Browse Category

Daily News

How Do Construction Suppliers Overcome Logistics Challenges?

The MABD and Your Construction Supply Company

Construction suppliers who provide hardware and tools are under tighter compliance regulations to get the right products to the right stores or distribution centers by a certain time, or they pay a fee. Walmart suppliers now face paying a fee of 3% of the cost of goods of all deliveries after the Must Arrive By Date (MABD).

These regulations for Walmart were implemented back in early 2016, but other retailers such as Target and Home Depot have been charging these fees for some time.

Walmart suppliers now face paying a fee of 3% of the cost of goods of all non-compliant deliveries.

Your construction supply company succeeds or fails based on the constant delivery of your products. Even more so now with the MABD mandate. The timely and effective delivery of your products, is a major priority for you, your retailers and your market. How do the logistics aspects of hardware and building materials differ from other industries?

How do the logistics aspects of hardware and building materials differ from other industries?

The truth is they don’t, with the exception of specific project dates and deadlines that could be missed.

Manufacturers and suppliers that work with large retailers like Walmart, Target and Home Depot are more successful in getting their merchandise on the shelves with the proper lead time due to partnering with a third party logistics provider (3PL).

Out with the Old

Doing things the old way, is not always the best way. Once employees get comfortable in their schedule and day to day routine it  becomes difficult to change those habits and behaviors. BlueGrace Logistics has seen and learned how to explain and implement these changes. In the case study you will learn about a Hardware distributor that was drowning in manual processes and letting inefficiencies become the norm.  

Once employees get comfortable in their schedule and day to day routine, it becomes difficult to change those habits and behaviors.

How We Reduced Costs & Removed Manual Processes for Hardware Supplier

A large big box hardware supplier, based in the Midwest, was utilizing a single national carrier model. There was no GRI mitigation, or freight bill auditing. The manual task of booking shipments was taking up much of the customer support team’s day. The accounting team had no way to tell if the invoiced amount of the shipment was the same as the quoted amount of the shipment. The ways of the past were starting to catch up as volume increased and this supplier had to make a change.

This Hardware Supplier saved 13% of their yearly freight spend which added up to $260,000 annually.

Hardware Suppliers In The Construction Industry Case Study

What About Other Construction Freight?

As a successful third-party logistics (3PL), BlueGrace handles the freight for all types of construction supply businesses. This freight can be heavy, oversized loads, such as cranes and dump trucks to replacement parts and pallets of construction materials. Our first step in any relationship is what sets us apart and brings the most value to your freight and logistics team. Your current freight data is analyzed and then processed with our proprietary engineering software.

Your current freight data is analyzed and then processed with our proprietary engineering software.

This process gives your logistics team a brand new overview of your freight. From there, your team has access to the entire BlueGrace toolbox of solutions, including ERP integrations to our flagship quoting and product, BlueShip. All of these tools come with a team of logistics experts at your disposal and a constant goal to make your freight program more successful.

Would you like to talk with BlueGrace today? Feel free to call our Enterprise Group at 800.MY.SHIPPING or come see us at the CONEXPO in Las Vegas March 7-11 Booth #B9500.

Print Friendly

BlueGrace CEO Highlighted in THRIVE Campaign for Tampa EDC

Don’t Just Live, THRIVE.

The Tampa/Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (EDC) recently unveiled its THRIVE campaign, and BlueGrace Logistics’ very own CEO and President, Bobby Harris was featured for his company’s contributions to the local economy.

BlueGrace Logistics has been in the headlines quite a bit over the last 18 months due to the amount of hiring, franchise buy-backs and acquisitions.

In 2016, BlueGrace hired 397 employees.

In 2016, BlueGrace hired 397 employees, helping lead the way in growing Tampa.

Along with a huge amount of growth internally, BlueGrace has also continued to expand nationally. Through a recent private equity investment, BlueGrace has been able to fuel their already rapidly growing business.

BlueGrace intends to use the funding to fuel the rapid growth of the business

BlueGrace intends to use the funding to fuel the rapid growth of the business, including hiring 500-700 new employees here in Tampa, accelerating its national expansion plans and pursuing strategic acquisitions.

Tampa > Where it All Began

“We are thrilled to be a part of this campaign and to be featured in the THRIVE video for the EDC. This community is greater because of the people at the Economic Development Corporation.” said Bobby Harris. CEO & President of BlueGrace Logistics.

BlueGrace Logistics is continuing to thrive, not only in the Tampa area, but across the US in expanding regional offices.

“We are really making headway in Chicago, Boston, Richmond and now out in Los Angeles. We are really excited about our future in all of these areas, but are beyond thankful to be headquartered here where it all began, Tampa!” said Harris.

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

Print Friendly

BlueGrace Enterprise Team Brings in Logistics and Freight Industry Veteran

BlueGrace Logistics is pleased to announce the recent hiring of 17-year logistics industry veteran, Randy Ofiara, as the new Vice President of Enterprise Sales.

Ofiara has been in the freight and logistics industry for over 17 years and has held leadership roles within XPO, YRC and ProTrans.

“Prior to BlueGrace, I had the opportunity to work for some great companies that helped me to be successful within this incredible industry, and I look forward to bringing that experience to the Enterprise Team at BlueGrace” said Ofiara.

His logistics career started out in Quincy, IL where he served as the Logistics Intern with Gardner Denver. He then moved into a transportation supervisory role with Gap, Inc. in the early 2000’s. With his position at Gap, Inc. Ofiara knew he had a solid footing in the logistics industry. From his time at the Gap, Inc. he moved to an account executive position within YRC and then into roles in Procurement Management with both XPO and ProTrans.

Each position he has held over the last 17 years, has paved the way for his new role within the BlueGrace Logistics Enterprise team.

BlueGrace Enterprise encompasses each one of our available services that help meet the transportation management needs of companies and manufacturers across multiple industries. Our Enterprise Logistics Professionals understand what it takes to consistently be competitive in the marketplace and Ofiara is the perfect addition.

Randy Ofiara, VP of Enterprise Sales at BlueGrace Logistics 

“We are thrilled to have Randy join our team here at BlueGrace. He is not only a culture fit, he will also be an incredible asset to our enterprise department as our company continues to grow,” said Jason Lockard, Vice President of Enterprise at BlueGrace Logistics.

Randy is one of 397 people BlueGrace Logistics hired in 2016.

“Bringing Randy on-board is a part of our overall plan to continue to grow our Enterprise Development roles,” said Lockard.

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

Print Friendly

The Future of Trucking Safety

 

 

With Trump getting to work on his first 100 days, the American Trucking Association is ready to start a campaign of their own in the hopes of getting some of the safety regulations set in place by the Obama administration, pulled back. While the ATA did secure a win last month in blocking a ruling to keep tired truckers off the road, they aren’t planning to stop there.

Arguably, these safety regulations are in place for a very good reason

Arguably, these safety regulations are in place for a very good reason, to keep both truckers and other drivers who share the road safe. But at what point do these safety regulations begin to impede on doing business? There is a lot of criticism on both sides of the issue, and so the battle rages on.

