When Tammy Banks isn’t implementing unique solutions to customers’ international shipping challenges, she’s staying up to speed with Incoterms, customs, and country regulations.
IL2000's General Manager of International Operations, Banks is always thinking one step ahead. She's the kind of person you can count on: knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable – and she's quick to give credit to her team, including her International Logistics Supervisor and Planners.
"The international team has over 60 years of experience between them. Each employee has their niche. Each one brings their unique talents," Banks said. "That is what makes us so valuable to our customers. If I don't have the answer, someone else on my team will."
"As the market fluctuates, as we've seen over the last two years, IL2000 is consistently challenging our carriers for competitive rates," Banks said. "Our customers are getting the best rate possible, and they're not stuck in a contract for a year. If the market drops, then they get those cost savings."
Customer service is IL2000's most notable market advantage. "We consistently tailor services to the needs of the customer and current market conditions," said Banks, adding that IL2000 is focused on continuous improvement, so "customers receive exactly the service they need.”
If you don’t yet know Banks or her team, that could sound like lip service – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Banks lights up when she talks about visiting her international customers, regularly interfacing via phone and email, and getting to the root of customers’ needs.
“Understanding their struggles and working with their teams to identify their challenges has allowed me to educate and bring value-add solutions to the forefront. This is the part of the job I love! Finding solutions and building those relationships keeps me going,” Banks said.
Banks recently onboarded a customer that can attest to this personable service and cost-saving benefits. IL2000 also beat the transit time, improved customer service and reporting of the company's former logistics provider, so it's definitely a win-win situation, Banks celebrated.
Growth & Grit
The International Operations department has been quickly expanding at IL2000 since Banks joined IL2000 in June 2021. Banks' commitment to advancing team knowledge and training is a huge part of this success. "It's not just stellar customer service contributing to IL2000's growth, it's determination and grit. We're talking about staying 100% compliant, holding endless carrier rate discussions, and processing shipments on time."
Banks elaborates: “We are held to very strict standards. If we do not get documents to carriers on time, they will not move the shipment. So all of my international planners have to keep track of when documents are due. If we are even an hour late, we cannot move the shipment.”
Suffice it to say: International shipping leaves little room for error. Due diligence is crucial. And it all boils down to understanding and adhering to Incoterms. As Banks phrased it in her very thorough article Incoterms: Clunky word, important concept (a must-read to wrap your head around Incoterms from their 1812 origins to today): “Got 99 problems but Incoterms ain’t one.”
"Incoterms drive everything.”
This industry know-how is essential in fast-tracking international shipping and taking the stress and risk of international shipping off the table.
It all comes down to choosing the right logistics management provider – and IL2000’s International Operations team has what it takes.
"A lot of people think that international shipping is scary, and they want to avoid it at all costs. It’s not. If you have a team behind you that has the knowledge and the value to help you, then you don’t have to worry about anything.”