Erica E. Phillips, supply chain reporter for WSJ Logistics Report, writes that the hiring binge for logistics and freight companies may only be just beginning. The sector added 18,700 jobs last month, giving transport and logistics operations 73,000 new jobs since the start of the year. Companies are scrambling to keep up with surging shipping demand in what they say is the hottest transportation jobs market in several years.
While positive news, the peak shipping season is not here yet. How can we support manufacturers and retailers, and ensure they can fulfil their supply chain?
The digital supply chain is being hailed as the way forward, yet this comes with its own set of challenges. Virginia Howard, research director, Supply Chain Research Group, Gartner, correctly notes that digital technologies are enabling and promoting changes that have a larger impact, greater unpredictability and increased frequency. And that now, more than ever, high-tech supply chains require digital skills and methods to deliver customer-driven solutions in an on-demand fashion.
The digital supply chain vs. ROI
If everyone is going to be confronted by disruption in the marketplace, how can manufacturers and retailers choose technologies that will bring real ROI?
Today, Erik Malin was appointed as our new head of operations. The appointment follows a year of sustained, rapid growth during which thousands of loads for companies like Anheuser-Busch, Safeway and Albertsons were moved over our platform and shippers such as Daimler Trucks North America connected to our API to digitize their spot freight execution.
In his role, Erik will be responsible for running, growing and scaling our operations. He will report into Ricardo Salgado, CEO, who will now mainly focus on company strategy and leadership as the companies continues to experience hyper growth.
“Erik’s industry and technology knowledge combined with his experience in managing and scaling high-growth teams, make him a real asset to team,” said Ricardo Salgado, CEO, Loadsmart. “Empowering people with data and technology is very different from mere automation. Erik recognizes how the use of both can streamline and expedite the traditional brokerage model and have a positive impact on the logistics industry.”
Erik hails from truckload broker AFN where he was responsible for strategy. Prior to that, he ran a boutique strategy consultancy where he advised publicly-traded and hyper-growth private logistics companies on growth opportunities and related change management initiatives.
“Loadsmart has done an excellent job of assembling a team of highly-talented, curious and driven individuals,” said Erik Malin, head of operations, Loadsmart. “New entrants often turn to technology only and disregard important industry intricacies. It’s rare to find a logistics technology company that encapsulates both aspects with the aim to build a better platform for shippers and carriers.”
Loadsmart was the first to introduce a truckload instant pricing/booking algorithm in the US in 2015, followed by the launch of our One-Click load-acceptance app for carriers later that same year. In 2016, we were the first to introduce an instant pricing API for TMS integrations.
The white house sent the Secretary of Labor to discuss the contract dispute that has been dragging on for 9 months. The Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez urged all parties to resolve the issue quickly. Further delay can risk tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars.
This contract dispute is truly affecting ports with the port of Oakland imports falling 39% in January. This is occurring at all U.S. West Coast Ports with production down and a breakdown in vessel schedules.
Obama’s executive action will bring temporary relief to about 4.5 million illegal immigrants but the current disagreement is to what type of immigrant this will be helping. According to Obama it is directed at technologically and entrepreneurially savvy immigrants making it easier for the U.S. to compete for the world’s best talent. The number of tech visas will grow and they will loosen restrictions for more would-be entrepreneurs.
Many businesses disagree with the outcome of Obama’s executive action stating that it will not be helping those sectors. “While Obama’s immigration order halts the deportations of the parents of U.S. citizens, it does little to help the business community, because most of these people are low-skill workers” says Matt Sonnesyn, immigration director at the Business Roundtable. Many other businesses are stating that although they do believe this to be true, they need “low-skill workers” to do jobs low in supply. With our driver shortage LoadSmart is curious as to what the transportation sectors take on this immigration plan is.
The last time congress truly helped transportation funding revenue was when Bill Clinton had just become president. Now because of certain revenue shortfalls congress will be forced to reassess transportation funding by May.
The Two Major Bi-Partisan Options
1. Simply raise the federal gas tax and ideally raising it in accordance to inflation rates, if they had done this in 1993 (the last time they raised the gas tax) we would not be so short on transportation funding. The one issue with gas taxes is with todays technology, cars are becoming more and more fuel efficient and with the Tesla running completely on electricity, who knows how efficient this tax will be.
2. Obama and some other republicans are favoring a different approach. They would like to raise the money through corporate tax returns and putting it into transportation. The revenue however would be a one time fund and although it would provide years of continuous funding there are no promises it will leave transportation in a better place once the money runs out.
10 New Governors were elected, with half of those coming from opposing political parties than before. Republicans net gained three governors and took control of the senate. Now what does this mean for us?
-Congress has been under pressure for awhile to produce a LONG TERM transportation bill. Something that has been unsuccessful since 2009. The current bill funds the states transportation until May 2015, which is a problem since states rely on federal funding for more then 50% of their transportation money. Here is a broad list of what is being developed.
New State Transportation Money
States really working on it: Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan.
