BM2 Freight Services provides a portfolio of services that makes us a one-stop shop in today’s world of transportation.

U.S. Government Shutdown Effects on the Supply Chain


14Jan

Us government shutdown, shutdown, government shutdown, supply chain, air cargo, tsa, federal government

Air Cargo At Risk

The U.S. government shutdown has caused some minor effects to the supply chain. However, the longer the government shutdown persists… the road could get exponentially bumpier. Furthermore, the shutdown is affecting 9 government departments, including the department of Homeland Security, which contains the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Roughly 800,000 government employees are furloughed until the shutdown ends.

Thankfully, effects to the supply chain have been minor thus far. But, according to Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association (AfA), airlines are not currently accepting cargo screened by canine teams with the seal of approval from the TSA. This means that as long as the TSA is inaccessible, carriers searching for verification of information into the canine program are in limbo. However, air cargo is still flowing, despite grave implications that the government shutdown will persist.

Long Term Implications

With roughly 25% of the government shut down, it should be expected that communications with federal offices will be scarce. Companies in need of licenses, permits, and other paperwork are simply stuck until the respective offices resume normal activity. The lingering fear is that this shutdown will cause a back-up of paperwork the longer it remains in place. This clog could very well lead to a “system meltdown,” similar to one in 2014 that crippled container ports on the U.S. west coast.

According to the CEO of a major logistics company, the government shutdown is putting our country’s infrastructure at risk. Without the proper federal support, infrastructure develops holes that could eventually lead to a snowball effect of customs employees failing to adequately respond. Reported last week, Mick Mulvaney, the White House Chief of Staff, expects the shutdown to persist indefinitely.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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BM2 Freight Services Opens New Detroit Branch


07Jan

m2 freight, freight, transportation solutions, logistics, press release, detroit

Covington, KY, January 7, 2019

BM2 Freight Services, Inc., a provider of logistics and transportation solutions is proud to announce the opening of their new branch in the Detroit metropolitan area.  The company has experienced rapid growth year-over-year.  2018 was no exception for BM2 Freight, as it nearly doubled in gross revenue over 2017’s numbers.  The Detroit branch marks the second office outside of the headquarters in the Cincinnati area.  The strategically placed office in Troy, Michigan is fully operational as of January 1, 2019.

The Detroit branch will be led by industry professionals with years of experience and refined expertise.  It is clear that the core values and services that BM2 brings to the table are highly craved aspects in the logistics industry today.  “We are excited about our expansion in Detroit along with the jobs and opportunities it will provide,” said Matt Mason, one of the co-founders of BM2 Freight.   “The talent pool is very attractive to us and we are looking forward to years of growth.”

Furthermore, with the start of the new year, BM2 has implemented more plans to account for its rapid growth, including relocation of the headquarters to historic Downtown Covington, Kentucky, adding a Detroit branch, and more.  The core belief of ‘Excellence Only’ truly echoes across each aspect of this company, and as a result, it is no surprise that they are exhibiting this type of growth.

About BM2 Freight

BM2 Freight Services, Inc. was founded in 2008 by Kevin Ball, Matthew Mason and Jeff Mason.  They provide domestic transportation solutions to customers throughout North America in all modes.  The key markets they service are Food, Hazmat/Chemicals and International Freight Forwarders.  Since the inception, BM2 Freight has been listed as a Cincinnati Business Courier Fast 55 Honoree.  It was honored with the University of Cincinnati’s Goering Center Family Business of the Year award and the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.  For more information, visit www.bm2freight.com

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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2019 Logistics Forecast


31Dec

Supply chain, eld mandate, infrastructure, fmcsa, federal motor carrier safety administration

