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Electronic Logging Devices:  Making time more valuable

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There has been much speculation on the upcoming electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that is to be implemented in December 2017.  The discussion often heard is not about the benefit to safety even though that was how it was sold to Congress.  The American Trucking Association (ATA) lobbied the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for ELDs based on the promise of safer highways.

However, compliance enforcement and keeping everyone on a level playing field is most likely the goal of the ATA.

That is understandable as smaller companies and independent truckers have not voluntarily embraced ELDs and subsequently can move freight farther and faster.  But that is about to change in December 2017.

Pending Lawsuit to Stop ELDs

Before we predict the future of trucking and develop a course of action for shippers and logisticians alike, it would be clumsy to not mention the lawsuit that is standing in the way of implementation.  The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit that can be read about here and should be decided by the end of 2016.  OOIDA’s legal team has a history of challenging FMCSA overreach and winning – so stay tuned.  OOIDA’s president recommended to members that they wait on the court decision before they purchase an ELD.

The Law of Supply and Demand

Now, assuming the ELD implementation goes into effect next December, there will be an immediate demand for more trucks as the supply will be reduced.  How is the number of trucks reduced you wonder?  There will still be the same amount of trucks on the road the day after ELD implementation as the day before.

But the amount of hours available to wait on the shipper, receiver and drive will be strictly enforced.  There will be no more favors of putting in a few extra hours to get the load delivered a day early.

Some service times between a shipper and receiver may increase by an entire day if they were already borderline before mandatory ELDs.  Paper log books are easily manipulated and some shippers and 3PLs have standardized the faster service times by expecting everyone to do it.  A conversation with a 3PL agent sometimes sounds like this:  “You can’t get this shipment 800 miles to destination next day?  My other carriers do it all the time.”

Loading and Unloading Times Should Improve

The detention of trucks at shippers or consignees will have to improve.  Either the load/unload times will be expedited or heavy detention rates will be charged in order to compensate for the lost driving time.  Remember, every minute that a truck driver is on-duty will be more valuable because it will be precisely measured and regulated by ELDs.

In the past, some trucking companies have looked the other way as the dock delays cut into driving time.

Now, with strict compliance to hours of service regulations around the corner, trucking companies will no longer look the other way in order to save business, but will look to levy detention fees to shippers and receivers who unnecessarily borrow valuable driving time from a trucking company.

 

The Busiest Time for Logistics – Holiday Season

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Holiday Logistics Ramp-Up

The busiest time of year for retail sales will soon be upon us. Logistics during the holiday season requires a significant amount of planning. If shippers are not currently prepared, they may already be too late. Product inventories are being increased as early as August of each year in preparation for the coming rush. For products arriving from overseas on container ships – early summer is when things heat up.

Nineteen percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping in October and 40% are holiday shopping during November. The average consumer plans to spend $804 for gifts and this number climbs steadily each year.

Large retailers are already moving products into warehouses and reviewing/finalizing contracts with large fleets. The sharp increase in the volume of retail products being moved in the next few months is staggering. It is “all hands on deck” for companies looking to capitalize during this strong, but brief uptick in the economy.

Where are my trucks?

Shipping around the holidays creates a significant amount of traffic, so it’s important to keep in mind the international holidays as well. Top of mind is Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas.

If your business depends on trucks to move your products to distribution centers or retail locations, I recommend that you keep constant communication with your transportation management team during the next few months. Often they are lured away from routine shipments to help support large retailers with their increased capacity needs during the holiday rush. It is a very lucrative time for carriers who are in high demand a few short weeks.

Amazon/UPS Drop the Ball in 2013

Remember the big Amazon/UPS debacle from 2013? Many packages did not make it to their destination as promised. Frankly, Amazon sold more products then projected and UPS and other carriers could not handle the excess. They have shipped more packages in subsequent years and have not had service failures as they did during Christmas of 2013. That is mainly because of Amazon deciding to take more of a lead in response to the increased demand and securing more truck capacity then in the past.

UPS and Fed-Ex contract heavily with outside carriers prior to the holidays for extra truck capacity. They both work with large trucking companies to gain line haul support in order to move thousands of extra loads from service center to service center. The trucking companies send a good portion of their fleet over to support the package carriers.

