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Tampa Bay Lightning Announce Partnership with BlueGrace Logistics

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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RIVERVIEW, FL – November 30, 2015 – The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced a new partnership with BlueGrace Logistics, a national freight shipping company based in Tampa. The three-year agreement names BlueGrace as “The Preferred Shipping Partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning”.
 
“Since Jeff Vinik purchased the franchise in 2010, we have looked to align ourselves with world-class brands that share our vision and values on and off the ice, and BlueGrace fully embodies that,” said Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. “BlueGrace’s community involvement and commitment to Tampa Bay is aligned with our mission and we look forward to our partnership with them.”
 
The Lightning will team up with BlueGrace for one community outreach event per year over at least the next three seasons. BlueGrace will also be one of the Lightning’s sponsors for their annual Bolt Run. The partnership also includes arena-wide signage and in-game features at Lightning home games.
 
“It’s a natural fit for us to partner with a world-class organization like the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Bobby Harris, CEO and founder of BlueGrace Logistics. “This partnership enables us to team up with the Lightning on charitable initiatives, increase our local visibility and expand our national brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship and years of success with the Tampa Bay Lightning.”

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About BlueGrace Logistics:
 
Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is the fastest growing leader 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.
 
About Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC:
 
Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC is an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik and its holdings include the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm and the leasehold rights to the newly named Amalie Arena, the 19,092-seat downtown Tampa home in which the teams play their games. Vinik purchased the Lightning and the leasehold rights to the arena in March 2010 and has since led a complete brand and business transformation, establishing the company as one of the leading sports and entertainment entities in the United States.

5th Annual Cats vs. Dogs Contest

BlueGrace Logistics holds Fifth Annual Cats vs. Dogs Pet Food Drive Benefiting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay


2015_COMMUNITY_CATSVSDOGS 2RIVERVIEW, Fla. – September 10, 2015: Each year BlueGrace holds their official “Cats vs. Dogs” contest amongst its employees. The contest is a pet food drive in which the women compete against the men to collect the most pet food in pounds. The food is then donated to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to care for the animals in the no-kill shelter.

In 2014, BlueGrace donated more than 44,000 pounds of pet food which was enough to feed the animals for almost an entire year. Since the contest’s inception in 2010, BlueGrace has donated over 80,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society Tampa Bay. Each year, BlueGrace plans to surpass last year’s amount. Employees come together to donate pet food, as well as leverage contacts to purchase large amounts of food. The contest will run through the middle of October.

BlueGrace Logistics takes pride in giving back to the community through our “Giving Grace” Program created by our President and CEO, Bobby Harris. Our Giving Grace charity of choice is the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and we support the organization in many ways throughout the year. Most recently, BlueGrace employees volunteered for Humane Society Tampa Bay during Creative Loafing’s BeerFest event at MOSI. A percentage of the event’s proceeds went to support the animal shelter.

Want to contribute to the 2015 Cats vs. Dogs Competition and Pet Food Drive? 

The public is invited to participate in the Cats vs. Dogs contest. For information or to donate large amounts (such as a pallet of pet food) contact BlueGrace Logistics at community@mybluegrace.comPlease be sure to specify if you’d like to contribute to the “TeamCats” (girls) or “TeamDogs,” (guys) if applicable. 

Is Buying a Franchise a Good Idea?

Buying a franchise

The thought of being your own boss is what most of us dream of, but is it possible? One of the best ways to start your own company is to buy a franchise. Starting your own business from the ground up can take a lot of sacrifice. It can take years before a profit is made if a profit is made at all; most businesses fail in the first two years. The economy is weak, but slowly making its way back. It’s time to get in on the ground floor and make an investment that will pay off in the decade to come. Buying a franchise offers safety nets that are crucial in today’s economy. If you are looking to buy a franchise, just remember to think R.I.C.H

R-RESEARCH

          In deciding to buy a franchise, the freedom to research the company is available. When doing research look for a few things like reviews on the business, success rates, competitors, location, and economic demand.

