Sigonella’s Caruso awarded Transportation Management Civilian Supervisor/Leader of the Year

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Rita Caruso, transportation specialist at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Sigonella, Italy, has been awarded the Global Distribution Excellence: Transportation Management Civilian Supervisor/Leader of the Year award for her efforts in ensuring materiel moves expeditiously through the supply chain.

“Ms. Caruso continuously strives to standardize and streamline the distribution pipeline processes to enhance theater distribution effectiveness and efficiency,” said Fred Hildrich, DLA Distribution Sigonella acting commander.

As a supervisor for the distribution center’s Transportation Division, she was the driving force behind the successful shipment of more than 46,700 critical parts to customers across five Combatant Commands in 2014.

Caruso is a recognized expert in the shipment of hazardous materiel and is dedicated to the reduction of customer wait time, adds Hildrich. “Ms. Caruso’s all-encompassing knowledge of hazardous material transportation requirements has placed her at the focal point for all questions regarding these types of shipments across the United States European and Africa Command geographical areas of responsibility.” Her attention to detail has ensured nearly 3,000 HAZMAT shipments have been error-free with zero delays in obtaining country clearances.

Supporting Operation United Assistance, Caruso ensured DLA Distribution Sigonella received the proper clearances for weekly shipments to West Africa. “Her efforts were critical for the timely delivery of the cargo required to complete the mission,” said Hildrich.

With a focus on improving customer wait time and reducing costs, Caruso played a direct role in FedEx’s ability to streamline customs requirements by one day, reducing cargo transit time for Saturday shipments into Milan, and, ultimately, down to Sigonella deployed customers. Also, through daily cargo on hand reports to Commander Task Force 63 and routine shipping recommendations to reduce transit times of cargo for deployed units, she contributed to an avoidance of over $240,000 in transportation costs.