During this time, routine shippers may have trouble securing trucks for their normal operation.

That is why the constant communication between shippers and their carriers is imperative in understanding and reassuring capacity concerns.

Things to Bear in Mind When Planning for Holiday Uptick

  1. Be Proactive – Stay in constant contact with your 3PL. Have everyone on the same page and send out your forecasting to everyone who has a part in your success. “All Hands On Deck”
  2. Go Over Last Years Mistakes and Key Wins – Compile a list of previous years takeaways. Going over the things you could have done better is an effective way to avoid making the same mistakes this year.
  3. Be Flexible – As you may know one of our Core Values is to Embrace Chaos and we strongly encourage vendors, shippers, and carriers to do the same; especially during the holiday shipping season. By constantly communicating with your 3PL and handling your shipments early, you can avoid most last minute issues.
  4. Have a Plan B – Effective supply chain execution is the difference between getting products to customers on time. Make sure you have a Plan B and are able to execute it as soon as you notice any issues with Plan A!

Shippers – there is no need to fear.

There are still many solutions to get your products delivered to the destination during the busy holiday season. I recommend that you begin a business relationship with a 3PL if you have not already. You need to begin and foster this relationship as soon as possible because they too, will be called upon heavily during the holiday season.

3PLs have access to thousands of carriers across the country that can be called upon with short notice to transport your products to their destination.

Working with a 3PL anytime of the year will improve your bottom line, but if there is any time that we urge shippers to utilize the resources of a third party logistics provider – it’s the holiday season!

Is your business ready?

 

 

Internet of Things: 2016 Status

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The IoT has come a long way within the logistics world, making both significant headway as well as changes within the logistics industry. Eft polled 600 supply chain decision makers to see what their standpoint on the IoT was, as well as any other thoughts they might of had. Of the respondents polled, many have plans to incorporate the IoT into their operations; while almost half already have an active IoT solution which means the majority of the respondents have or are planning to have the IoT as part of their inner logistics workings.

On the Roadmap

Respondents who have plans to implement the IoT have shown similar findings as those polled during 2014. While the IoT can offer a considerable amount of data, the three main areas of focus where:

  • Location
  • Temperature
  • Speed

While other variables such as Theft Prevention and Security have risen, some respondents have indicated that they are looking forward to having every statistic, showing that companies are taking a growing interest in not just the practical applications, but the potential application that the IoT can bring to their supply chain.

Additionally, the survey showed the different types of technology that companies are using to track and monitor their freight. While the IoT remains the most popular choice presently, other options such as GPS tracking, barcodes, and the much vaunted RFID aren’t far behind as companies are looking for higher levels of visibility in their supply chain.

Reasons for Implementation

There are a number of reasons companies are looking to step up their technology. Safety and compliance, access to real time freight data such as temperature and humidity levels (product integrity), as well as improving efficiency throughout their operations. However, the most important use of the IoT listed by the respondents is the customer. Having access to real time data and location for freight not only allows for more frequent updates regarding the location of their freight, but also offers companies the ability to provide better customer service through more information.

With the tumultuous nature of the freight industry, especially given the current policy changes, international regulations, and overall issues spanning from weak demand to overcapacity, strong customer service is becoming more important than ever, especially if companies want to attract and keep new clients.

Technology Growth Overall

In addition to the overall improvements to customer service and visibility made by incorporating the IoT many businesses have embraced a number of technological advancements. From 2014 to 2016 GPS and Satellite Tracking has increased 5%, data logging has increased by 14%, and IoT sensor and monitoring technology has increased to 19%. Conversely, RFID and barcode solutions have remained mostly constant, which would seem to indicate that companies are making a shift towards technologically advanced solutions.

One of the driving goals for the tech upgrades is to increase the visibility and efficiency of the supply chain. Given the complexities of land based logistics, it comes as no surprise that 80% of respondents dealing with land based freight are looking in increase visibility. About 50% of air shipments and only 33% of ocean freight carriers are looking for visibility improvements.

Implementation and Use of the IoT

Respondents were also asked how they planned to use the IoT within their business. Over half, 59% are currently using the IoT simply for real time monitoring and alarms, while 41% are looking to use the data to create predictive models and optimize their supply chain. With continued growth and development of the IoT, it’s very likely we’ll see a shift from monitoring and alarms over to prediction and optimization.

