Author: AM Transport

3PLBest PracticesConference

by Connor Dixon, CTB I’ve been working at AM Transport Services for five and a half years. That’s why I was excited to attend my first TIA Convention this year. Even as a first-time attendee, I could see how the members of the TIA are a pretty close-knit group of friends who also happen to be competitors. The friend/competitor thing makes for an interesting dynamic if you really think about it. Here’s what really got me, though. In the end, all these competitors/friends just want to see one another succeed. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever experienced. I learned a lot talking shop and attending sessions. The hottest topics included: ELD Compliance. Most folks agree that the mandate hasn’t created as much turmoil as was expected. Driver Shortage. Word is that driver shortage should be called driver misusage. Blockchain. Some believe that it will be a major part of the trucking industry within the next year. Enlightened Shippers. Shippers who understand the need for partnerships. AMT Squirrel Works. Huge success in the exhibition area! Lots of buzz about the white squirrel swag and our videographer, Morgan Henton. The Squirrel Works booth was always busy because no one else does exactly what Squirrel Works does!   For me, the 2018 TIA Convention was a great opportunity to leave the day-to-day operations behind and spend time with industry leaders. I spent several 8-5 days, in sunny Palm Desert, California, with the best in the business.  When the sessions were over, we’d meet up in the evening to continue networking. Group members hang out and share ideas, best practices, and what works and doesn’t work for them--all the while enjoying each other’s company. The TIA convention is one of those places where the more time and effort you put into it, the more you get out of it. I didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t open to sharing and networking. It’s pretty refreshing when you think about just how competitive our industry is. Anyone serious about advancing their skills and knowledge of the industry would benefit greatly from attending a TIA Convention in the future. I know I did!...
3PLCustomer Service

“First principles thinking is a powerful way to help you break out of this herd mentality, think outside the box and innovate completely brand new solutions to familiar problems.”  -Mayo Oshin What do business tycoon Elon Musk, the method of Socratic questioning, the famed philosopher Aristotle, and the team at AM Transport Services have in common? It’s a diverse list, but there’s a common denominator--the art of questioning assumptions--known as “first principles thinking.” We could add toddlers to the list above. No one is better than a toddler at asking why, why, why--and that’s what first principles thinking is all about. So what is first principles thinking and how does it work? In conversation with TED curator, Chris Anderson, Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX muses that one of the reasons for his phenomenal success is physics and the scientific method of reasoning called “first principles reasoning.” Musk likens first principles reasoning to “boiling things down to their fundamental truths and then reasoning up from there instead of reasoning from analogy.” And James Clear, over at Farnam Street, defines “reasoning from first principles” as “one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative potential, and move from linear to non-linear results.” He goes on to explain that “by identifying your current assumptions, breaking these down into their basic truths and creating solutions from scratch — you can uncover these ingenious solutions to complex problems and make unique contributions in any field.”   How does this apply to logistics and, in particular, to the way we do logistics at AM Transport Services? Right now, the logistics industry is experiencing an unprecedented capacity crunch. For a variety of reasons--driver shortage, hard enforcement of the ELD mandate, a strong economy, and produce season--shippers are finding capacity a bit elusive. DAT Solutions reported that for the week ending April 7, the van load-to-truck ratio was 7.4 loads per truck, the reefer load-to-truck ratio was 11.0 loads per truck, and the flatbed load-to-truck ratio was a staggering 111 loads per truck with rates soaring. Shippers need solutions and they need them yesterday. According to a recent article by Marc Chrencik, one of the best ways to navigate the capacity crunch is to create a strong relationship with a 3PL. He explains that 3PLs: Maintain extensive carrier networks. Utilize Transportation Management Systems (TMS) that offer increased visibility. Handle carrier related issues. We would add to the list that a good 3PL will schedule pick up and delivery appointments, provide in-house billing, and offer excellent customer service! But here’s where first principles thinking comes in. At AM Transport, we assert that a GREAT 3PL specialist asks questions. And that’s what we do! We ask questions in order to understand what our customers want and need. We ask questions so we can break every transportation equation down to its unique components. We build customized solutions for your most vexing logistics difficulties because safe, on-time, and cost-efficient delivery of your freight is our first priority. Every load. Every time. We don’t assume the rates are set in stone, or the necessary equipment is too hard to contract, or the delivery times can’t be made within the time-constraints because we start new each time. That’s a benefit our customers have come to count on. At AM Transport Services, no problem is too big--or too small--for the first principles thinking of our team. Give us a call and find out for yourself.  ...
3PLBest PracticesCarrier ManagerCustomer ServiceGPSintermodalThird-Party LogisticsTransportationTruckingUncategorized

