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A Whale of a Thanks!

Whale of a ThanksIf you read an article back in 2005 from a front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.  She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, tail, torso, and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

*Although this was an old article, I received this in my inbox today and just had to share! Many children are heading back to school this week and I would encourage parents to share this story with your kids. They will meet new people, be involved with new groups of friends, come face to face with tough decisions and obstacles. If you instill in them today the qualities and values of a genuine person and who is a “true friend”, your child will be better equipped to select and surround themselves with the “right people.”

-Sam Hill, Community Manager
Follow me on Twitter: SamHill_BG

Warrior: Family is Worth Fighting For

How captivating and entertaining can a film about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) really be? Well, employees at BlueGrace went to see the movie Warrior for themselves thanks to Randy Harris at the local sports talk radio station Knockout Radio! Read below for the comments and reviews of Warrior… Perhaps you’ll want to add this to your weekend plans.

“Not just for the MMA fan. This was a great movie of the true struggle of raising a family in these times, and the real struggles we face.  I can’t wait to take my sons to go see this movie. Many hidden lessons.  I am a huge Rocky fan with movie posters in my Man Cave. This is truly a modern day Rocky but more deep.  Looking forward to adding this movie poster to my collection.”
Steven Hicks
National Account Manager

“My son and I give Warrior a Big Thumbs Up! It was a mixture of everything – drama, light moments, family relationships, determination, winning attitude. It did an awesome job portraying the guts and grit behind an MMA fighter. Definitely plan on purchasing when released on DVD.”
Michelle McCormick
Accounts Receivable Associate

“Warrior is a definite must-see—a film enjoyable to those who follow UFC, or even those who are looking for a good fighting flick.  Once the movie settles in, and you get a feel for who is playing what part, the end is unfortunately mildly predictable.  However, the producers did such an incredible job in making sure that fight scenes were both real and original, that it took your mind off of how the movie was going to end, and forced you to focus on what could possibly happen next.  It’s a great film about UFC, but also about the strength in both brotherhood and reparation of broken families.  Will definitely see it again—loved it!!!”
Jamie Kaplan
Customer Loyalty Team – Diamond Desk

“The warrior is my new Rocky!!! It was great!!!!”
Juan C. Ortiz
Manager, Customer Loyalty Team

“Phenomenal movie with an intense storyline. Very moving and the acting was definitely Oscar-worthy. Cannot wait to buy the movie on DVD.”
Whitney McKay
Personal Assistant to CEO

Go see for yourself on September 9 in a theater near you and share your reviews with us at BlueGrace Logistics!

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

Life on Your Own Terms

While waiting on a flight out of Chicago last year I stepped into an airport lounge to pass time. The only available seat was a bar stool next to this old guy who looked as if he had seen a better day some time ago. But I took my chances, sat down, and ordered a beer that arrived only mildly cold and served in a plastic cup.

I had just received a job offer that sounded good enough for me to consider relocating. I had a lot on my mind and wasn’t in the mood for much conversation, but I soon found myself listening to this guy’s story. He didn’t really have much to tell so that wasn’t what captivated me into listening to him – he had been in sales for 30 years, traveled a lot, was divorced but had some kids and grandkids that he saw mostly on holidays. Pretty soon my flight was called and as I got up to leave he said “Hey kid, remember ya’ gotta live life on your own terms” and this is what I have remembered from that day in the Chicago airport.

I have spent some time thinking about what this old guy said to me and how it applies not just to my personal life, but how it applies to my career. I have found that if you are going to be successful, the same principles and values you apply to your personal life also apply to your business life.  I am in sales because I love being with people and if I am somehow able to serve and enrich the lives of the people around me while still attaining some personal and financial success than I am “living life on my own terms.”

At BlueGrace Logistics the mission is “to create an enduring, people-centered culture that drives our ambition to become the most progressive and innovative enterprise in the logistics industry while enriching the lives of our employees, customers and vendors.”  BlueGrace is successful because the mission is people centered for their employees as well as the customers and vendors. This mission has been easy to adopt as my own. It’s a good fit because the principles and values outlined in the BlueGrace mission statement are the same that I hold and that allow me to conduct business “on my own terms”. I am able to focus on the people I serve and supply them with the best tools I can to get the job done and with that I am able to benefit the company and myself included.

