Browse Tag

transportation technology

BlueGrace Logistics Awards 2017 Innovator of the Year to project44

BlueGrace Logistics annual award goes to the company they recognize as having the greatest impact on their business and industry via new innovation. They selected project44 from a group of hundreds of service providers that offer products, services, or programs. BlueGrace relies on its partners to provide best in class service while creating new and energizing offerings to the market. Bobby Harris, CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, stated “project44 went far beyond expectations for BlueGrace in 2017 and continues to rapidly expand their relationship with us by offering unique services. We couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

project44’s technology is integrated with their BlueShip TMS, creating new speed and visibility for customers not found in other 3PL TMS (Transportation Management System) solutions. Currently BlueGrace is utilizing the LTL, VLTL and TLV products available from project44.

“BlueGrace leads the industry by investing in innovative technology to deliver seamless services that meet their customers’ evolving transportation needs,” said Jett McCandless, CEO and Founder of project44. “They recognized very early on the value of automating manual processes and replacing outdated EDI connections. We’re proud to work with such a fast-growing and technology-focused logistics provider and to receive this award from them.”

Congratulations to project44 for their 2017 Innovator of the Year Award.


About project44

project44 enables you to deliver stronger value to your customers, through the power of information. By digitizing the entire shipment lifecycle, we ensure access to the right information, at the right time—creating a smarter end-to-end shipping experience. With project44, automate the full shipment lifecycle from quote-to-invoice to see real-time, end-to-end information symmetry. Our multimodal, one-to-many model gets you connected to the largest network of capacity providers in the most streamlined way, empowering you to immediately support new automations and carriers without spending IT resources or wasting time on complex integrations, improving the productivity and efficiency of your entire business.

Learn more:


About BlueGrace Logistics

Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full-service third-party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry leading technology, high level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. BlueGrace is headquartered in Riverview, Florida with over 12 corporate locations across the U.S. For more information, visit


The Rise of the TMS and Why You Need One

Rate, route and track… oh my!

In an era of skyrocketing fuel prices and limited capacity, transportation management systems have become quite the hot, and necessary, commodity.  Despite the confusing economy, in 2010 alone the global TMS market peaked at $625 million. This data should not come as a surprise to anyone in the transportation industry. Considering how effective these systems have been at streamlining processes and cutting down on costs to shippers, it’s no wonder 3PLs have been utilizing these solutions for nearly two decades.

Basic features of a TMS:

  • Help create loads
  • Determine the shortest routes and best utilization of carriers
  • Manage orders and transport tenders
  • Track and trace shipments
  • Control freight payment
  • Provide visibility
  • Monitor carrier performance


How they help:

BlueGrace Logistics’ BlueShip® and other transportation management systems are highly beneficial to cut down on costs in your business. Companies have been known to experience cost reductions anywhere from 5-15% or more. Retailer chargebacks, for example, are cut down on improvements in customer service, business processes, and resource management.

These systems accelerate reaction times by increasing visibility and productivity. Real-time event management is crucial in logistics. With longer supply chains and lead times, the need for visibility systems is greater than ever. A faster reaction time means more solved problems, leaving excess time to devote to the core matters of your operation.


Why wait? 

Shippers don’t have to adapt all of their processes to an off-the-shelf application any longer. With systems like BlueShip, you can create an interface that’s custom designed to fit your unique needs. We are not a one-size-fits-all establishment.  Don’t worry, this kind of customization won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Fortunately for shippers of BlueGrace, 24-7 access to the online transportation management system is absolutely free!

If you’re interested in learning how BlueShip can enhance your business, feel free to contact our team and we can walk you through it. Is your business currently using a TMS but wonder how ours compares? Contact us, we’d be happy to show you the BlueGrace way!

Logistics: What is it? BlueGrace Offers the Whole Package

What is logistics?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in the industry. Add “third party” to “logistics” and you may as well be wearing a sign that says “barrage me with questions, please!” Confusion may be created because the meaning is so broadly applicable across a diverse range of trades. The scope of “logistics” could describe the operations of a thriving corporate enterprise or the play-by-play of a day in the life of a soccer mom. While both accurately depict the word, those are not exactly the everyday logistics we manage at BlueGrace® Logistics.

To say we handle the details of transporting your goods from Point A to Point B would not do justice to what truly goes on behind the scenes of your freight’s journey. The factors below offer a glimpse into what you experience by partnering with BlueGrace for your logistics.