However, while there is a considerable amount of potential with the IoT, 61% of the respondents say they only utilize less than half of the information gathered. This is likely due to the lack of analytic capabilities necessary to process the sheer amount of data gathered by the IoT.

Return On Investment

Return on investment is important, especially when it comes to big ticket items like implementing new technology. The survey asked respondents what they felt the time frame on their return on investment would be.

The majority answer, at 28%, said that their ROI would be seen within 12-18 months. More confident companies, 17%, said that they would see their ROI within 12 months or less. This leaves a number of companies not expecting to see their ROI until 24 months or longer.

However according to the 2014 findings, more often than not, this was due to execution and implementation issues, which means companies who were experiencing a longer than average ROI timeframe, are confident that they would see it within a reasonable time frame after getting their program back on track.

Plans to Expand

Perhaps one of the most vital bits of information gathered is that 87% of current IoT users have plans to expand on their IoT capabilities. With the high success rate for the ROI and the growing shift to predictive modeling, the continued growth and expansion of the IoT amongst companies world wide would only help to strengthen the data collecting capabilities, providing more sources to draw from. As companies continue to make the shift to advanced technology, it can be assumed that we will see a change in the way that freight and logistics are carried out, harnessing the power of data and analytics over the trial and error method of the past.

 

 

Pursue Outrageous Goals | Core Value #3

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Bill Gates

Dropped out of Harvard after two years – He founded Microsoft and is now known as the richest person on earth! He Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Elon Musk

Founded his first company at the age of 23 and sold it for $300 million. He is also the co-founder of PayPal, founder of Tesla Motor Company and SpaceX. When he funded the project for SpaceX, he spent nearly all of his net-worth and for many years the public thought he would fail. NASA has now teamed up with Elon to fund SpaceX for a $1.6 billon contract. He Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Joan of Arc

A peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. She doned mens clothing and hairstyle to fight and was nicknamed “The Maid of Orléans.” Joan is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Sara Blakely

Billionaire Founder of Spanx was just trying to hide her panty lines while wearing white pants and cut off the feet of her panty-hose. For a full year she worked on an undergarment without telling anyone. Neiman-Marcus eventually picked up her product and she sent a pair to Oprah. A few weeks later she got a call asking if she had a website and could handle a ton of orders. She quit her job in October of 2000 and was on Oprah’s couch in November and never looked back. She Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

BlueGrace is a big believer in it’s employees, potential new hires and clients ‘Pursuing Outrageous Goals’.

Taking a risk and pursuing an outrageous goal is something that many will avoid for one thing – FEAR. The fear of failure and the fear of letting someone down. People fear what they have to lose.

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn

Bobby Harris

CEO of BlueGrace Logistics founded this company because he saw an opportunity and pursued it. Starting his career at 18 years old working on the docks for Southeastern Freight Lines, Harris worked his way up through operations management. At 20 he was running an outbound facility, and at 22, he was working in sales.

Harris was 30 years old when he bought into a DHL shipping franchise, and within two years, he owned 23 franchises. In 2008, Harris wanted to buy the franchisor, but the deal fell through when DHL decided to leave the U.S.

So at the beginning of 2009, Harris decided to start Blue Grace Logistics. He tapped into his 401(k), brokerage accounts, real estate and financial investments to start the company. He Pursued an Outrageous Goal.

Our employees, companies and carriers we partner with shouldn’t settle for mediocrity.

Along with 7 other core values that we look for in our candidates, employees and partners, Pursuing Outrageous Goals has to be one of the top.

“We look for people willing to take risks and jump in with both feet. It’s a great combination knowing that the people who work with you are some of the most caring and most encouraging. I know that the people employed here support our mission and see our vision for the future. They are Pursuing this Outrageous Goal with me at BlueGrace Logistics,” said Bobby Harris, CEO.

Do You Pursue Outrageous Goals?

As you may have seen in recent news stories and articles, BlueGrace Logistics is growing and needs to hire more team members! Check out our Careers page and apply today if you think you have what it takes to join our team and Pursue Outrageous Goals!

