Home » 3PL/4PL, Exclusives, Features, Ports/Terminals » Cargo bus service underpins Quick Reliable’s customized logistics solutions

Quick Reliable’s cargo bus service involves the loading of commercial cargoes in the bellies of passenger buses which are then driven onto roll-on/roll-off vessels.

Supply chain solutions provider Quick Reliable (formerly known as QRS or Quick Reliable Courier Services, Inc.)  is bringing something new to the logistics scene: a cargo bus service.

Quick Reliable is probably the first Philippine company to offer this innovation, company president Emerito Ilagan told PortCalls in an interview. It involves the loading of commercial cargoes in the bellies of passenger buses which are then driven onto roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels. Some buses are even used solely to transport cargoes, having been reconfigured without the passenger seats.

It is from this out-of-the-box, or rather out-of-the-container, thinking that the Quick Reliable tagline “Beyond Logistics” springs forth. The two-year-old company’s slogan underlines its specialty—customized logistics solutions.

The cargo bus service focuses on less-than-container load (LCL) shipments, owing to weight limitations on buses and ro-ro vehicles. Ilagan said the service helps small entrepreneurs and farmers whose shipments can’t fill containers. It is also cheaper, and since it utilizes ro-ro service, sailings are faster and more frequent than regular container vessels. Currently, the Manila to Mindanao cargo bus service is available from Monday to Saturday.

Shipping LCL cargoes with Quick Reliable’s cargo bus takes only three days from Manila to Davao, as compared with the usual 14 days using traditional sea freight system.

Quick Reliable president Emerito Ilagan

Ilagan underscored the economics of and income opportunity from using the bellies of passenger buses. He noted that since passengers have already paid for the ride, operational cost is less and revenue greater from maximizing the vehicle capacity. And since cargoes move all year round, bus operators have another source of income during slow periods when passengers are fewer.

Aside from the cargo bus, Quick Reliable operates its own fleet of cargo trucks that caters to heavier loads.

To complement the cargo bus service, the company is eyeing the introduction of a packaging system for cargoes loaded on buses to further maximize capacity. Ilagan pointed to the Filipino practice of bringing loads of packages when returning to the province, especially those going to the Visayas and Mindanao, as the driving idea behind the packaging system.

For loads unable to fit in the bus belly due to improper packaging, clients have access to Quick Reliable’s packing and repackaging area.

Shipments go through bar coding for proper monitoring. Soon, cargo information will also be available to clients online.

GPS and Wi-Fi technology for buses and trucks have recently been acquired to further boost shipment track-and-trace. The system is now on trial run.

All these, Ilagan stressed, are measures designed to harness technology and maximize capacities, and in the process bring down cost.

Ilagan said they envision the company becoming a premier solutions provider at par with global 4PL companies. He noted that QRS will eventually venture heavily into systems. It already has a home-grown IT system that clients can use and connect to.

This IT capability has been used to roll out a ticketing system at the new Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao, which Quick Reliable operates.

Quick Reliable was formed by individuals with many years of experience in the supply chain, manufacturing, and management industries. Thus, though still young, the company has the capability to handle different types of cargoes, Ilagan said.

Quick Reliable counts among its partners Jam Liner, Inc., Philtranco, PhilKargo, Archipelago Philippine Ferries, Columbian Motors Corporation, and Germalin.

The company offers courier service, freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, customs brokerage, handling of specialized shipments and dangerous cargoes, and other supply chain solutions. Ilagan said they serve various industries such as those dealing with in e-commerce, agriculture, medicine, food, fast-moving consumer goods, retail, and banking.

It has two warehouses—one each in Manila and Cebu. Three more are being eyed to be located in Mindanao, Northern Luzon, and Southern Luzon.

Aside from cargo buses and trucks, Quick Reliable has its own fleet of car carriers and motorcycles.

On top of its own equipment, Quick Reliable sources equipment from partners, consisting of 80 courier companies, 30 freight forwarders, three domestic shipping lines, and two airlines.

Embracing collaboration

What sets Quick Reliable apart from other traditional logistics service providers, Ilagan said, is its willingness to collaborate with other companies.

“When we started the business, we were thinking not to compete but to complement,” said Ilagan, who is also president of the Private Express Messengerial Association of the Philippines.

It is this policy of collaboration that helps Quick Reliable achieve flexibility with deliveries, and incur low or even zero cost in some of its operations.

While collaboration isn’t always easy, Ilagan said the company’s partners take the hassle out of the equation since they are established names in the business and have earned clients’ trust.

Moving forward, Ilagan wants to see Quick Reliable transform itself into a major contributor to the economy and generator of livelihood opportunities for Filipinos. This, he said, is the legacy he wants to leave behind. – Roumina Pablo

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