Customer Spotlight: CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack Design & Build

September 17, 2018 by Meyer Baron
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CT Darnell Construction and Sunbelt Rack are sister companies with a bit of a twist. Sunbelt Rack has been serving the LBM (lumber and building materials) industry for more than 30 years, providing more rack systems and pre-engineered steel buildings in more lumberyards in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean than any other supplier.

As Sunbelt Rack grew into a very successful niche business, customer need for steel buildings also grew, and sister company CT Darnell Construction was born to take care of the construction side. Today, CT Darnell has evolved into a general contracting firm whose services have expanded beyond the LBM industry to serve diverse sectors nationwide, including:

  • Office & Interior
  • Retail
  • Restaurant
  • Transportation
  • Warehouse & Industrial
  • Fixtures & Equipment

Ganahl Lumber Project in Torrance, CA

Watch the video below to see how Sunbelt Rack and CT Darnell worked together on the new Ganahl Lumber facility in Torrance, California. It’s clear that the customer’s needs come first for CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack.

How CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack Chose FreightCenter

FreightCenter entered the scene in 2011, when the freight broker CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack had been relying on went out of business. Not only did the broker’s demise leave them in the lurch, it also caused them to pay double for a shipment for which they had already paid the broker. Ouch!

CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack searched for a replacement by trying out a number of freight brokers that offered fair rates and seemed promising. While price was certainly a factor, the primary benefits that influenced their decision to have FreightCenter handle their freight were reliability and communication.

Reliability and Communication Are Key

“Unlike other freight brokers, FreightCenter calls us right away when we need help, even if we don’t know that we need help,” said Imee Brose, the Project Manager responsible for shipping freight at CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack. “If I use the online quote tool and my entries raise some red flags, our agent, Rich (Richard Shamblin), will call me right away. It’s great to have one person I can rely on. That is very unusual in the freight business and one of the best things about working with FreightCenter.”

CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack depends heavily on their freight shipments arriving on time. They send their crews all over the country to work on jobs for which they need materials shipped from the home office in Alpharetta, GA. If a shipment arrives a day late, the whole project gets pushed back a day. That means the next project this crew is scheduled to handle also is pushed back by a day.

There have been occasions when Rich has called to say that the freight was at the terminal but could not be shipped to the job site on the scheduled day. To keep the job on schedule, the crew picked up the material at the terminal instead of waiting for on-site delivery. Rich worked out the details with the freight terminal to enable the crew to pick up the shipment.

Sometimes there is a discrepancy with a carrier. In those rare cases, Rich serves as an intermediary for CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack and helps draw the matter to a fair conclusion for all.

The Volatility of Freight

On any given day, CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack has multiple shipments headed to different parts of the country. FreightCenter provides an indispensable service by staying on top of every shipment and keeping CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack apprised of any new or unexpected developments.

“Freight is so volatile,” added Brose. “Trucks break down. There are natural disasters. FreightCenter keeps us informed on the major items and even with smaller issues.”

Bark if You Love CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack

Any article on CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack would be incomplete without mentioning Dog Friday, when employees can bring their dogs to work. We understand that the dogs look forward to Dog Friday as much as the people do.

It’s that kind of innovative, outside the kennel thinking that has made CT Darnell/Sunbelt Rack a two-company success story that FreightCenter is proud to serve.

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