If you were to ask a group of transportation analysts where freight rates are heading, most would say higher. That’s not surprising, considering we’re riding one the “best global growth rates in seven years,” according to Logistics Management magazine. Many carriers, shippers and industry analysts associate increased costs with the driver shortage, ELD mandate and external factors that are out of one’s control. However, there are ways for shippers to control costs despite the dynamic market and rate volatility.
Digitizing core logistics operations is one of the most effective methods for driving overall cost savings and efficiency. A recent JOC.com article discussed one component of the digital transformation in logistics noting the transition from paper to electronic BOLs has a, “far-reaching impact” on controlling LTL costs, yet the LTL industry still handles about, “75 percent of shipments using paper.”
The key to digitizing core logistics operations, like adopting electronic BOLs, is effectively integrating your business systems with carriers and logistics service providers.
4 Ways Integration Drives Cost Savings
Advanced Integration Without IT Resources
When people hear “advanced integration,” many assume it also comes with high cost and extensive IT resources. Fortunately for shippers, TMS vendors, like GlobalTranz, are providing advanced integration and custom development resources so any size business, even without in-house IT resources, can integrate their systems and digitize their supply chain. And all at a price point that’s affordable for any company.
Learn more about how you can integrate your entire supply chain without a budget or IT Team. Call 866-275-1407 or connect with an expert.
The logistics and supply chain industry is complex. GlobalTranz is committed to helping businesses and logistics professionals stay knowledgeable and up-to-date on the market and logistics best practices. Every month, we’re sharing trends and news impacting the logistics and supply chain industry. Here are some of the top headlines from September.
The 4PL Era Begins
Many companies are seeking logistics service providers that can handle everything in their evolving supply chains. More businesses are seeking 4PL services to manage all their supply chain operations, break down silos and drive end-to-end visibility and transparency. Read More.
Shippers Overcoming Truck Capacity Challenges With Intermodal
It’s clear that pressure on shipping capacity and rates from the ELD mandate, ongoing driver shortage and a robust economy won’t be going away any time soon. To overcome those issues, some shippers are finding — or rediscovering — intermodal shipping service. Read More.
Going Up: What’s Driving Trucking Forward
At the recent FTR Transportation conference, economists shared their insights about the current economy, whether a recession is approaching, current freight markets, and what to expect in the coming months. Read More.
Capacity Increases, Spot Market Moderated For Now
We are experiencing one of the longest running economic expansions in the modern era, creating an incredibly dynamic freight environment. For months, capacity crunch and soaring rates have been unavoidable. Carriers have been investing in infrastructure and utilizing technology to increase capacity, as the bullish market has shown little sign of slowing. Read More.
Tariffs Spurring Volatility in US Economic Forecast
Amid the tariff battle between the United States and China, net exports are expected to be a drag on third-quarter economic growth. Read More.
U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Jumps to 18-Year High
Consumer confidence unexpectedly jumped in September, reaching one of the best levels in a half-century of data. A strong job market and tax cuts keep Americans optimistic about the state of the economy and their finances, even amid an escalating trade war with China. Read More.
3PLs Using New Tech to Build Dedicated Freight Lanes
As e-commerce delivery demands continue to increase and freight markets become more complex, logistics service providers are using technology to help businesses automate capacity sourcing and increase customers’ service levels. Read More.
Rapid Tech ‘Transformation’ Tests Shippers, Carriers
As more companies recognize their supply chains as a source of opportunity for growth rather than a cost center, technology is becoming the perfect enabler. But businesses are finding that their legacy systems are preventing them from scaling operations and meeting their growing customer fulfillment expectations. Read More.
NAFTA Replaced: Canada Agrees to Join U.S. and Mexico in New Trade Deal
On September 30th, The U.S., Canada and Mexico reached a new, modernized trade agreement, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA is said to give “workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region.” Read More.
Congress Takes Next Step Toward Drone Delivery
The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives released a Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill for the use of drone-based delivery for everything from medical supplies to consumer goods. Read More.
Learn how to drive efficiencies and cost savings into your evolving supply chain. Call 866-275-1407 or Contact Us.
The competition for freight brokers and independent freight agents is fierce. There is a constant pressure to add value for clients and show them consistent improvement of their freight operations and spend. At the same time, freight broker agents need to dedicate time to finding new clients and growing their business.
Technology is a perfect enabler to take a freight business to the next level. The right TMS platform will help a freight broker agent solve their clients’ logistics challenges, find new revenue sources, and increase their efficiency to free-up more time to grow their business.
