National Dog Day 2015

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Happy National Dog Day

An Announcement Regarding BG Cats v. Dogs

Every year BlueGrace Logistics holds a Cats. vs. Dogs pet food donation rally. It is girls vs. guys and all in good fun. The real winners at the end is the animals. Last year as a company we donated over 44k pounds of pet food to the humane society of Tampa Bay. You can read about it here:

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

The twitter has tag to the follow the smack talk is #catsvsdogs15

The contest runs from 8-17 through 9-28.

If you or anyone you know would like to contribute please feel free to reach out to us at 800-697-4477

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Panama Canal Expansion

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In June, The Panama Canal Authority announced testing of the first gates on the Atlantic Ocean side of the waterway. Extending over four months, this step brings the Panama Canal expansion project to 90% completion.

“This event highlights the magnitude of what we have been working on for the past seven years,” said canal administrator Jorge Quijano. “Filling the locks with water is the culmination of arduous years of labor and the realization that we are within arm’s reach of the completion of one of the most impressive infrastructure projects of our time.”

The canal has encouraged investments for deeper channels in East Coast ports, such as Miami, New York/New Jersey, and Baltimore. Port Authorities expect larger vessels with more cargo to be calling in these locations.

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Natural Gas Heavy Duty Trucking Fleet Could Benefit US Economy

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Q1 2015, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) voted to favor market-share rather than defend prices; the subsequent fall in oil prices has prompted a drop in drilling activity in the United States and layoffs in the oil and gas sector.

Shale gas, a natural gas found trapped within shale formations, is an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States since the start of this century. In 2000, shale gas provided only 1% of U.S. natural gas production. By 2010 it was over 20%.

The shift to natural could provide several advantages. Potentially lowering the cost of national supply chains and enhancing the United States’ global competitiveness, natural gas could lower domestic fuel costs for long-distance trucking in the United States.

Research shows that California, the Great Lakes and mid-Atlantic areas are well-positioned for this launch, due to their proximity to high-volume travel corridors.

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New Transportation Bill and the Nation’s Infrastructure

On July 30, a day before the Highway Trust Fund was set to expire, Congress passed a three month extension of funding for highway programs and a six year highway policy for trucking regulation reformation.

“This multi-year, bi-partisan legislation will give states and local governments the ability to plan for and construct critical infrastructure projects,” said Sen. John Thune, chairman of the committee that oversees trucking policy.

“We all share the same goal of completing a long term bill as soon as possible, and ensuring that critical programs do not shut down before we achieve that goal is the right thing to do,” added Rep. Bill Schuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The legislation implements Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reform, applying to several programs. The Compliance, Safety and Accountability program public safety scores will be removed until further review. The bill paves the way for those between 18 and 21 to be commercial interstate drivers and also establishes a national freight program, boosting highway, public transportation, and passenger rail programs.

“Passage of a long-term bill is well overdue, and it is past time for Congress to provide states with the certainty they need to address the enormous backlog in critical highway and bridge improvements, “ said Bill Graves, president of American Trucking Associations.

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Carrier Mergers and Acquisitions

M&A continues to drive consolidation in the asset-light and non-asset logistics space. Companies are finding it’s easier to buy than build in current economy.

  • SAIA announced purchase of LinkEx, an asset-light logistics company based in Dallas
  • ABF Logistics acquired Smart Lines Transportation Group, and OK based TL brokerage firm, specializing in food, energy, industrial sectors
  • Fed Ex purchased GENCO, a contract logistics provider specializing in reverse logistics, testing and refurbishing
  • Roadrunner Transportation acquired Active Aero Group, Unitrans Int’l Corporation, and Rich Logistics/Everett Transportation, strengthening time-critical and Int’l services
  • UPS Freight purchased Coyote Logistics, a technology-driven, non-asset based truckload brokerage company
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Introducing MatrixIQ in BlueShip

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BlueGrace Logistics has announced the launch of MatrixIQ and SkyView, proprietary features within BlueGrace’s BlueShip software. MatrixIQ is game changing software that enables automated pricing strategy logic that dynamically adjusts pricing triggers in reaction to customer tendencies. The end result creates optimum pricing options. “The agility of the software combined with systemized logic is what we’re most excited about,” said BlueGrace CEO, Bobby Harris.

