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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. ...
3PLBest PracticesCarrier ManagerintermodalSales

By Joel Carey, CTB While in recent months much of the news in the transportation industry has been a clamor of who’s crafting which latest future-rattling technology applications, some shippers may find great benefit from a step back for fresh consideration of the original transportation game-changer. Intermodal rail transportation has evolved in the past several years from a perhaps well-deserved reputation for unreliable service, poor communication, and tracking, and damaged freight, to a level of operational efficiency and customer service that rivals most over-the-road trucking options - often at substantial savings. Shippers with relatively durable palletized freight that can be limited to a gross weight of 42,500 pounds and loaded at facilities in reasonable proximity to a primary rail ramp can readily garner savings of 10-30% over TL rates in certain lanes. Lanes from the Midwest to the West Coast and the Midwest to the Northeast are prime examples where current Intermodal rates are well below OTR. To enhance shipper’s options that might encourage the shift to Intermodal, the major railroads have recently opened new service in lanes from the lower Midwest to the Northeast and Florida which also offer competitive pricing. With the exception of ensuring thorough bracing and an extra day in transit on most routes, a shipper might otherwise not even notice these days that their freight is riding the rails rather than the road.  The Class I railroads have made excellent use of Internet technology to provide effective communication of shipping orders and appointments, as well as 24-hour position tracking and notifications.  The Intermodal specialists at AM Transport closely monitor all shipments and can provide any level of detailed reporting that our customers might request. Spot market Intermodal capacity is readily available for next-day pickup or beyond, so why not do your shipping budget a favor and consider a solid and cost-effective alternative?  AM Transport is ready and able to discuss the benefits and options that Intermodal might present to your shipping operations....
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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!...
3PLBest Practices

By Jordan Pottorff, CTB Shippers shopping for the best rate on a per load basis or going out for bid every year to secure cheap capacity has been a long-standing practice in our industry. It’s a method that has benefited shippers across the country for years, but with our industry changing at such a rapid pace, is rate shopping really the best way for shippers to manage their freight? When I talk with shipping managers and other decision-makers about their freight, a common response I get is, “I just go out for quotes, and the best price wins. Send me an email, and I’ll get you added to my list.” For years the transactional freight relationship of having hundreds of brokers and carriers on a quote list has got the job done and never forced shippers to look at their internal operations when it comes to available capacity until now. The rate-shopping email blast practice of yesteryear won’t get any shipper-of-volume the return they want in today’s climate. The market has changed and is now putting a high amount of stress on shippers who don’t have strong relationships to fall back on. The ones who saw the market shift coming and planned accordingly likely have put new procedures in place that search for more than the cheapest price in a carrier or broker. For the ones who haven’t, now is a perfect time to start. A few things a shipper should consider when sourcing available capacity is the amount of lead time you provide a carrier or broker, being flexible with pickup and delivery appointments, and considering all forms of transit if it’s not a time-critical shipment. The ability to intertwine these methods - - paired with implementing procedures to minimize the amount of time carriers spend waiting at your facility - - will open the doors to additional capacity with quality carriers. Another step shippers need to consider is the volatility of the market. Going out for bid in today’s market does not make sense. You will secure rates that will compare to the spot market and not get you the desired results you’re searching for, which is affordable capacity with a quality provider. Shippers would be better off partnering with a smaller crop of carriers or brokers with strong carrier networks that will cover the necessary volume while working together to create a pricing model that benefits everyone involved. When looking internally and taking the current market and everything talked about above into consideration, a shipper will want to partner with a carrier or broker with strong technological offerings that aid in visibility and reporting to improve on-time deliveries and overall performance. A brokerage or carrier with service offerings such as a customer portal, various forms of tracking, a freight spend and on-time reporting tool, and 24/7 availability could be the difference in meeting your goals or continuing to struggle in this market. Lastly, implementing or partnering with a provider who offers a Transportation Management System (TMS) is the best way to streamline your operation, as studies show shippers who operate with a TMS see 12% savings on their freight. A TMS provides data and analytics that will provide hard data for shippers to review. This information could be looked at to gauge overall costs or determine areas that need improvement across the board as you look for internal improvement or prepare for your next procurement exercise. All told, our industry is changing and the way shippers manage their freight is different than in times past. It’s important shippers know the pulse of our industry and plan accordingly for what will best fit their operation now and in the future....
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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....
Technology