  • Optimization. One way BlueGrace creates value is by helping customers optimize existing transportation and logistics functions. We take a deep dive into the inner-workings of your transportation management to identify inefficiencies. With these discoveries we engineer solutions for specific processes in your supply chain and aid in execution across all departments. We strive to create new opportunities which ultimately increase efficiency and your bottom line.
  • Preservation. With so much change and variability in the supply chain, optimization is a recurring process. We don’t abandon you once changes are in place, it is our job to take that extra step and ensure those improvements are maintained and your success continuous.
  • Reporting. When you work with a logistics provider, we know that the ultimate goal is to take care of your shipments from start to finish without having to chase anyone for updates along the way. This is why we provide complete visibility through BlueShip™, our transportation management system. Using information like real-time tracking, we allow you the freedom to dictate what, when, and how you view your shipments and reports. Our customized reports take the guessing out of your supply chain.
  • Understanding. This part of our “logistics” is one that we hold in the highest regard. BlueGrace is comprised of over 150 years of experience in logistics, freight and transportation management. Our expertise helps you make the best decisions for your company. We strive to gain a healthy understanding of your business goals and how you wish to attain them.

Logistics means different things to different people. All of the factors above encompass what it really means to BlueGrace. Logistics goes well beyond just shipping… it reaches into the heart of your business. If you would like to request a free freight quote or an audit on your logistics processes, contact our team today!

What does logistics mean to you? What are the most important factors in determining who handles your freight? We’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like to join our team of professionals, contact BlueGrace Careers or visit our Careers page for more information about a career in logistics.


-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!

“Not Interested”

All day long I hear from people who are “not interested.” It makes me wonder, what are they not interested in? They don’t want to help their company? Well I do! On a personal level, when you say you’re not interested in life, where could that lead you? Say you’re married – When your husband asked you out, what if you said “I’m not interested”? Then you would not be in your current marriage right now. What if you said you weren’t interested to that amazing job opportunity? Where would your life be? We don’t know for sure how our lives would be based on past decisions, but chances are we’d be different.

The best thing to do is listen and pay attention to the opportunities in front of you. This is what we aim for at BlueGrace. The more open you are with individuals within the company increases the chance for something great. As a logistics and technology provider, BlueGrace wants to help cut your overall costs and introduce you to other options for your business regarding your freight. When we listen to each other, we have the opportunity to do great business together. Without the listening, things stay the same… which means no growth.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

– Ariel Saiani, National Sales Rep
Follow me @ArielSaiani_BG

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 27, 2011

After a slight layoff in the news, I am happy to be back and providing the top news stories in the transportation and logistics industries. Here are today’s top stories:

Legislation Introduced to Fight Fraud in the Transportation Industry

The TIA, OOIDA and ATA have joined together to support the “Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act 2001, FITT,” which would address issues of fraud that plague the marketplace.

Committee Poised to Introduce Transportation Bill

Leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are ready to introduce a new surface transportation bill, but want a commitment from the Senate Finance Committee to find a way to pay for it. The two-year non-traditional bill will cost $12 billion.

ATA report shows increased truck driver turnover for large fleets

A new report from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) found that longhaul truck driver turnover was up during the first quarter of 2011. Turnover was up 39 percent over the previous year and 69 percent from the last quarter of 2010.

FMCSA Opts for Wireless Web-Based Transmission of Electronic Logs

One of the tough, unanswered questions about electronic logs for hours of service is how to give the roadside inspector access to the log.

Rail shippers and carriers plead their cases at STB hearing

Earlier this week, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) held a public hearing to explore the current state of competition in the railroad industry, as well as possible policy alternatives to facilitate more competition.

International Energy Agency Taps Emergency Oil Reserves, Crude Tumbles

Crude oil tumbled on futures markets Thursday after the International Energy Agency announced it would release 60 million barrels of reserve crude oil over the next 30 days, or 2 million barrels per day. The US will be supplying half of that oil, with the rest coming from other nations among the agency’s 28 member states.

eyefortransport 3PL Summit was worth the trip

Jeff Berman from Logistics Management discusses the recent 3PL Summit conference and all sessions and topics that were discussed.