 

 

Carrier Spotlight | A. Duie Pyle

Carrier Spotlight | A. Duie Pyle

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A. Duie Pyle is the Northeast’s premier transportation and logistics provider, offering solutions for LTL, Truckload, Custom Dedicated and Warehousing & Distribution. Through established partnerships our service coverage extends into the Southeast, Midwest, Canada and the Caribbean. A family-owned and operated business for more than 92 years, A. Duie Pyle provides a complete range of integrated transportation and distribution services supported by 22 transportation service centers, and 9 warehouses strategically located throughout the region.

A. Duie Pyle holds the highest “On-Time  Delivery” performance for a regional core carrier in their direct service footprint.

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Regional LTL Solutions

  1. A. Duie Pyle’s extensive infrastructure provides all the flexibility shippers need to meet the expectations of your customers. They operate out of over 1,100 terminal doors, with more than 1,150 drivers to meet their service commitments throughout the Northeast.
  2. A. Duie Pyle also offers extended service coverage beyond their core area through our reliable partners, Southeastern Freight Lines, Dayton Freight Lines, Midland Transport and Concord Transportation. Our time-proven relationship with these carriers is supported by similar cultures, values and goals, which always puts the customer first to assure your products are delivered safely and on time. Our partnerships produce transit times that are more reliable than the multi-regional and national carriers.

Specialized Services

Regional Flexibility in the Northeast.

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Predictability is the key to delivering on their promise. You can always count on their Northeast LTL solutions for service features that meet your specific needs. A. Duie Pyle provides a full range of specialized services, from high-performing Pyle Priority Service to their 24/7 Protect from Freezing Program. All service features are integrated throughout their growing network of LTL service centers.

Performance

More Measurements. More Predictability.

A. Duie Pyle knows that customers look for a service advantage in multiple areas of performance, from on-time pick-ups and morning deliveries, to exception-free freezable protection and preventable accidents. They measure more performance metrics with precision, and issue a Quality Process report to many of our customers on a monthly basis, and they can provide one for you by request.

 

How Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Are Going To Affect Consumer Goods Manufacturers

 

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According to a new survey of 257 carriers and owner-operators by DAT Solutions, most drivers spend three to four hours waiting to get loaded or unloaded.  54% of the carriers surveyed stated that they wait between three to five hours every time they arrive at a shipper’s dock.  A whopping 9% said that they wait more than five hours on average.  There has been very little consideration for the wasted time of the driver and the cost of a $200,000 truck and refrigerated trailer sitting at the dock for hours, but that will soon change.

54% of the carriers surveyed stated that they wait between three to five hours every time they arrive at a shipper’s dock.

The Need For More Trucks And Rates Will Increase

When the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is implemented in December 2017, strict adherence to federally mandated hours of service regulations will turn these dock delays into service failures.  A conversation with a small fleet owner demonstrated the disruptive nature of the ELD mandate.  He said, “97% of all trucking companies have 20 trucks or less.  We haven’t fully implemented this technology yet, but when we do, you’ll likely see a need for more trucks and rates will increase to make up for the decreased capacity.” The refrigerated sector, which is most often delayed by shippers and receivers, may start experiencing extended transit times because the unnecessary detention will no longer be hidden in paper log books.  The days of sitting at a dock all day, then driving all night to the destination are soon ending.

The days of sitting at a dock all day, then driving all night to the destination are soon ending.

Once a driver wakes up and moves their truck, the hours of service clock starts ticking and cannot be stopped.  Creative paper log books have hidden the inefficiency of shippers and receivers for years, but after ELD implementation, these delays will balloon into increased transportation costs for the shipper.  Delays at the dock will impact a carrier’s transit times and load schedule.  If the first delivery of the week is delayed, the rest of the scheduled loads will be negatively impacted – leading to lost revenue.

Produce and Live Animal Transport has Added Complexities

The transportation of produce has added complexities.  Bumper crops, specific harvest seasons and spoilage prevention all add difficulty to the already over-regulated business of trucking.  The addition of mandatory ELDs will most likely lead to a capacity crunch at best and a substantial driver shortage at worst.  Rates will probably increase because the demand to transport produce, which has a very limited shelf life, will be met with a decreased supply of available trucks and hours to drive.