 

The additional release, SkyView, is the new business intelligence within BlueShip that provides customers access to quick, informative data to run their business. “SkyView is capable of creating powerful reports in a few easy steps at a fraction of the time needed previously. Customers of all sizes are going to love this feature,” said Justin Belcher, CIO of BlueGrace

BlueShip’s new rate screen is the industry’s most progressive feature, using systemized logic to create a simplified carrier selection process. The rate screen uses systemized logic powered by Matrix IQ to give BlueGrace customers a robust platform of information needed to compare carrier price, delivery and service options. Other features include our 5 Star Carrier Rating System, carrier service grouping & consolidation, & new tool tips with optional hidden visibility!

MatrixIQ_RateScreen

You can get a demonstration of BlueShip via YouTube here.

 

You can also request a BlueShip Account here.

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What are your S.M.A.R.T 2016 Goals?

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Here at BlueGrace we are asking our franchisees and direct employees to start thinking about their 2016 goals. This is our take on what S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

S= Shared. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers about your goals. You need support and accountability.

M= Measured. Measured these can be measured somehow. Typically by $, #, and %.

A= Attainable. These goals have to be within reach and reason. You can not make hitting the lotto a goal!

R= Relevant. Make these smart goals relevant to something you are trying to accomplish in your life. These can be work related, exercise and diet, or something you want to do that you haven’t done yet.

T= Time. There has to be an end date to see if you accomplished your goal. You typically do not want to set smart goals further than a year out.

 

Please let us know on social media what your smart goals are today!

On Twitter: @mybluegrace

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bluegracelogistics

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BlueGrace Logistics Places #2775 in the 2015 Inc. 5000!

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BlueGrace Logistics has one again placed in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s fastest growing companies. This year BlueGrace came in at #2275 after placing #2274 in 2014, and #20 in 2012. We could not do this without our customers, franchisees, partner groups, employees, friends, and family. Our #3 core value is “Pursue Outrageous Goals” and we will continue to strive to be on this list year after year.

 

Please find a link to the Inc. 5000 posting here

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Must Arrive By Delivery Date Dilemma: A BG Case Study

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SCENARIO:

Tremendous growth leads to challenges related to the distribution of this rapidly expanding health and beauty products distributor. With much of their business moving toward “big box” retailers, the need for carrier management would be required to fulfill the commitments made to their clients. The true cost of doing business seemed more complex than fulfilling orders.

 

MUST ARRIVE BY DILEMMA (MABD):

With vendor scorecards dwindling, and charge backs against purchase orders mounting, the need for a better solution was apparent. From numerous carrier meetings, to drive on time compliance, to costly upgrades in service levels, the trend continued to show little improvement. Lead times were not an issue, and inventory levels were manageable, yet carriers could not seem to comply with the Must Arrive By Date (MABD) displayed on the BOL. Purchase orders were being shipped with ample lead time and in most cases, early with guaranteed service at a premium. Even with upgraded service, the carriers would refuse to refund the charges since they were delivered “on time”, per the standard transit. BlueGrace began by analyzing the data and scorecards to determine root cause of the issue, and set a baseline for current state performance. Next, an assessment of ERP integration capabilities was performed. Through minor customization, the potential for real-time connectivity to BlueShip TMS was an opportunity. This connection would allow BlueGrace to receive incoming orders from specific clients and apply custom business rules to achieve the Overall goal. No matter when the order was received, BlueShip would effectively route the “Best Value Carrier” AND provide the most optimal ship date. This meant that each order, once approved within the ERP, would be rated and routed; with a Wal-Mart approved carrier, at the lowest cost, with standard service and shipped on the day that would best fit that carrier’s network to allow for a delivery within the specified MABD window. Our client showed a 90% reduction in charge backs within the first 60 days of implementing this program. Combined with the dedicated support at BlueGrace proactively tracking each flagged order, the company received the best scorecard performance in recent history.

 

FREIGHT COST ALLOCATION:

The next phase consisted of reviewing what the true cost of each order was when freight cost was allocated. BlueGrace analyzed the average freight cost as a percentage of sale. This percentage was incorporated into the product cost to determine pricing to the end customer. BlueGrace knew there was opportunity to drill down and allocate a freight cost not only at the customer level, but the customer location, customer location type (Direct to Store or Distribution Center) all the way down to the SKU level. Since freight cost was not passed to the client, this would either show a net margin loss or show opportunities to reduce the freight cost allocation to become more competitive. The result highlighted regions that were more costly to ship to, products that did not have enough margin potential to validate shipping cost and insight into regions of the country that would benefit from an additional warehouse location.

Continued Growth:

BlueGrace provides scalability for growing companies to achieve their goals without labor or technology investments. Our expertise and processes provide our clients with the bandwidth to operate efficiently and drive direct cost eduction through our procurement and dedicated management.

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