Resting Ruling

One of the biggest issues that the ATA is rallying against, is the Obama administration’s ruling on the resting period for truckers. The rule was proposed to keep fatigued and overtired drivers off the roads by instituting a mandatory resting period of 34 hours after completing a work week. A large point of contention to this ruling is that part of this ruling is that part of this break must consist of two periods from 1 am to 5 am.

The rule was proposed to keep fatigued and overtired drivers off the roads

“Sleep scientists say rest during the early morning hours is critical for people to feel refreshed. The suspension means truckers can head out on the road again during those hours if the 34-hour break has elapsed,” according to an article from The Associated Press.

While the rest might be important for the driver, that period of time in particular is crucial for delivery schedules as it has one of the lowest volumes of traffic for the entire day. Forcing driver’s to wait until after 5 am could cause a serious hit to productivity and timeliness as driver’s will be forced to contend with higher traffic volumes and rush hour commuters.

Providing a Helping Hand in Rule Making

At what point are federal regulations overstepping their boundaries when it comes to making regulations for the trucking industry? This question is being asked with an increasing regularity. While many on the safety side of things think there isn’t enough safety regulations, those on the business side of things are saying “enough is enough.” While size, weight, and resting period regulations do have a purpose, many in the trucking industry think that the industry itself should be included in the rulemaking process.

While many on the safety side of things think there isn’t enough safety regulations, those on the business side of things are saying “enough is enough.”

“We want to see the industry included in developing regulations,” Chris Spear, chief executive of the ATA, said in an interview. “We’d hope to see a lot more collaboration than we’ve seen in the past few years.”

There is a concern that the Obama administration in their push for new safety regulations, have essentially sidestepped the industry itself by imposing executive orders for new safety regulations. Not only did these rules impose a high cost to implement on the industry, but there came at a time when the industry was dealing with failing freight rates and weak demand.

These rules impose a high cost to implement on the industry

“Transportation companies want the Transportation Department to rethink rules that include work limits for truck drivers, safety-equipment requirements for trains and other regulations. And the rail and truck groups want to go farther by setting particular steps transportation agencies must go through as they write rules and operating guidelines,” according to an article from the Wall Street Journal.  “Industry needs to be involved in developing the process that makes the rules,” said Mr. Spear. “There should be a clear return in exchange for compliance.”

How successful will the ATA and the rest of the industry be in getting these limitations and regulations adjusted to something more favorable?

Only time will tell.

Print Friendly

BlueGrace Chicago Hosts Grand Reopening With the Mayor of Itasca

BlueGrace Chicago recently held a ribbon cutting for their new offices in the Village of Itasca. The town’s mayor, Jeff Pruyn, was on hand for a tour of the new facilities.

“The expansion of BlueGrace Logistics is the latest example of the business-friendly environment in Itasca,” says Pruyn. “The combination of location, convenient access, and competitive tax rates, makes Itasca an attractive place for companies like BlueGrace Logistics to locate and grow.”

BlueGrace Chicago has outgrown its original office space and has recently expanded into a new space.

BlueGrace Chicago now occupies 11,500 square feet and has over 60 local employees with plans for more growth in the future.

Itasca Mayor Jeff Pruyn gets a tour of the new BlueGrace Chicago office space 

“All of our regional offices have been under construction due to the incredible amount of growth over the last 18 months.” said Randy Collack, Chief Strategy Officer at BlueGrace Logistics.

Along with the growth, office construction, and expansions across all regional offices, BlueGrace Logistics continues to provide a fun and competitive work environment for all employees. So much so, that BlueGrace Boston was recently awarded Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in both the Greater Boston area and in the nation.

The Best & Brightest competition identifies and honors companies that deliver exceptional human resource practices and an impressive commitment to their employees.

“We are thrilled to see all of the success and growth with each of our offices.” said Collack.

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their less-than-truckload and truckload spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and superior insight of the complex $750 billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

 

Print Friendly

Leadership at BlueGrace Logistics Take on New Roles as Company Grows

BlueGrace Logistics Announces the Title Transformations of Two Longtime Executives

“As part of our ongoing and explosive growth, I want to increase role clarity throughout the organization, so appointing both Adam Blankenship and Randy Collack to their new titles is a progressive and exciting move for us,” said Bobby Harris, President & CEO of BlueGrace Logistics.

Randy Collack, newly named the Chief Strategy Officer, oversees several departments of BlueGrace Logistics and has been with the company since 2009. Throughout his tenure, he has been responsible for the growth of the sales and operations departments.

Randy brings vast industry experience as the former President of PDT Trucking and has held senior positions with Express One and Preferred Shipping.

He studied at Purdue University and also earned his lean Six Sigma Black Belt certificate. Mr. Collack is an avid poker player who competed in his first World Series of Poker in 2016.

Randy Collack – Chief Strategy Officer 

“I am thrilled with this change to CSO and believe it better fits the needs of this growing company. I have always been proud to serve the organization in any capacity,” said Randy Collack, Chief Strategy Officer at BlueGrace Logistics.

Randy’s roles within the company have been broad and deep but this change of title will provide clarity for the organization as it moves forward.

Collack will continue to be involved with the Transportation Team, A-Team and Customer Service.

“The best way for BlueGrace to grow effectively and quickly is to make sure we all work together as a team. With these organizational title changes, we will be able to structure those teams for future success,” said Harris.

Adam Blankenship – Chief Commercial Officer

Adam Blankenship, who joined the BlueGrace leadership team in 2012, will add the responsibilities of Chief Commercial Officer to his current role of Executive Vice President.

Within the new role of CCO, Adam will have strategic oversight of the entire sales organization in addition to Marketing, Carrier Relations and Procurement.

Prior to joining BlueGrace, Blankenship held senior executive roles at YRC and Central Transport and has garnered nearly 20 years of transportation industry experience.  He is a graduate of the University of Missouri where he received both a B.S. in Finance and Masters of Business Administration.

Mr. Blankenship is an avid sports fan and obstacle course racing enthusiast. He also enjoys travel and spending time with his wife and four kids.

“BlueGrace is continuing to define roles and structure the organization in a way that provides a clear vision for the future, and set us on the path for continued success.” Continued Blankenship. “I look forward to the opportunities and challenges in my role as the Chief Commercial Officer.”

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their less-than-truckload and truckload spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and superior insight of the complex $750 billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

 

Print Friendly

Carrier Spotlight: UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc.

 

BlueGrace logistics is partnering with UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc. (UPSCIA) to provide quality protection for carrier’s goods in transit. Our specialized logistics knowledge, proven industry experience and enhanced supply chain visibility allows UPSCIA to offer insurance services you may not find with typical risk mitigation providers.

Why UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc.?

A lost, damaged or delayed delivery can result in revenue loss and a ruined reputation. That’s why UPSCIA offers a variety of options that deliver affordable cover­age to protect BlueGrace customers against loss or damage to freight shipments. This wide range of insurance products helps avoid delays and protects your bottom line in the unlikely event of a disruption.