  Shippers continue to experience the “spot market blues.” According to DAT Solutions, the average spot rate for trucking was 2.15 per mile at the end of March. The natural disasters occurring in the last half of 2017 merged with the ELD Mandate and the continuing driver shortage to send spot markets through the roof. You see, capacity isn’t coming back any time soon. Here at AM Transport, customers are top priority; that’s why we believe in cultivating great logistics partnerships! How can partnering with a 3PL help shippers navigate a volatile freight market? Let’s take a look. Right now, drivers are frustrated by the ELD Mandate because by eliminating paper logs, it forces compliance with HOS rules. We believe that the April 1 hard enforcement of the mandate is going to force shippers to change they way they do business.  Transport Topics’ Eric Miller reports that at a recent MATS (Mid-America Trucking Show) in Louisville, KY, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief, Ray Martinez told drivers frustrated with the mandate that when they wait at loading docks inefficiency is created in the economy. That inefficiency is bound to drive freight rates up. Both Martinez and drivers agreed that while HOS rules affect drivers, there’s no equivalent mandate forcing shippers to conform to strict time windows.   Furthermore, the driver shortage will continue squeezing capacity until the industry finds ways to mitigate the negative aspects of the driving life--lack of exercise, healthy food options, disrupted sleep cycles. In the same issue of Transport Topics, Miller reports that truck drivers, as a group, have a “50% higher rate of Type 2 Diabetes than the national average.” There’s a lot of work to be done before we begin to see an ease in the driver shortage. However, with many good people researching and working on this problem, we fully expect innovative solutions—check out ATRI’s (American Transportation Research Institute) Young Driver Assessment Tool for an example of industry innovation. How can good partnerships with 3PLs mitigate these problems? Did you know that most small carriers still receive their freight from direct interaction with shippers instead of load boards and brokerages? That’s what a recent survey developed by CarrierLists and Freightwaves indicates. Here’s what we know--good brokers have relationships not only with shippers but with carriers. Shippers looking for solutions could benefit from these relationships. And what about contract rates? We understand a shipper’s reticence to lock in contract rates; after all, according to our friends at Freightwaves, those rates have increased up to 10%. However, brokers with their wide variety of carrier relationships, can often lock in affordable contract rates that even out a shipper’s freight spend. In the coming months, savvy shippers will shift their strategy from last-minute bids to long-term solutions. And the best way to do this is to cultivate relationships with freight partners you can trust. At AM Transport, we have 30 years of experience partnering with shippers and carriers. With over 10,000 approved carriers, we are positioned to find the best solution for your freight. We understand the worry skyrocketing rates cause, not to mention, the impact they have on your bottom line. When you work with us, we get to know you and your business. We ask questions, analyze your supply chain, and create solutions. We know logistics and we want to take the worry out of transportation so you can get back to doing what you do best.    ...
3PLBest PracticesCommunityCustomer ServiceIndustry NewsLeadershipThird-Party LogisticsTransportationTruckingUncategorized

