Cross Docking Logistic Services Help Support Your Business

Logistics is an important part of the business and it is the concept of getting products from point A to point B in the quickest possible moment. Depending on where you are in the supply chain is how cross-docking can benefit you and your business.

 

What is Cross Docking

Cross-docking is a supply chain process in that it helps manufacturers and bulk suppliers get their product into the supply chain much faster. The product arrives at one side of the building and it is immediately unloaded and moved directly to the outbound side of the building ready to be loaded onto an outbound truck that is headed in the same location. This helps to consolidate loads and cuts down on expensive LTL shipping cost.

 

Benefits of Cross Docking

Gets the product to market faster – The use of cross-docking helps to improve efficiency in moving product to market faster. By turning around shipment quicker and less handling of the product also helps to speed up efficiency in shipping. The process can be used in both durable goods and those types of products that require refrigeration. It can be useful in the shipping of higher value items that normally need special security consideration.

 

Lowers over shipping cost – Cross docking cuts down on a number things like labor cost through, a smaller warehouse footprint so that you don’t need as much space. It also can help to consolidate several LTL shipments into a single shipment. You also eliminate having to rotate product and having inventory which saves money.

 

Improved service levels – Cross docking can be extremely useful when there is a call for a change in a shipment, this can make any changes downstream a lot easier since shipment arrives in bulk. The shipment is repacked in a container and shipped out to their final destinations. This process helps to speed up the entire supply chain, in turn, help all businesses across the board.

 

Downsides to Cross Docking

Cross-docking does not work especially well in all circumstances and it helps to know when those times are when trying to determine if it fits in with your logistical needs. Here are just a few examples of when it might not be a good fit for crossing docking shipments.  It requires a lot of management time to organize all of the movement of product and all of the planning that goes into can make it counterproductive under some circumstances.  Establishing a cross-docking terminal structure can be time-consuming and the capital expenditures need to be considered ahead of time.

 

Not all suppliers are able to support across dock setup and that could throw a monkey wrench into your operation having to have an alternative system in order to support the supplier’s needs.

In support of an efficient cross dock system, there has to be an adequate number of trucks to move the product in and out fast enough to support such a system.

 

It really works well with mainly high-volume products that break down well and can be repackaged for quicker shipments. In order for a cross-docking arrangement to work the supplier has to reliable enough to get their product to you in order to be able to turn it around fast enough.

 

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

 

 

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To ease trucker shortage, Trump team considers dropping age requirement to 18

To ease trucker shortage, Trump team considers dropping age requirement to 18

 

Tractor-trailer trucks move cargo in shipping containers out of the Port of Savannah in Georgia. (Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press)

 

The Trump administration is advancing a program to let some younger workers drive big trucks across state lines, signaling an openness to lowering the driving age more broadly amid a massive trucker shortage.

The federal government currently requires commercial truck drivers to be at least 21 to drive a large truck across state lines. But a Department of Transportation pilot program will soon allow some drivers as young as 18 to drive cross-country for private trucking companies. Specifically, the program would be available to some members of the National Guard and others with military experience

“Later this year, FMCSA will begin implementing a pilot program to allow 18- to 20-year-old drivers that have training and experience in certain military occupational specialties to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce,” said Duane DeBruyne, a spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the Transportation Department.

House Republicans introduced a bill in March to lower the commercial truck driving age to 18 for anyone driving interstate who passes the required tests. President Trump has not announced a stance on the bill, but his administration is using the pilot program and other research efforts to lay the groundwork for lowering the age.

The truck driver shortage is expected to hit 63,000 this year, according to the American Trucking Assns. Some companies are raising pay to attract more people to the industry, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for a job that often requires people to be away from home for weeks at a time.

The shortage is causing delayed deliveries and higher prices at stores as companies pass the higher costs along to consumers.

“America depends on you,” Trump told truckers at the White House last year. “No one knows America like truckers know America.”