– Bryan Byak, Account Manager
Follow me @bryanbyak

15 Minutes

About a week ago I was outside trying to replace the handle to the door to my Lanai. It had been broken for several weeks and should have been a 15 minute job. It took me the better part of two weeks. I had to go to Home Depot and buy a new one. I had to remove the old one which took tools that I did not have. I had to find a way to break off a centimeter’s worth of metal, again, without the right tools. It was 96 degrees and the mosquitoes which have taken up residence were laying siege. Nearing the end of this project, and after working out in the bug infested heat for the better part of an hour while my dog and cat looked on in amusement, I thought about all of the other house projects that I have as a single home owner.  I thought about the broken handle to the patio door, the lights that needed changing in my 12 foot high ceilings, the screens that needed replacing, the broken garbage disposal – and all of the fun stuff I was going to have to put on hold while I became Mr. Fix-It. Wiping the sweat from my brow I said to myself, “Damn, I have GOT to get better at this stuff.”

Then I said, “No I don’t. I need to get better at MY job.” I am the Director of Sales & Personnel Development at BlueGrace Logistics. I oversee the Hiring & Recruiting, the Training & Development, and the National Sales Departments. I wear many other hats but at the end of the day, it’s my job to increase profits for the company and further the development of our employees. I need to get better at that job so that I can simply pay someone else to help with those items around the house.

The 15 minutes I spend doing my job are exponentially more valuable than the 15 minutes I spend screwing something up around the house. I need to focus on my core competency so that I can be successful in all aspects of my life. Focusing on my core competencies allows me to impact the careers and lives of our 90+ employees, our hundreds of vendors and our countless customers. Focusing on my core competencies will allow me the means to have the work around my house performed professionally instead of the shoddy band-aids I am going to put on it. This will allow me to spend my down time reenergizing and enjoying my personal interests. To make all this happen, I only have to do what it is that I do and do it well.

Why would a manufacturer of medical devices not outsource their transportation so that they can focus on their core competency? Wouldn’t a manufacturer of network equipment rather be #1 in network equipment than in shipping? Why would a distributor of PVC piping spend tens of thousands on an order management system when they could simply use our state-of-the-art Transportation Management System (TMS) at no cost?

The truth that I have found is that companies either are ignoring shipping as a necessary evil of what they do and are allowing a minimum wage employee to make million dollar decisions, daily; or are foolishly investing boat loads of money to have people handle their freight internally when they should really be investing their time, money and expertise into what it is that they are already great at. Allow a 3PL to handle your logistics simply because I am going to do it better than you are and significantly less expensive than it will cost you directly both in rates and soft costs. You spend your 15 minutes doing what it is that you do best.

– Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales & Personnel Development

Follow me on Twitter: @theBGExperience

Welcome to the BlueGrace Logistics Blog!

We are happy that you found our blog and look forward to interacting with you in the future. The BlueGrace Logistics Blog provides news, tips and help on the following topics:

  • Transportation Industry
  • Logistics Industry
  • Transportation Technology
  • Freight Shipping
  • Job Interviews
  • Career Development
  • Workplace & Corporate Culture
  • Community Involvement
  • Charity & Non-Profit Advocation

Our blog contains both text and video articles on each of the topics above. Looking for other ways to connect with BlueGrace Logistics?

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Social Responsibility: How Creative Can You Be?

Although the “going green” hype has seemed to quiet, I came across an article on thedailygreen.com that mentioned the use of shipping containers for homes, portable stores, and even skyscrapers. Now that is a bright and useful idea!  Of course, not just any one can find a shipping container and “Wah-Lah! Here’s my house!”  However, take note of the bigger meaning – it is important to think of and utilize our goods in all ways possible so that we are getting the biggest bang for our buck while preserving the planet at the same time. It’s a win-win for all

I think we can all agree that this year is already flying by and time is precious. Each day is valuable and presents opportunities that just can’t be passed up.  There is always room for improvement and although the “going green” message is not as popular or in-our-face as it has been, we should each take the initiative and attempt to make our steps a little greener

In application to business, I believe that companies in general can apply the message learned from this innovative movement to its products and services offered. Growth of a company is supported and encouraged by making wise use of all resources and providing the best solutions in the industry of focus.  Here at BlueGrace Logistics, we encourage going paperless in your supply chain by utilizing our technology, BlueShip™.  How simple!  We also have an optimization tool called “Mojo” that allows companies to reduce their carbon footprint using mode optimization to eliminate excess miles when shipping their products.  Hopefully in the future, companies become more socially responsible as there is an increased awareness of the impact they have on our environment. So the question is, how creative can you be?  What simple change can your business commit to in the new year, which benefits the Earth and generations to come? 

