Monday, July 14, 2014

Horizon Lines: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

In 1956, Malcolm McLean launched the first containerized shipping service, revolutionizing the ocean cargo industry. His Sea-Land Service was acquired by CSX Corporation in 1986, and went public in 2005 under the name Horizon Lines. Horizon, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, accounts for a third of all U.S. container shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, which in accordance with the Jones Act must be made on U.S.-built, owned, and flagged vessels operated by predominantly U.S.-citizen crews. Horizon Lines owns 13 such container ships and approximately 31,000 cargo containers. The main About Us page is here.


Products/Services: A
The main About Us page, Our Mission, History, and Values, is extremely well done. After a summary of the company’s function, it moves on (under “History”) to describe its founder’s role in developing containerized shipping and the company’s expansion. As lovers of language (including puns), we can’t help but smile at the final section, on the company’s values: “Seven C’s.” Pictures of the founder and of several huge container ships liven up the page. Headings and short paragraphs break up the text, which is nicely written and to the point.

Personality: A plus
The Who We Are page has tabs for Customer Service, Sales, and Operations. Each tab focuses on a different employee, telling what the employee does, why he or she is passionate about his or her job, and how he or she interacts with the public. As we write this, the profiles are of the Service Delivery manager in San Juan, the Senior Account Manager for the Central Region, and the Export Cargo Services Supervisor in Oakland. We can barely imagine what such jobs involve, yet we were fascinated to read about the employees who hold them.

We have never seen employee profiles written this well—profiles that so effectively convey personality in a very job-oriented way. Our Commandment 3 of About Us pages is, “Reveal they personality.” Horizon Lines does that exceptionally well.

Accessibility: A
Horizon Lines has a Contact page with the standard online form, phone, and mailing address. But it also provides a long list of actual names for the people in charge of specific terminals, with their mailing address, telephone, and email. It makes us feel that all those diligent, enthusiastic people at Horizon Lines would indeed love to hear from us. Well done again!

Great corporate history, great images, great employee profiles and easy accessibility make for a great set of About Us pages.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). To talk about your About Us page, contact us!
Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.