By Michael McKinney, CTB   This week, I was notified that AM Transport received a longevity award from the TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Association) for 25 years of continuous membership since 1993. I have to admit, it’s pretty cool to be recognized, and it’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. The recognition comes at a great time. You see, I’m getting ready to attend the 2018 TIA Conference in Palm Desert, California. It’s TIA’s 40th conference, and I’m guesstimating that it’s my 15th or 16th, but to be honest, I’m just not sure how many I’ve attended. Like all great experiences, these conferences have become one long good memory I reflect upon often. Did you know that the TIA Capital Ideas Conference & Exhibition remains the only conference solely for 3PLs? AM Transport has been in the brokerage business for nearly 30 years, and this conference is always one of the highlights of my year because spending time with other brokers rejuvenates my passion for the industry. I could give you lots of reasons for why I attend--I like traveling to new places, meeting new people, and catching up with old industry friends. But there’s so much more to the TIA conference. The energy is palpable when industry leaders mingle, when ideas fly over the dinner table, when newcomers walk into the trade show for the first time!     Let’s talk about the membership. TIA members share ideas. It’s surprising, really, how willing members are to share best practices, tools of the trade, risk issues and their unique take on the industry. It might seem counterintuitive--competitors coming together to help one another. In fact, I’ve heard first-timers express real disbelief at how willing everyone is to share! I always head to the TIA conference with a list of challenges we face, as well as, thoughts I’d like feedback on and questions about industry tools/services. And of course, I like to share too. I’ve learned so much from others in my career, that I’m determined to give back when I can!   Education is another biggie. If you want to learn and grow knowledge, the TIA conference is the venue for you! Industry experts offer educational sessions on a deep and wide range of topics from Sales & Marketing to Technology and Risk Management; from Legal Concerns to Regulations and Capacity Sourcing. Whatever your interests might be, there’s a session for you because the list also includes: Compensation and Personnel, Finance, Change Management, Data Analytics, and so much more.   And let’s not forget the amazing trade show. The TIA trade show is the place to find out what’s new, upcoming, and cutting-edge in the industry. It’s where we go to review and learn about services and tools to boost productivity and efficiency. TMS solutions, visibility and tracking, compliance, insurance, payment solutions, LTL, rail, it’s all there.   I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I like a challenge, and that’s another reason I don’t miss out on the annual TIA conference. Each year, I attend to see and hear what other companies are doing--growth they’re experiencing, new solutions they’ve created, staff development they offer. When you’re hanging with the best in the industry, you can’t help but catch the energy and the desire to do better.  It reminds me of what motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Come to think of it, Goethe’s maxim might be more appropriate, “Tell me with whom you consort and I will tell you who you are.” If it sounds like I’m looking forward to the TIA conference, then I’ve done my job. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t end with the one aspect of the conference that I simply can’t do without. It’s friendship. Over the years, I’ve met some awesome people who turned out to be good friends. This annual conference, is often the only time of the year I see them in person.  Sure, we talk on the phone, but you can’t beat talking in person, catching up on work and life. After all, breaking bread together and relaxing in the company of others who understand is a big part of who we are at TIA.  ...
Best PracticesCommunityCustomer ServiceProductivityShippersThird-Party LogisticsTransportationUncategorized

By Michael McKinney, CTB   “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” --Peter Drucker, Founder of the Drucker Institute   Why would a shipper work with a small company like AM Transport? It’s a valid question; after all, we compete with multibillion dollar behemoths who have vast financial resources, dirt cheap pricing, the latest gadgetry, and seemingly endless hiring budgets. You might even think the behemoths hold all the advantages. But you’d be wrong. You see, when I have the opportunity to talk about the benefits AM Transport offers, I always come back to our great culture. Culture? Really? Sure, the hardline skeptics will tell you culture isn’t a benefit--that culture is too vague and intangible to be measured or defended. I argue otherwise because the effect culture has is real; I’ve experienced it.  In fact, I believe a company’s culture is perhaps the most telling indicator of the value they bring to the table.   “Who we are matters more than what we know or who we want to be.” --Brene Brown, Author of Daring Greatly--   The other day I had coffee with Connor, one of our long-time team members and posed this question, “What makes us different from our competition?” Connor paused, raised his eyebrows, and looked at me. I could tell he wondered if the question was a trick. I’m pretty sure he thought the answer was simple, so what the heck was I getting at? After a second, he said, “When a customer calls AM Transport, they know they’ll get someone on the phone who knows them.  They know when they call or email they’ll get a quick response. Customers know we care about their business and are committed to getting the job done.  That we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days/week. They know we have highly talented and trained people and low turnover. That we’re high energy and eager to serve because we have a great team and atmosphere.”   He went on but I think you get the point.  Connor was talking about culture!   “A hallmark of a healthy, creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candour, if unchecked ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.” --Ed Catmull, Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios and President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios-- It all starts with culture! You see, the right culture breeds a team that cares about each other, their customers and their carriers.   So, let’s break this down a bit. How does the culture at AM Transport translate into real, tangible benefits for our customers? We’re a happy bunch! What’s happy got to do with it--come on, we’re talking about business? Quite a lot if you look at the research. Over at The Happy Manifesto, Elinor Schmitz-Jansen breaks it down. She claims that happy people are more creative, accurate and have better analytical skills. Furthermore, she highlights how happy people handle adversity with aplomb, take fewer sick days, and are better negotiators. Research indicates that happier people are more productive and provide better service! Finally, happy people stay!   If we look at the happiness factor a little more closely, you’ll see why culture is important. Everyone’s talking about creativity these days, but is creativity really a big deal? After all, we’re here to move freight, not write poems. Let me assure you, the importance of creative thinking cannot be overvalued. A culture promoting creativity promotes innovative ideas and quick decision making. Our team members have the autonomy and authority to make on-the-spot decisions for the customer!   We all know that in the transportation industry, adversity is the name of the game. Our team members aren’t afraid of adversity. They are great problem solvers. Sure, we enjoy those difficulty-free shipments that go off without a hitch, but we don’t shy away from challenges. In fact, we thrive on finding solutions!   We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We care about our customers and get to know them. But we also know and have great relationships with folks all along the supply chain--logistics managers, warehouse personnel, consignees, and over 10,000 carriers. Our ability to cultivate relationships translates into great customer service all the way around.   Let’s talk about retention for a minute. All the research shows that a good company culture means people stick around. Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly  says that human beings are hardwired for belonging. If you belong, you stay. People who stick around have more experience, more know-how, more relationships, more skills.   “Company Culture is the product of a company’s values, expectations and environment.” --Courtney Chapman, Product Manager, Rubicon Project--   Here’s the deal--culture matters. It matters a lot. If you’re not convinced--think about this for a minute. The big guys promote a culture of competitiveness among and between their employees who are always looking at the bottom line and concentrated on the top dollar--for themselves. They have to--it’s the nature of the beast when you’re looking out for number one. Instead of working together, employees compete--your freight is just a vehicle, if you will, for someone else’s drive to the top.   At AM Transport, we work together. Always. We truly believe that who we are makes everything we do better. ...
CommunityMeet the Team

