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Franchise of the Month – February

BlueGrace Albany, led by franchise owners Chris Kandel and Mike Welton  has been named Franchise of the Month for February 2015. The team  joined the BlueGrace Franchise Network in January 2014. The franchise recently hired a new Sales Account Executive and are currently seeking another operations position. BlueGrace Albany spent their first year learning and adopting the BlueGrace brand, now that they have that under their wing they are looking to significantly expand their business in 2015.

“We are honored and genuinely appreciate the recognition! We just completed our first year as a Franchise and appreciate all the help, ideas and support to adapt and implement the BG culture and approach. After the Double up Vegas conference, we enthusiastically revisited our goals and have since hired our first salesperson and sending him to Florida for more training. We eagerly anticipate the next conference to learn new ideas and continue on the path to growth and successful Franchise ownership!” – Chris Kandel and Mike Welton, owners of BlueGrace Albany

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Tampa Bay’s Happiest Company holds 5th Annual Team Building Event at Bay Area’s 2015 Corporate Sportsfest This Spring

BlueGrace Logistics will be participating at Corporate Sportsfest 2015 for the fifth straight year.

BlueGrace Logistics will be participating at the annual Corporate Sportsfest on April 25th, 2015 at the Sirata Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach. The event will serve as the company’s official 5th Annual team building event playing in the active role in the company’s corporate culture initiatives. BlueGrace sees record number of participation each year. President and CEO, Bobby Harris chose to enter BlueGrace in the event to give employees a fun company outing and team building event.

Sportsfests’ quirky event impacts “The BG Experience” (#BGExperience); the outcome of overall participation by stakeholders of the company.

Here’s what some of our employees have to say:

“It’s an honor to be chosen as team captain for the 2nd consecutive year and I look forward to building on our top 10 finish from last year. Sportsfest is a perfect event for companies with a culture such as ours, it gives us the opportunity to show the qualities that make BlueGrace such a great organization!” – your Team Captain, Biggie Smalls

“I’m excited to represent BG, showing off our unique company culture while competing alongside our crazy cast of characters. Companies that play in the sand together, stay together” – Nick Klingensmith, your Volleyball coach.

“I am excited to shoot for 1st place in tug-of-war, since we got 2nd last year and then its time to enjoy some adult beverages!” – Amanda Beauchaine

“SportsFest is our annual company teambuilding event that we’ve been participating in for 5 years now! Our employees are super competitive by nature, so any excuse to compete against other companies is a win for us. We usually have a beach bash theme day at the office the Friday before SportsFest as everyone gets pumped up for the festivities at St. Pete Beach the next day. Everyone from our CEO down to spouses & friends of our employees sign up to be part of Team BlueGrace each year, there’s a lot of prepping & planning that goes into the event. We’re counting down the days & whipping into shape to compete, we can’t wait!” – Whitney McKay, Producer of Culture and Community

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BlueGrace Adds Ken Burroughs To Company’s Board of Directors

Ken Burroughs

BlueGrace Logistics (www.mybluegrace.com) will bolster its strength and experience by adding industry veteran, Ken Burroughs, to its Board of Directors on March 2nd, 2015.  Burroughs has over 40 years experience in the transportation and supply chain industry, including 19 years with UPS Freight. Burroughs’ extensive industry background includes positions in sales, operations, finance, customer service, pricing, and strategic development (specifically 3rd party logistics providers).

“Ken Burroughs is one of the most experienced and respected people in our industry. We are extremely excited about the chance to work with him,” says Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics.

“It’s exciting to be associated with the expansion and development of a company like BlueGrace.  I look forward to joining BlueGrace and sharing my knowledge and experience,” says Burroughs on his recent move to BlueGrace.

About BlueGrace Logistics

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics offers complete, customized transportation management solutions to customers across the United States. Based in Riverview, Fla. with satellite offices in Chicago, Baltimore and Salt Lake City.  Known as a “hyper-growth” company, BlueGrace has grown more than 400% since inception. In 2011, BlueGrace Logistics launched its franchise program as part of its strategic growth plan and currently has 54 franchisees in 56 locations across the U.S. The company offers freight services such as Less Than Truckload (LTL), Truckload Services (TL), International and Domestic Air Freight, Ocean Freight, Supply Chain Management, State-of-the-Art Technology; Service Desk Support, and Auditing Services. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com

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BlueGrace Is A Gold Sponsor For The 10th Annual Race Against Cancer

BlueGrace Logistics is the Gold Sponsor of the 10th Annual Miles for Moffitt race on Saturday, May 9 to be held at the University of South Florida. The company has donated $10,000 as part of their sponsorship and has aggressive goals to raise even more money through fundraising efforts. BlueGrace has created a team to participate in the various events held at Miles for Moffitt where they will be encouraging 100% of their staff to participate. The company’s award-winning culture will be promoting the event to increase awareness of Moffitt Cancer Center’s initiatives internally and with the public on social media (Twitter: @mybluegrace, Facebook: /bluegracelogistics).

