to the years’ success or failure. For Andrew P., transportation and logistics manager at Dutchman Tree Farms, one of his biggest challenges is not knowing the location and status of every shipment during their busiest season.


“Customers want to know if their trees are going to be delivered on time,” said Andrew. “Receivers, who can be anyone from a big box chain to a smaller local nursery, are often busy juggling appointment times for multiple shipments of all kinds of freight. With seasonal and somewhat perishable goods like Christmas trees, being able to access up-to-the-minute information about delivery or pick up in real-time is crucial to our business.”


He continues, “Another issue we sometimes face is the occasional missing paperwork, causing delays. This can be a huge problem because if we don’t have the required documentation on delivery and the cargo’s condition, we can’t authorize payment. And if there is no payment, there are no more shipments. Also, if there are overages, shortages or damages, and we don’t get the relevant papers noting the OS&Ds, that creates a whole different set of problems.”

SOLUTION

Andrew was a logistics officer for the military for almost six years prior to joining Dutchman as their logistics manager in 2018. He was excited to start using CHOPTANK’s new ORBIT TI® customer portal before most other customers.


“I really like this portal, having seen some other company’s programs. This is the most comprehensive customer-facing platform I have come across. From the perspective of a seasonal shipper, I use the tracking and interactive map the most because my shipment’s location is of primary importance to me,” said Andrew.


He also commented that the ability to view pickup information prior to loading was something that he found particularly valuable. “The visibility really helps me be more proactive when tracking loads instead of reactive. We have a large volume of time-sensitive loads to ship in a short amount of time, many with early A.M. appointments. Instead of having to make check calls on each of these loads, having one place to see if they are on track is a huge time-saver.”
Missing paperwork is a common problem in the industry according to Andrew. It is a huge time-waster and can create discontent between all parties involved. But, he notes that with ORBIT TI®, documents are readily available to both view and download. “The document downloads are actually an enormous benefit to our sales team. We mostly rely on customers to send back our proof of deliveries (PODs) because they aren’t always sent by our carriers until we are invoiced,” said Andrew. “And our customers aren’t any more timely. Having one place to access this information helps us get our invoices out and paid on time.”

RESULTS

  • Alleviates Worry
  • Saves Time
  • Adds Convenience
  • Helps Pay on Time
  • Reduces Discrepancies and Disputes

ABOUT DUTCHMAN TREE FARMS
Dutchman Tree Farms is a family-owned business founded in 1972, located in Northwest Michigan. The company offers a variety of products, including nine types of Christmas trees ranging in size from three to fifty feet, five species of container-grown evergreens, ten species of field-dug fiber pot, balled, and burlap trees, as well as wreaths, roping, and holiday greenery.

For more information on ORBIT TI® visit: orbit-ti.com