March Madness is winding down as fans across the country prepare for the Final Four this weekend. Kansas, Villanova, and Michigan make up the remaining bluebloods in the field, and Loyola Chicago is playing the role of Cinderella as they – along with Sister Jean – have captured the nation’s heart leading up to the championship game on Monday night. The basketball-loving group that makes up AM Transport couldn’t wait for the weekend games and decided to hit the hardwood with a March Madness Shootout of our own to crown our 2018 champion. Sixteen AM Transport employees took to the court, and our own Cinderella story emerged victorious when it was all said and done. The high-seeded participants fell early and often, and the championship showdown featured a matchup between No. 10 seed Jimi “Call me Steph Curry” Fehrenbacher and No. 11 seed Jesse “The Commish” Baker. Leading up to the championship game, Jesse put on a shooting clinic that was highlighted by a shootout-best 36 points in his second round matchup by knocking down nine three-pointers (worth 4 points) in 30 seconds. Jimi matched Jesse shot for shot over the course of the night but ultimately saved his best for when it mattered most and edged Jesse 32-24 in the championship round to claim the 2018 AM Transport March Madness Championship trophy. Congratulations, Jimi! ...
3PLCarrier ManagerIndustry NewsShippersThird-Party LogisticsUncategorized

Carriers are purchasing new trucks at record levels. According to the Wall Street Journal, heavy-duty truck orders hit a whopping 48,700—twice as many during the same time frame last year. Some industry people believe this might loosen the crunch of tight capacity. But is capacity coming back to the market? A recent article from Craig Fuller over at Freightwaves suggests that the uptick in big rig and trailer orders does not indicate capacity flooding the market. Fuller explains that prices on used trucks aren’t firming and that there haven’t been enough new labor hires in the trucking industry to offset the continuing driver shortage and the deficits created by the ELD Mandate. So what’s happening? Here at AM Transport, we’ve seen this before. Historically, when carriers are enjoying good margins, they hope to multiply those margins into larger financial successes by investing in more trucks to grow their fleets. Typically what happens is the load-to-truck ratio shifts, creating a more favorable climate for shippers. It’s a cycle. But times have changed, and due to many factors such as eCommerce, tighter regulations, and advanced technologies, we believe this cycle might be gone for good. And it’s definitely not what’s happening today. We’ve been keeping track of the data, and while it could indicate a flattening of capacity we believe it paints a different picture. In fact, we think the data shows carriers will be spending money proactively in a dynamic and changing market. Here’s the evidence: The surge in trailer purchases is a smart hedge against the difficulties in drive-time created by the ELD Mandate. A drop trailer pool is an excellent solution to HOS rules and the tracking of drive time. Arranging a drop trailer minimizes a driver’s nondriving time. We believe shippers will impose drop trailer requirements on vendors, and carriers who don’t position themselves with trailers will lose out.     The driver shortage continues. Carriers may use excess cash to purchase new equipment but they’ll have a tough time filling seats due. Carriers must invest money in technology and other previously nonessential areas—amenities such as comfortable seats, rest quarters, and access to fitness equipment—in order to retain and help recruit new drivers.     Carriers are top-grading equipment to remove inefficiencies.  Those who use this as an opportunity to incorporate better technology into their fleets will win in the long run vs though who are just simply trading older for newer equipment.  ELDs come in all shapes and sizes, but Carriers who understand their business hinges on these devices will not only invest in physical equipment but also in the necessary education.   The past year has been one of upheaval in the trucking industry with several natural disasters, a burgeoning driver shortage, and the implementation of the ELD Mandate and new regulations which goes into full effect on April 1. Carriers are responding to these changes in confident and interesting ways. While many predict that Carrier investments point to an ease in the capacity crunch, we don’t see it. We believe capacity will continue to be tight for a while that’s why we keep our eyes on the trends and continue to analyze the data. Information and communication help our customers make smart and cost-efficient decisions for their freight.  ...
3PLGPSShippersTechnology