I-INSURANCE

          Not all but some companies will offer guarantee profit from insurance companies. After researching different franchise opportunities, make sure to look into the benefits each company offers.

C-CLIENT

          The best business incentive to buy a franchise is the built-in cliental, as opposed to building your own following. A franchise offers brand recognition with costumer loyalty that a business can only gain after time. The main responsibility as a franchise owner in regards to marketing is expansion, which is much more achievable than start-up.

H-HOURS

          Being the boss has its advantages and the best is setting the hours! Depending on the type of franchise, it is possible to not even leave the house. It is true, owning a business comes with a lot of demands and a lot of hours, but the beauty of a franchise is the establishment the company already has, so it’s up to the buyer to create their own schedule and keep it up.

So remember all you future business owners, think R.I.C.H!

 

10,000 Meanings For Logistics

 

BlueGrace Logistics…sounds professional right? What does logistics actually mean? And how does it apply to what we do here at BlueGrace? Let’s break it down…

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History

When learning any concept it is essential to understand how it came to be. The word logistics comes from the Greek word, logistiki that pertains to accounting and financial organization. Logistikas were military officers of ancient Roman and Greek empires that dealt with financial and supply distribution. The term surfaced during WWI by the U.S military as logistics. It was used for similar reasons but also the transportation of military materials, facilities, and personnel. The term logistics spread to other nations by WWII, and was soon after adopted by the business world for parallel definitions.


There are many definitions of the word logistics but there is a common theme through the different meanings, plan and organize. Logistics is the mortar in a brick wall. Without logistics corporations would be chaotic and unsuccessful.

In reference to transportation, BlueGrace is the connection between one business’s needs and another.


Logistics: (business definition) Logistics is defined as a business-planning framework for management of material, service, information, and capital flows. It includes increasingly complex information, communication, and control systems in today’s business environment. (http://www.logisticsworld.com/logistics.htm)

 

BlueGrace Logistics on Fox & Friends

BlueGrace Logistics was featured on Fox & Friends segment “On the Job Hunt” on Fox News Channel on Tuesday, February 4! This segment discusses companies that are currently hiring. They mentioned how we have open positions in both our Tampa and Chicago office, including sales, customer service and operations.

Check out the clip by clicking here: Fox & Friends – On the Job Hunt 2/4/14

However, there were some errors in the segment that need to be addressed. In the first mention of BlueGrace, the reporter mispronounces our name, saying “BlueGrass Logistics…” Yea, like the music. Just so you know, we’re not hiring banjo players!

They then go onto to describe us a company who does “bubble-wrapping” and say that we’ll “take care of the tape for you.” Well, that is not remotely close to what we do.

We are true consultants. To simplify it, think of BlueGrace Logistics as the Expedia of freight (no pun intended). We have a full staff of freight experts and have built a proprietary and cutting-edge transportation management system called BlueShip. We are the middleman between customers and transportation carriers to provide more options to businesses and bring in more revenue to carriers. Overall, our business model drives productivity into our industry.

Are you interested in learning more about job opportunities with BlueGrace Logistics? Please click here.

BlueGrace Logistics Sponsors Carlos Condit in UFC Welterweight Championship TOMORROW NIGHT!

BlueGrace Logistics is proud to announce that we will continue the sponsorship of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Interim Titleholder Carlos Condit continues as the fighter competes in the year’s most anticipated UFC Welterweight Championship matchup against George St. Pierre. The live event will take place tomorrow, November 17, 2012 at The Bell Centre in Montreal and will be broadcast on UFC 154!  BlueGrace Logistics has been heavily involved with the sponsorship of MMA fighters, cross-branding the sport with the services of a transportation logistics provider.

“We are proud to sponsor Carlos Condit because he is a driving force representing good sportsmanship and work ethic,” says BlueGrace President and CEO Bobby Harris. “As we grow and continue to add new stakeholders to the organization, it’s important for us to have a role model who works hard, plays hard and can share a story of success. Condit does that for BlueGrace.”

