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
The Rotational Account Rep is primarily responsible for obtaining responsible motor carriers for shipments already obtained by BM2 Account Managers. This includes negotiating rates with carriers, managing the movement of freight, and resolving routine issues that may arise during the shipment.
Ideal candidates will be highly motivated and organized problem solvers, with strong people skills and the ability to manage time and resources effectively with little oversight. Account Representatives must be able to multitask and keep track of several shipments while utilizing strong computer and communication skills.
Make initial contact, obtain, and develop relationships with existing and prospective motor carriers.
Source new carriers, ensuring the carrier has proper operating authority and insurance.
Identify services and pricing that meet customer expectations and business objectives.
Maintain ongoing understanding of current market conditions and business trends to be able to make offers that will increase margins.
Quote and negotiate rates on a daily basis with carriers.
Monitor the daily progress of loads and resolve issues through quality checks, keeping Account Managers updated at when necessary.
Handle incoming calls from all customers, resolving problems, and tracking loads, and collecting on invoices.
By: Stephen Reynolds
Everyone has been tested, assessed, quizzed, whatever in their lives that has ever had a single class in a school or homeschool setting. It is almost always categorized as a stressful situation that requires rote memorization and recalling information, which at times is viewed as useless bar trivia knowledge at best, and at worst something to immediately forget the second the testing is finished. The perception that testing is used to verify that the student/employee know what they need to know to pass or fail and move on is archaic in the extreme, testing needs to be viewed in a completely different light. The objective of testing is to evaluate three points on a learner’s timeline:
1. Baseline Knowledge
2. How Much The Student is Learning
3. Is The Student Proficient in What Was Taught
In a Corporate setting we can properly evaluate our employees by utilizing the concepts in education and applying them to our adult learners. I will discuss in further blogs in further depth on how they are used in education and how you can use them in a professional setting. This is the first of a three part blog series which will first cover the first of the three assessment types (see below).
4. Pre Assessment
Pre assessment is utilized in education to create an understanding of where students are in their current knowledge/skill set.
5. Formative Assessment
A range of formal and informal assessment procedures conducted by teachers/trainers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.
6. Summative Assessment
Used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year.
Definitions provided by: edglossary.org
This form of assessment is very important for the teacher/trainer as you generally do not know what your students/employees know. You may have an assumption on what skills and competencies they may have based on assumptions from previous trainings or their resumes.
Whether in education or the workplace, the objective of the pre assessment is exactly as described, find out what they know, and what they do not know, then plan accordingly. The general idea is to prepare your learners for the next level, hence, why they use this form of assessment. In a professional setting the idea is the same, however, one must find out what your employees know so as not to waste valuable training time “teaching” ideas/concepts/skills that they may already have. The quicker you are able to get your trainees onto their respective positions with the highest quality training you can provide is ultimately better for your company.
Below I have included a link from the Maine Support Network, titled “Strategies to Engage Adult Learners” for a multitude of pre assessment tasks and activities you can use to engage your adult employees in pre assessment. This attachment is asking teachers with grade level students to describe their classrooms, and how to better their students’ reading skills. These activities can be utilized with adults in any setting provided you can create the proper buy in for your employees.
As the sole trainer for BM2, I am constantly looking at various methods to approach and actively engage the adult learner. I believe incorporating this pre-assessment practice enhances the workplace and allows for a dynamic and rich learning environment that extends beyond the initial training phase. I respect my men and women for their active engagement and look forward to the discussion of the ladder two assessment techniques still to come.
For Further information, please visit: http://leadership.mainesupportnetwork.org/seminar/practice/structures.phpRead More
Every spring, professionals around the world gear up for the next wave of fresh meat coming to town: recent college graduates. Most graduates have limited experience in their selected industry, very little (if any) quantifiable experience, and have only a general idea as to what they have signed on to do in their full-time role. Even so, business especially thrives at the prospect of having these individuals in office. Recent graduates, rather than under-estimating your abilities, squeeze the most out of them and use the following traits to your advantage moving forward:
Whether you believe it or not, you had the smarts, cunning, and problem solving abilities to make it through college. Personally, I never felt like I would graduate. Majors aside, having the ability to persevere, stay motivated, and keep on counting are not qualities that should be taken lightly.