By Erik Jensen, CTB Each year a few new buzz words or phrases hit the transportation industry. These words and phrases typically embody an event, such as the mandatory implementation of electronic logging devices, or a service you offer, like “available capacity.” VISIBILITY is the keyword sticking with me for the past couple of years. Shippers not only expect to know what’s going on with their freight but want to see it in real time. If you’re not actively providing visibility and not constantly in pursuit of options to provide shippers with a better experience, it’s likely your customers are looking for a new partner. And they should be! But how can you do this? It might sound like hard work, but there are some available solutions we provide our customers every day. From our experience, the best solution is when your core carriers allow you access to their GPS Tracking systems. Obviously, this requires strong relationships with carriers but is an invaluable resource. This allows you to have complete visibility on your shipments and the ability to track them 24/7. If carriers do not allow access to their GPS Tracking systems, there are some options we use to ensure shipments are tracked and monitored 24/7. One of our go-to tracking providers is MacroPoint. MacroPoint allows us to obtain real-time visibility on our shipments and eases our concerns when managing them. Repeatedly calling a carrier with the question, “Where is your truck?” is no fun and a ridiculous waste of resources. Let’s face it; it’s a bad look when your customer asks for an ETA, and you can’t provide an accurate time because you can’t reach your carrier. With MacroPoint, we’re able to avoid that hassle and update our customers with accurate location updates and ETAs. Trucker Tools is another tracking provider we use to stay on top of shipments. What I like about Trucker Tools is that it pings the driver’s cell phone every 5-20 minutes with location updates. This eases any concerns we might have through transit, and if we see something alarming, it affords us the opportunity to respond quickly and create solutions to potential problems. At A.M. Transport, visibility is a must. We strive to provide our customers with the best service out there and are always looking for new ways to improve. Tracking is one of the key services we provide, but there are many others as well. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us. We would love to help....
Best PracticesCommunityCustomer ServiceGPS