2018 Tax Cuts, Regulations, & Innovations

In the freight industry, 2018 was a year for the record books. New corporate tax cuts led to new business investments and the ELD mandate heavily impacted supply chains everywhere. Industry changes included more strategic supply chain planning, tighter capacity across the board, safer driving initiatives, strict enforcement of the ELD, and much more. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) developed two measures to ease the transition into the new ELD mandate: 1) issuing waivers to specialized carriers, and 2) granting more time for compliance to fleets with legacy onboard tracking. New innovations also emerged, including the electrification of powertrain components and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

Infrastructure & State Transportation Funding

However, one unaddressed issue in 2018 is federal funding progress on infrastructure. Despite this hold-up, a handful of states—including Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—implemented major spending infrastructure programs. Minnesota and Connecticut officials also pushed for improved funding. In other states like Colorado, Missouri, and Utah, transportation funding failed to be voted through. Furthermore, California voters decided to further increase their 2017 increase to diesel fuel tax increase from 20 cents per gallon to a much higher 36 cents per gallon.

2019 Supply Chain Implications

Overall, there is a general push by the FMCSA to create safer driving conditions with mandated ELDs. Corporate tax cuts are allowing companies to invest more revenue back into their supply chains to find the qualified help they need to navigate these new FMCSA regulations. There also seems to be a push for a more “green” supply chain. We are sure to see more changes on each of these fronts in 2019.

Furthermore, there seems to be a state-level push for higher infrastructure and transportation funding. Once the political environment cools down after the next tariff deadline with China in March, it is not far-fetched to assume there will be more federal attention to navigating infrastructure issues that the freight transportation industry faces every day.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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ELD Mandate Causes Shift Across the Supply Chain


24Dec

eld mandate, supply chain, air, ocean, intermodal, capacity, shippers, carriers

Navigating the ELD Mandate

Implemented just over a year ago, the ELD mandate has obviously had the most effect on the trucking industry. However… there are less obvious effects from the new regulation. The ELD mandate is indirectly affecting ocean, air, and intermodal freight. To navigate ELD, shippers are adjusting their supply chains to maintain their supply chain’s efficiency by searching for alternate routes and modes. Due to this general shift in the supply chain, you can expect to see rates, capacity, and more variables affected.

Rates, Capacity, & Transit Time

The ELD mandate has started a “domino effect” in the supply chain. As shippers try to maintain their supply chain’s efficiency, other aspects shift as a direct result. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that in April 2018 alone, North American airline freight volumes expanded by 3.2%. As the demand for air and other modes continually increased throughout 2018, you can expect to see increased rates across the alternate modes as a direct result. Combined with a driving hour shortage from the ELD, it’s crucial to ensure capacity is available prior to shipping your freight. Transit time largely depends upon each aspect of your supply chain running smoothly.

There are many variables that the ELD mandate affects on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important to 1) understand those variables, 2) ensure capacity at each transit point, and 3) develop strategic partnerships with carriers & brokers who are dedicated to your freight. Additionally, a handful of those variables include the region capacity to which you’re shipping, market rates by lane, and eligible/available carrier driving hours. If your supply chain does not have a person dedicated to consistently monitoring the above-mentioned variables to maintain your supply chain’s efficiency… consider giving BM2 Freight a call. We are the experts in navigating the ELD mandate and are eager to learn about your business model and your specific supply chain needs.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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How Frequent Price Changes Effect Your Supply Chain


17Dec

price changes, supply chain, brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, retail

The Ebb & Flow of Consumer Behavior

With the rise of e-commerce giant, Amazon, and the shift of consumer behavior to online retail, it’s no wonder brick-and-mortar stores are having to adjust to the competition. Not to mention, e-commerce entities of all shapes and sizes are putting pressure on brick-and-mortar retail operations. One of the more prominent aspects of Amazon’s e-commerce business model is changing prices frequently. Therefore, brick-and-mortar retailers are forced to also apply price changes more often in order to stay competitive. Furthermore, recent research shows the average time period for regular price changes fell from 6.7 months (from 2008 to 2010) to 3.7 months (from 2014 to 2017).