We hope you’ll join us in cheering on Carlos Condit! Join the conversation on Twitter by following @carloscondit and mentioning @mybluegrace!

If you want more information on this fight or on BlueGrace, please call 1.800.MY.SHIPPING!

 

Logistics in the U.S. – Facts at a Glance

Logistics in the U.S. - Facts at a Glance Every facet of American life is touched by transportation. With freight being the economic staple that it is, every haul is a piece of a complex logistical puzzle that powers our nation. We’ve dug up some interesting factoids to help shed some light on just how large of a role transportation plays!

  • The US is comprised of 566 railroads (138,623 railroad miles).
  • Total 2011 U.S. logistics spend was estimated at $1.28 trillion up 6.6% over 2010.
  • According to the 2012 3PL Study, shippers who partner with third-party logistics providers report an average cost reduction of 13% and nearly two-thirds (64%) of survey respondents reported an increase in their use of outsourced logistics services.
  • 3.5 Million: The approximate number of truck drivers moving America’s freight. To put this in perspective, 1 in every 15 people working in the U.S. is employed in the trucking industry.
  • The transportation and warehousing sector totaled 4.292 million people in 2011. You can be an addition to this number, check out a career with BlueGrace Logistics!
  • Fact: Trucking is the dominate mode of transportation for our nation’s freight movement by approximately 71%.
  • 1.2 Million: The number of trucking companies operating in the U.S.
  • The highest-valued imported products in the U.S. include: agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys).
  • There are 149 ports located in the U.S.  South Louisiana, Houston, New York/New Jersey, and Long Beach often hitting the top of the list when ranked by tonnage or TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
  • American businesses transported over 19 billion tons of raw materials and finished goods in 2002, valued at $13 trillion (including domestic commodity movements and domestic transportation of exports and imports).
  • More than $1 out of every $10 produced in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is related to transportation activity.

After exposing your brain to all of this info, the importance of transportation should be crystal clear. You can see how each load is merely a link to an ever-globalizing supply chain. There’s never been a better time to get involved in this industry!

Any of these numbers surprise you? Share your logistics facts and figures with us!

Let us know what you think!

Are You Prepared if a Natural Disaster Disrupts Your Supply Chain?

Although the Weather Channel forecasts a below-average hurricane season in 2012 – there is still uncertainty and history says you can never be too prepared. As Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro instructs,

“people in hurricane-prone areas should be equally prepared every year regardless of seasonal outlooks.”

So what can your business do to prepare this hurricane season? Our team has outlined a few simple procedures to integrate throughout your entire supply chain to help you be proactive and prevent potential loss.

Flooded city hurricane aftermath
Flooded street in the Soho area of Manhattan from last year’s Hurricane Irene. Source: http://bit.ly/LhejIK
  1. Team: Are you prepared if your team is short-handed? Remember that cell phones, email, land lines, etc may become unavailable, which can cause great confusion. To avoid this stress, be sure to have multiple channels to communicate important messages and announcements to your staff. Satellite telephone systems offer a reliable form of communication for your immediate staff members.
  2. Customers: If/when your business is notified of a potential storm, let your customers know immediately so that they can plan ahead and adjust their inventories. Are there any products or materials that will be high in demand before or in the aftermath? The key is to remain flexible.
  3. Supply Chain: Daily operations and supply chain processes can be complicated very easily in the presence of severe weather. An easy way to prepare is to run through best and worst case scenarios with your team so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and how to respond quickly and effectively.
  4. Suppliers: Do you work directly with a single supplier? Is the business located in a hurricane prone area? If so, plan ahead with the supplier and ask how they have prepared to provide services or products in times of disaster. It’s also a good idea to maintain good relationships with multiple suppliers especially if you find yourself in a pinch.
  5. Freight: Be prepared to make special arrangements for your shipments. If the roads are dangerous, truck drivers will be pulled off for safety. An easy proactive measure is to schedule your freight shipments earlier or work with a logistics provider to see if there are any alternative routes. Keep in mind port availability. In the case of heavy rain and flooding, your freight may not be able to move. Consider all modes of transportation.
  6. Insurance Provider: Be sure to have a copy of your policy and get any questions answered from your provider so you’re not left wondering.
  7. Data: Backing up your data is critical. In today’s global economy, businesses function on computer systems and databases. Be sure that your business documents, records, etc are stored at an off-site location.
  8. Community: Once your business has a backup plan, reach out to others in your community and share your tips and advice on how you prepared your business for a natural disaster. Hint: You can start by sharing this information!