Make your space green with these tips!
http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/eco-friendly/green-your-office?click=main_sr
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/community-news/green-office-tips-55010309?click=main_sr
social responsibility | green efforts
Article Referenced: http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/shipping-container-homes-460309?click=main_sr

– Samantha Hill, Operations Support Associate
Follow me @SamHill_BG

The Cloud

DreamforceThe Cloud, The Cloud, The Cloud. Last week for 4 days that was pretty much all I heard about. I had the pleasure of attending the 8th annual Salesforce conference called Dreamforce. Me and 29,000 others spent 4 days listening and learning about doing without software. Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming a reality.  I have to admit the argument was pretty persuasive. It seems that more and more business functions are moving to a user license based system in The Cloud. 

What are the advantages to SaaS in The Cloud?

  • Sharing information is seamless.
  • Pay as you go is affordable for growing businesses.
  • Systems are instantly expandable.
  • No need for expensive networking computers.
  • No set-up or maintenance fees.
  • Data security.
  • If you can code, you can create.
  • Software updates are provided immediately.
  • Increased mobility through usage of your smart phones.

I remember the first time I heard about the World Wide Web back in the 90s. It all seemed so complex. What is a browser? What is this Netscape thing people are talking about? How can we get anything done with a 9600 Baud internet connection? 28.8k sounded like lightning, 56k was a brave new world. Only really lucky people had access to broadband. That’s what The Cloud feels like to me now. Instinctually I know this is important even if I am not yet sure how BlueGrace or our customers will best utilize it. Our Transportation Management System (TMS), BlueShip is Cloud based. No software needed, just internet access or an iPhone.

 That’s all for now, it’s off to The Cloud I go!

Randy Collack, COO
Follow me @schmengieBG

The 12 Days of Christmas

  •  On the 1st day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, a full list of each commodity:

Capacity in freight shipping has increased dramatically in a short amount of time and the holiday season will be no different. Shippers, consignees, and freight carriers are all running skeleton crews especially as Christmas approaches. Take the time to plan ahead! Minimize mistakes by being thorough in your packing lists and especially in listing the contents of your shipments on your BOL (Description, Dimensions, Quantity, Packaging, NMFC and Class).

  • On the 2nd day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 2 Bills of Lading:

Keep accurate records of what you’re shipping! Keep this information indefinitely by utilizing a 3PL who offers a Transportation Management System (TMS) and store this information electronically.

  • On the 3rd day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 3 Competitive Quotes:

Quote with multiple carriers for not only cost, but also availability and transit time! There will be fewer drivers and less people on the docks of freight carriers as well as your consignee. Allow for extra transit time to ensure your products get to where they need to be. Save yourself the headache of comparing multiple direct carriers by working with a 3PL who can provide a TMS, which calculates multiple quotes and transit times from multiple common LTL carriers.

  • On the 4th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 4pm Pick-up:

Especially as Christmas approaches, there may be less drivers working and less ability to pick up freight. If you want to kick your warehouse guys early for the day, be sure to allow for a minimum 2 hour pick up window and perhaps more. If your warehouse usually closes at 5pm, schedule your pick up for an hour earlier but be prepared to wait! Delayed transit because of missed pick-ups during the holiday weeks are not abnormal!

  • On the 5th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 5-Day Guarantee!!!

Guarantee your shipments! It costs marginally more to guarantee your delivery, whether it is a one-day point, two, three, four or five, and avoiding late deliveries easily offsets that cost. Your consignee’s are closing early, letting their warehouse employees off on vacation, and you can seriously injure your supply chain by failing to have product arrive on time. Ask your sales rep for Guaranteed, Air Freight and Expedited options!

  • On the 6th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 6 days delayed invoicing:

Many people take vacation days this time of year, from the carriers, to your office, to your consignee. This can create for delayed invoicing and delayed payments. You don’t accept your customers A/P person being on vacation, as a reason for delayed payment, and neither does the carrier nor your 3PL. Stay ahead of the curve and don’t lose momentum in your cash flow. Use a 3PL who uploads images of shipping documents such as Proofs of Delivery (POD’s), Original BOL’s and Weight and Inspection Documents (W&I) so you can invoice faster! Ask to be invoiced electronically and pay via credit card or ACH. Expect the same from your customer!