Currently, bee and livestock transporters have successfully petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for hours of service exemptions.  The business of transporting live animals has special considerations that are usually overlooked when sweeping regulations are implemented.  Regulations have been temporarily suspended in times of disaster and national emergency.  Weight limits have been suspended during hurricane clean up as logging and waste trucks move the cleared debris.  Fuel transporters have seen their hours of service regulations suspended in times of extreme cold or supply disruptions.  Once the ELD mandate is fully implemented, the “just-in-time” nature of produce transport and other time sensitive commodities, may experience disruptions of their own.

 

 

Carrier Spotlight | YRC Freight

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Carrier Spotlight – YRC Freight

When a small business partners with BlueGrace Logistics, they automatically have access to BlueShip, one of the industry’s premier transportation management systems (TMS). BlueShip allows customers to quote a shipment, print Bill of Ladings (BOL), price out different carriers and much more. Among the list of carriers that BlueGrace works with is, YRC Freight.

BlueGrace Logistics has worked with YRC Freight since 2009 and is a national carrier that offers a unique set of services to accommodate their shippers always evolving needs.

YRC Freight LTL Services

  1. The LTL OriginalStandard Service allows for freight to be shipped safely and securely throughout their 250-plus terminal network. This service is great for shipments that have a larger window for delivery time.
  2. Faster StandardAccelerated Service is a faster and cost-competitive service that allows shipments to travel through their faster network and include their weekend advantage.
  3. Any Need. Any Speed. Guaranteed.Time Critical Service is their expedited service with customer-defined delivery dates and times. Shipments move through their fastest network and are handled by a dedicated team from start to finish.
  4. Over and AboveLogistics Solutions Service is their customized services for your most complex shipping needs. Their logistics experts tailor specific solutions for your needs, regardless of how complex or regular your shipment is.

Note to BlueShip users:

When quoting and booking through BlueShip, please note that the YRC Accelerated Service holds dynamic transit days based on pickup date. This service travels through YRC’s “Weekend Advantage” network, so if your shipment travels through the weekend, include the weekend as 1 of the transit days.

Join BlueGrace Logistics at SAP SAPPHIRE 2016 May 17-19

 

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Does your business use SAP? Are you planning to attend the largest SAP tradeshow in Orlando on May 17-19? BlueGrace will be there at Booth #455 with our partner ERP Integrated Solutions ready to discuss how our transportation management expertise and their SAP integration can lead to massive cost savings for SAP companies who ship.

“We are excited about the synergies this partnership brings to our existing clients and the competitive advantage for future opportunities.  Our core competencies complement each other well and we have streamlined our backend processes to present a seamless solution.” says Jason Lockard, Vice President Enterprise. “We are looking forward to discussing those opportunities to visitors at the SAP SAPPHIRE 2016 show.”

Please take the time to stop by the booth and hear more about our case studies on how BlueGrace can help reduce overall costs from your transportation program.

For more information on the show please visit http://events.sap.com/sapandasug/en/home.html

For more information on how BlueGrace can help your transportation department leverage SAP and realize significant cost reductions, please contact Jason Lockard at 844.360.2926

Day One Update – Tuesday, May 17th 2016

BlueGrace is at the SAP Sapphire show from today, May 17th to Thursday May 19th. Stop by our booth to learn more about our SAP integration partners and how we can cut costs for SAP users that ship. We have customers on hand to discuss what we have done for them and how we integrated into SAP.

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Day Two Update – Wednesday, May 18th 2016

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat with BlueGrace on day 1 at SAP Sapphire 2016. Day 2 has kicked off and our team is at booth 455 ready to discuss how our integration with SAP can cut your shipping costs.

BlueGrace Logistics at SAP SAPPHIRE 2016 Booth 455

Day Three Update – Thursday, May 19th 2016

The SAP SAPPHIRE 2016 event is coming to a close today and what an amazing event this has been. Thank you to everyone who has come by and talked with BlueGrace Logistics.  Don’t leave early – stop by booth 455 to learn on how BlueGrace can help your transportation department leverage SAP and realize significant cost reductions.

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About BlueGrace

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.

 

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About ERP Integrated Solutions

ERP Integrated Solutions provides innovative solutions in support of SAP applications that help customers achieve a higher level of business performance. With a diverse collection of seasoned consulting professionals, ERP-IS provides broad subject matter expertise to deliver right-sized solutions to address business needs. For more information, visit www.erp-is.com.

