One cornerstone of the St. James operation is transparency. The norm in the stevedoring industry is that operations are shrouded in a "black box" - customers are treated on a "need to know" basis regarding the handling of their cargo and scheduling of ships. Too often delays pile up with no real explanation. Customers are forced to take the information (what little there was) at face value. They are essentially hostages of their stevedores.
St. James is breaking this mold by operating with as much transparency as possible. We are committed to the idea that "We shouldn't be doing anything we wouldn't want our customer to see". To back this up, we have installed a network of live-streaming video cameras along the banks of the Mississippi River to provide our customers with a direct view of their ship discharging. Though our customers are located throughout the world, whenever they work with St. James it is as if they are standing on the levee of the Mighty Mississippi River watching their cargo being safely handled.
The process of transparancy really begins before the ship arrives with detailed ship planning. A detailed operational plan including a shift by shift budget of operations is created by our logistics and operations team and shared with the customer. The St. James Terminal Operating System produces ship schedules which allow us to project crane utilization and ship completion times into the future so our customers know what to expect.
St. James provides customers with twice daily reporting and updated projections for crane utilization throughout stevedoring operations. Changes are communicated by email to managers and supervisors directly involved in ship operations. St. James' twice daily customer reporting occurs by 7:00am and 3:30pm. The reports provide St. James customers with the most current information available including tonnage handled, barges loaded and estimated vessel completion. We want our customers to have reliable data at the begining and end of the business day so they can monitor their ship operations. Additionally, we are able to provide customers with customize reporting if a particular detail is required.
St. James understands that sometimes our customers just need answers that reporting and video cannot provide. To support that, St. James provides key contact information at the outset of each vessel. When our customers choose St. James, they receive contact information for the following SJS employees that are involved with the handling of their cargo:
- Manager on Duty
- Supervisor Handling Cargo
- Traffic Personnel On-Duty
This contact availability is 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. St. James also provides contact information for both our President and Vice-President who are owners of the company. It is our intent to provide our customers with direct access to the exact level of information they require without forcing them through layers of bureaucracy.
As a customer of St. James, if you need information, you get it.