Retail Prices Subject to Price Changes

While many brick-and-mortar retailers are now changing prices more frequently to achieve uniformity with the e-commerce world, this can possibly expose their proverbial “Achilles Heel.” Shifts in supply chain costs—including gas prices, tariffs, and many other variables—can adversely affect retail prices across the board, not to mention dwindle profit margins.

Supply Chain Costs Affect the End Consumer

Additionally, the brick-and-mortar industry has been pushed into a tough spot when faced with price shocks… the most prevalent of late being the tariff war between the U.S. and China. Retailers are challenged with maintaining profit margins, so they 1) end up passing on costs to the end consumer, or 2) sacrifice profit margins to invest in more “behind-the-scenes” supply chain costs.

One solution to maintaining profit margins—while  keeping the end consumer happy—is to budget according to the ongoing trend of more frequent price changes. Furthermore, this means incorporating a robust contingency percentage into your supply chain budget to account for unexpected price shocks in the chain. Additionally, the contingency plan should include analyzing more volatile variables in your current supply chain, those most affected by commonly shifting cost variables outside your chain. Understanding the year-over-year trends of supply chain variables and costs will prove highly beneficial in planning your future supply chain and, ultimately, the success of your business.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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Global Supply Chain Updates Following the G20 Summit


10Dec

The Trade War

In lieu of the 2018 G20 Summit held in Argentina last weekend, Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping have begun to reach an agreement on the ongoing tariff war. According to the White House press, one highlight of the agreement is that China has “agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.” Tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will remain at the current rate of 10% through January 1, 2019.

The United States and China are set to resume negotiations regarding the G20 Summit agreements in coming days. However, if a final agreement is not reached on these matters within 90 days… tariffs will rise to 25% across the board.

In conclusion, the immediate effects of this pending agreement means lower demand from west coast ports. The lower demand implies potentially higher shipping prices, as well as higher carrier capacity from the west coast.

g20 summit, global supply chain, donald trump, china, xi jingping

USMCA

Additionally, heads-of-state for the United States, Mexico, and Canada signed a new trade deal at the recent G20 Summit. Upon approval of the respective nation’s legislatures, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is intended to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In a statement to reporters on his return flight from the G20 Summit, Donald Trump says he plans to terminate NAFTA shortly and present choices of the USMCA or pre-NAFTA to Congress.

However, the USMCA is largely similar to NAFTA. The biggest changes—aside from an obvious name change—include higher rules-of-origin requirements for the auto sector and slightly greater U.S. access to the Canadian dairy market.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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3 Ways to Keep Your Supply Chain Efficient This Winter


03Dec

supply chain, winter weather, carriers, spot market, capacity

Winter Is Coming

The shipping industry has many changing factors and moving parts, weather being one of the more influential… but you already know that. So, let’s talk about three ways your supply chain might be affected by the colder months ahead. They are:

  • Lanes
  • Spot market
  • Regional capacity

Each of the above supply chain aspects work in tandem with one another. Lanes in northern regions of the U.S. are obviously affected by winter weather, causing traffic accidents and transit delays. Therefore, the spot market rates are expected to increase as capacity for trucks tighten.

Getting Ahead of the Weather

Just like the weather, it’s important to forecast your supply chain during the winter months. By following this mentality, we are now able to identify solutions to increasing capacity in lanes and finding cheaper spot market rates.

The key solution is focusing on lead times and strategically partnering with dedicated carriers before the winter weather hits. Even though another effect of winter weather is tighter lead times, it’s imperative to plan your supply chain as far in advance as possible. Planning ahead ensures your shipments are taken care of in a timely manner.

Quality Over Cost… Mostly

Yes, it is true—to an extent—that you want to partner with carriers based on their quality. However, when you are forced to steer away from regular lanes and partnerships in the winter months, it is important to vet carriers on both quality and cost. Even more importantly is to partner with the right carriers that provide the maximum amount of lead time possible, while spending the least amount of money.