How Correctly Budgeting Your Supply Chain Can Increase Your Sales In 2016

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We’re pretty sure you don’t need a reminder, but 2016 is just a few days away. Businesses are focused on getting all of their transportation and supply chain budgeting ready for the New Year. This can be a big issue for customers who don’t have a managed transportation program and lack the business intelligence needed to accurately forecast their freight spend.

Businesses can compute their freight spend with simple math if KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are in place, such as freight as a % of sale. An example of how this would be determined is shown below:

“A business forecasts freight is 10% of sell cost and forecasts to sell $10M, so they found the freight costs to be $1M.”

That is just step one of the overall potential freight spend picture. Taking an additional step with a transportation and supply chain expert like BlueGrace Logistics could help reduce those freight costs by 10-15%, and reduce manual processes that increase OPEX (Operating Expense).

Let’s break down a scenario based on a conservative 5% savings on the $1M spend:

  1. BlueGrace benchmarks this savings and reports status on it in quarterly business reviews.
  1. The 5% savings totals $50k.
  1. $50k is the salary of a new employee the business has just saved.
  1. Now the business has the ability to redeploy that salary into other parts of the business, such as sales.

Any way that these profits are distributed will position a business to be more successful in the year ahead. With increased opportunities, you ultimately end up with higher sales numbers.

Bringing a 3PL into the fold while the market is ripe for hard cost freight savings allows businesses to make their company more profitable. Businesses can apply that savings to the sales force and focus more on what’s important: increasing sales in 2016. Opportunities for growth are now available whether it’s creating new sales roles, redeploying the savings into bonuses, or covering trade show fees. Any way that these profits are distributed will position a business to be more successful in the year ahead. With increased opportunities, you ultimately end up with higher sales numbers.

A transportation partner relationship should feel like a true partnership and extension of the business. If that’s not the case, reach out to us today! Our team at BlueGrace will be happy to assess your needs.

How fuel scale surcharge effects transportation cost.

“It drops like a feather, and rises like a rocket”… People have said this for a long time in relation to fuel costs.

Fuel surcharge has both a good and bad impact on the economy. Of course increased fuel costs decrease personal purchasing power. Though, when fuel costs drop, top line revenue for transportation companies drops, while spend for businesses who have need for transportation gets lower. Consumers pay less for gas and transportation, as well. Airline pricing is the exception to this rule.

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Above is a simple chart explaining how increasing fuel surcharge, in addition to line haul, raises transportation cost overall. According to a recent Boston.com article Will Gas Prices Drop Below $2 a Gallon? AAA Says Yes. And, gasoline is approaching less than $2 a gallon in many states.

YRC reports their current LTL FSC is 21.30% and TL FSC is 42.60%.

It may be a good idea to get out on the road and enjoy it now, before fuel costs rise again.

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

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

 

Please find a link to the Inc. 5000 posting here

Truck Safety Act Would Require Actual Per-Hour Pay for Drivers

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A bill introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, called the Truck Safety Act, seeks to overhaul the trucking industry.

A statement from Booker’s office says the act, “seeks to modernize truck safety standards on our nation’s roadways.”

“Truck drivers work extremely long days to deliver the goods we depend on and keep our economy moving, but too often this comes at the expense of their safety and the safety of other drivers,” Sen. Booker said. “We can significantly reduce the number of accidents on our nation’s highways by harnessing new technologies, and better protect victims of truck accidents by raising insurance minimums for trucks that haven’t changed in over 30 years. The Truck Safety Act will protect all drivers and make our nation’s highways safer.”

The bill addresses minimum insurance requirements, collision avoidance systems, speed limiters, driver pay, and commuting to and from terminals.

The Truck Safety Act seeks to increase minimum insurance levels from $750,000 to $1.5 million. “Insurance minimums have not been raised since the 1980’s and the current amounts do not provide adequate compensation for victims. The bill also increases insurance levels to keep pace with inflation, and gives the Secretary of Transportation discretion to raise minimum levels if deemed necessary,” Booker’s office states.

The bill would also mandate the use of crash warning and lane departure warning systems.  The Truck Safety Act cites an NTSB statement that states that the warning systems would help prevent rear-end collisions and save lives.