  • On the 7th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 7 different packages:

Are you shipping mixed packages with multiple classes? Carriers will default shipments of mixed packages that are not itemized to the highest freight class. Save yourself some of that holiday bonus by using a 3PL whose technology allows you to itemize multiple class shipments. Be sure to provide packing, count, description and weight on the BOL.

  • On the 8th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 8 PCF:

Are you shipping density items? Save yourself from incurring re-classification charges and understand density! Understand that density is calculated “as packaged” so it does include the pallet, crate, corrugated box, etc. BlueGrace Logistics has participated in the NMFTA and is fully trained to consult in this area. Be sure your 3PL can advise you on proper packing, classing, density, etc. 

  • On the 9th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 9 POD’s:

Ensure proper delivery of your products by viewing the Proof of Delivery (POD) as soon as it is provided. The POD will indicate that the shipment has arrived in full and good order. Utilize a 3PL whose technology can provide digitally uploaded images of all of your shipping documents to provide complete accountability to your supply chain. 

  • On the 10th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 10 minutes to inspect your freight:

Be sure that both you and your consignees take the extra 10 minutes to inspect your freight. Increased capacity and less manpower can account for more damages. Never sign clear for a shipment without inspecting it. It is very difficult to get any transportation provider to honor a claim for freight that was signed clear, even for concealed damage.  Ask your logistics provider about minimum packaging requirements.

  • On the 11th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 11 liftgate deliveries:

Remember that liftgates, limited access, residential deliveries and other accessorial surcharges negate guarantees and can delay transit. Carriers, aside from R&L Carriers, do not all have liftgates on every truck, and may try to deliver without a liftgate if possible, even when a liftgate is requested. Remember that Notify and Appointment deliveries are not the same as guarantees and can delay transit. Speak to your consignee and know ahead of time if they require these services upon delivery.

  • On the 12th day of Shipping, my 3PL suggested to me, 12 days vacation!

Ok, not so much a suggestion as a reminder: your employees are taking vacation, so are your competitors, so are your customers, vendors, and LTL carriers. Docks are running skeleton crews this time of year. You have less people to ship your product, carriers have less people to sort it, load it, and deliver it, and your customers have less people to receive it. Be sure to communicate with your consignees about warehouse operations time and allow yourself plenty of time for delivery especially for your time-sensitive shipments!

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
Follow me @theBGexperience

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the Transcomp Exhibition and Intermodal Expo 2010

While attending last year’s Transcomp Exhibition and Intermodal Expo in Anaheim for the first time, we noticed the tremendous value of attending the show.  This year they are bringing it to the East coast, hosting the show in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from November 15th through the 16th.   Anyone in transportation and logistics needs to attend this year’s upcoming show because:

1.  Networking
The Transcomp Exhibition is the one show this year that brings together the top providers of transportation and logistics from the entire United States.  All attendees usually tend to be executive level and have the decision making power.  Not to mention this is a great opportunity to further your relationships with partners, vendors, and customers.

2.  Promotion of your company and services
This is the one show that is known industry wide as the must attend event of the year.  Therefore, you are able to raise brand awareness for your company and services.  If you are on the other end of the spectrum, you will have a lot of competition that better enables you to chose the right provider for your needs when shipping your products.

3.  Discover new ideas in the market place
Be ahead of the curve with upcoming technology that will improve and streamline your shipping processes while also saving you money. Last year, BlueGrace launched the iPhone app that allowed you access to the TMS (Transportation Management System).  This year we will be launching Dock to Doc, our latest technology that gives you automatic access to your shipping documents such as BOLs (Bill of Ladings) and PODs (Proof of Delivery).

4.  Education
Throughout the show there are several key speakers that address the state of the transportation industry and where it is headed for the upcoming year.  Take back to your office a better understanding of your industry market place.  This will enable you to make more informed decisions within your business.

5.  Enrichment
Learn about the state of the transportation industry along with new and upcoming technology as well as develop relationships so that you can grow your business with the necessary knowledge and information that you obtained  from Transcomp Exhibition and Intermodal Expo to make key decisions that will further develop you and your brand.

We look forward to seeing each of you at the Transcomp Exhibition and Intermodal Expo!  Stop by BlueGrace’s booth 1809 for a chance to win an Apple TV and tell us why you attended this year’s show!

