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Agforce Transport Services Joins U.S. EPA SmartWay® Transport Partnership

Leawood, KS — Agforce Transport Services today announced that it joined the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry that provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

Agforce Transport Services will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 215.4 million barrels of oil, $29.7 billion in fuel costs and 103 million tons of air pollutants. This is equivalent to eliminating annual energy use in over 14 million homes. By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, Agforce Transport Services demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“As a broker, we are conscious of the carriers we choose to move freight in our network, currently partnering with more than 300 SmartWay carriers. It’s not an easy designation for carriers to achieve, and it speaks to their overall quality and dedication to sustainability. We see this partnership as invaluable to our green efforts and the overall environmental footprint of the freight industry,” said Andy Tuley, Vice President – Business Development.

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations, and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program was launched in 2004. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement. The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners including shipper, logistics companies, truck, rail, barge, and multimodal carriers.

Agforce offers streamlined and flexible services helping companies dramatically improve their supply chain. We deliver the most effective solution for your business to help you ship your product where it needs to be — when it needs to be there. Together, we can simplify logistics. For more information about Agforce Transport Services, visit agforcets.com or call 844.713.6723.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

A Speed Bump Emerges for ELD

Elog Systems Not Working as Expected

By now, most organizations know how important it is to work with their transportation provider to ensure which carriers are compliant with new federal reporting requirements for truck drivers and which ones are not. For businesses that rely on moving their cargo, choosing the right freight supplier is more important than ever to ensure that quality of product is upheld effectively.

ELDs replace paper logs and will instantly record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information. ELDs may impact shipping costs by reducing the effective number of miles a driver can log, further tightening trucking capacity at a time of ongoing limited truck driver supply, rising pay and higher overall fleet costs.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was gracious in allowing the transportation industry approximately three months to adjust to the Elog mandate before taking enforcement action. April 1 was the hard date for the mandate to be in full force yet reporting issues remain. On this date, drivers without properly working Elog systems in their trucks would be put out of service for 10 hours, then allowed to finish their runs. Further action would be taken if carriers were found to be habitually running without Elog systems.

“After April 1, you will be put out of service if you’re supposed to have an ELD and you do not. If you are currently required to prepare a paper record, you have to have an ELD. It’s as simple as that.” stated Bill Mahorney, Chief of Compliance and Enforcement Division at FMCSA, speaking during a recent webinar.

Although many new ELD users report no significant issues, others have had a different experience.  Some of the issues over the last several weeks include:

  • Various software glitches
  • Collecting GPS data points effectively
  • Faulty Bluetooth connections
  • Efficient ways on the device to view the location history of a vehicle
  • Unresponsive customer service
  • Brief outages and issues logging data on some user portals

This presents obvious challenges along with carrier confusion. One problem with this plan is the concept of “properly working Elog systems.” Many carriers have found that their systems do not transfer data accurately or track time and location properly. Adding to that frustration is the fact that Elog providers must be certified with the FMCSA however the companies that provide Elogs are self-certified which may cause ambiguities around compliance for the foreseeable future.

Trucks.com recently reported the FMSCA “discovered that some of the 330 ELD devices on the market do not meet the technical specifications for data transfer used to show driving hours to law enforcement. The agency declined to say how many ELD models are not working properly.”  Industry trade media have reported truckers being granted a series of waivers while the agency continues to push them to push ELD manufacturers for fixes to the ongoing performance and data transfer issues.

Also creating issues, is the late adoption of ELDs conducted by many carriers.  Using new electronic equipment requires training, guidance and time to adjust – especially when moving from years of paper logs to technology as the primary method required to meet ELD rules and regulations. An influx in adoption paired with many people learning a new device at the same time, is cause for concern. Helping customer questions becomes a challenge and therefore, some providers are increasing its number of customer service representatives to assist truckers experiencing ELD issues.

Agforce professionals are available by phone or email to help any step of the way. “We are working closely with our carriers to be as supportive and understanding as possible while continuing to meet our customers shipping demands,” said Karla O’Malley of Agforce Transport Services.  “These issues won’t resolve themselves easily, but we’re committed to minimizing any potential impact to our clients since we have a broad, strong network of carriers we can draw upon.”

Time will tell if this a minor rough spot that will soon correct itself, or if the FMCSA will take note and respond with a reasonable solution.
ELD Phases

More Resources

If you have questions about what to expect from the FMCSA on Elog enforcement, the links below will prove useful.

