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It’s your typical Friday night after a long week of work and Chad Martin and Jesse Baker are both at the gym. No, it’s not that kind of gym. These guys could be celebrating the start of the weekend by doing something for themselves, but they’re not. Instead, both twentysomethings are spending their Friday evening coaching JR High basketball games at St. Joseph School. Jesse is the head coach of the 6th-grade girls’ basketball team while Chad is the head coach of the 4th and 5th-grade boys’ basketball team and the assistant coach of the 6th-grade team. How did this happen? Well, it’s quite simple. Chad and Jesse are both competitive, love basketball and wanted to give back to the community where they were raised. Chad has always been drawn to coaching and figured he would give it a shot when the opportunity presented itself. Jesse’s competitive juices started flowing when he was asked about coaching. He thought it sounded like a good challenge for himself. Both guys have taken away quite a bit from the process so far. According to Chad, “Coaching is a lot harder than it looks, but it’s very rewarding. Especially once you start to see the kids working together and winning games, and having fun while doing it.” Jesse echoed these sentiments. “I’ve learned that after a tough loss when coaching young girls, expect there to be a lot of tears,” he said. “When you take time with the kids and try to be helpful, they respond well and improve both individually and as a team.” Not only have Jesse and Chad learned a lot, they also really enjoy coaching the kids and watching them improve during the basketball season. “I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the girl’s improvements in terms of skillset and competitiveness,” Jesse said. Chad’s thoughts were similar, as he said, “The most enjoyable part is seeing the kids improve. Everyone has improved in some way and it definitely shows. A lot of our players have gained more confidence in games this year which has helped a lot.” Here at A.M. Transport, we have four key values that Chad and Jesse are actively exhibiting through their actions: 1. Integrity 2. Commitment 3. Consistency 4. Community Both guys chose to step out of their comfort zone and are displaying a quality of leadership that we all strive to achieve—and they’re having a blast while doing it! And the best part of it all is they want to do it again next year!...
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The Future of Freight and Where Freight Brokers Fit In The freight brokerage industry has been a foundational piece of the transportation landscape for decades, with widespread growth experienced in the vertical over the last several years. Successful freight brokerage operations allow both the customer and the carrier to increase bandwidth through a myriad of value-added services that are designed to streamline the process. As a vital factor in connecting the supply and demand sides of the shipping business, freight brokerages generated an estimated $40 billion in revenue last year – an impressive number slated to grow in the upcoming year. Although freight brokers have shown their worth in years past, the shifting environment of freight has some concerned about the viability of brokerage operations into the future. Moving toward a Digital Approach Over the last two years, a flurry of activity has taken place in the venture capitalist arena focused on freight brokerage operations. Major players in technology have used their ample resources to quickly join the ranks of companies designing and delivering virtual connection services between customers and carriers, due in part to the opportunities freight brokers have in the marketplace. While there has consistently been a great deal of competition in the industry, with more than 15,000 registered freight brokers nationwide, behemoth corporations entering the mix shows clear signs of disruption. These additions to the freight broker environment are hyper-focused on creating and implementing services with technology at the helm. This move toward a digital, more automated approach in freight operations is attributed to the technological advancements in several silos of transportation. From self-driving trucks to help lower costs and improve efficiencies, to highly predictive freight and shipping analytic software that taps the power of big data, the digital disruption coming to the freight industry is intended to make customers and carriers less dependent on third-party intermediaries. However, there are challenges inherent to distributing new technologies on a grand scale, including slow adoption and the capital needed to replace or supplement legacy systems already in place. Even with these known obstacles, large technology companies are in the freight industry to stay. Preparing for the Future The digital disruption sweeping over the freight and transportation industry is not something that should be taken lightly by freight brokers, no matter their location, niche, or percent of market share. But adapting to the revolution taking place – and continuing successful operations as a freight broker – is a real possibility for those who take proactive steps. One of the most critical components of adding value to customers and carriers in the ever-changing freight environment is embracing the technology currently available to brokers. There are countless solutions for managing the freight process, which work in various ways to save time, reduce hassles, improve communication, and offer invaluable data which can be used to benefit broker operations on a large scale. Finding the best-fit solution that not only improves processes in-house but also adds value to customers and carriers is a necessity in today’s evolving freight market. In addition to grabbing hold of the digital wave, freight brokers can prepare for the changing landscape of the freight industry by strengthening relationships with current partners and customers. The human touch aspect of the freight broker business is something that cannot be replaced by technology, no matter how far it comes or how cost-effective it may be. Business relationships can be proactively insulated from digital disruption by simply checking in with customers and carriers periodically, asking what can be done better or differently, and then following through with feasible suggestions. While there is no stopping the influx of competition and digital disruption coming to the freight industry, freight brokers can view these changes as prime opportunities. Now is the time to update systems and processes, strengthen customer relationships, and ultimately, lay the groundwork for business growth in the years to come....