Features of the protection program:

  • Covered losses are valued at replacement cost at destination, as determined if applicable by commercial invoice plus freight
  • Declare values easily through BlueShip®
  • Covers multi-carriers

Benefits of the protection program include:

  • Simple claims process delivers efficient resolution and settlement
  • Ease of use – insure freight shipments seamlessly through BlueShip
  • Coverage flexibility – coverage applies to any freight carrier you choose through BlueShip®
  • Fast claims resolution

 

Protecting your freight shipment:

Customers can select UPSCIA protection directly through BlueShip®. The freight management system will automatically calculate the total insurance charges for the transaction entered as determined by the commodity being shipped, mode of transportation and final destination.

Pricing:

UPSCIA protection is based on a commoditized pricing structure. The cost of protection will be calculated by the freight management system and presented for final review and acceptance before completing your transaction.

Limits of protection:

Customers can select coverage for goods up to $100,000 in value, per shipment. Shipments exceeding $100,000 will need to obtain additional approval from UPSCIA. (Maximum Insurable Value: $1,000,000 per shipment) 

Additional services offered by UPS Capital, a UPSCIA affiliate company

UPS Capital, an affiliate of UPSCIA, offers a wide range of products and services designed to meet all of your supply chain needs. Customers searching for additional supply chain solutions can visit our website at www.upscapital.com and discover a wide range of products and services designed to improve cash flow, reduce trade credit risk, and securely accept payments.

 

Print Friendly

Stepping Up from 2016: Optimism for the New Year

 

With January already well under way, getting closer to inauguration day when President Trump takes his first official steps into office, it’s time to take a look at where the trucking industry has taken it’s own steps to start off the year. While there’s still a lot of ground to cover over the course of 2017, here’s what we know so far.

Driver Shortage is a Major Concern

One of the biggest problems of 2016 still remains among the top concerns going into 2017. With the median age of truck drivers approaching retirement age, many companies are struggling to find drivers to keep their fleets moving. Some trucking companies are upping the ante by increasing incentives, wages, and anything else they can use to entice drivers to take up the keys.

Some trucking companies are upping the ante by increasing incentives, wages, and anything else they can use to entice drivers to take up the keys.

According to a survey conducted by the Commercial Carrier Journal, driver availability is ranked as the top concern for nearly half, 44.8 of the respondents. The next highest concern is freight pricing, coming in at 32.9 percent.

Driver retention is a close second in terms of concern

While driver shortage wasn’t quite at the forefront of concern in 2016, according to the American Transportation Research Institutes top ten index, it did rank in at 16% of total industry concern, with a total index rating of 36.5. Driver retention is a close second in terms of concern, with an ATRI index rating of 30.5.  With less concern over other matters, the driver shortage is becoming a more prominent issue for the trucking industry.

Less Concern About Politics

While the election of Donald Trump to become the next President of the United States has caused quite a stir for most people (one way or another) there is considerably less concern when it comes to the trucking industry. Among the top concerns during 2016 was the enforcement of the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandates to more accurately track Hours of Service for drivers. Also thrown into the mix were a number of new regulations including the EPA phase two of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, however, the political climate has dropped to only 2.6 percent of the respondents on the CCJ survey. So what made the change?

Trump has announced that there will be a considerable overhauling of the country’s infrastructure

For starters, Trump has announced that there will be a considerable overhauling of the country’s infrastructure, making the roads more agreeable for trucks and drivers, which would ideally reduce the concerns for traffic, safety, and other snarls that occur within the transportation industry. However, as with anything else, these changes will come with a price. Trump isn’t willing to add to the deficit to pay for the road improvements. Instead, the trucking industry will have to foot the bill, likely in the form of tolls and higher fuel taxes.

The trucking industry will have to foot the bill, likely in the form of tolls and higher fuel taxes

In addition to the infrastructure overhaul, the trucking industry might see some of the Obama administration’s regulations reversed, giving the industry a little much needed breathing room.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

While it’s still a bit early to have any definitive proof, many in the trucking industry are feeling optimistic about 2017, with anything being a welcome change to the slog that was the previous year. As it stands, driver sentiment is slowly beginning to creep up according to the CCJ survey.

“The Carrier Sentiment Index for November was 5.71, a slight increase from the October survey (5.61). The index assesses the month on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the carrier’s worst month and 10 being the best. Responses from both groups were nearly identical: 5.70 for respondents from fleets with up to 100 power units compared to 5.72 for respondents from fleets with more than 100 power units.”

Combined with better roads and newer logistics tech hitting the commercial marketplace, the trucking industry could have a very promising year ahead of them. However, only time will tell at this point.

 

 

Print Friendly

BlueGrace to Sponsor SMC3 Jump Start Conference | Jan. 23-25

BlueGrace Logistics is proud to be a Gold Sponsor for the 2017 Jump Start Conference.

Logistics and supply chain education take center stage each January at Jump Start, a three-day event that attracts a broad spectrum of middle-to-senior-level decision makers responsible for the seamless movement of domestic and foreign freight. One of transportation’s most anticipated educational and networking forums, Jump Start features targeted sessions, renowned thought leaders, substantive seminars and networking opportunities.

One of transportation’s most anticipated educational and networking forums | Jump Start

“Jump Start is a great time for us to connect and strengthen relationships with our carriers,” said Andrew Rivers,  Senior Manager, Carrier Relations at BlueGrace Logistics. 

Ignite Speed Meetings with BlueGrace Logistics

Ignite consists of a series of “speed meetings” between a conference attendee and the contribution organization of their choice. Meetings are 7 minutes long, with a 2 minute break between appointments.

Speed meeting requests are matched electronically and schedules will be generated based on preferences and availability

Meeting requests are matched electronically and schedules will be generated based on preferences and availability. Attendees will be asked to fill out a short registration form and select their top five to ten contributors… it’s that simple.

“Carriers and other attendees will need to schedule their ‘speed meeting’ ahead of time to meet with us and we really hope to fill up a nice schedule for this event,” said Rivers.

Jump Start 2017 will feature a wide array of speakers and presenters

Keynote Speaker | Dayton Moore Sr. VP, Operations & General Manager, Kansas City Royals

Dayton Moore has served as the general manager of the Kansas City Royals since 2006. In 2014, the Royals stormed to 89 victories and qualified for the postseason for the first time in 29 years. The team won its second World Series title in 2015. Moore received MLB Executive of the Year honors in 2015 and is in the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame.

See BlueGrace at Jump Start 2017

It is a great time to talk with BlueGrace and other leaders in the logistics and technology industry. For more information please visit the SMC3 website.
Print Friendly

Omnichannel Shopping Gives Brick and Mortar Stores an Edge

Are we looking at the end of the tried and true brick and mortar style store? With online shopping growing at an exponential rate, this question has a lot of store owners feeling the heat from the growth of e-commerce.  Over the course of 2015, e-commerce sites saw an incredible growth rate of 23 percent. Of course, Amazon is the reigning champ when it comes to online sales, making up 26 percent of all online transactions.

E-commerce sites saw an incredible growth rate of 23 percent

While it might seem like a predictable future, it’s not a good bet to count out the traditional store front just yet. According to the Harvard Business Review, it might have something to do with Omnichannel marketing. A study conducted by HBR, found that only 7 percent of shoppers did business solely online. 20 percent only went to the actual store, which leaves the remaining 73 percent somewhere in between. These are the omnichannel shoppers.