Many large trucking companies are urging Trump and Congress to change the minimum driving age as one potential solution to the problem, although safety advocates say that it would be a mistake and that big companies just want cheap labor. Congress originally directed the Transportation Department to start a pilot program for people who are younger than 21 and have military experience in a 2015 act. The Trump administration is working to make it happen.

Eighteen-year-olds can get a commercial driver’s license in most states already, but they are limited to driving inside state lines. It’s a quirk that means a 19-year-old can drive a semi-trailer truck several hours from Alexandria, Va., to Roanoke, Va., but not a few minutes from Alexandria to Washington, D.C. (California does not issue commercial driver’s licenses to people younger than 21.)

“We already say 18-year-olds can drive anywhere inside a state. All this bill does is say after they’ve completed a rigorous safety program of 400 total hours driving with somebody else, then they can cross state lines,” said Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), a lead co-sponsor of the DRIVE-Safe Act, which now has 54 co-sponsors, including three Democrats.

Hollingsworth says he has been flooded with calls and visits from restaurant owners, retailers and manufacturers who have “horror stories” of not being able to get their products delivered right now. He thinks the change would help get more people interested in trucking.

Driving an 18-wheel truck is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States, which is why lowering the commercial driving age to crisscross the country remains controversial.

Motor vehicle drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than people over 20 to fatally crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At TDDS Technical Institute, an independent truck driving training school in Lake Milton, Ohio, opinion is mixed on whether lowering the age is a wise move. Some argue that 18- and 19-year-olds are allowed to drive trucks inside state lines, so what is the difference in crossing the border?

“I support lowering the age,” said Rick Rathburn Jr., the owner of TDDS. “We get a lot of calls from 18- and 19-year-olds that are interested in trucking.”

Rathburn pointed out that many truck driving jobs offer middle-class pay, but people graduating high school can’t access the jobs. Instead they go into construction or retail and forget trucking is an option when they turn 21.

Montell Myers is a 21-year-old who grew up playing with Hess trucks and came all the way from North Carolina to enroll in TDDS. He was working a $9-an-hour job at a go-kart track and wished he had been able to get into trucking sooner.

“At a minimum, I hope to make $65,000. I want to do flatbed trucking so I can get extra money,” Myers said. “I feel like I could have been here at 18.”

Others say teenagers aren’t ready for the responsibility that comes with driving an 18-wheeler that’s often carrying 80,000 pounds of cargo on highways and narrow city streets.

“I like the 21-year-old regulation,” said Gordon Zellers, a doctor who does the required physicals for TDDS students seeking their commercial driver’s license. “I always think: Do I want this 18-year-old driving near my grandchildren?”

The DRIVE-Safe Act tries to address safety concerns by mandating extra training before a driver under 21 can cross state lines alone.

Truck drivers typically attend a special school like TDDS for several weeks and then take a written and behind-the-wheel test to earn their commercial driver’s license. After that, they usually spend a few weeks with a veteran driver learning the job and equipment.

Under the bill, a young driver would not be able to drive alone across state lines before completing at least 240 hours of “apprentice” driving supervised by a veteran driver. The apprentice also can’t exceed 65 mph.

Original Source: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-trucker-age-requirement-20180629-story.html#

Original Date: Jun 29 2018

Original Author: Washington Post

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Food Industry Says Younger Drivers May Help Solve The Trucking Shortage

A big-rig truck in 2012 near Sturgis, South Dakota. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)

Being a truck driver is a tough job. Spending a long time away from home and earning low wages (the average pay for an interstate truck driver is $43,663 per year, according to PayScale.com) are major impediments to replenishing an aging workforce with younger, better-educated drivers. On top of that, the economy is better, so less grueling jobs are available, and the crackdown on immigration may have discouraged potential drivers without complete documentation from continuing to drive.

Exacerbating the situation, according to John Keeling, EVP and CEO of the National Potato Council, is “that fresh produce is often grown in somewhat isolated rural areas, and there is no inbound freight to bring to those areas so there is a lot of deadheading (trucks that ride empty). As a result, freight rates are high for potatoes (and other fresh crops), often exceeding the wholesale cost of the potato.”