Survey Shows Americans Support Gas Tax Under Certain Conditions

A national phone survey about tax options for funding transportation found that support for higher gas taxes or a new mileage tax can be significantly increased if certain conditions are met, according to the Mineta Transportation Institute.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

RFID Technology

Many people reading this may have heard the term RFID before, but may not be familiar with what it is. RFID technology is a relatively recent phenomenon, with the first patented system being developed in the early 1980s. It’s taken until the early 2000s, however, for it to begin to achieve mainstream use, including in the shipping world.

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification, and it works just the way it sounds. Long story short, it uses radio waves to exchange data between a reader and an electronic tag. RFID has various advantages over traditional barcode scanning including the lack of a need for direct line of sight, increased durability (i.e. barcodes being damaged), and the ability to be read/write objects. In other words, an RFID reader can scan an object and change the information of the tag.

As an example, imagine that the shipping information on a package is incorrect. In order to fix this, a new label would have to be created with a new barcode. With RFID, the information is all stored on the tag and it can be changed using the scanner. This alone significantly simplifies the shipping process. The same is true of damaged bar codes. Since RFID doesn’t require direct line of sight, the issues of scuffed or damaged barcodes being unable to be read is non-existent. This leads to increased efficiency in shipping, less errors, and ultimately, cost savings that can be passed on to the consumer.

Carriers like UPS and Federal Express have already widely implemented the use of RFID to track shipments. As time goes on, this trend will continue as the technology increasingly becomes cheaper to implement, and the advantages become more commonly known. Private enterprises aren’t the only ones implementing RFID to lower costs and decrease errors associated with managing large amounts of inventory. The Department of Defense has been using RFID for years to keep track of valuable equipment and inventory and continues to replace antiquated inventory systems with it.

Time is money in shipping and freight and every second counts. Lost packages, shipping errors, and slower delivery times can create a nightmare for carriers and consumers alike. RFID has been a long time in coming, and if current trends are any indication, RFID is here to stay and will continue to replace the tried and true barcode system that many companies still employ. That means everyone will enjoy cost savings and an easier inventory and shipping process.

– Sean Leitzinger, Programmer Analyst

What is EDI and how does it work?

What is EDI and how does it work?  This question is asked to me every day.  I am not an expert in the technology field, but I do understand the terminology and the basic functions of the EDI cycle since I have been involved in setting up all of our carriers/partners so that they can communicate with our BlueShip™  system via EDI.  I came across this short paragraph that will provide you with some understanding of the EDI cycle in the transportation industry.  Furthermore, I have listed the technical definitions for each of the EDI codes.  

The typical cycle for Transportation is as follows:

A vendor sends a Motor Carrier Shipping Information document (EDI 204) to the cartage firm to specify that there is a shipment to be picked up. The cartage firm sends a Response Load Tender (EDI 990) to the vendor, specifying if they will pick up the shipment. When the shipment is picked up, the cartage firm may send back the status of the shipment to either the vendor or the ultimate receiver in the form of a Motor Carrier Shipment Status Message (EDI 214). The triggering of this document being sent can be pre-arranged (the parties will make an agreement of when the status is sent) or either the shipper or the ultimate receiver can request a status by sending a Motor Carrier Shipment Status Inquiry (EDI 213). Once the shipment is completed, the cartage firm sends the Motor Carrier Freight Details and Invoice (EDI 210) to the vendor to pay.

 EDI 204 – Motor Carrier Shipping Information-EDI 204 is used to tender a shipment to a carrier and/or forward the shipment details to a carrier, consignee or third party. It provides the carrier (and/or third party) with a detailed Bill of Lading rating and scheduling information pertinent to the shipment. Its basic use is to be an initial shipment tender between shipper and carrier. It can be used as a Load Tender (telling the carrier when to pick up the goods) or a Bill of Lading (specifying to the carrier what exactly is to be picked up.  The usual procedure is to send EDI 204 to the carrier. The carrier will respond with an EDI 990 (Response to Load Tender), which specifies that the carrier will pick up the goods.

 EDI 990 – Response to Load Tender-This transaction is sent by the motor carrier in response to a shipper sending the carrier a Load Tender (EDI 204 – Motor Carrier Shipping Information document with the Load Tender option).  The document will contain the carrier’s acceptance, conditional acceptance or a decline, if they decline to accept the load tender. It can also contain the reason for the conditional acceptance or the decline of the load tender.