The Store with More (Logistics)

Omnichannel shopping has been giving brick and mortar stores a considerable edge when it comes to their completely digital counterparts. So much so that even e-commerce giant Amazon, is in the process of building their own stores to provide their customers with a more comprehensive shopping solution. The idea behind it is simple. Offer more technologically based solutions to fit your customers needs, making it easier for them to shop, compare prices, and get what they need, when and how they need it.

E-commerce giant Amazon, is in the process of building their own stores

While providing the digital platforms for customers is fairly straightforward, building the logistical groundwork to support it might not be so easy. Fortunately, this also means a lot of opportunity for 3PLs and freight forwarders, so long as they know what they’re looking for. 

Last Mile Deliveries are Taking Off

Last mile deliveries have been a hot topic for quite some time, especially as Amazon continues to push the envelope with their near instantaneous, same-day deliveries. While that certainly sets the bar fairly high for companies who are looking to delve into the omnichannel marketplace, it does mean that there is a good deal of infrastructure in place to compensate.

Last mile deliveries have been a hot topic for quite some time

3PLs and a number of other forwarders, such as DHL, are looking into drone technology to expedite the last mile delivery process. There’s also the idea of tapping into already existing systems such as Uber for package deliveries that can help give potential omnichannel stores a leg up as they begin to build up their market.

Omnichannel stores will have a significant advantage over stores who don’t embrace the technology

All in all, omnichannel stores will have a significant advantage over stores who don’t embrace the technology, a must in this challenging market place that is currently undergoing its own renaissance period of growth. However, in order for these stores to be successful, they’ll have to get their logistics in check, or risk losing their client base.

Print Friendly

BlueGrace Logistics Regional Office Awarded Best & Brightest

BG Boston Earns National & Greater Boston Area Award

A BlueGrace Logistics regional office, BlueGrace Boston, was recently awarded one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, both in the Greater Boston Area and in the nation.

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® is a program of the National Association for Business Resources (NABR) that provides the business community with the opportunity to showcase their best practices and demonstrate why they are an ideal employer and workplace. This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole.

This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole.

“While we want to be number one in the 3PL industry, we know that won’t happen without our people. We focus on hiring the right people and then continuing to support them by providing them with a culture they all can thrive in,” said Adam Blankenship, Executive Vice President of Operations at BlueGrace Logistics.

The Best & Brightest competition identifies and honors companies that deliver exceptional human resource practices and an impressive commitment to their employees.

“BlueGrace has strived to create a culture that is truly unlike any other company I have ever worked for. Our Free Beer Friday’s, Free Waffle Wednesday’s and Teammate of the Week programs have fostered a dynamic and social work environment that I am but ecstatic and proud to be a part of. I encourage any motivated and driven graduate to consider applying to BlueGrace and joining our growing Boston family,” said Gabrielle Moody, Recruiter at BlueGrace Boston. 

According to the Best & Brightest website, Organizations are assessed based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and much more.

“We retain 84% of all new hires at BlueGrace Logistics and that is huge, considering the amount of growth we have experienced in just the last 18 months,” said Mercedes Essmann, Director of Corporate Recruiting at BlueGrace Logistics.

Over the past year and a half, BlueGrace has created nearly 300 new jobs, more than doubling their job creation goal announced in 2015. The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott recently announced that the company headquarters in Tampa Bay, will continue expanding, with plans to create 300 additional jobs over the next few years.

 “What makes me love working at BlueGrace Boston is that I wake up every morning knowing I am going to a place where I will laugh with me friends all day. The people, the competition, and the culture are what making Working at BlueGrace Boston fun… and the beer. Did I mention the beer?” said   Allison McCarthy, Account Executive at BlueGrace Boston. 

This is one of many awards that BlueGrace Logistics has had the honor of winning over the years.

See below for a list of past awards won by BlueGrace.

2016

  • Happiest Company Award, TINYpulse, 2016

2015

  • Best Places to Work, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2015, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2015
  • Top Minority-Owned Business, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2015
  • Happiest Company Award (Transportation and Logistics), TINYpulse, 2015
  • Employee Recognition Award (Transportation and Logistics), TINYpulse, 2015

2014

  • Entrepreneur of The Year – Florida, Ernst & Young (E&Y), 2014
  • Fast 50, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014
  • USF FAST 56 Companies, University of South Florida, 2014
  • Top Minority-Owned Business, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014
  • Best Places to Work, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014

2013

  • Best Places to Work, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2013
  • 40 Under 40- Bobby Harris, President & CEO, Gulf Coast Business Review, 2013
  • USF FAST 56 Companies, University of South Florida, 2013

2012

  • Hire Power Award, Inc. Magazine, 2012
  • Best Places to Work, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2012
  • America’s 5000 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies, Inc. 5000, 2012
  • Fast 50, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2012
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (Emerging category), Ernst & Young, 2012
  • Sales & Marketing Executive of the Year- Eric Chambers, Transportation Marketing & Sales Association, 2012

2011

  • Best Places to Work Finalist (Bigger Category), Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2011

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their less-than-truckload and truckload spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and superior insight of the complex $750 billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

 

Print Friendly

Laying the First Bricks: Amazon is Getting Physical but Wal-Mart Fights Back

 

There aren’t a whole lot of companies that can match up to the innovative prowess of the e-Commerce giant, Amazon. It seems as though every couple of months we’re catching some snippet that Amazon is trying out a new trick for the convenience of its loyal customers and, true to it’s nature, Amazon is about to pull their next trick out of the bag. An actual grocery store.

Amazon Go

Unlike AmazonFresh, the online grocery shopping option that promises quick deliveries of produce and other perishables, Amazon Go will be an actual brick and mortar store, one of the few ventures Amazon hasn’t really gotten into yet. So why the sudden change? For starters, how about throwing the competition a curve ball?

Some of Amazon’s biggest competitors are Wal-Mart and Target, who focuses on a combined service of both groceries as well as higher ticket items such as apparel and home goods.

Some of Amazon’s biggest competitors are Wal-Mart and Target, who focus on a combined service of both groceries as well as higher ticket items such as apparel and home goods. While the groceries and produce account for a relatively small amount of the sales, it does bring in business which helps these chains hit their real goal of selling more expensive items.

Working out of a brick and mortar store will have its advantages.

Logistically speaking, trying to deliver produce and temperature sensitive goods in an appropriate time frame isn’t out of the scope of Amazon’s fairly comprehensive delivery machine, but it’s not necessarily practical either. This is why the grocery delivery service is only offered in select locations and still isn’t quite as popular as the tried and true alternative, as many customers still prefer to do their grocery shopping in stores, being able to touch, smell, and generally select their produce before purchase.

Many customers still prefer to do their grocery shopping in stores, being able to touch, smell, and generally select their produce before purchase.

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is experimenting with a few different styles of store, a convenience style or quick pick up store, as well as a drive through style, which lets customers skip having to walk into the store to begin with. The key is this, if Amazon has a physical location to work out of, they can capture more of the grocery market shares. As it stands, online grocery shopping is only a small portion of the business, about one percent currently, but is expected to continue to grow.