Here’s a breakdown of a TMS’s top five benefits for independent freight agents and brokers:
TMS software can harness the power of big data, which helps you discover insights about your business. You can use this data to make faster and smarter decisions that solve complex logistics problems for your customers. These tools will help you win more business and grow faster.
From fees and tariffs to damage claims, freight agents must deal with scores of data points for each shipment. A TMS with advanced AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities will optimize carrier selection, rating, routing and help you choose the most efficient and cost-effective routes for your customers. You won’t waste time manually inputting data and updating shippers on shipment status as a TMS will automate manual processes. The result: you’ll reduce overhead and increase net profits. Additionally, by providing your customers a TMS like GlobalTranz’s GTZship™, you’ll empower them with full control and transparency into their shipments.
Some freight agents outsource the financial management functions of their business to a third party rather than risk mismanaging their financials. However, with the right TMS software, you can manage your own financial functions. The right software, such as GlobalTranz’s GTZcommand™, will help you invoice shippers, pay carriers and process insurance claims all yourself. You can accomplish it all through a single interface while producing informative, detailed reports to share with your customers.
When you provide consistent, excellent service, customer retention improves sharply. Customer churn is expensive, and a robust TMS will help you drive efficiency into your customers’ supply chains and overall cost savings. GlobalTranz’s TMS, for instance, helps you surpass your customers’ expectations with total control tower visibility. Your customers get real-time carrier capacity, rate information and tracking which results in the right carriers being paired with your customers’ loads every time.
Author Alan Lakein famously said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” And whether you’re a solo freight agent or run a business with other employees, you need to plan. The good news is a TMS can provide you with all the data you need to forecast, plan and grow your freight business. Harness the information that’s in the system to help you better manage your agency, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year.
Learn how a TMS can help your freight business grow and attract new customers. Get a demo of our industry-leading GTZcommand™ TMS for freight agents, brokers and 3PLs.
When weekend promotional giveaways at a Las Vegas casino were delayed due to customs issues, GlobalTranz expedited shipping picked up the load from the port and transported it to the casino in time for the big event.
Traditionally expedited shipping has been used to solve these kinds of challenges. When a shortage of materials or components could shut down the production line, or impact a big event, expedited delivery saves the day. However, shippers across all industries are also finding that customized expedited shipping services can help them meet the increasing delivery demands from consumer and business buyers.
Expedited trucking typically operates with three levels of vehicles: straight box trucks, vans, and hot shots or heavy-duty pickups towing trailers such as boxes and flatbeds. Expedited shipping carriers don’t face the same capacity challenges that leave truckload and LTL carriers to increase rates while scrambling to fulfill their commitments.
Here’s a look at why more shippers are looking at expedited shipping as an integral component of their supply chains.
Expedited delivery services typically involve dedicated Point A to Point B shipments of must-have products in less than truckload quantities, by truck or by air, with service guarantees. Because the vehicle is dedicated to the shipment, the rate is basically the same whether the load is one pallet or ten pallets.
Expedited shipping services make the most sense when the product is urgent or time-critical. Basically, any commodity can move in expedited service, from manufacturing raw materials and components to food and beverage products.
Rates are higher than standard LTL or truckload service, but in most cases, shipping cost is not the issue. Shutting down an assembly line to save a few thousand on shipping costs doesn’t make sense. Instead, transit time is the top factor for choosing expedited shipping, although shippers value customized handling as well.
The smaller trucks often used for expedited shipping operate under different hours of service regulations than full-size semis, so they can generally cover the same distance in less time.
With expedited truck service, the shipment moves directly from shipper to consignee in the same truck. Compare that with LTL operations that usually require cross-docking or unloading and reloading freight at a terminal.
With expedited shipping, there’s no en route handling, so there’s less chance of damage or loss. Of course, LTL and truckload shipping offers a high level of quality, but, expedited shipping provides a higher level of customized service.
Expedited shipping services can save the day with shipment diversion. That’s when a shipment is moving in truckload or LTL service, but it’s not moving fast enough. Perhaps an assembly line needs two days worth of parts to keep it operating until the full shipment arrives. An expedited carrier can divert all or a portion of the load and move it to the destination so the assembly line can stay open.
Currently, expedited trucking rates are more stable than truckload and LTL rates as carriers work through capacity challenges and productivity impacts from ELD implementation and the driver shortage. Typically expedited carriers are standing by to move your loads at rates that aren’t inflated by short-term fluctuations.
The GlobalTranz expedited shipping group also manages domestic and international air freight and domestic ocean freight. GlobalTranz is an indirect air carrier certified by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). As an IAC, GlobalTranz has developed a security program that meets TSA requirements. The company is also a member of the Air Forwarders Association to keep up to date on the federal regulations.
