Pacer International has been honored by the J.C. Penney Company as “Supply Chain Provider of the Year”—the retailer’s top corporate award for a third-party logistics supplier.

In presenting the award, Jim LaBounty, senior vice president and director of supply chain for JCPenney, said Pacer’s excellent logistics performance has helped to ensure the reliability of JCPenney’s supply-chain. “This is a strategic asset to us as we move forward in executing our long-range growth plans, which center on anticipating the needs and wants of our customers and being a leader in performance and execution,” he said.

JCPenney, based in Plano, Texas, had sales of $18.8 billion in 2005. The company operates more than 1,000 department stores, the nation’s largest general merchandise catalog business, and, a web site for apparel and home merchandise.

“Pacer supports the entire distribution process for JCPenney’s imported Asian products as they enter the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway and move into the North America marketplace,” said Jeffrey Brashares, Pacer’s vice chairman for Commercial Sales, based in Dublin, Ohio.

LaBounty said Pacer was recognized for its outstanding performance in six key categories: dependability as a strategic partner; flexibility in dealing with shifting conditions and priorities; a sense of urgency in responding to JCPenney requests; the breadth of Pacer’s support capabilities; Pacer’s effectiveness during the 2005 peak shipping season; and excellence of execution.

He also said Pacer has provided valuable support to JCPenney in planning responses to the challenge of infrastructure congestion and in helping improve distribution strategies.

Kent Prokop, president of Pacer Distribution Services, a Pacer unit based in the Los Angeles area, noted that the Pacer organization provides a wide range of services for JCPenney, drawing upon the capabilities of multiple Pacer business units. “These services include harbor drayage, container freight station and airfreight pickup, domestic vendor pick-up, consolidation, warehousing and cross-dock work, and transportation to many of JCPenney’s distribution centers using intermodal, highway and rail modes,” he said.

Prokop noted that Pacer’s relationship with JCPenney dates back about 30 years and has grown steadily over the years.