Wal-Mart Fights Back

If Amazon is going physical then Wal-Mart is retorting with the digital, according to an article from The Motley Fool. Many of the Wal-Mart supercenters are getting a technological upgrade in the attempt to keep Amazon in check in two ways. First is the curbside order pickup. Rather than having to walk into the store, select your items, then wade your way through the checkout line, you can simply place your order online and have it brought out to the car, allowing customers to skip the check out.

Additionally is the Gas and Go Style of Shopping, Similar to a Convenience Store.

Additionally is the Gas and Go style of shopping. This involves a secondary shop, similar to a convenience store, that has some last minute grocery items, coffee, snacks, and other concessions, as well as being a full service Gas Station. The twist is that, customers can place an online order, which is fulfilled by a nearby Supercenter, and arrive at a set time to have their groceries delivered while they gas up their vehicle. This level of convenience, combined with the grocery infrastructure that Wal-Mart already has in place might be enough to keep Amazon Go at bay.

This level of convenience, combined with the grocery infrastructure that Wal-Mart already has in place might be enough to keep Amazon Go at bay.

The Master of Logistics

It’s fairly safe to say that this point that Amazon’s actions are rarely without some sort of ulterior motive. Think back to the Amazon cloud services, which was originally designed to be an in-house service and was then converted into a highly successful business model.

If Amazon can get down the necessary logistics infrastructure to handle groceries and perishable produce, who’s to say they can’t then turn that service towards their competitors?

If Amazon can get down the necessary logistics infrastructure to handle groceries and perishable produce, who’s to say they can’t then turn that service towards their competitors? While it’s unlikely that many grocery stores are eager to hand over any form of control over to Amazon, it might be something we hear about in the future, especially given how skilled Amazon is at offering a high caliber service at a lower rate than the competition. Again, this is a bit too far off to tell presently, but it will be something to keep an eye on, especially as Amazon Go stores start to open around the country.

 

 

Print Friendly

2016 BlueGrace National Conference | Recap

BlueGrace Logistics recently hosted their 2016 National Conference right here in Tampa, Florida. This was the company’s 6th installment and biggest conference yet with action-packed keynote speakers like Cameron Herold, Bobby Harris, Afterburner, Inc, and Travis Mills. The location was a huge hit as well, as it was the first time the entire company came back to where it all began.

Welcome to Tampa | Meet & Greet Mixer

The 2016 National Conference kicked off with an opening reception Sunday night at the Tampa Marriott Waterside, where employees, franchisees, regional and branch offices could gather and meet new people and see old friends. For some it was their first time interacting in person, since many of the franchises and locations had been acquired in 2016. Putting faces to the names was the goal of this event and it would spark conversations that lasted the entire 3 days.

Putting faces to the names was the goal of this event and it would spark conversations that lasted the entire 3 days

“This was a great opportunity for our our offices out on the west coast and mid west to meet our employees from the east coast,” said Adam Blankenship, Executive Vice President of Operations at BlueGrace Logistics.

Monday Morning | Day 1

Monday morning started bright and early with an employee breakfast and an official kick-off message from BlueGrace Logistics CEO & President, Bobby Harris. His message touched on how BlueGrace performed in 2016 and what BlueGrace is projecting for 2017. He covered every single angle of the current status of the business and really brought his message home when he announced a huge rebranding for the company. The rebranding consists of a new logo, tagline, website redesign, and much more.

The rebranding consists of a new logo, tagline, website redesign, and much more.

“This branding revamp has been in the works for a while, but the whole concept came about in a very organic way. Because of the amount of effort put into the logo change, we weren’t even sure it would happen, but now we couldn’t be happier with the final results and feedback.” said Bobby Harris, CEO, Founder & President of BlueGrace Logistics.

The excitement started early with the BlueGrace rebranding announcement and would continue non-stop for the remainder of the conference. The schedule would include prominent speakers and breakout sessions to help bring the entire company together and land on the same page with the 2017 goals.

Keynote Speakers | Day 1

Cameron Herold

After Harris wrapped up his presentation and a quick break, Cameron Herold, the “COO Whisperer” addressed the company with a powerful message. He touted high level leadership development qualities and generated a buzz with “Building a World Class Company”. As an experienced speaker and author, Cameron has an uncanny ability to draw the audience in and leave them inspired to simplify their daily tasks and and keep the company goals in line with their own.

“Cameron really delivered a solid message and left all the fluff out. He kept it real and talked about how to build a company with the people you want on your team.” said Vanessa Castillo, Vice President of BG Freight.

Breakout Sessions | Day 1

The remainder of Day One consisted of two tracks and one roundup for different employee types; Sales and Leadership. The first track was an eye-opening sales training for the BlueGrace sales teams from around the country. The focus was to learn how to sell under different circumstances and to many types of shipping customers. The sales team learned that by taking more time to listen and really understand the logistics pain points for each potential customer, they could utilize the entire BlueGrace “toolbox” and help solve their specific issues.

There was also a new leadership development track with an in-depth overview of each BlueGrace department.

There was also a new leadership development track with an in-depth overview of each BlueGrace department. Leadership from every department prepared specific messages to engage and empower employees. There were detailed discussions on employee engagement and human resources, explaining how the hyper-growth at BlueGrace would be managed, so every employee would be happy and healthy.

BlueGrace sales associates recieved a one-on-one presentation from Roadrunner Freight’s Grant Crawford.

In addition to the Sales track, the BlueGrace sales associates recieved a one-on-one presentation from Roadrunner Freight’s Grant Crawford. He had the entire sales staff’s attention as he discussed the new branding, capabilities and dedication of Roadrunner as a trusted carrier for the logistics industry. With a detailed presentation on 2016 numbers and 2017 predictions, Grant demonstrated Roadrunners track record for effective freight management and how all of the sales staff could benefit by using them for their current customers.

The remaining option available to the Sales staff was a carrier roundup. In a structured table to table roundup, the BlueGrace sales staff had the time to move from carrier to carrier and learn more about their services and programs. BlueGrace invited carriers to not only attend the conference, but to sit and talk with the sales staff to answer questions and provide direct answers about how their services can help customers achieve their freight objectives. At its conclusion, the feedback on the carrier roundup was very positive with many opportunities shared and discussed.

Monday Night Festivities | Slapshots on Ice at Amalie Arena

Being the Preferred Shipping Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team has its perks! The Tampa Marriott Waterside is directly across the street from the Amalie Arena, the home of the Lightning, so BlueGrace jumped at the opportunity for an on-ice experience. Vendors, carriers and employees were invited to the Amalie Arena for a VIP Tampa Bay Lighting event. Amalie Arena was open to just the BlueGrace conference attendees which gave everyone the opportunity to take a couple slapshots on the NHL team’s ice.

Being the Preferred Shipping Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team has its perks!

“We wanted to give all of our BG family a unique opportunity to go down onto the ice of a top ranked NHL team and take a slap shot, and they all loved it,” said Harris.

After everyone took their shots on the ice, the night concluded with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and an additional carrier reception in the Chase Club, a premier sporting event entertainment area within Amalie Arena. The carrier discussions continued until the early evening as Day 1 came to a close.