No matter how many hurricanes, tropical storms, or natural disasters occur – it only takes one to impact our communities and cause major disruption. Get a plan started today and re-evaluate periodically, especially if severe weather is on the way.

We hope that these hurricane preparedness tips and reminders are helpful to your business. Of course, it is our hope that you will never have to put your plan into action. If you would like more information on how to formulate your own plan, build a kit and get involved, check out this natural disaster preparedness resource from FEMA.

 

#BGInvestigates: Is Rail Transport Right on Track for your Business?

 

Rail Transport | Rail Freight Shipping | Intermodal Transportation
When it comes to transporting your heavy load, have you looked into all transportation modes?

The Shipper’s Key to Railroad Freight is Planning Ahead of Time Based on your Business Model.

When it comes to transporting your heavy load, have you looked into all transportation modes? The U.S. rail system is one of the largest contributors to our economic well-being, providing an efficient long haul transportation alternative. In 2009, following a historic $26 billion railroad investment, Warren Buffett was quoted saying

“Our country’s prosperity depends on its having an efficient and well-maintained rail system.”

With increasing diesel fuel prices and rising carbon emissions – The planet can’t afford for you to ignore the benefits of rail freight shipping!

Suppose that your business has freight going from Tampa to Los Angeles, about 2,500 miles. While road may take 4 ½ transit days, rail would take approximately 10 days. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That’s a big transit difference!” We agree – but how fast could YOU travel with 100 tons on your back?! Not to mention the difference in environmental impact. Did you know that rail is the most energy efficient way to move your goods on land? In fact, rail uses on average 4x less energy than truck, reducing carbon emissions by 75%! The point is… If your business can plan ahead, then you can utilize rail to transport your goods and significantly reduce your supply chain costs and carbon footprint. Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh?

This issue of #BGInvestigates identifies a few questions to help you identify if rail is the ideal mode of transportation for your business.

  • What type of goods can be transported by rail? Coal is the most important commodity carried by rail, followed by other products such as chemicals, grains, farm products, non metallic minerals, waste and scrap.
  • Approximately how many tons can a rail car handle? While a truckload can handle about 43,000 lbs., a rail car can handle 100-110 tons.
  • How do you receive a freight rate for rail? Contact one of our Freight Experts via email or phone (800-697-4477) so that s/he can identify the rail lane options and select the best route for your freight.  This is a customizable process and it’s important to know all of your transportation options.
  • Is booking railroad freight difficult? Not at all! After receiving a competitive price to transport your goods, you can fill a container when time allows and schedule a truck to pick up your freight from your business location. From there, the driver will take it to the rail yard where your freight will be loaded and sent off by railroad to its drop off destination.

So what do you say? Does rail seem like the right track for your business? Contact one of our Intermodal experts today to analyze the advantages and cost savings potential to move your goods via rail. As we continue to research new methods that will save you money and the environment while improving efficiencies, we’ll report them to you! Did you find this post helpful or have an idea the BG Investigates Team should look into? Don’t forget to mention it on Twitter (#BGInvestigates).

Have freight that’s ready to be shipped by rail? Share a picture!  Are you on Pinterest? Pin it!