The Truck Safety Act would also require the DOT to finalize a regulation that will require the use of speed limiting devices. 

In addition, the bill would require truck drivers to be paid hourly, not per mile. “Unfortunately, standard industry practice is for truck drivers to be paid based on miles driven and not hours worked, causing truckers to be overworked which creates perilous safety conditions on the nation’s roads,” the bill states. 

Lastly, the bill addresses “excessive commuting.” The Truck Safety Act would require a study on the effects of excessive commuting.

“There are concerns that far too often, truck drivers commute several hours to and from their base of operation, only adding to the grueling schedules many of them already work.”

The bill was introduced on Friday and has been referred to the Commerce Committee.

Source: Senator Cory Booker, CDL Life

BlueGrace Aids in Logistics of Abandoned Golden Retrievers From Turkey

BLUEGRACE AIDS IN LOGISTICS OF ABANDONED GOLDEN RETRIEVERS FROM TURKEY

Early Sunday morning, 15 more Golden Retrievers arrived at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, GA. The shipment of retrievers arrived via the rescue group Adopt A Golden Atlanta, from Istanbul, Turkey.

BlueGrace Logistics worked closely with Adopt a Golden Atlanta to ship the dogs to the United States. Gail Rizzo, Enterprise Support Representative from BlueGrace Logistics, worked with Cathy Battrrell with Inxpress to transport the dogs from Instanbul to Atlanta, safely.

Although not traditionally a 3PL shipment that BlueGrace would take on, when Gail heard the incredible story of the Golden Retrievers, she was determined to do whatever she could to help. Gail got in contact with numerous carriers that may be able to handle the logistics of live animals, and made it happen.

“Cathy contacted me and asked if shipping live animals was something that BlueGrace Logistics could do. I originally told her no, it really wasn’t something we did here at BlueGrace. Once Cathy told me the story of these abandon Golden Retrievers, I knew I had to do something. I reached out to numerous carriers, and found the right match. We arranged everything with Cathy and Adopt A Golden Atlanta, and worked to get the dogs safely here.”

The first shipment of 36 Golden Retriever’s made there way to Atlanta in May of this year. This month’s shipment contained 15 Golden Retriever’s – all already spoken for at the shelter. There is currently a waiting list of 2,000 potential adopters looking to house these abandon dogs. There will continue to be shipments of the Golden Retriever’s coming to the Atlanta shelter monthly. Not only does Adopt A Golden Atlanta foster these dogs, they also provide vet services and surgeries to any ailments they may have when they arrive.

As you can see, the complexity of shipping these animals is a great feat. BlueGrace Logistics was able to correctly place the needs of the shipper in the right carriers hands. The dogs all arrived safely, and were transported in style. To reach out to Adopt A Golden Atlanta, you can contact them here: http://www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com. To contact BlueGrace Logistics for any of your logistics needs, contact them here: http://mybluegrace.com/contact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading this article on Supply Chain 24/7

Franchise of the Month – Q4 2014

 

BlueGrace would like to recognize the Q4 2014 Franchisees of the Month. Below are the 3 top performing franchisees of the quarter.

BlueGrace Williamsburg Tim & Becky Salavejus
BlueGrace Williamsburg
Tim & Becky Salavejus

“We are so happy about where our success has led us this year. We could not be more excited about closing out the year and being honored with the Franchise of the Month award” – Tim and Becky Salavejus

BlueGrace Fair Oaks Sharon McWilliams
BlueGrace Fair Oaks Sharon McWilliams

“Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re taking the right steps toward success. I second guess myself all of the time, but it gives me some peace of mind that the corporate office feels positively about the decisions I’ve made. I just hope my franchise’s performance in the next few months can live up to the honor.”  – Sharon McWilliams

 

BlueGrace Jax Jeff Lavallee
BlueGrace Jax
Jeff Lavallee

“I contribute our success to expounding on the culture by mimicking BlueGrace Corporate” – Jeff Lavallee

 

How A Company That Hauls Your Stuff Has Happy Employees

Congratulations to BlueGrace Logistics, the winner of the 2015 TINYpulse Happiest Company Award and Employee Recognition Award for the Transportation & Logistics industry!