Tuesday Morning | Day 2

Afterburner, Inc.

Tuesday kicked off with an exciting presentation from Afterburner, Inc. This group consists of retired military service members who served in leadership roles within elite units of the Armed Forces and consider themselves performance improvement experts. Their main focus was “Flawless Execution.” They fired up the crowd with examples of how they used a “debrief” to both prevent mistakes from happening and for learning from them after they do. The conference crowd left the room excited to utilize what they have learned to help all forms of business communication, from internal to customer interaction.

Day 2 presentations from BlueGrace management were a bit more in-depth. The IT department discussed many of the new tools being added to the BlueShip platform in 2017 that would enhance ease of use, increase the options for the customer and streamline the freight process even more. A round of applause came after IT committed to finishing development in 2017 for all new projects they discussed in their presentation. As the IT department tripled in size in 2016, the ability to add new options simplified billing to additional mode options has become a reality. BlueShip will continue to be on of the industries leading  TMS products in 2017 and beyond.

BlueShip will continue to be on of the industries leading  TMS products in 2017 and beyond.

Enterprise had the sales staff excited with their presentation on how BlueGrace engages with our larger customers. While discussing how to interact with types of customers by handing them off to the Enterprise team, they also discussed some of the reasons why BlueGrace is the best partner for these businesses. After receiving the current shipping data provided by a potential customer, Enterprise can run the numbers through our proprietary formulas and reporting systems to generate exciting and time/money saving opportunities.

Enterprise can run the numbers through our proprietary formulas and reporting systems to generate exciting and time/money saving opportunities.

From distribution models to preferred carriers and on-time delivery options, the Enterprise team at BlueGrace can move more product, more effectively for our customers. As the presentation explained, it does not end there. After the customer in engaged with BlueGrace the reporting and optimizing continues and the program will only get better through new time/money saving options being constantly updated and developed.

Tuesday Keynote Speakers | Day 2

Dave Ross

After the morning presentations, it was time for a keynote from Dave Ross, Managing Director of Global Transportation and Logistics at Stifel Nicolaus. As one of the top financial analysts in the logistics industry, David waspicked #1 by the Wall Street Journal’s Best on the Street Analysts Survey in the industrial transportation industry. His view of the logistics industry is deep and robust.

He was able to discuss with the BlueGrace team as well as the carriers, the impact of 2016 market situations and what the future holds for our industry.

He was able to discuss with the BlueGrace team as well as the carriers, the impact of 2016 market situations and what the future holds for our industry. The inner workings of the financial side of logistics was on full display as he presented what to expect in 2017 with a new president and coming industry regulations and changes.

Travis Mills > Never Give Up. Never Quit.

The final keynote speaker was recalibrated warrior and motivational speaker, Travis Mills. Despite losing portions of both arms and legs from an IED blast while on a deployment to Afghanistan, Travis continues to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds.

Travis lives by his motto: “Never give up. Never quit.”  Travis infused his humor and military background to get the BlueGrace team thinking about what is really important in their lives. To focus on the things you can control and no matter where life takes you, stay on the good side, because if he can do it so can you. Travis stayed after for an hour signing his book and taking pictures with anyone who wanted one, he was a true inspiration the BlueGrace Logsitics team.

We can’t thank him enough for his service and sacrifice. Travis you are a true inspiration.

Tuesday Night Festivities | Gala Celebration at the Oxford Exchange

Originally built in 1891 as a stable for the Tampa Bay Hotel, 420 West Kennedy Boulevard has gone through several transformations in its long history. At this amazing Tampa location, BlueGrace put on an event that would not soon be forgotten. The entire location was rented out and and the fun loving conference attendees filed in.

The Oxford put on a great party with a cocktails, a sit down dinner with fine food and an great dance floor.

The Oxford put on a great party with a cocktails, a sit down dinner with fine food and a great dance floor. The live band came all the way from Jacksonville and played just the right music as the attendees danced the night away. It was an amazing end to the best BlueGrace National Conference yet. We would like to thank all of our attendees, employees, carriers and sponsors for making it an event to remember and look forward to an even better event in 2017!

We would like to thank all of our attendees, employees, carriers and sponsors for making it an event to remember and look forward to an even better event in 2017!

2016 BlueGrace Sales Conference Sponsors



Print Friendly

BlueGrace Logistics Acquires Tampa Based Freight Broker

3PL Announces the Procurement of Continental Traffic Company

Riverview, FL, December 19, 2016 – BlueGrace Logistics has acquired long-time Tampa based logistics, consulting and auditing firm, Continental Traffic Company (CTC). Charlie Boesch, Owner and President of CTC, has been named Vice President of Enterprise Sales.

“I have known Charlie for years and he brings a vast amount of industry career experience in sales and marketing. He will be an excellent addition to our Enterprise Division and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Bobby Harris, President & CEO of BlueGrace Logistics.

Boesch purchased Continental Traffic Company in 1994 after working with Roadway Express for over 17 years.

“It is very important to me that all who learn of this great news, know my deep appreciation and thanks for each client, carrier, and individual who has helped me along the way. Business success becomes meaningful with personal success and I appreciate your kindness,” said Boesch.

The acquisition of CTC is a part of a long-term plan that stems from the recent $255 million private equity investment

The acquisition of CTC is a part of a long-term plan that stems from the recent $255 million private equity investment from Warburg-Pincus. This year, BlueGrace bought more than two dozen of its franchise locations across the country, and the Company is rapidly expanding in new markets, with employment rapidly rising in the Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and Los Angeles areas.

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their less-than-truckload and truckload spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and superior insight of the complex $750 billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

 

 

Print Friendly

2017 Is The Year Of The 3PL. Will Your Freight Be On Board?

While the shipping industry is still suffering through a glut of overcapacity, things are finally starting to look up. The 3PL Value Creation Summit of 2016 yielded some pretty interesting results. Namely that the value added by 3PLs is only expected to keep going up through 2017 and beyond, a welcome boon for the weary shipper. This growth is expected to continue well through the following year and only continue beyond that.

“The global third party logistics (3PL) market is expected to be worth $925.31 billion by 2020 and will be partially driven by the outsourcing of secondary business activities,” according to a study released by Orbis.

A Combined Front of Transportation

While just about all modes of transportation are experiencing an issue, oceanic freight is dealing with a gross overcapacity and weak demand, truckers are faced with growing legislation and on the road concerns, to name a few issues, it will be the combined effort of all these various modes of transportation that will create the greatest value for shippers. A service, of course, that is rendered by eager 3PLs.

“Although carrier overcapacity on the still continues, Evan Armstrong, the president of Armstrong & Associates, predicts that integrated solutions such as air-ground, air-sea, and other combinations will create more value for shippers and increase 3PL margins,” said Patrick Burnson, executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review .

The big winner in the transportation race is going to be the domestic transportation sector

However, the big winner in the transportation race is going to be the domestic transportation sector, responsible for facilitating the last mile deliveries for the majority of eCommerce companies.

