As the global pandemic reached a fevered peak in the U.S. this spring, with cases of COVID-19 rising and the number of available hospital beds falling, Herman Moore, owner and CEO of Team 84, LLC and his dedicated team worked desperately to deliver vital gowns and other personal protection equipment to Michigan.
There was one big problem: The company’s huge shipment was delayed in China, and its delivery date to the client was in jeopardy.
“This was a life-and-death situation,” Moore recalled. “Personal protection equipment was a commodity that our state, our people, were in need of.”
Enter ICAT Logistics in Detroit, which had learned of the snag from a partner in Asia and relayed the troubling news to Moore. Chris Cser, ICAT’s Director of International, offered to help Moore with the logistical blocking and tackling needed to bring the goods across the goal line.
“Do it,” said Moore.
For the four-time Bowl player, this was familiar crunch time. During his years as a star receiver, Moore knew that whether a game was won or lost depended on decisiveness, skill, experience, and teamwork. Now, as an entrepreneur and business owner, Moore deployed those same attributes in working with ICAT Logistics to score a global trading victory on behalf of COVID-19 patients and the people who cared for them.
“It was a mid-stream adjustment,” said Moore, a wide receiver who holds multiple Detroit records. “You are running down the field and the defense is changing. You still have to run full speed and make the adjustment on the fly.”
At Cser’s direction, the ICAT Logistics team—already adept in delivering personal protection equipment every day from China to the U.S.—activated a network of contacts to locate, secure, and liberate the shipment of 16,000 cartons weighing a total of 475,000 pounds, all which was done between the hours of 10 p.m. on a Friday night to the wee hours of Saturday morning. By Sunday morning, more than one million PPEs were prepped and ready for export.
“We are like Special Forces. We get in, do our job, and get out before most people are even aware we were there.”
ICAT delivered results with speed and accuracy, while keeping Team 84 fully informed with 24/7 updates and availability.
“They were great to work with,” Moore said. “I didn’t have to call. I didn’t have to lose sleep. They took charge and took the risk out. That was music to my ears.”
He added: “Sometimes in business you look for the easy way. They provided an easy way.”
That’s because Cser and his team operate by a simple principle in making the hard work look easy for their customers.
“We tell our customers that job number one for us is to protect their interests,” Cser said.
Drawing upon their own experience, and with the PPE import requirements changing daily, the ICAT team reviewed each step in the process, including all the necessary paperwork and certifications affecting customs and each link in the supply chain. In doing so, the team found ways to significantly reduce costs and avoid expensive delays—much to Moore’s satisfaction.
ICAT’s holistic approach produced efficiencies that enabled Team 84 to give its clients a sizable price reduction, as well as more products, ultimately saving Team 84 over $400,000 in import duties. It was, Moore said, a win-win outcome.
Moore and Cser said the experience reinforced a value shared by Team 84 and ICAT: Businesses succeed when they do good for others.
In addition, Moore said ICAT’s commitment to sharing information and explaining the intricacies of global shipping provides a lasting benefit for Team 84.
“They armed us with enough that we are now stronger as a company,” Moore said. “Out of this, we’ve gained a good friendship and an outstanding partnership.”
“They were great to work with. I didn’t have to call. I didn’t have to lose sleep. They took charge and took the risk out. That was music to my ears.”