To make matters worse, potato shippers and other produce shippers tend to depend on smaller independent truckers, but their ranks seem to be depleted.

Earlier this week, a coalition of 42 food trade groups sent a letter to Rep. Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican and the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to speed along passage of the DRIVE-Safe Act (H.R. 5358). It was introduced this past March by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and would allow drivers under age 21 to be able to drive trucks across state lines. The current laws allow drivers who turn 18 to get a commercial truck license but do not allow for interstate commerce.

As consumers demand more fresh produce and foods be available to them, the demand for trucks is increasing. In fact, in the letter to the Chairman, the trade groups said there is a need for 50,000 additional drivers today, and by 2026 the shortfall is estimated to top 174,000. This estimate assumes the current transportation system infrastructure, though, and doesn’t take into account new delivery technologies including self-driving trucks or drones.

Fresh produce is highly perishable, and every hour that this cargo is on a truck sees its shelf life, and possibly its market value, diminish. Without a robust trucking delivery system in place, farmers, distributors and retailers all feel a financial impact when the truck doesn’t get there on time.

In 2012, then-President Barack Obama signed into law MAP-21 — Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century — a bill designed to improve our transportation system and highways. Part of the bill, Sec. 32301, required trucks to use electronic logging devices (ELD) instead of paper logs to increase highway safety. The objective was to tighten the transparency surrounding just how many hours a truck driver could drive before taking a break. The regulation was due to be implemented by December 18, 2017, and expired June 18, 2018, requiring all drivers to use an ELD. Livestock and insect haulers have an extended exemption through Sept. 30, 2018. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Rep. Greg Gianforte, (R-Montana) have introduced the Agricultural Business Logging Device Exemption Act of 2018, with the intent to exempt agriculture from the mandate.

The current federal “hours-of-service” regulation stipulates a total of 14 hours, with a maximum continuous driving time of 11 hours — the difference equating to three hours of breaks within the 14-hour period, followed by 10 hours of off-duty time. This regulation has been in effect since 2011. The current bill does have an agriculture exemption, which is in effect during each state’s designating planting and harvest season and is limited by a 150-mile distance from the source of an agricultural commodity. That means that the time a trucker spends operating within 150 miles does not count against the 14-hour limit.

Across the supply chain everyone agrees that we need a safer, better-trained truck driver workforce to move our foods from the agricultural centers of the country (California grows over a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts) to supermarkets across the nation. Lowering the driving eligibility could certainly create more opportunities for 18- to 21-year-olds and be part of the solution — but there is much more to solving the current dilemma.

Original Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2018/06/21/the-trucking-shortage-has-many-causes-the-food-industry-says-younger-drivers-can-solve-the-problem/#66491c2dbf8c

Original Date: Jun 21 2018

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The Difference Between Parcel Shipping and LTL Shipping

On paper, parcel and less than truckload shipping may seem similar. However, there are plenty of differences between the two. Wondering what these differences are? You will find your answers in this post.

Size of the Package

Also known as LTL trucking, less than truckload shipping generally carries large packages. Hence, if you have a bulky package, LTL shipping is a better option for you out of the two. On the other hand, parcel shipping is preferred by many people for smaller and lightweight packages.

Damage Risk Factor

Another differentiating factor between the two options is the risk of damage. With LTL trucking, the risk is relatively lower since there are limited check-ins as they are bulky. Thus, fewer hands on the packages and ultimately fewer chances of damage. However, it depends on freight trucking specialists who are at the helm of shipping parcels.

Cost-Efficient

Parcel shipping is considered to be more a cost-efficient way to ship goods. The major reason why LTL trucking rates are higher is their bulky size. They end up consuming more space; thus, the more charges are applied by the freight trucking specialists. There is no such issue with parcel shipping; therefore, charges are generally lower.