Calmer Waters for M&A to Mark Stability for the End of 2016

One of the most promising signs of 2016 is seeing the feeding frenzy of mergers and acquisitions finally dying down. Now that all of the smaller companies have either been absorbed or faded away, the transportation industry is able to turn its attention on the importance of building the right team, focusing on training and talent acquisition. This is important to note given the confusion and frustration of the M&A period that many companies have experienced caused by negative acquisition experiences and overpriced companies. With the dust finally settling, 3PLs and logistics companies can focus on adding value for their customers, which will come as no small undertaking.

With the dust finally settling, 3PLs and logistics companies can focus on adding value for their customers, which will come as no small undertaking.

The challenges of managing geographically dispersed supply chain operations as a result of increased globalization, has led to several companies to outsource their logistics function.

And difficulties with addressing logistical challenges has also led to increased outsourcing by wholesalers and retailers, thereby boosting the 3PL industry.

It found that emerging trends such as Big Data and availability of bespoke 3PL services are expected to drive the market over the forecast period,” says Andrew Allen, a CIPS contributor.

Improving Technology will Continue to Add Value

Another driving factor is the continuous improvement of technology which will only add value for all parties involved. Cloud based IT solutions help to control overhead costs while providing invaluable data in real time, which is necessary for the continued success of 3PLs and shippers alike.

All told, 2017 looks to be a more promising year for both Shippers and 3PL providers.

 

 

Print Friendly

Is Your Freight Protected? Freeze Protection For Temperature Sensitive Shipments

As the holiday season approaches, there are a number of freight tips companies should take into account to ensure that their supply chain continues to function efficiently and cost effectively. Companies must also consider the challenges presented by winter weather that accompanies the holiday season.

Anticipating transportation delays and mapping suppliers that could be affected by big storms and freezing temperatures, are good first steps.

Winter Giving Transportation the Cold Shoulder

The 2015 – 2016 winter season was responsible for a record-breaking blizzard that brought freight transportation in mid-Atlantic states to a halt for a number of days as crews worked to clear the roads of upwards of 3 feet of snow in cities such as Richmond, Baltimore, New York City and Philadelphia. Immobilizing snow also fell across areas in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and Arkansas and thousands of freight cargo flights were grounded as major transportation hubs were closed.

Outside of unavoidable transit delays, companies also need to consider physically protecting their freight shipments from the harshness of winter.

Outside of unavoidable transit delays, companies also need to consider physically protecting their freight shipments from the harshness of winter. You should also consider working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that is able to offer an all-inclusive coverage plan for freight shipments to alleviate the pains of not only damaged freight, but to protect temperature sensitive shipments as well.

Technology Gives Logistics Some Valuable Insight

Weather forecasts are all well and good, but even preparing for delays due to the weather will only go so far. What about when the unexpected should occur. A truck carrying temperature sensitive materials breaks down and will miss its scheduled drop off. Will it be caught in time to make other arrangements? This creates a rather dangerous guessing game when it comes to sensitive freight. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a valuable web of information that users can access, in real time…

The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a valuable web of information that users can access, in real time, to check the location and the status of their freight. That sort of information can make the difference between arranging a truck transfer to get cargo to its destination on time and watching, in horror, as millions of dollars of product simply goes to waste because of a mechanical error, as was nearly the case for Biogen, whose truck carrying temperature sensitive pharmaceutical components was nearly lost when a truck broke down.

Not only does this information greatly help with making logistics decisions, especially when it comes to rerouting a truck due to weather concerns, but it can also help to control shipping costs and strengthen the working relationship of a shipper and a 3PL service provider. That alone can be reason enough, especially when it comes to dealing with the rather unpredictable Winter weather.

Find a 3PL Who can Handle the Cold

It’s important to understand that ‘Acts of God,’ such as extreme winter weather, are not covered when it comes to guaranteed or expedited freight. Being prepared in advance and moving shipments earlier than routinely expected when weather is expected, is something a transportation partner would help with.

A prepared 3PL will understand that every company has its own specific needs in relation to freight transportation and in the winter months

A prepared 3PL will understand that every company has its own specific needs in relation to freight transportation and in the winter months that can mean that some shipments need to maintain an above freezing temperature in order to maintain their quality and value. As many items such as perishable foods, chemicals & electronics are ruined and become useless if they reach a temperature below freezing, it’s important to be ahead of the coming cold.

There are several different means of protection available for shipments such as these and a reputable 3PL will work with specific carriers to make sure that your freight is taken care of properly. From heated or insulated trailers and temperature sensitive load planning and routing technology, to on-site snow removal and cargo quilt thermal blanket protection, your shipment will be protected.

Finding a 3PL that has a large network of LTL and truckload providers that offer freeze protection services to ensure that your shipments arrive safely, and on time, is key to your supply chain’s success this winter.

The challenges of winter are nothing new but preparation in advance is key. Are you prepared?

 

Print Friendly

BlueGrace Logistics Launches New Branding & Logo Concept

 

Riverview, FL, December 12, 2016 – BlueGrace Logistics, a third-party-logistics (3PL) provider, successfully unveiled their new corporate messaging and logo design in front of over 300 employees, franchisees, vendors and partners at their 6th Annual National Conference in Tampa, Florida.

“This branding revamp has been in the works for a while…”

“This branding revamp has been in the works for a while, but the whole concept came about in a very organic way. Because of the amount of effort put into the logo change, we weren’t even sure it would happen, but now we couldn’t be happier with the final results and feedback.” said Bobby Harris, CEO, Founder & President of BlueGrace Logistics.

While the technology based 3PL stayed true to their original blue palette, the font and icon graphics have been updated…

While the technology based 3PL stayed true to their original blue palette, the font and icon graphics have been updated to give the overall feel of advancement and movement. The ellipse that was once in the center, has evolved to a two-color object at the end of ‘BlueGrace’ and suggests both the upward trajectory and depth of the current company.

BlueGrace also announced a new tagline.

Alongside the new logo announcement, BlueGrace Logistics also announced a new tagline; Passion for Logistics. The new tagline and logo are just the beginning of a full rebranding campaign for the rapidly growing 3PL.

 

About BlueGrace Logistics:

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 60 corporate and franchise locations across the U.S. For more information, visit www.mybluegrace.com.

# # #

Print Friendly

Coming Up – BlueGrace Logistics 2016 National Conference

Gold_Template

 

BlueGrace Logistics will be hosting the 2016 National Conference in Tampa, Florida, December 4-6. This will be the 6th installment of the highly anticipated sales training event, but the first time that it will be brought back to the area of where it all started; Tampa Bay.

BlueGrace Logistics was founded by CEO & President, Bobby Harris in 2009.

Since their inception in early 2009, BlueGrace Logistics has grown from a small 2,000 square foot office in Apollo Beach, FL with 15 employees to a 55,000 square foot office building in Riverview, Florida. They currently have 20+ regional and branch offices and over 460 employees nationwide that is growing daily.

The 2016 National Conference is themed and created around BlueGrace’s system-wide growth objectives.

Over the course of the two days, the team at BlueGrace Logistics will be conducting sales training and informing both sales and leadership staff on the state of the industry through interactive events and keynote speakers. A large number of carriers will be on-site to meet with BlueGrace staff, discuss their strengths and show how they can help their customers.