Shippers of high-value cargo, such as consumer electronics, often use air freight to reduce the possibility of damage and move products through their supply chains faster.
The expedited shipping group also manages domestic ocean freight, such as moving supplies for rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
In the aftermath of a storm, like the most recent Hurricane Florence, expedited shipping can be a lifesaver for your supply chain. Expedited shipping services are more agile and responsive when major roadways may be congested or closed. Large trucks must stick to approved truck routes. By using smaller vehicles, the expedited department can facilitate deliveries into natural disaster areas for relief supplies and just-in-time deliveries. We also have the option of combining air freight with ground shipping to reach disaster areas quickly.
Also, when natural disasters occur, prioritization of available trucks goes to transporting relief and emergency supplies over standard freight, which can impact capacity. Utilizing expedited services can help mitigate capacity challenges during those times.
Talk to Experienced Expedited Pros
Expedited shipping can play an integrated role in your supply chain with dedicated, customized service that’s faster than other options. Work with an experienced partner like the GlobalTranz team of expedited shipping experts that connect your freight with approved, high-quality carriers.
Get in touch with the GlobalTranz team of expedited shipping experts; we’re ready to help you move your freight faster.
It’s clear that pressure on shipping capacity and rates from the ELD mandate, the ongoing driver shortage and a robust economy won’t be going away any time soon. To overcome those issues, some shippers are finding — or rediscovering — intermodal shipping service. By moving trailers and containers via rail versus over-the-road trucking, shippers can bypass capacity issues and find lower costs.
The trend has been evident as intermodal traffic volumes have been strong over the past several months. Through the first 36 weeks of 2018, intermodal rail traffic is up 6 percent over the same time last year, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Converting traffic to intermodal shipping services makes sense for many shippers. Here’s a look at some important aspects of intermodal shipping you should consider.
Converting traffic to intermodal works best for shippers who are able to trade longer transit times for lower rates. It’s especially efficient when moving from a major market near an intermodal terminal to another major market with facilities, cutting down on drayage time and costs on either end of the shipment.
Suits more traffic
A few years ago, intermodal traffic was most efficient for moves of 700 miles or more. That was the upper limit of a one-day truck move, so it made sense to make longer hauls by rail. However, now with the ELD mandate, drivers may not be able to make the same moves in one day. What used to be a one-day truck move is now a two-day move. Now, if shifting to intermodal adds only one additional day, then the lower cost might be an attractive tradeoff. We’re finding that intermodal is attractive for shipments in the 500-600 mile range now, such as between major markets on the East Coast.
Railroads are investing billions in improving intermodal infrastructure and services. New and expanded terminals, improvement of overall network velocity and removing inefficiencies that delay transit times are top priorities for railroads to ensure they retain traffic they’ve recently gained from over-the-road trucks.
If shippers adapt their supply chains to the pace of intermodal, they may be able to shift some of their products to ship earlier in the year to avoid peak congestion and build longer transit times into their strategies. Converting at least a portion of traffic to intermodal can pay off in long-term savings as OTR rates rise.
Intermodal drayage is not immune to capacity issues. Drayage, the truck movement on either end of the rail shipment from the terminal to origin or destination, still relies on drivers who can have their choice of freight right now. If a shipment requires multiple stops, or a 200-mile drive to pick up or drop off, the driver may be less willing to sign on for the move.
Intermodal shipping works best when there’s some flexibility in transit time. If shippers can forecast freight needs a few days further out, they can build in time for intermodal service. With some additional planning, shippers can reduce costs with intermodal.
Ultimately, it’s up to the shipper to choose the best mode to serve their supply chain. Some freight is very time sensitive and should stay with an over-the-road option. If you’d like to explore intermodal possibilities, we can help you weigh the advantages of converting traffic to intermodal and provide you custom logistics solutions that meet your supply chain goals.
Learn how intermodal shipping can drive consistent capacity and cost savings into your supply chain. Call 866.275.1407 or Contact Us
Hurricane Florence Update – Thursday, September 13, 2018
Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but remains incredibly dangerous. Tropical-storm-force winds are hitting the NC/SC coastline right now and will increase to hurricane-force winds by tonight. Landfall is expected to reach the US mainland late tonight or Friday morning. Florence is expected to crawl along the coast of the Carolinas through Friday, producing catastrophic flooding and storm surge, before turning inland.
Our carrier partners and service providers continue their contingency preparations:
You should expect carrier operations to become increasingly challenged across the states of NC, SC, VA, and GA in the coming days. New shipments may not be picked up for some time, and en route shipments may be significantly delayed.