CommunityOffice EnvironmentUncategorized

Written by Jordan Pottorff, CTB Monday marked the first total solar eclipse that was visible from coast-to-coast across the contiguous United States since 1918, and to say people were excited for it would be the understatement of the year. The national media covered the eclipse for what seemed like the entire day, social media was buzzing with eclipse-related posts, and people came in droves to areas of totality to witness the rare natural phenomenon. Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, was the epicenter of the event and the town expected an influx of over 45,000 people for the viewing of the eclipse. Surrounding towns, national parks and roadways also saw increased traffic as southern Illinois became one of the most prominent places in the country for the day. With us being based in Olney, which is a small town in southeastern Illinois and just a couple hours away from Carbondale, we had the privilege of seeing nearly 98% totality at our peak time of 1:22 pm. We did what millions of others did across the country by purchasing our official eclipse glasses and celebrating with moon-themed foods while stepping outside to catch glimpses from time to time. Despite it being an overcast day, the hours and minutes leading up to our peak viewing time looked promising but as it got closer to 1:22 dark clouds started to form over our office and eventually ended up blocking the eclipse completely when it mattered most. We did get to witness the sky change to what it would look like in the early evening and confused cicadas began to chirp, but to summarize it briefly; it was a letdown. Our viewing area and the forecast leading up to Monday made it seem like we were in for a treat, and although it was still a cool event to witness, the hype didn’t materialize. What we had all hoped to see was blocked by a dark cloud. It was your typical “Aww, shucks” moment. I’m sure you can point to several moments in your life where the hype of an event didn’t materialize and you really had no choice but to accept it and make the best of the situation. A dark cloud put a damper on our day but I learned this morning that Olney will be in complete totality when the next total solar eclipse dawns on us on April 8, 2024. You can bet the nation will be watching again, and for our sake let’s hope it’s a cloudless day....
3PLSalesSelf ImprovementUncategorized

By Jordan Pottorff, CTB Today marks two years since I joined the AM Transport team. It’s been a wild two years - both personally and professionally – but there’s something about AM Transport that makes me eager to come to work. First, you have to understand the culture AM Transport has worked to create. We have a great group of people who genuinely like each other, we do a lot of fun stuff as a team and in our community, we have a variety of great music playing throughout the day, and we care about what we do. I know all of this having now spent two years with the company, but I accepted the job offer to join AM Transport with relatively no knowledge of the transportation industry or the company as a whole. I was a sports writer by craft before moving back to my hometown of Olney, and despite knowing of AM Transport’s existence since I was a kid, it was a blind leap into a new career. Since June 15, 2015, I’ve learned more about the transportation industry than I can wrap my brain around. I walked in the doors for the first time not knowing the difference between a dry van and a reefer, let alone what it took to book a load, and now feel comfortable talking about the upcoming ELD mandate, technology trends, customer & carrier expectations, our service offerings and more in this ever-changing industry. A few weeks of in-depth training got me to the point where I could fly solo - albeit with training wheels and countless questions to a handful of experienced coworkers - and start down a two-year road that had me spending nine months as a carrier manager before joining the sales team last Spring. The nine months spent as a carrier manager laid the foundation of my knowledge in the transportation industry and gave me a good idea of what it takes to be a valued partner in this industry. There were highs and lows that seemed to change by the hour on any given day, but I found being consistent and level-headed was usually the answer no matter which way the pendulum swung that day. When I decided to take on the opportunity to move to the sales side of the business, I had very limited experience in sales but knew I was excited to get started. Since joining the sales team, it’s been anything but easy. There are countless obstacles to overcome as a broker looking for freight in an unfavorable market but that’s where consistency truly is key. I remember landing my first customer relatively quickly and thinking it would continue from there. Like any worthwhile endeavor, I hit a wall and the frustration followed shortly after as the common rejections – “we don’t work with brokers”, “we have an annual bid, call back at the end of the year”, “you’re pricing isn’t competitive”, “we have our own trucks” – came in tenfold, and that doesn’t even mention the hundreds of voicemails that are commonplace in this position. I’d be lying if I said the rejections didn’t wear me down but that’s where the consistency and remaining level-headed became so important for future successes. I, along with Rob, Jason & Heath, knew a change was needed in our approach to land new business, and like the future of this ever-changing industry, we’ve leaned on technology to get over some hurdles. Now it obviously takes more than investing in good technology to see more victories in the sales world but it gave us an advantage that has led to more of a niche in the transportation world as we continue to develop our targeted approach to add new customers. The past two years have flown by. It took a little bit of time to feel completely comfortable in my new position, but the culture and passion the company and my coworkers' display have me 100% confident a bright future exists for both myself and AM Transport as a whole. Onward and upward!...
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Path-Changers and Inspiration in Unexpected Places When you sit down in the office of your high school guidance counselor, they always ask the big, scary question: what are you going to do with your life? And you may or may not have a grand plan in place for where you are heading after you graduate. But as we have all experienced, life tends to have its own plans that can quickly and effectively throw yours off course. Some of these moments can stem from elements beyond your control. However, some of these path-changers can be a result of your own instincts and observations. Whenever you experience an "a-ha!" moment, don't just let the idea pass by without a second thought. Instead, seize the opportunity that has landed before you. Take a look at how these 15 individuals did just that. Check out this road map from Inc.com that will help lead you to your next A-ha! moment. Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us - blog@amtransportonline.com...