Monthly Archives: July 2013

LTL GRI – Tightening Capacity – It’s Still a Market Rules Game

Posted by Ward TLC - Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 at 12:11 AM

money-ratesMost carriers continue to move forward with their mid- year GRI’s, business as usual.  It has been indicated by many industry professionals that tightening capacity and rate discipline are helping to support improved carrier returns.There is still much work to be done to support raising costs and aging fleets and to motivate a seemingly disinterested next generation to join the carrier side of the industry.

Are GRIs still needed?

The fact of the matter is that GRIs are needed to aid in recovery of the continued increasing costs of equipment, health care, insurance, compliance of government guides as well as upgrading what has now become older technology, fleets and facilities. While many still say that tightening capacity is contributing to higher rates, that is debatable. Carrier pricing discipline is contributing to higher rates and each market served remains unique based on competition and “local” strength of the economy.

Carriers still need to find the freight that best suits the needs of their systems to maximize cube, capacities and needed efficiency. While a slow growing and still relatively unsettled economy is better than where we have come from the past 5-6 years the overriding market conditions still drive the pricing. A carrier needs to know their market, tie that to their needs and then search out those customers that can best fit the capacities of their network. While utilizing price to fill needs still has its place, it is the understanding of freight mix, capacity and the ability to negotiate a fair price for service that provides the adequate return that will push the industry to a more stable financial future.That financial stability drives the ability of the carrier to re-invest in its physical assets but a sometimes overlooked yet as important factor is the ability to attract the up and coming work force to want to participate in “all aspects of the business”.

Good people are essential

Yes, there is a definite need to attract new drivers because the freight doesn’t move without them, but there are many other critical jobs that are performed daily on the docks and in the offices of carriers that are equally important to the success of the industry. While many people focus on the technology of the carriers, shippers, and TPL’s as the answer for progress and improvement, all of that technology is useless without a well-run operation which is still driven by people; a point that is often overlooked by many.

Safety is About People

Posted by Ward TLC - Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 11:09 PM

One of Ward Transport & Logistics’ core values is:

 

We believe that Safety is a moral obligation that we owe not only to our valued employees, but also to all those with whom we share the highways.

 

Though we (too) often focus our Safety discussions on ratios, comparisons, measurements, goals and costs, ultimately, the real cost of Safety is: The Human Cost.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics recently released its preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries 2011 study, which only confirms just how dangerous our industry is:

“Transportation and Material Moving Occupations” was the leading category of occupational fatalities

  1. Of the 4,609 occupational fatalities in the U.S. last year, 1,078 (nearly ¼) were for truck drivers and dock workers
  2. The leading cause of death among drivers was “vehicular accidents”
  3. The leading causes of death for dock workers were “slips, trips, falls” and “struck by object/equipment”

Ward respects the rights of others in sharing the highways with our vehicles.  Please make note of these suggestions to improve your safety while enabling our employees to execute their duties for our valued customers:

  1. Stay out of the “No Zone”. Large trucks have blind spots around the front, back and sides of the vehicle, where you are not visible to the truck driver, putting you in harm’s way. Always remember, if you don’t see the truck driver in the truck’s mirror, he cannot see you.
  2. Avoid the “Squeeze Play”.  Trucks often need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn, especially in urban areas. They can’t see cars directly behind or beside them, so cutting in between the truck and the curb puts you in danger, by increasing the possibility of an accident.
  3. >Pass Safely. When attempting to pass a truck, make sure you can see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling back into that lane of travel.  Allow yourself – and the truck – a “safety cushion”, as trucks take much longer to stop than other vehicles. An 80,000 lb. truck going 65 MPH can take a full 300 feet to come to a stop after hitting the brakes.

 Ward is about Safety

Should safety be one of your criteria for the selection of your transportation partners? If so, look no further, as Ward is one of the safest carriers around:

  1. Two- time winner of the American Trucking Associations’ prestigious President’s Trophy, indicative of having the best overall safety program in the country.
  2. A regular winner of state trucking associations’ annual safety awards
  3. The recipient of Hartford Insurance’s Pewter Stag Award, for distinguished achievement in accident control
  4. 63 drivers in the company’s history have earned the William W. Ward award, for having driven 20 consecutive years without a preventable accident;
  5. 10 of those professional drivers went on to achieve 30 consecutive years of driving without a preventable accident – that’s well over 20,000,000 miles of safe driving!

Safety Pride.  Safety Performance.  That’s the Ward way!