Federal Surface Transportation Money
The reason congress hasn’t been able to figure out of a long term bill for transportation is that neither congress or Obama want to raise the gas tax, which has not been raised since 1993. With the republican in control of congress that won’t change, but the positive, Republican are going to have to work hard to prove themselves.
The good news first, 70% of voters approve of the current local public transits. Atlanta plans to expand MARTA and both Seattle and San Francisco have voted for measures to support public transit.
The bad news, Florida voters voted against tax increase to support transit. Baltimore and Washington DC might be having some issues with the surprising win of Republican Larry Hogan for Governor of Maryland, who stated he wanted to cancel both the Baltimore Red Line and Washington DC purple line projects. (Both projects have been worked on for years)
Obama’s first secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood and the current secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx have both discussed the importance of voting this coming tuesday, when 435 congress seats will be elected. They remind us that the current congress has not been able to pass a long term high way bill, LaHood claims that there is no vision in todays congress. Here are some interesting infrastructure facts by both the former and current secretary of transportation.
Thoughts by Ray Lahood (Former Secretary of Transportation)
– The US used to be #1 in infrastructure, we are now #15
-“Build an interstate road and you create a corridor of commerce.”
– Recommends gas tax increase of 10 cents per gallon, and it needs to be indexed to the cost of living.
– Him and the rest of the Obama administration were working on plans to boost a world class high speed rail which has cost $8 billion.
Thoughts by Anthony Foxx (Current Secretary of Transportation)
-People are finally understanding that “short term measures are doing damage to our system.”
-The current gas tax is 18.4 cents but has not been raised since 1993.
-The Last Transportation Bill approved by congress (2012) included $50 billion per year but the gas tax is only bring in $34 billion per year.
The average cost of gas has official fallen to $3.03, leaving half the gas stations in the US under $3. Lets check out where you should be loading up on gas.South Carolina has the cheapest gas at $2.78. Most southern states have lower gas prices because they are close to the oil refineries Most prices depend on the state taxes, environmental standards and refining capacity. To check out your states average go to Wall Street Journal>>
At the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, the Slovakian company Aeromobil presented their third prototype of what they call “The Most Advanced Flying Car.” Yes, the most advanced meaning that there is more than just one company working on the flying car, some include Terrafugia (based in the US), E-Volo from Germany, and even the EU has a project called MyCopter. This transportation technology is not only advancing its pretty much here. Fun fact, Aeromobil’s flying car only needs 200 meters to take off and 50 to land, no need for airports or long landing strips. The worry, however, are the consequences of over-utilizing this mode of transportation? There are bound to be problems if and when this becomes a popular mode of transportation. However LoadSmart doesn’t believe that the flying car will become too popular too quickly, with a price tag of over a quarter million dollars not many can afford those steep prices. There are still some that can and would invest in this, be prepared to see some flying cars in the near future?
What are your thoughts about the flying car? Also for more information go to Forbes>>
TAB bank has a raise in loans for trucking equipment. In the first 9 month there has been a 56% increase in loans for trucking equipment in comparison to last year. The demand for trucking equipment is in part due to the trailer sales and Class 8 truck sales. There have been report nationwide on the demand for trucking equipment. For more go to Trucking Info>>
Although LoadSmart likes to focus on the trucking industry more so then other transportation outlets, such a large merger could affect the transportation sector as a whole. Canadian Pacific is worth $32.5 billion, while CSX is worth $30 billion, a merger like that would leave us with a transportation company worth over $60 billion. Although Canadian Pacific is pursuing this merger and stating that a merger would help congestion. CSX is a bit ambivalent with their shareholders most likely expecting high premiums for their shares. Mergers in the railroad industry are difficult. LoadSmart will keep you up to date on this. For more info go to New York Times>>
Okay, so I know SmartLoad’s LoadBook is more focused on trucking and commercial transportation but lets face it, we are all car fans too. This new Tesla is looking beautiful and although I can’t afford it, it’s cool to know the consumer industry is moving into the future which will inevitably leads to advancements in the commercial automotive industry as well.
More about Tesla’s new Car
-Speed- This completely electric car can hit 60mph in 3.2 seconds.
-Autopilot Mode- use radar to keep you in lane, avoid hitting dog, pedestrians etc.
-Autopilot Mode 2- Park and get your car out of parking spots and drive ways without even having you in it.
-Cost- Base model $71,000 High End $121,000
Truck Driving Money Saving Tips have created this video to help prospective truck drivers to help analyze whether they are fit to become drivers for motor carriers. Check it out if you’re looking into being a truck driver!
Carriers and truckers are in demand and LTL rates are going up . Although it’s fair, how should shippers and third party logistcs manage?
Shippers and Logistics Quick Guide on how to deal By EFT
1. Negotiate with the carriers
2. Avoid spot quotes
3. Carrier selection
4. Use a transportation management system
5. Improve packaging
6. Freight class analysis
7. Change shipping mode
8. Eliminate and consolidate
9. Longer transit times
10. Hire Third Party Logistics