UPS and the Teamsters UPS Freight National Bargaining Committee (TNUPSFNC) recently concluded a series of labor contract meetings on October 25, 2018, resulting in a ratified master agreement between the two parties. According to an update from UPS.com, the offer seeks to reward UPS employees with higher wages and better benefits to compensate for their contributions to the success of the company. Union members are scheduled to vote on the proposed agreement between November 7th and the 11th of this year.
Following the meetings, TNUPSFNC stated that they believe UPS Freight’s offer should be ratified. Should the joint vote result in a “no,” UPS is preparing for the worst… a strike, already pre-approved by the committee. However, if the vote ends in favor of the ratified master agreement, service will resume as normal on November 12, 2018.
UPS Freight is halting pickups ahead of time to account for the impending strike. UPS stated that they can only ensure the delivery of ground (LTL) shipments through November 8, 2018. A strike could mean a large spike in spot market prices, ahead of already increased prices for the approaching holiday season. If this strike goes into effect, it will be the first strike for UPS employees since 1997.
The significant increase forecasted in spot market prices means higher-than-expected costs for your supply chain as the 2018 holiday season ramps up, which raises an important question:
The answer… stay away from the spot market as much as you can during the holidays. Furthermore, a key trick to avoid high spot market prices in 2018 is to strategically partner with a third-party logistics provider with an already established network of dedicated carriers at their disposal. Joining forces with the right third-party logistics provider over the 2018 holiday season should also improve the overall bottom line of your supply chain costs.Read More
Due to new tariffs implemented earlier this year, a majority of U.S. businesses are feeling repercussions of the current trade war with China, according to a report from AsiaInspection. The report further deduces that most U.S. businesses are aiming for more cost-effective solutions—rather than completely restructuring their supply chains—to account for the recent change.
One solution to maintain your company’s profit margins and minimize new costs is to raise prices on goods. However, this could trigger a domino effect across the entire business model, potentially driving consumers away. Furthermore, more than half of U.S. businesses report being affected by the tariffs, which means consumers can most likely expect an increase in the cost of goods.
Another solution to combatting the new tariffs is sourcing products from alternative suppliers in different countries, especially Vietnam. Vietnam is a particularly attractive prospect, as it is located along one of the world’s main supply routes and harbors one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Last year, the United States imported roughly $46 billion from Vietnam, and that number is expected to rise to over $51 billion by the end of 2018.
In an interview with reuters.com, the CEO of Ingersoll-Rand, Michael Lamach, stated that the unpredictable nature of whether the trade conflict with China will be resolved may result in affected companies becoming reluctant to restructure their supply chains. Only time will tell.Read More
In light of impending changes to the federal Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, insurance companies are searching for better ways to identify unsafe motor carriers. Duke Tomei, Executive VP and Transportation Practice leader at USI Insurance Services, noted that there’s industry-wide doubt about the correlation of current CSA scores to accidents.
A combination of the current CSA scoring system and the dramatic increase in severity of claims is causing shipping prices as a whole to increase. Five years ago, what would have been a $200,000 claim is now up to $500,000 according to Chris Mikolay, VP of National Accounts and Truck Alternative Risk at the National Interstate Insurance Company. The new changes being looked at by the CSA means insurers can audit a carrier’s safety protocol more closely to gather whether it cares about safety and is acting in accordance. Carriers are responding by employing insurance deductibles and alternative risk management strategies based on the risks their companies are willing to take.
Shippers can expect increases in shipping costs associated with higher risk industries and products specifically. This is due to carriers choosing those higher insurance deductibles and risk management strategies to combat the impending federal CSA changes.
However, the CSA Safety Measurement System changes will result in more accurate carrier safety ratings in the near future. This means that even though carrier prices are going up, so is the quality of service. The increase in price and quality of service means an increase in the value of your supply chain.
Although carriers in the near future will be vetted more closely by insurance companies—resulting in an even tighter carrier market—higher quality carriers will be more easily accessible to your company’s supply chain needs.
BM2 Freight Services, Inc.
Phone: (859) 308-5100
Email: Sales@BM2Freight.comRead More
A bonded carrier is a licensed transporter that can move freight through U.S. ports of entry without paying duty on those goods or obtaining a customs release during border crossing.
