On the Front

Author: Kellie Newman

Weather Causing Service Disruptions in Texas and Florida

September 07, 2017 by Kellie Newman

All: Please read for an update on Texas and Florida in relation to your freight and the recent hurrianes. While clean-up has officially begun in Texas after destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, the US is bracing for Hurricane Irma throughout the state of Florida. Most all LTL and TL carriers have returned to full or limited service throughout the Houston area, although LTL carriers may be delayed a day or two for delivery. Both LTL and TL carriers have placed an embargo on freight moving into Florida indefinitely and carriers will begin denying freight destined to the following areas: NMF MIAMI, FL NPB POMPANO BEACH, FL NWF WEST PALM BEACH, FL NFM FT MYERS, FL NPR PUERTO RICO NJV JACKSONVILLE, FL NTP TAMPA, FL NOF ORLANDO, FL   Freight destined for the locations listed above cannot be picked up even at the customer's request and cannot move until further notice. In the event a shipment is picked up in error,

Posted in LTL Industry Trends, Weather Disruptions

June Capacity and its Effect on Carrier Performance

July 12, 2017 by Kellie Newman

This past June, truckload capacity measured a three year high in the available loads to available trucks ratio (a key indicator of how tight the current market is). Certain areas of the country are impacted far more than others – the south in general has been very tight. The tools we use have the ability to narrow in on market segments to help us understand the dynamics and challenges of certain regions, and we often try to pass this information along to help educate our clients with regards to what we’re seeing. Moving past the end of the second quarter and past the 4th of July always loosens capacity up a bit, but we do not expect this to last very long. Truckload capacity issues are always a key predictor for service interruptions and rate increases within the LTL market. While there are many reasons LTL rates are rising, in an article written by Greg West with C. H. Robinson, he identifies five: "There's more ecommerce, and it's changing the game. With the

Posted in Carrier Performance, LTL Industry Trends, Market Trends

LTL Rates Increase

May 25, 2017 by Kellie Newman

As 2017 progresses, we continue to see more signs of aggressive price increases within the LTL market. Carriers have invested a significant amount of money implementing new technology to ensure all shipments moving through their terminals are priced accurately which can translate into reweighs and reclassifications for shippers. According to multiple national LTL carrier sources, capacity is tightening rapidly and many are looking to implement “take it or leave it” increases upwards of 20+%. This is a sure sign the economy is changing and price increases are not going away anytime soon. Recently a carrier rep told us their president mandated a 20% increase in revenue per bill and instructed reps to walk away from bad business. Another mentioned they are pushing for a 91% OR (operating ratio) no matter what it takes. Last year, according to YRC CEO James Welch, he said ”Our contractual pricing has continued to increase between 3 and 5 percent. We’re going to continue

Posted in LTL Market Trends, Industry Tips, Industry Trends, Industry Updates, Freight Management, TMS Solution

Shippers - Are You Partnered with a TIA Member?

April 06, 2017 by Kellie Newman

As members of the Recon team travel this week to attend the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s (TIA) 39th Annual Conference, we’re reminded again of the importance of collaboration to drive better solutions for shippers. During this conference, qualified and carefully selected freight intermediaries across the country come together to learn and offer the best solutions and practices. In an industry saturated with 3PLs and brokers, it’s important for shippers to carefully select with whom they do business – and ideally partner with a member of the TIA. Why, you might ask? The TIA is a customer-focused organization with the full intent to better the freight industry, so companies will know they are working with a respectable intermediary. Out of 1,600 member companies, 70% are small, family-owned businesses that follow a strict code of ethics. Another benefit to partnering with a TIA member is to gain access to a network of vetted and reputable carriers.