Easy Tracking

With parcel shipping, there is an added benefit of easy tracking. This is due to the fact that there are different checkpoints through which packages in a parcel shipping method have to go through. Hence, it is easy to locate the parcel when it is in the shipping phase.

Risk of Losing a Parcel

The risk of losing the package is greater in case of parcel shipping. As parcels are less than 150 pounds, they can easily be misplaced or lost. On the other hand, no such issue is associated with LTL shipping. The parcels in LTL shipping, as stated above, are generally bulky. They need assistance to be carried, unlike parcel shipping. Therefore, the chances of losing a package are quite fewer with LTL shipping.

The Shape of the Parcel

If you have packages in a unique shape, it is recommended to go for LTL shipping. The reason behind this recommendation is that LTL carriers generally use forklifts instead of conveyor belts. On conveyor belts, oddly shaped packages are often at the risk of falling off the belt. Hence, they can sustain damages.

Technological Advancement

When it comes to technological advanced, parcel shipping has surged ahead of LTL shipping. It is more automated; the process of carrying goods is more streamlined.

Chances of Delay

Chances of delay are more in case of parcel shipping. This is because packages are initially loaded onto pallets. Then, they are distributed into small trunks. These trunks then reach a delivery van from where they are sent to the recipients.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

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Taking the Unknown Out of LTL Freight Shipping

LTL freight shipping or less-than-truckload shipping is a way of transportation used for carrying products from one place to another which do not fill the space of the container or tuck fully. LTL trucking is good for small and large businesses equally which do not require to load the truck fully. Through this system they can pool in money like a “carpool”, according to the number of products that they want transported without having to fill the truck space fully. It is cost effective and goods are moved efficiently by LTL carriers which optimized their load.

There are many companies who provide services as freight trucking specialists. These companies help you to find the right carrier for your goods transportation but also make sure that your goods have been reached safely to the destination.

Pricing of LTL Freight

The freight trucking specialists will make parcels packages of your products and will determine how much it will cost to transport the load from point A to point B according to the following five factors:

  • The total weight of your shipment
  • Total size of your shipment
  • The total distance the carrier is travelling
  • The type of service or type of speed of the delivery
  • Freight class; which is based on the goods transported or their shipment size

Benefits of LTL Shipment

LTL trucking has several benefits due to its efficient delivery and speedy service.

  1. Cost Effectiveness

In LTL trucking, you can save unnecessary expenditure as you will only pay for space your load is occupying. In this way you will not have to pay the extra amount which is required in FTL trucking.

  1. Beneficial For Small Business

Small businesses require the transportation services for moving fewer goods than large business and tend to spend less on the transportation charges. That is why they can avail services from freight trucking specialists to cut the cost of paying for spaces that they don’t require.

  1. Environmentally Friendly

The trucks produce fewer emissions as the trucks are fully loaded in LTL trucking. Fewer trucks are required on the move rather than a lot of half or partially filled FTL trucks. Thus, it results in a positive impact on the environment.

Services Provided by Freight Trucking Specialists

There are several stages in the process of transporting the load from one place to another. The freight trucking specialists not only meet a single logistic need but can also improve the transportation program of your company. They provide services for:

  • Booking your shipments
  • Finding the most suitable carrier for your load
  • Making sure that you get the best rates
  • Speedy delivery of your goods
  • Providing tracking and tracing services
  • Providing delivery flexibility to any location
  • Assisting in customs clearance in case of cross country deliver
  • Providing trained drivers for safe transport and delivery of your goods

LTL trucking gives you a much faster and cost-effective solution for the transportation needs of your company. We hope this article gives you an understanding to LTL freight trucking. For any further information feel free to contact us.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

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Transitioning service members consider trucking

Kenworth Hiring Heros WEB.jpg Photo: Kenworth
Transitioning service members, contemplating their next career move after leaving the U.S. military, get a look at a Kenworth T680 Advantage.