Are you struggling to optimize your lanes, the spot market, and regional capacity? DON’T WORRY! This is a common, yet complicated, issue to solve. That is why we, at BM2 Freight Services, exist. Call and speak with one of our supply chain experts to strategically optimize your supply chain this winter.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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Supply Chain Forecasting & the Ongoing Tariff Crisis


26Nov

G20, supply chain, tariffs, export, import

Final Discussions Before Impending January Tariff Hike

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to have one last meeting before 2019 at the G20 summit in Argentina to discuss the current tariff crisis.  The content of these talks will be focusing on solutions to U.S. tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods and $110 billion in reciprocal import duties China placed on U.S. goods.  According to Michael Angell of freightwaves.com, the lack of consensus amongst the 2 leaders is likely to lead to no deal being struck.  If no deal is struck to solve the crisis, then the January 1 tariff hikes will hit the supply chain full force with more likely to follow.

Supply Chain Forecasting

It’s important to understand the effects of these macro-economic policies on the consumer experience at the end of the supply chain.

Therefore, the impending tariffs are expected to increase the medical supply chain’s cost by roughly $160 million in 2019.  While this may not mean an immediate increase in co-pays, costs for local pharmacy goods are expected to rise as a result.

Additionally, Williams-Sonoma recently announced they are planning to move several of their goods out of China to avoid the tariffs.  CEO Laura Alber stated that their company benefits from having a muli-country supply chain that offers sourcing flexibility to account for procurement risks.

In conclusion, recent inflation of prices throughout the supply chain is creating a growing need for innovative solutions and outsourced supply chain consulting.  Now more than ever, talking with experts who understand your specific industry supply chain needs is crucial in combatting the inflating prices of the global supply chain.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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CARB and EPA Crack Down on Heavy Truck Air Quality Standards


19Nov

CARB Rule Violations

Recent news from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reports that a number of transportation companies were found in violation of CARB’s Truck and Bus Rules. These violations resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements, with funds being directed towards clean air projects in various areas throughout the state. Many of the recent violations include carriers running trucks in California without the required Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) systems.

You can find a list of all CARB regulations here and all CARB permits, certifications, exemptions and registrations here. You can also learn about CARB’s 2018 rule making activity here to make sure you stay up-to-date on regulations, therefore, avoiding costly penalties.

EPA & CARB Revisit NOx Emissions Standard

Announced on November 13, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began an environmental review to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) from heavy-duty truck engines.  According to EPA Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, the goal of this project is to modernize and improve the efficiency of heavy-duty truck engines to provide cleaner air for U.S. citizens. The initiative will remove unnecessary steps to certifications and compliance standards, while also focusing on reducing NOx emissions. The current reduction efforts by the EPA seek to lower NOx emissions to 0.2 grams per brake horsepower/hour.

CARB, EPA, heavy truck, air quality standards

This announcement comes on the heels of CARB’s even stricter initiative to reduce NOx emissions to 0.02 grams per brake horsepower/hour. According to Transport Topics News, EPA officials stated they would like to work with CARB to update overarching U.S. emissions requirements, but have received no communication compliance. In the EPA’s November 13th press conference, Lewie Pugh, Executive VP of OOIDA, stated that changes must consider cost and reliability of technology for the small business trucker.

The Take-Away

Emission standards in the trucking industry are constantly evolving. The EPA and state level organizations are consistently searching for ways to reduce emissions and improve air quality. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the current developments of these standards to avoid costly violations for your company.

If you have any questions about current standards, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to talk with one of our logistics experts.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.

Phone: (859) 308-5100

Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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UPS Strike to Drastically Increase Spot Market Prices


12Nov

UPS vs. Teamsters

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.

ups, bm2 freight, supply chain, strike

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.

Possible “Domino” Effect

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.

Maintaining Cost Efficiency

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:

How can you maintain holiday supply chain cost efficiency?

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.

BM2 Freight Services, Inc.
Phone: (859) 308-5100
Email: Sales@BM2Freight.com

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