 EDI 213 – Motor Carrier Shipment Status Inquiry-This transaction is used to request the status of a shipment from a motor carrier on a single shipment or a set of shipments.  It may be sent to the carrier by the shipper or the ultimate receiver of the goods. This document is an ad-hoc request for the status. If the carrier and the shipper and/or receiver have a set schedule for responses (in the form of an EDI 214 Motor Carrier Shipment Status Message), then this document is never sent.

 EDI 214 – Motor Carrier Shipment Status Message-This transaction is used to pass information relating to the status of an assigned, loaded-en-route, or delivered shipment. It is sent from the carrier to either the shipper or the ultimate receiver. It may be sent as a response to an EDI 213 (Motor Carrier Shipment Status Inquiry) or at regularly scheduled intervals. The carrier may also send it if there is a change in the shipment status (e.g. the truck is delayed in customs).

 EDI 210 – Motor Carrier Freight Details and Invoice-This transaction can be used as an Invoice to request payment for services rendered or as details pertaining to freight shipment charges. An Invoice will typically be sent for each shipment.  

*information/definitions taken from

Mike Sumnick, Director of Operations 
Follow me @msumnickBG

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

.22 Caliber Mind in a .357 World

Surely the title grabbed your attention! I am sure you asked what can this blog be about. I decided to write this blog about being flat out better than the next guy. In any business you can’t simply be better than the competition, you have to know them and what they do and be innovative enough to do it better. Businesses are reluctant to change because what they are doing is comfortable and they don’t know that there is a better option that allows their businesses to run smoother. My company prides ourselves in staying out in front of the competition and not being just another 3PL. In the freight and logistics world, you can’t simply offer better rates than your competition and expect to stay afloat.  This is the age of technology, efficiency and innovation. We are the first 3PL in the industry to release a Mobile Freight Optimizer app for the iPhone. We are one of the first to roll out Dock to Doc, software that allows businesses to see their Proof of Deliveries and weight inspections for all carriers in one system. This is one of the many things we do that allows businesses to run more efficiently. It helps accounting see that the freight delivered for all carriers so they can bill their customers faster. If there was a problem with a re-weigh it allows them to see that inspection with a click of a button rather than calling and e-mailing carriers and waiting on a response.

Many businesses in many industries are still taking knifes to gun fights. Many franchises are still arming themselves with .22 caliber business plans instead of using .357 innovation. This is the business era dependent upon lightning fast internet, cell phones, text messages, webex demonstrations and yes, state of the art Transportation Management Systems (TMS). People are learning to do more with less. Web-based applications allow businesses to be fluid and mobile. Businesses are learning to become more process driven and less labor dependent. To be competitive, to be successful, the trick is no longer to outgun your competition but rather to use a more effective weapon

– Dustin Snipes, Account Manager
Follow me @DSnipesNole_BG

Live Fast, Die Young

I recently read Live Fast, Die Young – The wild ride of making REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel. The book tells the tales of Director Nick Ray, young actress Natalie Wood, newcomer Sal Mineo and real life rebel James Dean. The insight into the original juvenile delinquent was astounding and any fans of Rebel could see just how much James Dean’s real life experiences play a part in the role he played as confused, misunderstood and angry rebel, Jim Stark. Other than being a misguided youth, James Dean was best known for his reckless and hurried lifestyle that ultimately ended with his untimely and tragic death. Dean died in a car crash while driving his brand new Porsche. Despite his death being a shock that had a ripple effect through Hollywood and his fans across America, the cause of his death was not a surprise to anyone.

Dean had a reputation for living fast and living dangerously. He often rode his 1955 Triumph motorcycle throughout Hollywood. He missed the first three days of production of Rebel because he was racing his Porsche Speedster in the desert. He was routinely stopped for speeding in his Porsche on the set of Rebel. Dean certainly had a reputation for living fast. In fact, he went to great lengths to cultivate this reputation. The ironic thing surrounding Dean’s death was that while he indeed died in a terrible car crash, the police report said that Dean was not speeding and was not at fault in the accident. It was a young, local student who couldn’t negotiate a turn who ended up in the wrong lane. But Dean’s iconic reputation and legend lead people to believe that he indirectly killed himself.