So your manager needs you to stay an extra hour to wrap up duties for the day. So what! Time to work out, hang out with friends, and watch Netflix can wait. Whether it’s picking up the kids, taking care of an elderly parent, or simply letting out the dog, most adults later in their careers do not have the kind of flexibility to drop everything when work demands. Now is your time to willingly accept that responsibility and run with it!
In a more sales oriented industry like third party logistics, men and women know from the start they are building their own book and making a name for themselves. More seasoned professionals have their book built and drive business from current and referred clients while new hires hunt for their book. If you have the drive to grow your own client list and see your efforts pay off, capitalize on that tenacious energy.
You have no “professional” experience? Perfect. If a recruiter does not value a student working part-time as a server or bar tender to help pay your way through college, run away and never look back. Hand in hand with attending college this fast-paced, high demand, type of work should be seen at face value: instilling the importance of coach-ability, relatability with a wide range of people, and delivering the best overall experience at all times.
Majors aside, recent grads have an innate ability to embrace the challenges placed in front of them. After sacrificing countless hours of sleep, weeks of social interaction, most likely drinking way too much caffeine, graduates have come too far to limit themselves now. With shiny, new degrees in hand, appreciate the qualities you possess and play it to your advantage! Work the longer hours, utilize the resources all around, and grow. This is how you earn your worth.
-Melissa Dempsey, Recruiting & Marketing CoordinatorRead More
If you’re a graduating senior and you’ve uttered any of these statements, you need to pull yourself back into reality and get busy. You! Yes, I mean you! You may not realize it, but if you’ve not already tied down a post-graduation position, or at least narrowed it down to several offers, you are way behind.
Most employers spend much of February and March selecting their spring hires, so if you’ve avoided career fairs and resume workshops like cafeteria meatloaf, it is time to get busy in order to land a position that you’ll be happy to report to after graduation.
So you’ve not started looking for a full-time position yet and you’re feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, don’t fret. Let’s break this down into steps so it’s not quite so daunting. Here’s what you need to do TODAY:
Sit down in a quiet space. Close your eyes and envision what your ideal employer looks like and what it doesn’t look like. Make a list of must-haves and things to avoid. Some qualities to consider
Location (Are you willing to relocate?)
Company Size (Fortune 500 v Small Business)
Company Culture (Casual or Formal)
Growth Potential (This could be development/training or salary)
Utilize your campus Career Services to help you hone in on organizations who are actively hiring candidates. This is a great, under-utilized resource.
Once you’ve found organizations you’d like to apply to, check your LinkedIn and other social media to see if you have any friends, acquaintances, relatives that are associated with the places your interested in applying. Reach out to anyone who may be able to give you insight on the best ways to apply or even be willing to put a good word in with HR.
Once you find organizations where you’d like to submit your application, brush up your resume. Use key words from the job description to ensure that it will not be filtered before even being seen by human eyes.
Send an email or LinkedIn message to individuals responsible for hiring. Offer insight into how you will add value to the organization and directly express interest in available opportunities.
Finding a position right out of college is a challenge; so the sooner you get started, the better. Hiring managers are working to finalize spring hires, so if you wait until graduation, you’ll probably be too late.
-Mollie Bentley, Recruiting & HR ManagerRead More
BM2 Freight Services is proud to announce that we have been named a Cincinnati Business Courier 2015 Fast 55 Finalist! Every year the Cincinnati Business Courier recognizes the fastest growing private companies in the 17-county region with its Fast 55 awards. BM2 is honored to be among the finalists mentioned! To learn more and read the article, click on the photo below.Read More