Transitioning service members consider trucking

Active-duty members from various military branches attended a recent Hiring Our Heroes summit to learn about trucking as a viable career choice.

Transitioning service members contemplating their next career move after leaving the U.S. military, got the chance to explore opportunities available in the trucking industry at a recent Hiring Our Heroes Transition Summit held at the U.S. Coast Guard Base in Seattle.

Active-duty soldiers, sailors and other members from various branches of the U.S. military met with representatives from trucking and other industries at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event. They also visited a Kenworth T680 Advantage – equipped with a 76-in. sleeper, PACCAR MX-13 455-hp engine and PACCAR 40K tandem rear axle – that was decaled with a Seattle Mariners theme.

Summit participants learned that America’s top rookie military veteran driver, who has made the transition from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces to driving for a commercial fleet, will receive a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 Advantage as the top award under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program.

Kenworth displayed the fully-loaded Kenworth T680 to encourage transitioning service members to explore trucking industry opportunities. One of the participants was Joshua Rice-Vallandingham, Petty Officer Third Class with the U.S. Coast Guard.

“I am getting out of the Coast Guard this summer and am planning on starting college in September to study mechanical engineering,” he said. “I really enjoyed seeing the Kenworth T680, and now am considering the trucking industry as a career path option.”

Photo: Kenworth

Kenworth design engineer and former U.S. Army member and combat veteran Brian Matters addresses transitioning service members at a recent Hiring Our Heroes Transition Summit at the Coast Guard Base in Seattle.

Brian Matters, a design engineer with Kenworth and a former U.S. Army service member and combat veteran, took part in the hiring summit as the company’s ambassador to transitioning service members. He addressed the summit participants on working in the transportation industry from a veteran’s perspective, and focused on the benefits and flexibility within the industry, noted Matters, who has worked at Kenworth for four years.

“This is the third year Kenworth has teamed up with FASTPORT and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program to provide a T680 to our nation’s top rookie military veteran driver,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director, who also addressed the summit. “The T680 not only makes a great way to recruit potential drivers, but also it becomes a badge of honor. Every year we see how much of an impact this truck has made not only on the veteran who receives it, but also on the many other veterans who have transitioned to civilian life. By offering this truck as the award to the best among all military-veterans-turned-rookie-drivers, we’re helping companies recognize and honor the service and sacrifices they have all made to safeguard our nation. That’s because in that simple act of nomination, companies can demonstrate our gratitude to veterans for what they have done for us.”

“It’s always fun to see the reactions from transitioning military service members as they discover the technology and creature comforts available with the Kenworth T680,” said Brad Bentley, president of FASTPORT. “The T680 is something that’s vastly different from what they may have operated during their tours of duty. By seeing the technological advancements present in the T680, coupled with the trucking industry’s critical need for professional truck drivers and the available opportunities for advancement, I think the trucking industry really starts to appeal to service members as a possible choice.”

For-hire carriers and private fleet trucking companies participating in the Trucking Track Mentoring Program are urged to review the criteria and then nominate qualified military veterans first employed as CDL drivers through June 30, 2018. Nominations are open until June 30. Full criteria and online nomination forms can be found on the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” website.

Written by: American Trucker staff
Original Date: Jun 12, 2018
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The Lowest Bid Might Not Always Be The Right Choice

Do you ever wonder why some freight trucking companies are profitable? It takes more than knowing how to choose a good route or having the best drivers who know a trick or two about making prompt deliveries. The trucking business is incredibly competitive, and aside from having the right equipment for your company, the smart way to run such a business is to use load boards because they are not only extremely competitive, but it’s also the one way to get quality customers.

Individuals that operate freight trucking companies also know the importance of keeping on top of their expenses in the way of maintenance, truck repairs, truck and trailer payments, fuel, and the cost of their work. Therefore, they must be able to bid low enough to be competitive, but high enough to be profitable and remain relevant in their line of work.