Bonded carriers provide a clear advantage in the expedited shipping process, while still adhering to customs protocol. When a bonded carrier moves freight, that load is called an in-bond shipment. This label would streamline the import/export process for your shipments or forwarded freight, which will save both time and money. So bonded carriers not only expedite the importing and exporting, but they also give you the piece-of-mind that your shipment(s) always adhere to customs protocol.
Furthermore, BM2 Freight is proud to announce that we are now a bonded carrier that will save you money on future imported and exported shipments. Following our brand standard of “Excellence Only,” we are always committed to discovering new ways to improve your supply chain efficiency.
BM2 Freight Services, Inc.
Phone: (859) 308-5100
Email: Sales@BM2Freight.comRead More
Have your company’s shipping needs outgrown what you can handle on your own? Are you in search of more efficient ways to ship your product… while maintaining customer satisfaction? Have you even considered hiring your own in-house logistics team, but are not sure of the cost? Is partnering with a third-party logistics broker the right move for my company’s needs?
If you find yourself asking these questions, then keep reading.
According to the 2019 Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, 73% of 3PL users stated that partnering with a broker helped provide new and innovative ways to improve logistics effectiveness. Furthermore, 89% of shippers were in accord that third-party logistics usage had translated into improving customer services. At BM2 Freight, we provide the ultimate customized approach to your logistics needs, to ensure your supply chain is fully optimized.
As with running any business, you are liable to run into periods of high product demand. Partnering with a third-party logistics provider will help adapt to those periods so your supply chain remains efficient. With BM2 Freight on your side, you can rest-assured that seasons of demand will be easily managed. Our large database of dedicated carriers is ready to pick-up your loads at a moment’s notice.
If you find yourself debating solutions to your supply chain, like hiring an in-house shipping team or partnering up with a third-party logistics provider, then let’s walk through a cost-benefit analysis.
Hiring an in-house team
→ Costs begin to soar when factoring in employee salaries, purchasing a customized Transportation Management System (TMS), management and oversight of the processes, initial adjustments that sacrifice supply chain efficiency, and time-consuming carrier relations management. Benefits do include daily face-to-face interaction with your logistics team.
Hiring a third-party logistics provider
→ Costs include nominal fees for each load you move. Benefits include a stress-free solution to your supply chain, saving the expense of hiring an in-house team (which means you only pay for what you want to ship), price-optimization on every load so you get the best rates available, cargo insurance, and having your outsourced dedicated team just a phone-call or email away.
It is clear that the benefits of partnering with a third-party logistics provider far outweigh the costs. With that being said, hiring a 3PL may not be the best decision right now for your company. Forecast the periods of critical mass and consider the context of your company’s current supply chain.
If you find that your company could potentially benefit from a third-party logistics partnership, give us a call or email us. Our dedicated, highly communicative supply chain specialists are prepared and eager to learn about your company’s needs.
BM2 Freight Services, Inc.
Phone: (859) 308-5100
Email: Sales@BM2Freight.comRead More
Ten years ago this spring, three motivated salesmen—Kevin Ball and brothers, Jeff & Matthew Mason—decided to break out on their own and build a freight brokerage from the ground up.
And boy, did they do it.
30 employees, 250 customers, and 75,000 loads later... and we're still growing.
Cheers to 10 years and to all the people along the way that have helped make BM2 Freight possible.
We are thrilled to announce our acceptance as an affiliate member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors! We greatly look forward to working with NACD. Learn more at nacd.com.Read More
When a shipper contacts a 3PL to arrange for transportation of goods, he or she expects to hear, “No problem! The truck will be there just when you need it!” And that is certainly what we all want to say. The truth is, though, that the carrier market is tight, and likely to get tighter. Sometimes it is impossible to accommodate a shipper’s timing. At times you can’t offer a backhaul and may lose a carrier. Occasionally, loads are dropped. There simply aren’t enough carriers. With Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) becoming mandatory now (though there are some extensions), drivers have to adhere to and bear the expense of yet another regulation.
Our PDF “Coping with the Tight Carrier Market: Surviving and Thriving in the Post-ELD World” examines the current state of the carrier market, explores some of the reasons for its contraction, and articulates the five keys to surviving and thriving in this tight market.