Fresh-Cut Freight: Shedding Light on the Logistics of the Floral Industry

The nation’s 2nd highest gift-giving holiday is fast approaching and retailers and shippers alike are kicking it into high gear. According to the US Census Bureau, there are more than 23,000 florists in the United States! Flowers account for 70% of all gifts bought each year on Mother’s Day.

With such essential perishables on-board, you may wonder how these delicate tokens are transported from their origin to your mother’s hands. The inventory must be kept cool and in constant motion, creating a complex logistical approach to any supply chain. One day lost in delivery can equal 10% of the effective floral shelf life, limiting the opportunity for the re-seller to sell the product.

The journey begins with the snip of a stem – the clock is ticking to get the flowers to their destination. The majority of flower supply stems from Colombia and Ecuador. Christine Boldt, Executive Vice President of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida describes the supply flow after being placed immediately in a refrigerated truck for transport to a cool warehouse at the airport, “They go through a process we call ‘pre-cooling,’ in which any warm air that might be trapped in the box is vacuumed out. That allows the flowers to cool faster than they would if we simply left warm air inside the package.”

Fresh-cut Freight: Shedding Light on the Logistics of the Floral Industry, Mother’s Day 2012
Fresh cut flowers experience pre-cooling and are released to the warehouse, where shipments are broken down and shipped to their destination. Source: http://bit.ly/LXlMz2

Following the “pre-cooling,” the blossoms travel through the center of the U.S. flower distribution system: Miami International Airport (MIA). MIA houses approximately 2/3 of the supply (about 35,000 – 70,000 boxes every day) with huge spikes in volume around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day! In an effort to challenge Miami International Airport’s market dominance, California-based Mercury Air Group’s opened a 12,700-square-foot refrigeration facility at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Once packages arrive, they are inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); ensuring the flora is free from harmful pests and diseases can take up to four hours. Fortunately, only two percent of shipments are labeled non-compliant under APHIS regulations. After the flowers receive the “green light,” the next step is another pre-cooling and release to warehouse, where shipments are broken down and shipped to an international location or placed on refrigerated trucks for domestic distribution. The flora can reach any city in the US by truck in less than five days.

Retailers are the final link in the cut-flowers supply chain before reaching your mother’s hands. Retailers include traditional florist shops, online stores, supermarket chains, roadside vendors, gas stations, drugstores, etc. Supermarkets account for nearly 40% of our flower sales and are steadily increasing sales throughout the slower parts of the year.

From harvest to retailer, perishables are a challenging transport, but 3PLs are here to help. BlueGrace® Logistics offers freight shipping services and solutions that aid in simplifying the supply chain process. Our dedicated representatives provide complete consult in helping shippers choose the best mode of transportation as well as the right carrier for their needs. Our customizable transportation management system, BlueShip™, provides detailed visibility of time-sensitive shipments so you’re always aware during transit.

We know the importance of on-time delivery. Whether it is flowers or materials, let BlueGrace® handle the logistics while you manage your other critical business operations. Contact a member of our team for a free, customized freight quote today!

If you’re involved in the shipping process of flowers, please add your input! Do you work in the floral industry and have any tips to share? Let the community know by commenting on our blog!

Happy Mother’s Day!

-Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Twitter: @BG_JennyD

 

Partnership Reduces Costs and Transit Time… Creating Benefits for All

This is a fantastic read and I wanted to share it with you! Logistics Management reports how a closeout retailer, Tuesday Morning, partnered with a leading transportation provider, Averitt Express, and increased their bottom line.  Headquartered in Houston, TX, the retailer strived to find a solution to transport its “obnoxious freight” and keep inventory moving. The experts at Averitt Express, one of our valued partners, provided a distribution center (DC) bypass solution, eliminating significant transportation costs and shipment days for Tuesday Morning.

Kudos to the transportation professionals at Averitt and congrats to the team at Tuesday Morning! It’s evident you are a dynamic match!