It can be challenging to compete for jobs against other lower-biding freight trucking companies and still keep estimates at a reasonable rate. Low bids can mean anything from shipping delays, safety violations, low-quality products, all which can affect the profitability and reputation of freight trucking companies. With costs like fuel increasing every other minute, expenses can get ahead of revenues, and FTL trucking companies must always look for innovative ways to improve their cash flow to prevent issues like running out of cash-flow or the inability to pull loads until clients start paying.

Choosing low bids may prevent competitors from stealing your customers for some time, and it may also be beneficial, especially for a novice contractor that needs to build their client base, but lower bids can also tell a client a lot about how you are likely to perform and deliver in the long-term. A client may see it as your way of short-changing them in the future should the need arise where you can deliver on your promises. The lowest bids could also mean that customers don’t get additional services when they need them such as on-going support or after-sale services.

The FTL trucking business runs on efficiency and customers need to know that freight trucking companies will always deliver their goods, regardless of the bid (high or low) even in the worst of time. Therefore, bids should be just right in order to prevent the costs of deadhead miles outweighing profits.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

 

 

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Blockchain continues to gain momentum in trucking

Blockchain technology is said to streamline payment transactions – and possibly eliminate the middleman – in trucking. We’ve also heard that early adopters of blockchain will have an advantage over companies who drag their feet. And most recently we heard, “Blockchain is coming. Get ready for it.”

Week after week, it seems like blockchain – a technology platform that allows for secured and immutable exchange of information – is gaining more and more momentum in the industry.

Brad Taylor, vice president of data and IOT solutions at Omnitracs, said the company became interested in joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) back when it formed in September 2017. Omnitracs recently joined the BiTA board, which is setting the governance standards for blockchain in transportation and logistics, after its customer P&S Transportation joined.

“We had been tracking blockchain internally but we wanted to see to a certain extent what was going to happen in the industry and how quick the uptake was going to be,” Taylor told Fleet Owner. “We were very pleased to see how quickly the interest expanded. I think P&S recognized the value of being added early on.”

Taylor added that he believes there will be a full, industry-wide adoption of blockchain in the next couple of years. “I’ve been surprised with the momentum and the interest from the industry,” he said.

Mauricio Paredes, vice president of business technology at P&S, explained the company joined BiTA early on due to the appeal of securely sharing data among all the parties in the supply chain and the efficiencies it will bring to P&S and its affiliates.

The specific example that got the company’s management behind BiTA was the idea of a digitalized bill of lading (BOL).

“Currently, we have many processes that are bound to that particular piece of paper (or an image of it) moving through the delivery process,” he noted. “Having a digital BOL, securely placed on the blockchain, will streamline every single process for any carrier.”

Using blockchain to navigate ELD and HOS data

Blockchain is expected to provide an instant audit for electronic logging devices (ELDs) and truck drivers’ hours of service (HOS). Paredes explained that since every transaction within the chain is immutable once committed, fleet executives would have an unchangeable version of drivers’ service hours.

This “could be complemented with additional data points,” he noted. “For example, we can write the fuel purchase time stamp to the same chain, their parking stops, etc. It’s an instant audit.”

Additionally, ELDs posting location times to the blockchain could help carriers instantly confirm with their customers of arrivals and departures.

Omnitracs’ Taylor pointed out, however, that one of the biggest hurdles the industry has to overcome when it comes to blockchain is how it validates and shares hours of service.

“The new ELD requirements have placed tremendous emphasis on maintaining the privacy of the driver while still having the ELD as an effective tool to enforce safety standards through what driving hours are being observed,” he stressed.

“I think that blockchain has a lot of potential for that because you want to be able to share maybe parts of the driving record – meaning the times that you’re on your way and driving on a commercial basis in the delivery process,” Taylor added. “But we don’t want to provide information about details that would break the visibility the driver needs to have for their personal conveyance, as an example. Blockchain has tremendous potential in that area, but we still have to have regulatory approvals to do things like that.”