By Jesse Baker, CTB It’s a new year, and it’s time to figure out what the crypto-buzz is all about. Many businesses are getting in on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency even though their main objective has nothing to do with the tech sector or doling out this new currency. Take a look at a tea company, for example, that changed their name from Long Island Iced Tea to Long Blockchain and quickly tripled its price. Or what about the parent company of Hooters? When they began offering rewards via Cryptocurrency, their stock prices rose a stunning 50%. So why are companies getting in on the Crypto Craze, and what will it lead to? The obvious answer to the question is the demand to be involved in the newest get rich quick fad coupled with an almost complete lack of public understanding of this new tech. Crypto is big, but most of us can’t make sense of it or explain it. If you are interested, this video helps decipher some of the more difficult concepts. Once you see that Crypto is huge because it is decentralized and can be mined on your own, you will also see the inherent risk. People believe Cryptocurrencies can’t be hyperinflated by excess production and they love the concept of government having less control of their money. However companies that create the currency do have the ability to increase or decrease the amount of currency mined when solving the algorithms, so there remains an entity in control of the means of distribution. And because these companies are not regulated, they run an extremely large risk of producing another bubble, much like the dotcom bubble of the late 90s--companies adding “.com” to their name in order to drastically increase stock value before selling quickly and getting out. Blockchain technology will very likely change some if not many aspects of the transportation industry creating a more efficient transfer of contracts, documentation, and payments. Some industry experts expect Blockchain technology to revolutionize the industry; however, we believe it’s prudent to do your research. Staying ahead of the technology curve is important, and here at AM Transport, we’re keeping our eyes on Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies in order to keep you informed. As with everything when it comes to your own money, keep in mind that purchasing and mining Crypto is completely speculative. Remember that Blockchain is an amazing technology which will play a significant role in the near future, but be sure to watch out for companies who claim Blockchain or Crypto technology hoping to capitalize on the name. Keep your eyes open, read a lot, and be ready for a wild ride....
Best Practices

By Jordan Pottorff, CTB It’s no secret the transportation industry is going through an immense amount of change right now. The ELD mandate, the driver shortage crisis, the increased demand for autonomous trucks, and a capacity crunch across the country sending rates through the roof have come together to create a nearly unprecedented point in our industry’s history. Let’s take a look at the ELD mandate which is now in full effect. The entire industry is currently in a feel-it-out process. Rates are spiking and hours of service are interrupting normal transit times, while brokers, carriers, and shippers are working through an adoption and familiarity phase. Responsibility to conceive a fluid system will spread out to carriers, brokers, and shippers, but the major onus to counteract the requirements that come with the ELD mandate is on the shipper. In a recent American Trucker article, a notable carrier said, “ELDs were installed in all my trucks before the ELD Mandate. There have been many changes in dispatching. So far, all delivery times have been rescheduled due to long hold times at the shipper. Problems at shippers now heavily reflect on drivers’ hours. This must be addressed to operate efficiently for both drivers and company owners. Brokers need to be aware of HOS (hours of service) and understand the law to build freight accordingly.” Collaboration between all parties is key and will be paramount to a smooth operation. Shippers must streamline their processes to ensure the product is ready when the appointment is scheduled to avoid late deliveries and hours of service issues. If not, shippers will face the harsh reality of consistently higher rates. While the ELD mandate will require innovative solutions from shippers, the driver shortage crisis is forcing carriers to think outside the box. Some carriers are getting creative by offering incentives never before seen. To attract new talent, Celadon is offering drivers paid vacation, but that’s not all. They are also offering an $8,000 sign-on bonus for team drivers and an $8,000 sign-on incentive for lease purchase operators--both earned as mileage is accrued. Covenant is joining the fight against driver shortage and changing transit times by offering a $40,000 performance-based bonus for team drivers that will be paid out as mileage is accrued with each driver able to earn up to $20,000 in bonuses. Creativity, commitment, and innovation are necessary to navigate the current upheaval and volatility. At AM Transport, we operate primarily as a 3PL but also act as a part-time consulting firm to plot the course through these uncharted waters with our robust carrier network and solid customer base. We predicted the hurdles we are now jumping through and have planned accordingly, but at the end of the day it comes down to education and keeping our customers and core carriers in the loop. Tough conversations with carriers and shippers will continue to be necessary as no one can accurately predict when the market will stabilize, but relationships and value-added services will be king at the end of the day. Technological advancements, tracking updates & visibility tools, 24/7 communication and accessibility, and on-time pickup and delivery percentages will matter more than ever. Whether you are a carrier, dealer or shipper, we are here to help guide you through what is becoming the new norm in our industry....
CareerOffice Environment