“Moffitt Cancer Center is one of, if not, the best cancer treatment center in the country. We are so happy to be supporting one of the most recognized and respected organizations in our home town,” says Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics.

Since the first race in 2006, Miles for Moffitt has raised over $2 million for cancer research programs. BlueGrace has launched an internal “Couch to 5K” program to help train and assist participating employees for the upcoming race.

BlueGrace prides itself on community involvement and is always looking for new ways to make a difference. By sponsoring “Miles for Moffitt,” they have added a new institution and charity for their “Giving Grace” program.

To visit our company page or to sign up click here

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Franchise of the Month – January

SDCentral_2.16.15

BlueGrace San Diego Central, led by franchise owners Erik Bouvin and Eric Raterkus has been named Franchise of the Month for January 2015. San Diego Central joined the BlueGrace Franchise Network in 2011. The franchise recently hired a new Account Executive and will soon be hiring a position for freight desk services. San Diego Central continues to see growth and looks forward to expand their office in 2015.

“We are very stoked to kick off the New Year being Franchise of the Month, and really excited to keep the momentum rolling.” – Erik Bouvin and Eric Raterkus, BlueGrace San Diego Central

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Q&A: Bobby Harris, President and CEO BlueGrace Logistics

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman recently conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bobby Harris, President and CEO of non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics about various aspects of the freight transportation market. A transcript of the conversation is below.

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics

Logistics Management (LM): The driver shortage continues to be a big story. Many industry stakeholders have stated this is the worst it has been in years, or, perhaps, ever. How bad do you think it is?
Bobby Harris: Even though there have been driver shortages in the past, there have been ebbs and flows. But the problem with this one is that we have not seen a solution or a remedy or something that will work itself out in the short term. We believe that there is going to have to be something significant that takes place to address that issue; otherwise, it is going to get progressively worse. It is not just a little problem. It is a big problem, and it cannot be overemphasized at this point, as it is extremely viable to supply chains.

LM: What are some possible options or solutions to improve the situation? Many carriers are taking steps to increase driver pay in a big way, especially on the truckload side. Is that alone enough to fill seats?
Harris: While it is nice to see increased driver pay and incentive-based initiatives, the problem is those things take drivers from other companies and they move from one carrier to another. That does not increase the driver pool. If you walk into a high school today and ask the senior class is anyone wants to drive a truck after graduation, you likely will not find one hand raised. With an average age of 56, the driver pool is decreasing, and there are telltale signs that with the younger generation entering the workforce, there is no, or limited, interest in a blue-collar job, much less driving. At that point, we turn to the prospect of immigration, which is very hotly contested politically, but….that is going to have to be a really big part of immigration reform, wherever it is going, that needs to be considered, because without that aspect I don’t know where [carriers] are going to get drivers.

LM: What about other possible solutions?
Harris: Technology will help to increase efficiency by necessity and will result in less waste. And there has to be a big market correction in driver wages. Getting drivers to come in is one thing, but it has to be something very seismic for people to say “now I may do that. I am going to quit my other blue collar job and get a CDL.” Then you could then see kids coming out of high school in a couple of years making good money driving and that could influence younger people looking for a job. Something needs to be done to make the profession more attractive or “glamorous” because it is a huge problem right now.

LM: Have you ever seen the driver shortage situation as bad as it currently is at the moment?
Harris: Yes, this is definitely the worst I have seen. I started my career as a dockworker when I was 18 and can remember that if you had a CDL and wanted a job with a good carrier, you had to know somebody. If you got an interview, you were excited, as getting that job was a big deal. And when you got that job, it came with a lot of conditions like no facial hair, wearing a uniform, and now the standards have been considerably lowered to let people in.

Continue reading this article on Supply Chain 24/7

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Should You Analyze Your Freight Spend?