Earlier this month, Konexial, provider of the My20 ELD, also joined BiTA. Konexial CEO Ken Evans said that the company’s GoLoad load-matching platform will be enabled for blockchain transactions in the third quarter of 2018.

“When you look at what we’re doing with dynamic load matching under the GoLoad product, we are bringing many people together under different operating environments,” Evans explained. “So people who are a good fit for each other but never had the opportunity to transact before are meeting for the first time. And that presents some challenges. One of the challenges is how do I trust the counter party?”

Photo: Konexial

Konexial, an ELD provider on FMCSA’s certified list, offers users a My20 app that provides “dynamic load matching” opportunities.

Evans said that as the company continues to develop its load-matching platform it has made sense for it to have a way in which its customers can pay each other in a trusted fashion.

Evans believes that blockchain can eventually replace the practice of “factoring,” wherein carriers sell their accounts receivable at a discount in order to maximize cash flow.

“Carriers having been losing money through factoring for years—blockchain has the ability to help carriers, especially the small owner-operators, run stronger, healthier businesses,” Evans added. “We see it as another way for Konexial to help solve the most obvious problems for truckers.”

Although Taylor said he expects there will be private blockchains and initiatives made by individual technology vendors, when it comes down to it, he thinks the standards being catalyzed by BiTA are likely to drive adoption because of the industry leaders already participating in this discussion.

“It’s understood upfront that we’re going to be sharing the standards and the information and defining data sources that will be facilitating this sharing,” Taylor said.

Original Source: http://www.fleetowner.com/technology/blockchain-continues-gain-momentum-trucking

Original Author: Cristina Commendatore

Orignal Date: May 25th 2018

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Shortage of truckers starting to cause prices to rise

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” says one trucking company CEO. Truck drivers are getting 15 percent pay raises.

Joyce Brenny, chief executive of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, gave her truck drivers a 15 percent raise this year, but she still can’t find enough workers for a job that now pays $80,000 a year.

A year ago, when customers would call Brenny, she could almost always get their goods loaded on a truck and moving within a day or two. Now she’s warning customers it could take two weeks to find an available truck and driver.

Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, one of the clearest signs yet of a strong economy that might be starting to overheat. Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon, for example, just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to customers in two days, and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Betty Crocker, said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of an “unprecedented” rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, and John Deere, a farm and construction equipment, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs.

The trucking industry shows an extraordinary labor shortage in one corner of the economy can spill out and affect the economy more broadly.

“I’ve never seen it like this, ever,” said Brenny, who has been in the trucking industry for 30 years. “It doesn’t matter what the load even pays. There are just not drivers.”

Trucking executives say their industry is experiencing a perfect storm: The economic upswing is creating heavy demand for trucks, but it’s hard to find drivers with unemployment so low. Young Americans are ignoring the job openings because they fear self-driving trucks will soon dominate the industry. Waymo, the driverless car company owned by Alphabet, just launched a self-driving truck pilot program in Atlanta, although trucking industry veterans argue it will be a long time before drivers go away entirely.

Brenny anticipates she will have to raise pay another 10 percent before the end of the year to ensure that other companies don’t steal her drivers.

“The drivers deserve the wages. They really do, but the raises are coming so fast that it’s hard to handle,” said Brenny, who is having to adjust contracts for drivers – and customers – rapidly.

The United States has had a truck driver shortage for years, but experts say it’s hitting a crisis level this year. There’s even more demand for truckers now as just about every sector of the economy is expanding and online sales continue to soar. On top of that, the federal government imposed a new rule in December that requires drivers to be on the road for no more than 11 hours at a time. Drivers are now tracked by an electronic device that monitors their time so they can’t cheat.

“It’s as bad as it’s ever been” to find drivers, said Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. “Companies are doing everything they can to make drivers happy: increasing pay and getting them home more often, but that means they aren’t driving as many miles.”