Your reputation is important. The things that you do on a daily basis, regardless of how small, forever change the way in which you, your actions, and even your associates are perceived. Working in transportation, the reputation of our freight carriers is our reputation. The reputation of an individual franchise can effect an entire corporation. If you want to be perceived as the experts in expedited shipping, than every member of your organization from the Receptionist to the President, must be an expert in expedited shipping. To be known to have a state-of-the-art Transportation Management System (TMS) than you must employ people who can in fact make your TMS state-of-the-art.

We are all adults. We all understand that the logistics industry is not perfect. LTL shipments do in fact arrive late. Pick-ups are missed. Products get damaged. To make a reputation for yourself as the proven leader in transportation management, it is not about whether or not these mishaps will or will not occur. They will. To be the best, you must prove to be a leader in transportation management by minimizing the amount of mistakes that occur by focusing on the human error and process improvements. Be proactive. To be perceived as the best-in-class, focus on how you handle these issues as they arise. Cultivate your reputation, your legacy, by understanding what’s important to the people you serve. Perception is reality.

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
Follow me @theBGexperience

BlueGrace Logistics…Leading the “Technologistical Revolution”

After serving ten years in the United States Army under the Military Occupational Specialty 92Y, or the official military title, Unit Supply Specialist, I figured that a company named BlueGrace Logistics would be the perfect fit for someone like me.  After all, the army has prided itself on grooming all of their Supply Specialists to be “Seasoned Logisticians.”  From the onset of my career here at BlueGrace Logistics I realized that the difference between logistics in the army world and logistics in the civilian world were like night and day.

In the army system of logistics there was a program called the Unit Level Logistics System (ULLS), which was supposed to make the job of a Supply Specialist as simple as a few pushes of the ‘Return’ key (yes it was DOS based so there was no mouse clicking.)  During my everyday routine of ordering pencils and toilet paper, I found that logistics was extremely boring and probably not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, especially if it involved doing any more logistics in Iraq.  With the possibility of being shipped over to the bowels of the earth at any possible moment, I decided to leave the United States Army and try my hand at making it in the world without the shelter provided to me for the last ten years by Uncle Sam.

Life on the outside was way tougher than I had anticipated and after becoming a civilian consultant for the army, I found myself caught up in the same web of monotony that I had tried so hard to get away from by leaving the army.  It was time for a career change but since the job market was so tight at the time I decided to make a career change; I applied for a job at a logistics company against my will.  Fortunately, the company was BlueGrace Logistics and I was immediately able to see that the only thing Army Logistics and BlueGrace Logistics had in common was the word ‘Logistics.’

From the very first interview to the day I started working, it was made clear to me that the mission of BlueGrace was more than just getting pencils and toilet paper from one place to another.  They were responsible for moving the products that keep our economy alive.  I had no idea that there were actual options in logistics like, expedited, guaranteed, and a world of accessorial options that I still have not learned what they mean yet.  BlueGrace is about making the movement of products easier for their clients and this is a side of logistics that I was never exposed to in the army.

The BlueGrace way of logistics was a refreshing dose of technology compared to the DOS based ULLS system the army attempted to make me believe was the best approach to logistics available.  I thought that it was just a ploy to get customers to ship with BlueGrace when I heard that they actually had an iPhone app that could quote rates for their customers, until I saw it in action for myself.  It was as easy as entering the pickup and drop off information, and it even had a huge menu for accessorial options to give the most accurate price possible.  The web based Transportation Management System (TMS) is cool to me to, but there is just something about being able to pull quotes on an iPhone that has me speechless.  Even though the army has just recently introduced their Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) system, which is also web based, it pales in comparison to the BlueGrace TMS because of the complexity of it all.  It is a very confusing system to learn unlike the TMS, which was so simple that I picked up how to track, book, and manage shipments within 48 hours of first being introduced to it.  I felt like a freight tracking professional within my first week at BlueGrace.

My transition from the army to the civilian world has been improved by bounds and leaps as I learn the ways of BlueGrace Logistics.  It has been quite an exciting and rewarding experience for me.  The sheer amazement of the technological advancements in assisting customers with shipping their products from one side of the world to the other has been nothing short of spectacular.  BlueGrace has shown me the exciting side of the logistics world, helping to restore my faith in having a fun and satisfying career in the logistics industry.  As an executive assistant in charge of the “Blue Star Tracker” I see that many customers share my views about how helpful BlueGrace Logistics really is, as we continue to grow as a giant in the 3PL industry.

– Mike Eligon, Executive Assistant