On the Front

Category: General

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

NMFTA Rule Change/Reminder

August 14, 2015 by Becky Kelley

Just wanted to pass along one of those "rules" that the LTL carriers are now starting to focus on.  Seems they are getting very technical these days with all of their tariff rules!   In this particular case, the carrier has the right to change the classification based on the overall dimensions of the pallet vs. just using the NMFC for the product.  That may seem unfair, but I always like to look at this from both sides.  The carrier makes money off of selling space from A to B primarily.  Due to the nature of what might ship, weight is a key factor, but it's the overall PCF (pounds per cubic foot) that matters and the carriers are much more diligent now about charging for the space they are providing.  In the example below, the carrier can't maximize their payload with all this wasted space.   So - please be aware of these things and advise your shipping departments to do all they can to "right-size" their shipment. 

Posted in General, Freight Management, LTL Carrier Inspection

Preventing Cargo Theft

July 22, 2014 by Michelle Curtis

Cargo theft can occur anywhere and it happens more frequently on weekends, especially long holiday weekends. You don’t have to be a sitting duck, though; there are steps you can take to help ensure you are not a victim of cargo theft. Outlined below, we explain where thieves typically strike and how you can avoid their traps. When cargo theft happens, it’s usually in one of two ways: the entire trailer and its contents are stolen, or the trailer is broken into and only the contents are taken. In some situations, however, a thief will drive off with the tractor and trailer! After hours at carrier terminals and truck stops are the heaviest hit locations. If you plan to park a trailer at your terminal, backing it against a wall is always a good idea. Make sure the area is well-lit, install cameras,

Posted in Transportation Management, General, Industry Tips, Logistics

Reweighs and Re-classifications out of Control?

June 09, 2014 by Recon Logistics

Have you noticed an explosion of reweighs and re-classifications with your freight? More and more shippers are voicing concern and it's become epidemic.  More than half of the reweighs we investigate turn out to be carrier errors, and shippers have had enough of this mess. A lot of shippers have an exact process and because of this, they refuse to accept any reweighs. They weigh each skid on a certified, calibrated scale, print the scale ticket and attach it to the corresponding pallet being shipped. They are doing their part to be as accurate as possible. When reweighs happen in these situations, the onus should be put back on the carrier. The shipper should not have to waste their time proving the weight of their shipment. Carriers have been wrong on far too many reweighs recently. Yes, there are shippers out there who have no idea

Posted in General, Reweigh, Industry Trends, Industry Tips, Freight Management, LTL Carrier Inspection, Lowering Freight Costs

What Every Shipper Needs to Know

December 12, 2013 by Hank Newman

MAP-21 - Shippers MUST check status of brokers and carriers! 38% of brokers are no longer legal to date! The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century legislation (MAP-21) contains provisions that have ramped up licensing requirements for brokers of freight.  A broker can be any traditional broker who hires a motor carrier and acts as the intermediary for a shipper, but it also now includes carriers who sub-contract to others.  Many carriers broker out freight and now they must have a broker's license including carrying the new $75,000 bond requirement. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  Shippers must know that any broker they use has the new bond or risk dealing with an entity not legally allowed to broker freight. The FMCSA site is the official site for

Posted in Freight Management, Industry Updates, Industry Tips, General

How to File a Freight Claim

March 28, 2013 by Rebecca Kelley

No carrier is perfect, just as no person is.  As much as you want to avoid errors in shipping, you have to accept that at some point there's a good chance that one of your shipments is going to be damaged.  Hopefully it doesn't happen often, and if it does, then you should carefully examine how you package your freight as opposed to how the carrier is transporting it. Filing a claim is fairly simple as long as you can supply all the necessary information and paperwork to the carrier.  Each carrier may have different requirements so you would be wise to confirm the specifics of what they need prior to filing, otherwise your claim may be denied due to lack of information.  Claims can be filed for visible or concealed damage, shortage, concealed loss, complete shipment loss, or theft, and are filed by the owner of the merchandise who has the right to collect for loss

Posted in General

How to Reduce Freight Costs

February 05, 2013 by Hank Newman

Who isn't seeking to reduce freight costs today?  Shipping rates continue to rise and manufacturers continue to search for cost reduction solutions.  LTL freight costs can be especially challenging due to all the variables involved.  Outsourcing to a 3PL or broker is often a first move towards lowering transportation costs, but is it the best move?  Sure, you can save, but are you getting the best possible value and does it fit your organization?   3PL and broker margins average 20% - more for smaller shippers.  Is this a good deal?  Maybe, but if your annual freight spend is around $100,000 or more there just might be a better way.  3PLs and brokers often act as an intermediary blocking complete control over your carriers and rates.  Perhaps they can lower your costs and create efficiency, but what are they making?  Without complete

Posted in General, Recon Logistics, Cost Saving Tips, Lowering Freight Costs, Freight Management
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