On the Front

Category: Industry Tips

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

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

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

How to Properly Receive Damaged or Short Shipments

December 11, 2015 by Recon Logistics

Carriers today are very firm regarding adhering to the following requirements before they will consider a claim for approval. Upon arrival of the delivery driver, you must carefully inspect your freight for any sign of potential or obvious damage or shortage. The success of having your claim approved lies in your hands. • Damage: Prior to signing and dating the delivery receipt, clearly note in the presence of the driver that the shipment is damaged -  DO NOT NOTE "SUBJECT TO INSPECTION." Take clear pictures of the damaged item(s), as carriers will require them to be filed with the claim, and be sure to keep the packing material for inspection by the carrier. The more you document, the quicker and more successful your claims resolution will be. • Shortage:

Posted in Freight Management, Industry Tips, 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

Important LTL Information - Reweighs, Classifications, Inspections

March 14, 2014 by Hank Newman

Reweighs, Classifications, Inspections - Why are they happening, why does it seem like it's escalating recently, and what can you do about them! LTL carrier inspections resulting in reweighing shipments, re-classifying shipments, and adding accessorial charges is now epidemic, but before we get into how to avoid them it's necessary to understand a little history and to have an appreciation for the carrier side of things. LTL carrier profitability has always been under serious pressure due to an abundance of capacity and competition in the marketplace.  The recent recession crushed margins for these carriers, but the recovery wasn't as kind to them as other modes.  Most are still scrambling for market share and find price increases difficult, but one thing the recession taught us all was to be lean and be smarter.  Technology

Posted in Reweigh, Industry Trends, Industry Tips, Transportation Management, LTL Carrier Inspection, Re Classification

The Benefits of Getting a Proper Freight Analysis

December 12, 2013 by Recon Logistics

How often should you have your freight analyzed? Has it ever been analyzed by someone that was looking for every possible opportunity to save you a significant amount of money? If you are like most manufacturing companies, there is a good chance you could save 20-30% on your freight spend. A comprehensive freight analysis should be performed on at least one to two months of carrier invoices (depending on volumes and seasonality) and can generally be completed within a couple days. So how does it work? The data from each freight bill is collected and examined to get a complete and detailed picture of overall cost. In order to uncover savings, everything is analyzed: shipping class, NMFC #s, product descriptions, dimensions, cost/lb, inspection fees, accessorial

Posted in Freight Management, Lowering Freight Costs, Cost Saving Tips, Industry Tips

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

New Hazmat Regulations - What Shippers Need to Know

February 04, 2013 by Recon Logistics

The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act gives the Secretary of the Department of Transportation the authority to regulate hazardous materials.  The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) set regulations in place in 2007, however, as of January 1, 2013 these regulations are required.  Failure to comply with them may cause a shipper to be cited, carriers to refuse a shipment, and/or put others at risk if there is an incident such as a spill. What does this mean for you?  The good news is not much.  The rules are generally the same, however, there’s a change in the order in which information must be presented to carriers.  You don’t need a special form so most any paperwork will suffice as long as the information is accurate.  For those of you who use Recon Logistics’ Transportation Management

Posted in Industry Tips
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