Common Questions for Furniture Carriers
A1: We can pick-up daily when required. We may also drop empty trailers for loading by the shipper when volumes demand, with a switch-out of a full trailer for an empty trailer a phone call away.
A2: Deliveries are scheduled into markets to accommodate load-building volumes which are individually determined based on market density. (EX: New York/New Jersey may receive daily deliveries due to market density and population base whereas some areas of Texas receive deliveries weekly.)
A1: We pick-up furniture primarily in North Carolina and Southern Virginia. We also pick-up in ‘out-lying areas’, after our delivery trucks have finished deliveries in order to bring manufactured and imported furniture back into our distribution operations. We have a large warehousing operation in Lexington, NC and process import containers for redistribution. Finally, we have a pick-up operation in Southern California for furniture manufactured or imported there needing distribution to the east coast of the United States.
A2: Deliveries are made to a 23-state area encompassing the Eastern United States including all of New England, all eastern seaboard states, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas and Washington, DC. Please see our web site for our service map.
A: Some close-in markets may receive shipments within 1 – 3 days of pick-up. Most markets are delivered within 3 – 5 business days of pick-up at the shipper. Some farther-out and lower density markets may receive deliveries within a 7 – 10 business day schedule from pick-up.
A: Tracking shipments may be accomplished a number of ways. Go to our website, sdjtrucking.com and select the “Express Tracking” button. Then enter your ‘pro number’ or invoice number. Alternatively, you can enter specific information into the Express Tracking form and have one of our customer service representatives respond to you by phone or email regarding shipment status.
A: We measure claims ratio statistics internally. Claims may arise from damaged product, damaged cartons, shipment routing errors and other factors. We also measure claims ratios by shipper to provide us with an indication of which shippers we can help with packaging and other recommendations. Our claims ratio is in the .4% or 4 tenths of one percent range as measured by # claims versus all shipments as well as based on dollar amount of claims as a percentage of all shipping revenue.
A: When a claim is filed, we must go through the investigation process in order to determine the reason for the claim and the amount of responsibility we may have in the claim. Claims may arise from obvious physical damage noted at time of delivery or from concealed damage. If the customer does not inspect the shipment until well-past the delivery date, then it may be questionable how much responsibility we may have since the product may have been moved or damage in storage. We have no-fault claims agreements with a number of our shippers and in that case, the claim may be settled within a week or two with a replacement. In other cases, a negotiation is required where the shipper accepts some responsibility and the carrier accepts some responsibility. This can take some time. Because of our relationships with a large number of shippers, often we can determine the settlement of a claim within a 2 – 4 week period as long as the consignee cooperates. Also, and few people know this, but claims settlement is determined legally under a considerable amount of transportation law, some of which is over 100 years old.
A: Drivers are required to inspect and secure their loads. Upon employment, drivers are required to work in our warehouses to learn proper freight handling techniques. We issue straps/tie-downs to all drivers in order to secure freight on each load after a delivery has been made.
A: All prospective drivers are given a road test by a qualified driver-trainer. We are required to obtain the driving records for all prospective drivers, which includes citations they may have been issued, including any accidents they have had in the last 3 years, whether the driver caused the accident or not. This becomes a part of their record. Our insurance company prohibits hiring inexperienced drivers or drivers who might have a risky driving profile. Drivers are required to attend a driving school called the Smith Driving System. If a driver receives a citation, they are required to get remedial training and may be asked to take time off the job. They may be required to watch videos on how to be a safe and courteous driver as reinforcement. In certain egregious instances, the driver will be terminated.
A: Certain packaging standards are observed by most domestic furniture producers. They require cardboard of a certain strength and packaging with inner protectors to prevent crushing of corners of cartons and contents. Some domestic furniture companies even adhere to a very stringent “Rule 181” packaging standard that requires shake and drop-table testing. Import furniture packaging may or may not meet these standards. Furniture in cartons should have inner-pack protectors including corner guards and scratch-resistant coverings. Upholstery should at a minimum be in poly-wrapped tray packs with legs protected.
A: Our terms may require payment at time of delivery or may be on account if credit terms have been established. Standard terms are Net 30, requiring payment within 30 days of delivery or invoice date. A copy of the invoice is presented at time of delivery. Another copy is mailed if the customer does not have established credit, the driver may be asked to collect at time of delivery. Payment may be made by check or credit card. Payment may be made over our web site by credit card. The customer can call our Accounts Receivable department to arrange for payment by credit card, check by phone or check by fax.
A: Shelba D. Johnson Trucking, Inc. was established by Red and Shelba D. Johnson in the 1970’s and was incorporated in 1985 as an LTL furniture carrier of new furniture to the Northeastern United States, primarily New York and New Jersey. Since then, we have grown to cover 23 states and the District of Columbia, primarily on the east coast of the United States with additional service to Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. We also have a furniture pick-up operation in California.