If you need any specific carrier information such as which of their terminals may be closed and/or embargoed, please utilize the links below. You can also reach out to LTLPricing@GlobalTranz.com for additional help.
More than 80 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of their goods and commodities. In this country, we all rely on truck drivers in some way or another. Whether it’s to enjoy basic modern conveniences, receive life-sustaining medical supplies, or keep businesses thriving, our lives depend on the transportation industry and more importantly, our nation’s truck drivers.
September 9-15, 2018 marks National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. This is an opportunity to recognize the 3.5 million trucking professionals across the country whose work is some of the most personally demanding and economically significant in the United States.
At GlobalTranz, we think it’s important to show truck drivers appreciation every day. We’re committed to making drivers’ lives more enjoyable on the road and helping them succeed every day of the year. Here are 5 ways shippers – and all of us in the logistics industry – can appreciate and respect truck drivers on a daily basis.
Minimize driver wait time
Much of a driver’s compensation is based on their ability to move loads quickly, safely and efficiently. With the ELD mandate strictly enforcing HOS rules, it’s important for shippers to run smooth dock operations and minimize the time drivers sit waiting for loading and unloading. Help drivers get in and out of facilities quickly and on the road.
Make your facility easy and safe to access
How easy is your facility to find? Does it come up on GPS? Is it easy to turn into without worrying about oncoming traffic or parked cars? If a driver wastes time finding your location, their job becomes unnecessarily difficult. Make sure your traffic patterns are safe and easy to maneuver and you have streamlined gate check-in procedures.
Be courteous and accommodating
Ensure that you and your facility’s employees are treating drivers with respect. Provide ample parking at your loading docks and comfortable break areas and restrooms at your facilities. Offer drivers a place to rest, complete paperwork, make phone calls and get a snack or coffee while their truck is being loaded. Consider them an extension of your team. Their job is critical to getting your products to market.
Pay freight bills quickly
With 350,000 owner operators, many truck drivers are also operating their own small business, and quick payment can be the essence to their success. It’s important to pay owner-operators and carriers quickly and accurately. Freightwaves.com suggests the best way to accomplish this is using a TMS that integrates clean data between carriers and shippers.
The truck driving profession is personally demanding. Working fourteen hours a day, and spending prolonged time away from family are sacrifices truck drivers make to help keep the economy moving. There are several non-profit organizations, like Trucker Charity and Meals for 18 Wheels, devoted to mentoring, coaching and providing meals and assistance for drivers and their families. Consider getting involved with and learning more about these organizations and other causes supporting truck drivers.
From all of us at GlobalTranz, we say, “thank you” to the men and women who keep America moving. #ThankATruckDriver every day.
The logistics and supply chain industry is complex. GlobalTranz is committed to helping businesses and logistics professionals stay knowledgeable and up-to-date on the market and logistics best practices. Every month, we’re sharing trends and news impacting the logistics and supply chain industry. Here are some of the top headlines from August.
More US Shippers ‘Shifting’ Truck Modes
As demand for faster fulfillment and replenishment cycles increases, LTL carriers are taking on more “middle mile” freight movements ending at customer facing distribution points once handled in truckloads. Read More
5 Ways to Mitigate High Freight Rates
Consistent economic growth in industries dependent on logistics has increased freight demand, creating more loads than available trucks. Spot market rates are up 25 to 35 percent over 2017, and analysts expect tight capacity and higher costs to continue into 2019. Read More
Early Trans-Pac Peak Could Impact US Spot Truck Rates
An accelerated peak shipping season at sea could translate into an earlier than usual surge in truck and intermodal shipments moving off coasts to distribution centers and end customers this fall. Read More.
5 Tips for Shippers in Tight Capacity Markets
It’s no secret that trucking capacity is strained. The U.S. economy is growing, creating very strong freight demand. At the same time, the ongoing driver shortage and decreased productivity from ELDs is resulting in more loads than available trucks. Here are 5 ways shippers can successfully navigate the capacity crunch during this historic time. Read More
Why the Trucking Shortage Impacts Everyone
The shortage of truck drivers is at historic levels as a strong economy boosts freight demand. Bloomberg covers what caused the problem, why it has suddenly gotten worse and how the driver shortage impacts the economy. Read More
Retail Sales and Manufacturing Powering Solid Freight Demand
A surge in retail spending and manufacturing output in the second quarter signals some key indicators for freight demand to remain healthy and sustained through the third quarter as retail outlook remains positive. Read more
Cutting Transportation Costs with Digital Bill of Ladings
Shippers across all industries and in all parts of the country are feeling the impact of increased transportation costs. The LTL industry still handles about 75% of shipments tendered using paper. Migrating the BOL from paper to digital format can greatly reduce the administrative costs of processing shipments and increase many operational efficiencies. Read More.