At BlueGrace® Logistics, our team of experts can evaluate your supply chain to identify inefficiencies and propose solutions to eliminate time and enhance your bottom line. Contact us today for a free audit and to discuss collaborative distribution.

Read the Logistics Management article  “Tuesday Morning’s DC bypass cuts two weeks, 19 percent cost out of supply chain.”

 

– Samantha Hill, Community Manager
Follow @SamHill_BG on Twitter!

Behind the Wheel of a Big Rig

If you follow our CEO Bobby Harris @BobbyBG_CEO on Twitter, you’ll see that he continually warns of capacity overload and driver shortages looming. I don’t understand why people that are stuck in “dead-end jobs” do not want to become truck drivers! According to Indeed.com the average salary of a truck driver in Florida is $53,000/year and the salary index is on an upward trend.

I believe that most people typically think of drivers as long haul and that is a huge misnomer. Many drivers that work for LTL carriers go in to their home terminal in the morning, help load their van, take deliveries out in the morning, enjoy lunch, do pickups in the afternoon, unload back at terminal and then go home. These routes are very structured and the pay tends to be as well. Independent owner operators that do the long haul driving across the country have more freedom to name their own price and make more money.

These modes, in addition to railroads, have been the backbone of this country for many years and it will remain as such. President Obama spoke about how manufacturing is experiencing an uptick in the United States, which means that more American-made products will need to get from point A to B.

Can you see yourself behind the wheel of a big rig? The opportunity is there to have a career for years to come. Your future is up to you!

– Dustin Snipes, Inbound Sales Supervisor
Follow me on Twitter: @DSnipesNole_BG

Rising Price of Oil: Effects on Daily Purchases and Transportation

Oil prices are going up in 2012! If you are in the trucking industry or just a consumer, when oil prices go up … YOU are affected. Oil prices not only effect the price of gasoline that we put in our car every day or diesel in a truck (which is more expensive) but also the cost of our food, packaging of products and many other items that we use daily. Remember, the cost of a barrel of crude oil is based on what speculators think will happen to the production and delivery of the barrels of oil around the world. Recently Iran made a statement that they will close the Strait of Hormuz, which is a major waterway for theStrait of Hormuz, Iran transportation of oil from the Middle East. The reason for the statement is not important pertaining to this blog, but the impact to the price of oil would be huge. The NY Times reported that if the Strait of Hormuz was closed, the price of oil could rise as much as 50% or more within days (which we are already beginning to experience).

Today the average cost per gallon of gas is $3.30 and for diesel is $3.78 (eia). Just sit back and imagine if the cost of these two items doubled within 2 days. Let’s do some quick math, to personally fill my car the cost would go from $60 to $118. To fill a truck that can carry 400 gallons of diesel would go from $1,512 to $3,024. For shippers, the fuel cost that you would pay for a shipment from Los Angeles, CA to Boston, MA would go from an estimated $1,581 to $3,849 just for the cost of fuel. That does not count the line haul cost. If the cost of transportation for our products goes up, so do the costs at stores where we buy our goods. Food, paper towels, diapers, apparel, paper for the copier, etc… will go up.

So, if you ever wonder why oil prices are such a big issue in this country or why the USA spends so much time in the Middle East, just look at the impact it has on your personal budget and transportation services. Look at the impact on one of your shipments if oil prices should double.

-Chris Reeves, Director of Specialized Services
Twitter: @BGTruckload

Not the end of Hours of Service (HOS) Rules Changes

Who has seen the new HOS (Hours of Service) rules that just came out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)? The trucking industry has been waiting to see what the FMCSA was going to do with the HOS rules that they currently operate under. I am not going to get into the details of the changes, but I am going to make this point. If trucking was so unsafe that the FMCSA had to get together to make changes to the law, then why did they make the effective date start 1.5 years in the future? Personally it does not seem to be that big of a safety issue if drivers are going to continue to operate under the same rules till July 2013 before they have to change.  With the Millions of drivers on the road that is a lot of unsafe driving till July 2013.