Michael McKinney, CTB Who do you blame when the new stackable washer/dryer you ordered doesn’t show up? It was shipped--these days you can track almost any order--but it’s now a week or two late, and you’re tired of lugging your family’s clothes to the neighborhood laundromat. Are you on the phone with a carrier? Probably not. More than likely, you’re wrangling with the company you ordered from. After all, you paid for the merchandise, and you were promised a delivery date that has come and gone. Will you order from this company again? *** Recently, my wife and I moved into a new old house with our three daughters. We ordered a cool loft-bed for our youngest from Pottery Barn Kids, a high-end home furnishings retailer who promises to deliver right to the door, and in certain cases (with loft-beds for instance) assemble the furniture for you. Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh! Not so much. Here’s what happened--the loft bed was shipped in a timely fashion, and then we waited. And while we waited, our youngest, a fourth grader, slept on a mattress on the floor. At first, it was kind of fun. She’s an easy kid with a big imagination who didn’t mind the “camping” aspect of the floor-sleeping adventure, so no, it wasn’t the end of the world. But here’s the deal--I’ve been working as a logistics provider for 23 years, and it started to get on my nerves. This isn’t how we do business at AM Transport Services. You see, I could track the beds to St. Louis where they sat for a week and a half. Sure, I understood that my daughter’s new loft bed was likely sitting with a last-mile delivery service who didn’t want to make the trip to rural Illinois until they had a little more freight to bring. I wasn’t so much aggravated with the carrier as I was with Pottery Barn who wasn’t keeping their delivery promise. I work with customers all the time, and I have a pretty good idea of what it means to keep your promise. My wife called Pottery Barn Kids. And then she called some more, and finally the loft-bed was on its way. It showed up, two weeks late, was assembled, and my daughter ended the in-house camping adventure she had tired of. Like I said, a slow-to-arrive loft bed isn’t a catastrophe, but it did get me thinking about how important a logistics provider is to a company’s reputation. *** At AM Transport, I have the good fortune to work with a group of logistics experts who care about your freight. We know that your reputation doesn’t depend only on your excellent product but with your ability to deliver that product efficiently and on-time with no hiccups on the way. You see, at AM Transport we treat your freight like our own. That means we track it from pick-up to delivery, using a high touch model to make sure we touch it at every point on the supply chain. Our people are available 24/7 by phone or email. If your freight runs into trouble, we step in with proven solutions. Let’s take a look at what happens when you select a provider who doesn’t take the time to ask the right questions, who doesn’t research the delivery, whose staff is inexperienced and undertrained. Let’s say you manufacture industrial equipment. Your shipments are crated and skidded--not tricky freight from a loading and unloading standpoint, but it takes care. You tender a couple of truckloads to a consignee in Chicago in the middle of upgrading their facilities. The tender lists the equipment, ship date, weight, consignee, delivery date--all pertinent information needed for transit. A provider can send a truck in to pick up freight as scheduled. The truck heads out with plenty of time to make the delivery. But there’s a problem. You see the loading docks at the delivery address can’t handle anything longer than 26’. This downtown location was built before 53’ vans existed. It’s a bad deal. The crew is ready to unload the truck and another crew is ready to install the new equipment that can’t be unloaded. Your customer--the folks in the middle of the upgrade--are very unhappy to say the least. Charges are mounting and delivery isn’t going to happen. The consignee has a big mess and guess who they’re blaming? You got it! They’re blaming you! Here’s what really happened because our customer used AM Transport Services! We receive the tender with the Chicago address. Our antenna goes up; after all, we know what city deliveries are like, so we ask more questions than usual. We call the consignee, because we ALWAYS call the consignee, to confirm the shipments. The consignee confirms and explains that they’ll have a line shut down while they swap the equipment coming in. We inquire a little further because we don’t like surprises and learn that they are in an old building that can only accommodate trailers up to 26’ in length. We spring into action. We contact a warehousing company we know in the Chicago area and arrange for the equipment to be unloaded off the two 53’ trailers we arranged and reloaded onto 26’ straight trucks. We reach out to the customer, explain the needed change and the solution. We contact the consignee again to explain the shipment will now be arriving on four instead of two trucks and coordinate the times. We follow through from pickup to delivery and everyone is happy! You see, we’ve been in the logistics business for 30 years, so we know what to do, and with over 10,000 approved carriers, we don’t just match your freight to the best carrier, we make sure it gets to where it’s going efficiently and on-time! Your reputation matters, and slow, inefficient, and late delivery of your product is the quickest way to erode the high esteem you’ve earned. Don’t throw away your good name by entrusting your freight to logistics partners who don’t care.  ...
3PLBest PracticesCustomer Service

Driver shortage; natural disasters; and an ever-tightening capacity giving you the spot market blues?   What recourse does a shipper have?   A few weeks back, a worried customer, feeling the capacity crunch frantically demanded a meeting. Let’s face it, when natural disasters and federal mandates mix it up with driver shortages and a robust economy, shipping rates begin to climb. According to the Wall Street Journal and a recent DAT Solutions report, 10 loads for every available truck on the spot market were waiting to be moved in the week ending Jan. 20, compared with three in the same week last year. You know what it’s like, relying on the spot market where carriers and other logistics providers are taking advantage of increased rates. According to the same Wall Street Journal article, “spot-market prices for dry vans, the most commonly used big rig, are up more than 20% year-over-year.” No one knows how long it will take for the industry to reach a new normal. At AM Transport, we predict the market is going to fluctuate for a while, with that new normal more than a few miles down the road. Are contract rates the answer?    Sure, we know that during the last 3 months of 2017 due to a variety of disruptions old contract rates were broken as carriers began to shift capacity to the better-paying spot market. However, we believe the best antidote to volatility is still a good rate. Even at 3-5% increase, newly negotiated contract rates will save shippers both time and money. This is how we approached our customer’s out-of-control budget. Once they recognized that the super low contract rates of the past were gone forever, they saw the benefit of fair and consistent rates.   And guess what? Our customer is better off than ever. No longer playing a spot-market game with freight that must be moved, they are better able to budget while leaving the freight moves to us. If you have the spot market blues; if your budget is busted halfway through a busy month; if you need innovative and consistent ways to manage your freight spend; give the professionals at AM Transport a call. We believe good contract rates will get the load off your shoulders and back on the road!...