The carrier crunch is real. There are a variety of reasons that there is a shortage of heavy and tractor-trailer drivers. Economic realities make the job less attractive; the pay, though good, comes with unreimbursed expenses. The lifestyle can be hard, with much of the glamor of the open road gone. The massive amount of regulations can feel oppressive and the requirement of Electronic Logging Devices increases the atmosphere of constant surveillance. Millennials have different attitudes than older drivers do to all of these things, and that needs to be recognized by 3PLs.
3PLs that respond with a renewed commitment to relationship are the ones that will survive and thrive in this tightened carrier market. Respect is the bedrock of any positive relationship, and there are some real-world ways to demonstrate that to carriers and drivers. Communication can make or break relationships, and 3PLs can provide specific kinds of communication and support that carriers and drivers need. Feedback needs to be individuated, and something more than a checkmark in a box. Mutual growth needs to be a commitment that the 3PL makes, and considering what the carriers need in order to prosper ensures that. Finally, volume gives the 3PL the ability to sustain all the other keys to success.
To find out how these five keys to surviving and thriving in the current tight carrier market can be implemented in the real world, and make them work for you, download the whitepaper now by filling out the form below.
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BM2 Freight moves hundreds of hazmat loads every month and Kevin Ball has personally led the development of the hazmat transportation specialization. He has spearheaded hazmat carrier development for BM2 Freight and on December 6, 2017, he offered an educational webinar on the topic. The full webinar is available below; here is a brief synopsis of the highlights.
There are a number of government organizations that designate hazardous materials; the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission), and the DOT (Department of Transportation). These designations may be overlapping. The DOT specifies nine different classes of hazardous materials, from explosives and fuels to water- or air-reactive chemicals. Each class has a particular symbol that must be displayed on all sides of the vehicle transporting it. The vast majority of all hazardous materials are transported via U.S. highways; almost 1 out of every 5 trucks on the road is hauling hazmat. This is an industry where efficiency and safety must be prioritized equally.
Currently, there is a contraction in the hazmat carrier population. Shippers, brokers, and 3PLs are having difficulty finding drivers, trucks or carriers. Sometimes they are unable to support shippers’ timing. There are dropped loads and price volatility. There is an overall carrier crunch that is even more pronounced in hazmat transportation. Economically, a stronger economy equals more shipments and paradoxically, fewer drivers. Some drivers who entered the field when construction or other industries experienced decline are now returning to previous jobs. Aging drivers are not being replaced by younger drivers who no longer perceive the lifestyle of the “open road” as attractive. While marijuana is now legal in a number of states, failing a random drug test means loss of your CDL. And with more and more FMCSA regulations (ELD) constraining choices, that will continue. Hazmat drivers require additional qualifications (hazmat training and tanker endorsement) and with the current shortage of drivers, there is little incentive for drivers to pursue those extra requirements.
The most important way to increase capacity is to cultivate carrier relationships. Respect, communication, and cooperation are key. Having a 3PL that specializes in hazmat means that the carriers and drivers have someone who speaks their language, who understands their concerns. It is essential to demonstrate a genuine concern for their interests. On-time payments, options for quick pay, the ability to provide backhauls—these are some ways for the broker or 3PL to grow and maintain a large carrier base. And nothing beats volume. The greater number of hazmat loads a broker or 3PL has, the greater the ability to offer the kind of treatment that hazmat carriers need. If a broker or 3PL can give advance notice of hazmat shipments, and manage the changing regulatory climate particular to hazmat transportation, carriers and drivers can plan without worry. The broker or 3PL that has established procedures and can work in genuine partnership with the carriers and drivers will be most successful in increasing its hazmat carrier network.
At BM2 Freight, We Connect Great Shippers With Great Carriers
For the whole webinar, including the questions and answers, click here.Read More
BM2 Freight's Matt Mason has been involved in food transportation for years, and he recently offered his expertise in a food transportation webinar presented on July 12 and July 20, 2017 (available below). BM2 Freight moves food for a number of Fortune 500 companies -- restaurants, grocery chains, and producers; and they transport it all over the country. Here is a synopsis of Matt's webinar:
The Food Safety Modernization Act that went into effect in April 2017 enshrines into law the best practices that ought to obtain throughout the industry. Food shippers should look for a 3PL with a culture of food safety, one that really understands the law’s requirements and can manage multiple carriers on your behalf. A good 3PL is your compliance manager; it frees up your organization to continue doing what it does best, while the 3PL tracks KPIs designed to protect your food. (more…)Read More