If we are going to make change, let’s change. I said I am not going to let you know the details and the main reason is because the rules will change before this ever goes into effect.

Trucking Industry be aware. This is not the end of the HOS rules changes. More to come!!!

– Chris Reeves, Director of Specialized Services
Twitter: @BGtruckload

News: Gas Tax Debate

I read a great op-ed column in The New York Times today titled “The Clear Case for the Gas Tax.” It explains the importance of not only passing a new gas tax by September 30th but also strongly considering raising the tax. It is important that everyone know the impact of what raising the gas tax would do.

For those that don’t know, Americans pay an average of about 43 cents per gallon in taxes. This is only about one-eighth the average gas price. Countries in Europe are paying twice what we do in the US for gas and half of Europe’s cost is in taxes. I don’t think we need to go anywhere near their numbers, but Americans would much rather see gas prices increase to repair roads, create new transportation projects and create more jobs rather than inflate the profits of oil and fuel companies.

I want to make sure everyone is aware of the importance of Washington passing a gas tax bill. At a minimum we need a gas tax extension, although I would prefer at least a slight increase to stimulate infrastructure projects in transportation. What would you like to see happen with the gas tax?

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Survey: Local solutions, tolls wanted for road repair
The gasoline tax expiration date is coming soon
US Diesel Prices Hit 24-Week Low
Obama Funds Biofuels Projects for Ships, Planes
Abolish the federal fuel tax?
FTR Shippers Condition Index Improves Slightly
The results of the 20th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends (Masters of Logistics)

News: He Who Knows Everything Has Much to Learn

Check out this article about a 63-year-old Floridian that held off a robber with a wrestling move he learned in college. I found the article interesting because the man instinctively acted to disarm the robber and save himself by using something he learned throughout his life. It made me think about personal and career development, a popular topic at my office right now.

We are currently competing in a competition called “Battle of the Bulge” to lose body fat and promote a healthier lifestyle at my workplace. This is just one step in the development process though. It is important to continue to develop yourself as a person, employee and leader. I always remember the quote “He who knows everything has much to learn.” It means you should never stop learning new things and finding new areas to excel in. The more you are capable of as a person will help you throughout your life. It could be the promotion you have been hoping for, the girl/guy you have been going after, or the lives saved of you and your family. It could even be just living a longer, healthier, happier life. Continue to teach yourself throughout your life and never stop learning!

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
NAFA Urges EPA To Reconsider E15 Waive Decision
Truck Driver Social Media Conference to be Held
Analysis: Infrastructure woes – a roadblock to growth
EPA regulation coming at the wrong time
DOT’s Stimulus Payouts Reach $30.4 Billion

News: Innovation and Prosperity

If you didn’t hear yesterday, the first photo was released of the woman mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009 that had a full face transplant. It is an inspiring story and it is amazing to see what we are capable as a country. Our medical field has excelled to the point that it can completely reconstruct and transplant an entire face, as well as completing hand transplants.

The US has continued to work hard to be a leader in the world and to be at the leading edge for innovation and development. The issue we hit now is, can we afford this lifestyle as a country? We are cutting back on budgets and the likelihood is that we will also be cutting back on government funding towards many projects that produce results like these.

No matter if taxes are raised or there is tax reform, it is time for Americans to put it on our backs to see that our country never stops being an innovator. If you are young enough, pursue a career in a field of medicine, research, science or technology. If you aren’t, foster a culture of innovation and prosperity in your company that those around you in the industry can see. If all that is too difficult, simply donate time or money to a charity that funds research. My favorite is The V Foundation for Cancer Research that gives 100% of donations to cancer research. Have any ideas of your own? Everything can help to make sure our country is always at the leading-edge.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow us @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Obama: Tell Congress to ‘get past differences and send me’ highway bill
Gas prices expected to fall
“Passengers” documentary features diverse voices on transportation
U.S. exports decline as consequence of economic uncertainty
Spot Market Truckload Index Rise 22 Percent
USPS Wants to Cut 120,000 Jobs

News: Liberty Under Construction

I heard earlier today that the Statue of Liberty will be shut down for a year while it undergoes construction. For those planning a visit, make it to New York by Oct. 28th to see it before the closing. I found this to be interesting and fitting with the state of our country.