5 Reasons Why Not to Write a Blog

1.  You don’t have time.

You spend your time in the whirlwind overrun by the non-urgent and unimportant. You are dealing with truckloads,quoting LTL shipments, and  putting out fires. You spend the moments in between complaining about how you don’t have time and have no outlet to vent your frustrations. Adding a routine task may even force you to prioritize your tasks and discipline your schedule. By all means, avoid this resource of publicizing your thoughts on how to improve one’s business, their life, or even your own.

2.  You don’t know what to write.

I can’t blame you. Challenging ones creativity is a scary thought. What if there’s nothing on the other side of that mirror? Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is an activity that could help you grow as a person. It’s a daunting and continuous challenge to get my Account Managers to perceive their roles as logistics consultants rather than freight sales, yet it’s a daily challenge that I can’t duck even when I am not sure what to say. I would have failed  a long time ago if I let this excuse prevent me from doing my job. Success is overrated anyways.

3.  You don’t want to sound stupid.

I understand. In fact, putting forth extra effort and thinking outside the box would only make you a valuable asset to your company. Why be perceived as a problem solver in an industry where “expedited” means “yesterday” when you could simply skate by with the bare minimum of your job responsibilities. In my recent blog, Go Green or Go Home, I actually had to sit down and do research. I get it – no one wants to work like they’re in college again. God forbid we learn something new.

4.  You just don’t care.

Hey, you don’t care so why not let everyone know it by saying nothing. Sit back and keep thoughts to yourself about how you’re under appreciated and feel you deserve more in your company. Don’t dare take a chance to show how much you want a seat at the table by involving yourself. Apathy is a far more convenient approach. That way you can reserve your real comments for the water cooler.

5.  People may get to know your thoughts.

In a sales job, the LAST thing you want is for your customers, prospects, vendors and coworkers to get to know you personally. Or is it the opposite? If I’m consulting with a prospect and trying to get them to use our Transportation Management System (TMS), it might actually help my cause if they got to know that I had a good head on my shoulders. I’m sure no one wants the people they interact with to know that you could potentially be a creative writer and therefore, a creative thinker. By all means, while your competition takes your customers away, be sure to keep all of your thoughts to yourself.

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
Follow me @theBGexperience

Extreme Logistics for Humanity, The Greatest Organization Ever?

As the President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics I am naturally biased when asked who’s the best logistics provider in the market. BlueGrace prides itself on having extraordinary capabilities, intellect and drive to outperform our peers. However, when posed with that question one must consider the word “logistics” and in that frame of reference, there is clearly an all-time greatest. The WFP (World Food Programme), an agency for the United Nations runs the most vital logistics organization in the world and is the world’s largest humanitarian agency delivering over 5 million metric tons of food to 95 million people. 

The WFP coordinates the movement of 60 aircraft, 40 ships and 5,000 trucks on any given day and considering the precious cargo they cannot let obstacles stand in the way. The challenges they face aren’t issues like high fuel prices and interstate detours in delivering the goods but rather trying to deliver to places with no roads, remote areas, war torn and ravaged countries. They may use a helicopter to drop cargo or even a team of elephants or donkeys to get food to starving people. Over a billion people are living with hunger and many of these are children. Last year alone over 6.5 million children under the age of 5 died from malnutrition and hunger-related diseases. These statistics make the cases of using “extreme-logistics” a daily occurrence at the WFP.

For so many, logistics is right next to water, air, clothing and shelter as to what it takes to live. Consider the fact there is actually enough food to feed every man, woman and child on the planet and the natural question becomes, “Why are so many suffering from starvation?”. At the core of this is logistics, which enables the WFP to send extra capacity to areas that have less than adequate resources to feed the malnourished masses.  The challenges of doing this in a coordinated way across the globe so that the food can be moved cost effectively, safely, intact and in the precise amount needed is a greater problem than I can comprehend. There is no doubt that hunger is the greatest challenge in the world, the daunting task of tackling this is something the WFP takes on everyday. To run such a diverse and critical logistics operation so effectively makes them more than the best logistics provider in the world; it makes them the most important organization in the world.

So when asked who’s the best in any area one must consider, not only about what you do, but why you do it and for whom? Those questions are why I feel so strongly about the WFP’s mission. Most anyone reading this blog is among the blessed that have sufficient food for them and their family. It’s my hope we never forget the horror or the tremendous pain of another human in hunger. While we keep that thought remember the positive in that WFP provided relief for 95 million people last year. If you would like to learn more about the WFP or even better yet donate to the WFP, you can go to www.wfp.org

Bobby Harris, President and CEO
Follow me @BobbyBG_CEO