By: Dustin Snipes, Senior Sales Manager

Should You Analyze Your Freight Spend BlueGrace Logistics

It’s 2015. It’s a new year. Rate increases have just been applied and sent down the pipe, while fuel prices are decreasing. Have you gone to your shipping coordinator, office manager, transportation manager, logistics coordinator or whatever position you call the person that handles your less than truckload and said “When was the last time we analyzed our freight spend?” Working with sales, our reps hear a lot of “We have great rates,” “We are going to stick with our current process.” “We have czar lite this, FAK that, % discount x off year Y.” This is all just a lot of fluff for someone to not take the time to sit down and analyze what they are doing now and what they can do better. We all get in the whirlwind of the day in our processes and sometimes taking the time to reflect on what we can do better can just slip by. In this day and age when cost savings in transportation can be directly reinvested into other business needs, like hiring and infrastructure, business owners must take the time to do a true cost analysis, which will have one of two outcomes:

A.) Your transportation team is doing great and cost savings cannot be achieved at this time

or

B.) There is room for improvement by blanket pricing or customer specific pricing for high volume shippers.

Don’t let the norm be the norm in 2015. Reach out to a BlueGrace account representative today.

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#BGEats // Restaurant Reviews

BlueGrace Restaurant Review for Ruth's Chris Steak House

JENNIFER LOUIS // ACCOUNT MANAGER
BLUEGRACE LOGISTICS (HQ SATELLITE OFFICE – CHICAGO)
Restaurant Name // Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Location // 431 N Dearborn St, Chicago IL 60654
Favorite drink // Broad Street Hurricane
Favorite entrée // Filet with Fresh Asparagus
STARS (out of 5) // 5 stars all the way!!

“You may end up eating in silence because the food is so good!  The steak is like butter and is served on a plate that is 500 degrees; ensuring your steak never gets cold. The Sides are big enough to split which is a good thing because they are so delicious you want to sample a few.” – J. Louis

 

BlueGrace Restaurant Review for Corner TableDEAN MCNEELY // FRANCHISE OWNER
BLUEGRACE HOUSTON CENTRAL
Restaurant Name // Corner Table
Location // 2736 Virginia Street Houston, Texas 77098
Favorite drink // All the sustainable and organic infused Vodka options. Right up Randy Collack’s wheel house! Favorite entrée // Filet with Fresh Asparagus
STARS (out of 5) // 5

“A place I like to take BG VP’s when they come to town and a frequently spot
I post pictures on Twitter.” – D. McNeely

 

 

BlueGrace Restaurant Review for Carne ChopHouse

REESE WEATHER // ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
BLUEGRACE HEADQUARTERS // TAMPA, FLORIDA
Restaurant Name // Carne Chop House
Location // Ybor City // 1536 East 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605 Favorite drink // Crown apple and ginger ale
Favorite entrée // Trout Almondine
STARS (out of 5) // 5

“I love the Jason’s Split Pea and Smoked Ham Hock soup.” – R. Weathers

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BlueGrace promotes Belcher to CIO

BlueGrace Logistics CIO, Justin Belcher

RIVERVIEW — BlueGrace Logistics has promoted Justin Belcher to chief information officer, putting him in charge of all information technology aspects at the Riverview-based freight and logistics company.

Belcher joined BlueGrace in 2009, leading many of the company’s IT initiatives through its 56 locations. In his new role, Belcher will continue that work, according to a release, but will now focus on details of the company’s vision for technology, business development and supporting systems.

Click here to continue reading this article on Business Observer.

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Welcome BlueGrace Franchise Owners!

January 2015

BlueGrace South Mississippi

BlueGrace South Mississippi, Phil Harding

BlueGrace Dallas East

BlueGrace Dallas East, Erick Nyatenya

BlueGrace San Juan Capistrano

BlueGrace San Juan Capistrano, Steve Cohon, Gina Schwartz and Doug Schwartz

 

November 2014

BlueGrace Indy North  Brian Stutzman

BlueGrace Indy North, Brian Stutzman

“The opportunity to partner with a business such as BlueGrace Logistics has been nothing but wonderful.  I am excited for what the future will hold and having the ability to learn from the best in the business.  During my first year I hope to begin building a positive environment for my office location. One that is fun, hardworking, and passionate about helping businesses with their logistic needs. I look forward to continually meeting everyone within the BlueGrace Logistics network and hope everyone has a great 2015!” – Brian Stutzman

 

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© 2015 Blue-Grace Logistics LLC. All Rights Reserved