The Statue of Liberty stands tall as a symbol of our great country. The fact that this monument is under construction, just as our country is going through a huge reconstruction of our spending and taxing habits, seemed fitting. Unfortunately I have never been able to visit New York or the Statue of Liberty. I will have to plan a visit soon after the construction is finished. At that point, maybe our country will be on the right path towards rebuilding for our future as well!

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Survey Finds Drivers Still Don’t Understand CSA
Shippers Oppose FMCSA Efforts to Regulate Waiting Time
Lawmakers’ FAA spending fight comes to an end, but likely only temporarily
Transportation pricing trends – August 2011
Is natural gas a transportation game changer?
DOE Awards $175 Million for Vehicle Fuel Projects
Survey Sees Major Shift of Truck Freight to Intermodal
US Trade Deficit Balloons to 20-Month High

News: Achieve Greatness in Life & Career

I read an article this morning that really inspired me. The story is of a 98-year-old woman that became the first woman ever to earn Judo’s highest-degree black belt. Her story can be found here. The reason this inspires me was because of the obstacles she had to overcome in order to achieve this high honor. She started practicing Judo in 1935 and had the barrier of being a woman that stopped her for 30 years.

Sensei Keiko Fukuda said she approached her life with the intent to “be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong both mentally and physically.” This approach helped her to achieve every small goal along the way to her final achievement. So this leads to a few questions. What are your life goals or career goals? Have you set any yet? Why not?

I remember a quote from Vince Vaughn in the movie Dodgeball. He said, “I found that if you have a goal, you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed.” The truth is that you may never be disappointed if you don’t set any goals, but if and hopefully when you grow to the age of 98 years old, do you want to be able to look back at your life and realize you accomplished nothing? Set goals in your life. Set goals in your career. Do what it takes to overcome whatever stands in your way and achieve greatness!

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Report: Get Out of the Highway-Obsessed Eisenhower Era
The Role of Labor in Transportation
The Heart of U.S. Economic Decline: Our Inability to Raise the Gas Tax
Early Reaction to Truck Efficiency Standards Mostly Positive
Shippers demand creation of “jobs agenda”
Fed Pledges Two Years of Low Interest Rates

News: Go Green!

Today, the truck fuel standards for 2014-2018 were announced. These standards should help the trucking industry save approximately $50 billion and cut oil use by 530 million barrels by 2018. This is great news for the industry and the environment. This is great news for our country’s dependence on oil. As the ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said, “While it is too early to know all the potential effects of this rule, we do know it sets us on the path to a future where we depend less on foreign oil, spend less on fuel and contribute less to climate change.”

The National Wildlife Federation said the long-term impact of the fuel economy standards would cut 639 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2030. These standards won’t go into effect overnight and the ATA is actually calling for more standards to cut fuel use, such as a 65 mph speed limit for all vehicles. Trucking companies and manufacturers will have plenty of time to develop and deploy new technology to meet these standards.

So here is my question for you. What are you doing to help the environment? What is your company doing to “Go Green”? Find ways to create a better environment for our future. Start recycling at home. Find out if anyone wants to carpool to work. Maybe start a campaign to use less paper at the office like BlueGrace. Whatever your idea may be, find a way!

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Trucking Capacity Index Climbs 8.8 Percent
Transportation Stocks Lead Market Dive
Obama Urges Transport Spending, Tax Cut Extension
Trade agreement with Panama still on hold
Ensuring economic prosperity for the future by investing in transportation
Diesel Drops Steeply; Oil Hits Lowest Price This Year
Obama Seeks 20% Reduction in U.S. Big-Rig Truck Fuel Use by 2018