Most people don’t get the opportunity to work with their Dad—and through that, to see him every day. I’m really going to miss that and his overall presence.—Erik Jensen January 11, 2018, was a bittersweet day for the folks at AM Transport because it was the day they said Goodbye to retiring Eric Jensen, fondly referred to as Coach, who has worked with the company since its earliest days in 1991 when AM Transport was located in the McKinney cabin at Vernor Lake. Eric joined Avery and the two of them worked long days in those early years at the cabin where their small workspace was dominated by two desks and two telephones. So much has changed in the intervening years. Avery, the founder of AM Transport and Eric’s father-in-law, retired a few years ago, and now it’s Eric’s turn. Eric remembers those early years fondly. “Because it was only the two of us,” he says, “I would man the phones while Avery went out on calls. We didn’t even have cell phones back then,” he laughs, “Avery would call in new loads on pay phones. The business has really changed.” Eric’s coworkers and friends at AM Transport are going to experience a new sort of change when Coach’s familiar face is no longer there to greet them in the morning. “I’m legitimately going to miss Eric around AMT,” says David Abell. “In a world where we are always trying to optimize and squeeze more hours in a day, it’s always nice to take a break and shoot the shit with Eric. He has taught me a lot about empathy, humility, and maybe even imparted some of his left-leaning views.” Abell continues, “He’s the best golf partner of all time, hands down. He makes you feel so good about yourself. You think you could play on the PGA Tour at the end of your game.” Eric’s ability to see the best in people is a common theme. Hillary Steber remembers, “Eric was always the one who made sure I was comfortable and confident here. I remember my first Saturday working, he made sure my code to the door worked. Anytime I run into him out of work, he asks how things are going, and actually remembers what I have going on that weekend and asks about it. He’s genuinely interested in what I’m doing.” Connor Dixon claims that Eric “is the most kind-hearted man I think I’ve ever met in my life. He goes out of his way to make everyone he comes in contact with feel special and that is truly a quality that we could all learn to improve on with his natural guidance.” Colby Shawver echoes Dixon’s sentiments. “Eric is fun to be around anytime, and he really cares about your well-being. We’re going to miss Coach, but we plan to ask him to help set up for the annual Halloween party if he has time!” And Jordan Pottorff will miss talking baseball with Jensen, “He has a knowledge of the game I’ve never seen before. He’s an awesome guy!” Michael McKinney, Jensen’s brother-in-law and CEO of AM Transport, also recalls how different it was in those early days when he joined the family business, “Eric taught me how to use the big trucker atlas with the circle points and measuring shipment distances manually with a ruler.” He too admires Coach’s way with people. “Eric was always good at dealing with the more difficult and irrational customers,” he laughs. “Someone could call in pissed as ever, and Eric could diffuse the situation and have that same customer eating out of his hand by the end of the call. And he knows everyone in the office more personally than anyone else here. He listens well and shows honest interest. People want to tell him about their lives.” Jesse Baker, like David Abell, has fond memories of those company golf outings, “Coach pulled off an amazing feat at an outing two years ago,” Baker says. “On hole two, we were going after a rogue ball, and of course, I didn’t want to stop the golf cart, so Coach was going to scoop it up. I was driving a little too fast, and when I turned to get Coach an angle on the ball, he was tossed from the cart. Amazingly, he held onto the front post and ran with the cart as I did a 360 turn, and then he jumped back in. One of the most athletic things I’ve ever seen.” It’s obvious that Eric, Coach, Jensen will be missed around the offices of AM Transport, but he’s looking forward to retirement. He plans to spend a lot of time golfing and hanging out with his four grown kids, his three grandchildren and his wife of 28 years. And we’re pretty sure he’ll come in to visit and make his special coffee. After all, old habits are hard to break!...