ELD timeline: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/implementation-timeline

ELD exemptions: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/what-exceptions-are-allowed-electronic-logging-device-rule

ELD FAQs: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/faqs

Agforce Transport Services specializes in customized transportation solutions for our customers’ specific business needs and requirements. To learn more about how we can help simplify your path to market, contact us today for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.

Preparing for the Elog Mandate: How It Impacts Your Business


According to a recent report, 15 percent of the industry won’t be ELD compliant by the December 18, 2017, deadline. Given that the latest count of carriers is 1,516,510, that means 227,476 carriers are scrambling to order, install and train their staffs on Elogs. Some delays are a result of financial challenges and procrastination. Therefore, it’s important to work with your transportation provider to ensure which carriers are compliant and which ones are not.

ELDs replace paper logs and will instantly record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information. ELDs can reduce costs by reducing the effective number of miles a driver can log, further tightening trucking capacity at a time of ongoing limited truck driver supply, rising pay and higher overall fleet costs. For businesses that rely on moving their cargo, choosing the right freight supplier is more important than ever to ensure that quality of product is upheld effectively.

Agforce is working with carriers to ensure compliance for customers. “We are actively working with our carriers to monitor and track their status. This includes our visibility to DNU carriers’ activities. Carriers with an unfavorable safety rating are removed, and our team continues to focus on providing qualified and compliant freight services,” said Karla O’Malley, manager of carrier compliance for Agforce.

Agforce Transport Services specializes in customized transportation solutions for our customers’ specific business needs and requirements. To learn more about how we can help simply your path to market, contact us today for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.


Related Stories

For additional information related to the Elog mandate, check out these articles:

FreightWaves: ELD update: 15% of industry not expected to be fully compliant at deadline

Logistics Management: Pending December 2017 ELD implementation remains on track, says ex-FMCSA head Sandberg

Market News – Flatbed and Oversized Freight Options


Businesses with larger loads requiring special equipment utilize flatbed and oversized options to move their freight. This mode meets specific size and weight requirements with various types of equipment including:

  • Standard step decks
  • Standard flats
  • Double drops/lowboys
  • Hot shots
  • 53’ trailers

Flatbed demand is thriving this year. According to DAT, load-to-truck ratio has doubled year-over-year with an increase of 102% – ascending since August 2016. What markets drive these demands? According to DAT, there are four significant markets to watch:

  1. Oil, natural gas, and plastics
  2. Wind energy
  3. Construction
  4. Automotive

Read more about DAT’s findings in their article 4 Markets Driving Skyrocketing Flatbed Demand

Finding the right partners to discuss flatbed and oversized options and equipment requirements mentioned in this article can make it easier to reach your business goals.

Agforce Transport Services specializes in customized transportation solutions for our customers’ specific business needs and requirements. To learn more about how we can help simply your path to market, contact us today for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.


Related Stories

For additional information related to changes in the marketplace, status of the logistics industry and what’s ahead, check out these articles:

Food Logistics:  Spot Truckload Rates, Demand Stay Hot into August

Food Logistics provides an overview of the freight surge summary that reports the end of July moving into early August.  The article shares the four-week trend lines and national averages for van, flatbed, and refrigerated rates.

Read full article…

DAT:  How Natural Gas and Plastics Impact the Truckload Spot Market

DAT provides insight on how new natural gas and petrochemical production investments have created a noticeable impact on the trucking spot market.

Read full article…

Rising Flatbed Demands Could Impact Freight Decisions


Since August of last year flatbed demand in the United States has increased steadily. It’s critical that any business considering flatbed transportation as an option for its shipping needs understand the many contributing factors that impact supply and demand—not to mention cost—of flatbed freight. Regardless of your industry, knowing the forces at work when it comes to using flatbed services will help you make the right decisions for your business.

Flatbed demand has been steadily increasing: In April, DAT Solutions reported a load-to-truck ratio of 43.7 loads per truck for flatbeds—the highest in years. That’s due to a number of reasons across several industries:

  • An increase in demand for natural gas both domestic and worldwide transported by flatbeds.
  • New petrochemical projects. Since 2010 the American Chemistry Council has invested $185 billion in these new projects, which creates more freight that require flatbeds.
  • The expansion of the clean energy market. There are 50,000 wind turbines in the U.S., each constructed from 8,000 parts—many of which are large and require flatbed transport.
  • New home construction. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between March of 2016 to March of 2017 the sales of new single-family homes increased 15%. Supplies for these ventures are primarily transported on flatbeds.