The conference is geared toward enriching the businesses of the BlueGrace the newly expanded 15+ corporate locations,franchise network, and meeting and working on industry related items with our carrier partners.

We have an incredible line-up of keynote speakers.

cameron-high-rez

Cameron Herold – World Renowned Business Coach and Speaker

ross-official-pic-stifel-2014

Dave Ross – Managing Director, Global Transportation & Logistics for Stifel Nicolaus

travis-mills-uniform-380x380

Travis Mills – Multiple-Amputee and US Military and War Hero

autozone-266-small

Afterburner Inc. – Accelerated Performance Special Operators

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics
Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics

 

Print Friendly

Why A Drop in Productivity Might Actually be a Good Thing

bluegracelogistics-productivity

While it might seem counterintuitive, the trucking industry is staring down the barrel of a productivity drop that might actually be just the breath of fresh air the industry needs. After slogging through a slump in demand, the aging of the workforce and the lack of recruits to fill in the gaps, as well as the lack of much needed change to fuel surcharge rates, the industry has been flagging.

EPA regulations force trucking industry to figure out how to get spot rates back up

Of course, that’s not the only grim tidings that are on the horizon for trucking companies. With the EPA’s new phase 2 – greenhouse gas emissions regulations, the industry is left trying to figure out how to get spot rates back into levels of growth and profitability. Surprisingly enough, it’s the new Electronic Logging Devices which, to this point have been the source of much grumbling, that could actually change the shipping environment.

Trump is Sticking with the ELD Mandates

While Republicans tend to prefer avoiding government interference in private businesses, President-Elect Trump has so far stayed the course as far as the Implementation of ELD systems for truckers, making the switch from the standard paper logging over to an electronic means. This means that drivers will have little choice but to report their hours using the new system which keeps them honest and off the roads when it’s required.

What about training the drivers on how to use the electronic logging devices?

For many trucking companies, the fear is that complying with the new ELD regulations are going to cause an efficiency as drivers will need to be trained on the use of the devices, while other drivers will be forced to take their mandatory down time everyday. All told, this sounds like a bad thing, but here’s the kicker, the industry is getting closer to crunch time.

The Capacity Crunch

Having a “crunch” in capacity typically sounds like something the industry would want to avoid, but in this case it’s not. A crunch means a 100% capacity utilization rate which would give the industry something it hasn’t had in years, control over their rates.

“It won’t take much of a shift in capacity to change pricing dynamics, speakers here said. ‘A 1 or 2 percent shift in capacity could be an earthquake,’ said Brian Fielkow, president of carrier Jetco Delivery, said. ‘That shift and a little spark in demand will give you that ‘2014 feel,’ said an article from the JOC.

A small shift can be a capacity earthquake.

“Truck capacity tightened significantly in 2014 as freight demand shot up, spurred by sequential growth in US gross domestic product that exceeded 5 percent in the third quarter. After three quarters of growth below 2 percent, GDP climbed 2.9 percent in the 2016 third quarter,” according to JOC’s senior editor, William B. Cassidy.

While crunch time has been delayed, expected to happen sometime in the middle of next year, it does hinge on a few very important variables. “One is that the economy doesn’t slow down, and other is no delay in the ELD mandate” by the incoming Trump administration. “Our belief is there is not going to be any rollback of the ELD mandate, but what’s at it issue is the timing,” said Larry Gross, a senior consultant at FTR.

A Game of Wait and See

Currently, things are still up in the air as the dust from the Presidential race is beginning to settle. As Donald Trump begin to step into his role as the President of the United States, the trucking industry can only wait and see as to what the outcome will be.

How will Trump’s presidency affect the federal regulations that have been in place for 4 years?

However, it’s very unlikely that there will be any changes to the Federal Regulations that have already been put into place back in 2012. However, there is a slight possibility that Congress could decide to push the mandate back, so it’s simply a matter of seeing how everything will play out.

 

 

Print Friendly

The Shrinking Fleet: Why the Trucking Industry is Scaling Down

shrinking-fleet-11-9-16

It’s no secret that the trucking industry has been experiencing some difficulty over the past few years. With new environmental regulations being passed, necessitating the need for newer, more expensive equipment as well as an aging workforce and one of the worst turnover rates of any industry, most trucking companies have already had to knuckle down to keep rolling. To add insult to injury, amidst the myriad of other problems already plaguing the industry, a drop in demand and a soft economy is forcing a lot of trucking companies to start making cuts to their fleet.

A drop in demand and a soft economy is forcing a lot of trucking companies to start making cuts to their fleet.

“Big trucking companies have spent the second half of the year shrinking their fleets in hopes of changing an imbalance between the supply of rigs on the road and tepid shipping demand that has flattened industry earnings,” say Erica E. Phillips and Paul Page of the Wall Street Journal in an article they recently posted about the subject.

So just how bad is it going to be for the industry going forward?

Data is Still Being Compiled

As the Holiday’s are just around the corner, typically one of the strongest seasons for the trucking industry as consumers begin their shopping frenzy, we’ll get to see just how much of an effect paring down the fleets have had on trucking rates.

“They will learn in the coming weeks, as retailers stock up at stores and distribution centers for the holidays, whether efforts to slim down capacity have produced the rate increases that trucking companies say they need to increase profitability and to expand fleets next year.

Trucking-industry reports in the coming week will take the pulse of a market at a critical point in the fourth quarter, when companies look to build off momentum in the consumer and manufacturing arenas to set business plans for 2017,” the WSJ article reads. “Industry data groups ACT Research and FTR are due to report this week on new heavy-duty truck orders for companies in October, a critical month for setting fleet plans for the coming year after several months in which orders have plummeted to historically low levels,” they added.

Not a New but a Growing Concern

The current state of the economy is something that is always on the mind of the trucking industry. After all, if people aren’t shopping, there isn’t much of a need for trucks. Still, while this isn’t a new concern it’s slowly been creeping up the list. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) annual index of industry concerns, the Economy has climbed from the 9th position (2014) to the 5th, hitting an index rating of 39.9. Since the economy had a strong post-recession period it warranted less concern.

The Economy has climbed from the 9th position (2014) to the 5th, hitting an index rating of 39.9

However, as the economy starts to weaken, the over capacity in the trucking industry is driving rates down, forcing the industry to suffer the blow to their profitability, hence the need to scale back the fleet.

“DAT Solutions LLC, which measures freight rates in the industrial-trucking market, will report the next week on whether carrier efforts to rein in capacity amid tepid demand are pushing up prices as hoped. DAT says prices for spot-market freight hauls and shipments moving under long-term contracts have been slipping for most of the year, and that rates in September were down 6.4% from the same month a year earlier,” say Phillips and Page.

Looking for Solutions

While the numbers aren’t in just yet for how bad the industries situation is, there are a few possible solutions suggested by company heads polled by the ATRI’s survey. Aside from cutting down on fleet size as an attempt to recoup some of the loses, another proposed solution is to support policies that will stimulate the economy. Over 14% of the respondents would like to see more such policies go into place. Conversely, nearly a third of the respondents (32.2%) would like to see reform in the regulations that target the trucking industry, specifically a removal of the ineffective policies that do little else but drive up operations expenses.

Print Friendly