BlueGrace Logistics wins 2015 TINYpulse Happiest Company Award and Employee Recognition Award

With both the highest employee happiness scores and the highest rate of peer-to-peer recognition in their industry, it’s safe to say that BlueGrace Logistics knows about employee engagement. President & CEO Bobby Harris talked with us about the organization and how they succeed at making their people happy.

Click here to continue reading this blog on Tinyhr.com

Does Corporate Culture Matter At B2B Companies? (Or Just At Zappos And Starbucks?) – Forbes

When you think about great corporate cultures, your mind likely jumps to, you know, all the brands that corporate culture consultants, speakers and thought leaders tend to focus on: Zappos. Starbucks. The Container Store. Southwest Airlines. Generally companies with great B2C (retail) customer service or at least, like Pixar, high consumer visibility.
But company culture is just as important to companies in B2B, which are more likely to fly under the public radar. Here’s a nifty example of a company in the B2B arena with a carefully and intentionally constructed corporate culture. The company is BlueGrace Logistics, a company that you’ve never heard of and may never again. What they are is a logistics company that helps North American businesses move their freight in what they claim is “the simplest and smartest way possible.” They’ve been on the Inc 5000 in both 2012 and 2014 (a list of the fastest-growing companies in America), and also–and they seem just as proud of this–on the list of Best Places To Work from 2011 through the current year.

Here’s my interview with BlueGrace CEO Bobby Harris.

Micah Solomon Often it seems that discussions of corporate culture focus on B2C companies like Zappos and Starbucks. But you’re a meat and potatoes B2B logistics organization. I am fascinated by what you have done to create a culture. Can you share several of those things with me?

Bobby Harris, CEO, BlueGrace Logistics It certainly isn’t as common to see culture so prominent in a B2B company but I still haven’t figured out why it isn’t. Having a great culture addresses so many of the core things you need to succeed at running a hyper-growth company. The culture is meant for everyone including the customers but most important are the employees and the internal energy. When we put our employees first and they in turn take care of the customers, it always works.

Here are a few things we really stress:

Hiring: The best trick for enhancing culture starts with the hiring process, we’ve become very good at finding the culture fits.

Peer-to-peer recognition (money!) and mentoring: Our workspace is very open and almost always executives are on the floor (I’m writing this from an open cubicle myself). We stress peer-to-peer recognition and allow employees to give each other $50 bonuses when they see fit, paid by the company. Everyone gets a mentor for the first 6 months and then they go into an executive forum that focuses on anything the employee’s desires including personal growth outside of work. We discuss core values and our forward vision weekly and the team knows where we are headed.

Click here to continue reading this article from Forbes

Franchise of the Month – December

BGTim&Becky

 

BlueGrace Williamsburg, led by franchise owners Tim Salavejus and Becky Puterbaugh Salavejus is December 2014 Franchise of the Month. Tim and Becky have been with the BlueGrace network since 2011. This year they have focused on hiring more sales and customer service representatives to help grow their business, along with a sales manager to over see the sales team. In the recent months they have been rapidly growing and focusing on customers that help improve their bottom line.

“We are so happy about where our success has led us this year. We could not be more excited about closing out the year and being honored with the Franchise of the Month award” – says Tim and Becky Salavejus, owners of BlueGrace Williamsburg

eBay to Split From PayPal After 12 Years

eBay acquired PayPal 12 years ago and now the official split is set to occur next year. The companies will trade as two entirely separate companies and PayPal will focus on separating data so other companies will feel comfortable using them again.

The companies have been doing a lot of explaining since eBay’s CEO, John Donahoe, spent months earlier this year insisting that eBay and PayPal were “better together”. Activist investor Carl Icahn pressured Donahoe at the beginning of 2014 to split the company, but Donahoe and eBay’s board successfully resisted the pressure in winning a proxy fight. Months later, during the company’s annual strategic review, they decided that splitting in 2015 really is the right move for each company.

“PayPal’s a jewel and eBay is covering up its value,” said Icahn earlier this year. Both companies will be getting new CEOs as part of the deal.

eBay Marketplaces President, Devin Wenig, will be taking over eBay, and current PayPal President Dan Schulman, will take over PayPal.

eBay’s current shares are higher since announcing the split from PayPal.

 

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