Easing the Strain of the Truck Driver Shortage through Blockchain
The shipping industry has fewer drivers than it requires and that problem is on the rise, threatening slower shipment transit and higher prices for both consumers and operators. Blockchain technology has the potential to help compensate for the critical driver shortage and reward drivers for their hard work. Read more
ELD’s Open Up New Possibilities for Data-Driven Decision Making in Trucking
While the recently implemented federal ELD rule was aimed at improving compliance with driver hours-of-service limits, the resulting widespread rollout of these devices means that there is now an onboard technology platform in the cab of nearly every long-haul truck on the road, opening up new possibilities for data-driven business decisions. Read more
Regulatory Relief Proposals Aimed to Help Shippers
While shippers don’t spend time familiarizing themselves with the complexities of regulations, the current proposed changes to hours-of-service regulations could provide relief to shippers by allowing more timely and safe delivery of their cargo. Read more
Learn how to drive efficiencies and cost savings into your supply chain during dynamic freight market conditions. Call 866-275-1407 or Contact Us
Independent freight agent Anthony Laudati discovered his passion for freight sales 21 years ago, shortly after he began working for one of the country’s largest logistics providers in his home state of New York.
Anthony loved helping people solve complex logistics problems and over time built a loyal group of customers who would follow him throughout his career in logistics, gaining valuable experience along the way.
Over time, Anthony slowly grew weary of working with some logistics providers. He cited management changes, variable compensation and territory limitations as the chief reasons that kept him perpetually searching for the ideal freight sales position. Restrictions that were routinely placed on sales executives prevented him from working with some of his long-standing customers. “If you had a customer that loved you and referred somebody to you, you would have to pass that off as a sales lead,” says Anthony, especially if the customer was in another state or region.
In 2017, with two attractive offers on the table from logistics companies, Anthony had reached a tipping point in his career when he would consider yet another option— starting his own freight business and becoming an independent freight agent.
After several years working in W-2 positions for large companies, he came to the realization that anywhere you work has its share of risks and rewards. Anthony concluded that he wanted to be in control of his own destiny, while having an opportunity for unlimited growth and earning potential.
Anthony knew if he was going to dive into becoming an entrepreneur, he needed to set himself up with the right resources and partners to be successful. Which led him to joining the GlobalTranz Agent Network because, “Even though I was going out on my own, I didn’t want to be on an island. I knew I’d need the best support network and technology to help me grow.”
The Path to $1 Million in Freight Billings
Looking back at his first year as a GlobalTranz freight agent, Anthony is thrilled with the results. “I did $1 million this year by myself.” Now he’s growing to the point where he wants to add employees. If he does add people to his team, GlobalTranz will help train and onboard his new hires. “That was lifting the weight of the world off my shoulders,” he says, adding, “The most difficult task on my end is onboarding somebody and getting them up to speed with our systems.” As an entrepreneur, Anthony would rather spend his time growing his book of business, and the GlobalTranz agent development and back-office support teams help him stay focused on revenue-generating initiatives.
Additionally, he has access to a suite of innovative technology tools that gives Anthony a competitive advantage. His customers appreciate the easy-to-use GTZship TMS, which provides full visibility into their logistics operations and enables them to rate, book, track and analyze all their shipments in one place. “Our interface is very user-friendly—three clicks and you can have your shipment booked.”
Even though he’s an independent freight agent, Anthony’s quick to give credit to his extended GlobalTranz back office team where he has dedicated support for pricing, credit, technology, marketing, invoicing and legal services. “I can’t say enough good things about agent development and support. GlobalTranz provided top-notch onboarding services and business coaching that helped get me started and growing quickly.”
Anthony is also able to leverage GlobalTranz’s full-suite of logistics solutions and a network of over 34,000 pre-qualified carriers while benefitting from the company’s industry-leading name.
But the best part about being an independent freight agent is he can finally work with customers wherever they are in the country. “Here I am in the middle of the Hudson Valley in New York, and I have customers all over the U.S.”
“I’m doing a ton of business with them, and they’re happy with the service that I’m providing. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was working in a W-2 role at a logistics company.”
Anthony Laudati has worked in the logistics and freight industry for 21 years. He resides in New York with his wife and their 4 children. Anthony joined the GlobalTranz agent network in 2017.
Learn more about the benefits of joining the GlobalTranz Independent Agent Network. Call 480-339-5804 or Contact Us