May 21, 2015
Canada-Mexico trade continues to heat up thanks in part to the growing number of company’s near-shoring operations to North America, particularly to Mexico, from Asia. The rising cost to produce in Asia, as well as the cost of ocean and air transportation continuously rising, port congestion and demand on speed to market are all contributing factors. Not only is Mexico becoming a preferred country for manufacturing specific commodities like flat screen TV’s and medical devices, we’re seeing it responsible for a lot of assembly. Even though goods are being made in Asia, those same goods are then assembled in Mexico to then be shipped into the U.S. and Canada.

April 26, 2015
CINCINNATI. Here at the National Private Truck Council’s 2015 Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition at the Duke Energy Center Convention Center, private fleet representatives are sharing best practices and networking. For a company such as Transplace, it’s that networking experience that can prove invaluable. After all, private fleets typically have freight capacity to fill on backhauls, and Transplace has freight to place on trucks.

It’s a match made in heaven.

“They get value because they are running outbound from a distribution center and by partnering with us, we can provide freight for them,” John Lower, director-strategic carrier management for Transplace, told Fleet Owner.

Lower was quick to stress that Transplace is not just a fly-by-night load board, but rather an integrated third-party logistics provider and technology company that provides “value-added services” to its clients on both ends of the spectrum.

April 22, 2015
As Congress considers how to spend the Highway Trust Fund by May 31 and what language to put into a renewed spending bill, the trucking and the railroad industries are at odds. Trucking wants language to allow for bigger trucks; the rail industry doesn’t because that could divert business. Meanwhile there is the ongoing problem of decaying infrastructure on which all transportation depends. So here we go again, as President Reagan would say, listening to bickering about which mode of transportation is greener and safer. Indeed, the railroad industry and the trucking industry have waged a love-hate relationship since rubber-tired vehicles began hauling freight and competing with the railroads.

The real problem at hand is that the transportation business is segmented into modal silos. For both trucking and rail, operating and capital costs have continually risen while, until recently, excess capacity has kept rates and profit margins low. Each industry has had to constantly find ways to improve productivity. All low-hanging fruit has been harvested so the battle intensifies. Complicating matters is that not only is the transportation business segmented, so is its regulation, which is divided among a variety of Federal, State, and local agencies. And Congressional committees have their own parochial interests.

April 15, 2015
A small but growing number of shippers now view the infrastructure required to move product from manufacture to retail as an opportunity to collaborate, rather than compete. That opportunity lies in cutting expenses that are needlessly duplicated across shippers: transportation planning, warehousing, exception management, accessorials, less-than-truckload shipments, underused capacity, and other supply chain costs.

Collaborative distribution has long been the no-brainer idea that no one acts on, with obstacles mostly related to entrenched investments, cultures, and hidden agendas. While the group of early adopters is small, the tide is beginning to turn. Promising case studies and compelling research prompted some market leaders to open their minds to new ways of moving product, satisfying customers, and boosting the bottom line through both savings and increased sales.

April 14, 2015
Capacity is a word that’s constantly on the minds of many companies. Is there enough capacity available to handle my freight? When will capacity become tight? What strategies can we implement to prepare for and actively cope with a capacity shortage?

From 2004-2008, shippers experienced a significant capacity crunch, and in 2009-2012, the economic downturn drove many trucking companies out of business, leaving behind a shortage of over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers. The market has since partially bounced back, with 2014 being a profitable year for trucking. However, it was expected that overall trucking rates would go down as oil and fuel prices decreased, but that hasn’t been the case, particularly in the refrigerated trucking sector.

Right now there is a significant lack of refrigerated truckload capacity, and all those in the market are actively competing for the limited refrigerated capacity that is available.