These and other factors will impact flatbed availability and cost. Understanding the market influence will help your business make informed decisions about flatbed transport. Finding partners who will collaborate on freight options based on current market demands can make it easier to reach your business goals.

Agforce Transport Services specializes in customized transportation solutions for our customers’ specific business needs and requirements. To learn more about how we can help simply your path to market, contact us today for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.


Related Stories

For additional information related to changes in the marketplace, status of the logistics industry and what’s ahead, check out these articles:

Food Logistics:  Spot Truckload Rates, Demand Stay Hot into August

Food Logistics provides an overview of the freight surge summary that reports the end of July moving into early August.  The article shares the four-week trend lines and national averages for van, flatbed, and refrigerated rates.

Read full article…

DAT:  How Natural Gas and Plastics Impact the Truckload Spot Market

DAT provides insight on how new natural gas and petrochemical production investments have created a noticeable impact on the trucking spot market.

Read full article…

Evaluating Freight Bids and Transportation Strategies


As a decision-maker in the industry, you are likely in the midst of the bidding season and planning process. This is the best time to evaluate the economic demands and supply chain complexities that impact your freight transportation model and strategy. It’s also a vital time to evaluate your existing and new carriers and brokers to ensure that they add concrete value through services, achieving your goals while meeting supply chain demands.

According to industry economic forecasters, shipping demand will continue to grow in 2017. The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which reports freight amounts carried by the for-hire transportation industry, released results in March. Here are some interesting facts from the report:

  • Index highs and lows: For-hire freight shipments in January 2017 (123.2) were 30.1 percent higher than the low in April 2009 during the recession (94.7). The January 2017 level was 1.6 percent lower than the historic peak reached in July 2016 (125.2).
  • Year-to-date: For-hire freight shipments measured by the index were at the same level as in January compared to the end of 2016.
  • Long-term trend: For-hire freight shipments are up 10.6 percent in the five years from January 2012 and 12.3 percent since January 2007.
  • Same month of previous year: January 2017 for-hire freight shipments were up 0.8 percent from January 2016.

Due to supply chain demands, shipping rates and ongoing regulatory changes, we’re also seeing shippers reevaluate choices and partnerships across the supply chain. Finding the balance between managing supply chain complexity and choosing partnerships that meet and exceed expectations is crucial. 

Therefore, as part of your planning and bidding process, it’s also the best time to look at existing carriers and brokers whose services add tangible value. When making decisions, consider key factors that are most important to you and your business such as seasonality, transportation options and price, technology and organizational structure.

These factors should impact decision-making along with thought to the following suggestions:

  • Work with carriers that are flexible, who offer and have more options to negotiate better prices, gain quicker transit times and provide various modes of transportation services.
  • Spread out shipments and loads to gain pricing efficiencies and better use of carrier services.
  • Consider intermodal options where fuel is less of a factor in pricing (moving from intermodal boxcar to rail, etc.).
  • Align networks and embrace collaboration. For example, carriers can signal changes in their network with pricing, which allows shippers to take advantage of these changes.

The complexity of the supply chain and economic demands will continue. However, finding partners whom will collaborate on new opportunities can make it easier to reach your business goals.

Agforce Transport Services specializes in customized transportation solutions for our customer’s specific business needs and requirements. To learn more about how we can help simply your path to market, contact us today for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.


Related Stories

For additional information related to changes in the marketplace, status of the logistics industry and what’s ahead, check out these articles:

Logistics Management:  25th Annual Masters of Logistics

Logistics Management highlights results of the “25th Annual Trends and Issues in Transportation and Logistics” study which suggests three factors – transportation, technology and organizational structure – are impacting strategies and desired financial performance.

Read full article…

Food Logistics:  Fixing Food Loss with Disruptive Tech

Food Logistics reports that more than one-third of all food is spoiled or damaged before it reaches supermarket shelves and discusses a new initiative aimed to change the food system through innovation and collaboration.

Read full article…

Logistics Management:  Study Identifies Best Approaches to Survive Supply Chain Complexity

Joint APICS and Michigan State University study offers solutions to a major industry challenge.

Logistics Management shares insight from a report that addresses the increased complexity of today’s supply chain flow and challenges, and ways in which to approach it effectively.

Read full article…