Posted in TIA, Freight Management Solutions, Lowering Costs, Industry Tips, Third Party Logistics, Solutions

Transparency within Transportation

March 03, 2017 by Kellie Newman

We have always believed relationships between shippers, carriers and 3PLs should be honest, open and transparent - all qualities Recon has firmly stood by since our founding in 2005. For this reason, we aren't surprised to see the industry move away from transactional relationships and towards true partnerships (a philosophy we have always embraced). While it's been tradition for most 3PLs and brokers to build walls and barriers between shippers and carriers to capitalize on hidden margins, we've been working hard to break down these walls. To maximize savings and efficiencies, shippers should seek expertise within freight management companies with a business model offering collaboration and transparency to yield the best results. As noted in the article below, "The topic of alignment remains relevant, and shippers and 3PLs agreed on the importance of openness, transparency and effective communication to overall success." With the combined influence of increasingly

Posted in Transparency, Industry Trends, Freight Management Solutions

Increasing LTL Complexity – The Importance of Proper Commodity Descriptions

February 07, 2017 by Kellie Newman

Managing LTL freight has continually become more and more challenging over the past several years. While “surface” pricing appears to be soft, underneath the surface carriers are looking everywhere they can to find additional opportunities for revenue. In many cases it’s understandable – shipments outside the normal, commercial, dock-to-dock moves are more costly to service and should have additional charges. Residential, limited access, and lift-gate deliveries (to name a few) all involve more time, hence more money. Knowing your customer’s specific requirements prior to setting up the load is imperative to receiving an accurate quote. Carriers have traditionally had lengthy rules tariffs which identify and explain these additional charges, but they were often not strictly enforce. However, they have become smarter on their margins and what is impacting their costs, causing a shift in the LTL environment. Not only are carriers now billing for additional

Posted in Industry Tips, Industry Trends, Freight Management, Commodity Descriptions

The Ultimate Solution: Why a TMS is Vital for Your Operations

January 24, 2017 by Kellie Newman

In order to run as efficiently as possible, it's important for manufacturers and suppliers to incorporate a transportation management system (TMS) into their daily supply chain operations. Not only does a TMS provide a significant return on investment (ROI), but it helps shippers cut freight costs and improve optimization across their company. Below we'll dig into the ways a TMS can help your company: Accountability A TMS is imperative for accountability measures within a company. It not only holds employees accountable internally, but also makes sure carriers are performing where they should. We’ll dig into reporting in a later point, but access to performance reports and compliance helps shippers identify trends and weak points for improvement. Having a robust TMS helps managers better understand their supply chain environment and where their employees and carriers should be performing. Actionable Intelligence Ever hear the phrase “you don’t know what you

Posted in General, Freight Management, Logistics, TMS, Transportation Management, Transportation Management System, Recon Logistics, Efficiency, Optimization, Lowering Freight Costs

Watch Your ACC! Understanding and Managing LTL Accessorials

January 10, 2017 by Kellie Newman

Watch your ACC! Understanding and Managing LTL Accessorials As shipping costs rise, it’s more likely small businesses will search for ways to save money within their supply chain operations. In doing so, it’s important to be aware of any potential hidden costs, including accessorials. Over the years, we have observed carriers become stricter with applying accessorial fees to cover inefficiencies when handling shipments outside “the norm.” While manufacturers cannot prevent all accessorial charges, they can take steps to become more proactive. Before learning how to manage accessorial fees, it’s important to understand what they are and why carriers charge for them. Simply put, accessorial fees are added charges to your freight invoice when extra services are required to handle your shipment. Accessorial fees are often added to the invoice after delivery and can be seen as hidden or unexpected fees for manufacturers. Some common accessorial fees include (but

Posted in General, Freight Management, Accessorials, Industry Tips, Industry Trends

New Year, Same Dependable Recon

January 06, 2017 by Kellie Newman

As we begin the New Year, the Recon family would like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. Like many of you, Recon looks forward to another year of business and helping our customers succeed in the New Year. Heading into 2017, we wanted to take a step back and understand our customers’ needs and what they value. Recon is not your typical 3PL or broker; to say we value transparency and a partnership for the long-haul is an understatement. We believe in building and cultivating relationships for the betterment of your business while always remaining open and honest. So exactly how is Recon different? To begin, you can always rely on quick, outstanding customer service with each and every contact. We tailor a solution to your needs; whether it’s lower freight costs, reporting and analyzing, freight bill auditing and payment, consulting services, freight rate negotiations, state-of-the-art TMS accessibility, or a valued partner in the industry

Posted in General, Freight Management, Lowering Freight Costs, Industry Tips, Industry Trends, Recon Logistics, Transportation Management, Logistics
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