America had a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers at the end of last year, Costello found, up from a shortage of 36,000 in 2016. He says “without a doubt” it’s going to be even higher this year, even though many companies are giving double-digit raises. He gets asked about the driver scarcity daily as companies try to figure out how to handle the growing backlog. His best advice is for companies to invest in technology like what Uber and Lyft have to cut down on the time a driver or truck sits idle between runs.

As driver pay rises quickly and diesel fuel costs tick up, shipping companies are charging higher and higher rates to move goods. It now costs more than $1.85 a mile to ship a “dry good” that doesn’t require refrigeration or special accommodation, a nearly 40 percent increase from the price a year ago, according to data from DAT Solutions.

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Shipping costs hit an all-time high earlier this year and have remained near that level ever since, according to DAT Solutions and the Cass Freight Index Report.

Manufacturers are complaining that higher shipping costs are causing their profits to fall. It was a constant topic of discussion as American firms reported earnings in recent weeks. Walmart said this week that high transportation costs are its “primary head wind” right now.

Economists warn those costs are almost certainly going to end up resulting in higher prices for everyday items that many Americans purchase.

“Every single good ends up on a truck at some point. Businesses that use trucking to receive and ship goods are going to do their best to pass on the costs to the rest of us,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

Logistics and transportation accounts for about 10 cents of every dollar in the U.S. economy, says Donald Broughton of Broughton Capital and author of the Cass Freight Index publication.

“I don’t normally speak in hyperbole, but we’re entering some uncharted territory,” Broughton said. “If there is a 10 percent increase in transportation costs, that gives you a 1 percent increase in inflation for the broader economy. That’s real.”

It could mark a turning point for the U.S. economy. Inflation has stayed unusually low in the past decade, largely because costs have stayed low for food, clothes and other items Americans buy in store or online as companies got more efficient and worker wages barely increased. But rising shipping costs could change that dynamic in 2018, potentially forcing people to have to spend more and employers to hike pay as they try to compete for workers with the trucking industry.

There already aren’t enough trucks on the road to keep up with demand this spring. It could get even worse when the holiday season hits.

Trucking companies hope they can lure more drivers with higher pay, signing bonuses and shorter hours. The job doesn’t require a high school degree or being in great shape. Someone can obtain a truck license in a matter of weeks, although they must pass a drug test. But many say the biggest hindrance is that the job doesn’t have a lot of cachet in modern society, a perception that’s hard to change.

“You are away from home and family and friends on a regular basis, and the job is not highly respected,” Broughton said.

Original Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/shortage-of-truckers-starting-to-cause-prices-to-rise/

Original Date: May 21 2018

Written by: Heather Long

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Steps In Choosing The Right Freight Company

Your products need to get to their destination and unless you have your own trucks or shipping company, you’re most likely going to use a third-party freight company. With so many out there these days, finding the right one can be overwhelming and frustrating. You want to make sure that you choose the right freight transport company to handle your goods with care and get them to their destination on time. In order to help you with your search, here are some tips on how to choose the right freight company for the job:

Understanding the Freight Services, You Need

In order to find the right freight company, you’ll have to first understand what sort of freight services are needed in order to choose the one that best fits in with your needs. You’ll have to determine your transportation preference, if you’ll need and specific services and all the details of what you plan to ship before you contact a company. Put together a list of things you want like time frame, speed delivery, special packaging and more so that you’re clear on your needs.

Take Time to Research the Industry

By doing a bit of research on the freight services industry, you’ll be able to understand better what a freight transportation company will and won’t do for you. The research will help you understand various industry terms and regulations that will impact your choice of what company to go with.

Trust Your Gut to Go with Experience

When looking for freight services, you’ll want to go with a company that not only offers a great price, but also has years of experience in the industry. When a company has experience, they know how to handle packages and what it means to provide excellent customer service since they’ve been doing it for so long. If you can, get references to help you make your decision based on what others have said or experienced with that company.

Look for Great Customer Service

The right freight company is the one that will provide the best customers service. You want to make sure the company will communicate well with your about the service from the day they get your goods to the day they deliver them.

Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com  To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.

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