New Atlas Tariff System Improves Customer Service; Common Sense Approach Greatly Simplifies Tariffs

September 13, 1999

EVANSVILLE, (Ind.) - Special Products agents of Atlas Van Lines can now provide cost quotes faster using a new streamlined tariff. The new simplified tariff, developed by Atlas, replaces a combination of cumbersome, complicated tariffs similar to ones still in use throughout the industry. Atlas' new tariff, ATVL 500, is faster for agents to use and easier for customers to understand. Atlas is the first major carrier to develop an improved tariff.

"The breakthrough in tariff structure came from a common sense approach taken by Atlas," says Richard H. Gorbett, vice president, marketing of the Atlas Van Lines Specialized Transportation Group. "We are committed to continuous improvement and helping our agents serve customers better." Gorbett explained that when Atlas looked at the old complex tariff system the industry had been using for so many years it was obvious the system had outgrown its usefulness.

Atlas replaced a system of multiple tariffs with a single tariff application that is only 88 pages in length. The old tariffs consumed several volumes of information that agents needed to sift through to identify the appropriate tariff charges. The new ATVL 500 tariff application applies to:

  • Electronics - copy machines, as well as medical, computer and telephone equipment;
  • Exhibits - trade shows;
  • Fine Arts - paintings, sculptures, and museum tours;
  • Store Fixtures - high quality display cases, kiosks, pedestals, and stands.

The real work started after the decision to change the system was made. "We began a two-year program to thoroughly review and consolidate every aspect of the tariffs with the goal of making it as simple to use and understand as possible. By taking a fresh approach to the old system we found many efficiencies and opportunities to consolidate the tariffs," says Judy Phillips, manager rates/tariff administration.

Ensuring that Atlas Special Products agents around the country have the most up-to-date and effective tariff system available also meant reviewing accessorials. Accessorials are services provided in addition to transportation costs. "We developed a much simplified single application for accessorials including services like use of climate controlled vans, multiple stop charges, and long carries," says Phillips.

The new ATVL 500 is available to Atlas Special Products agents on a CD-ROM, further helping them provide fast, accurate tariff quotes to customers.

Headquartered in Evansville, IN, Atlas Van Lines is a major transporter of special products and household goods through some 600 agents across the U.S. and Canada, and more than 800 worldwide. The Atlas Specialized Transportation Group is one of the largest and most experienced transporters of sensitive electronics, tradeshow exhibits, fine arts, museum tours, store fixtures, and new furniture and crated machinery in truckload quantities.