A Shortage in a Surging Economy

Whenever the term “shortage” is thrown around, people become nervous and for good reason. Food shortage, job shortage, wine shortage, etc can throw the masses into a tizzy because it usually means prices for goods and services are going to sky rocket. And this is no different than a driver shortage in the transportation industry.

A few years ago, auto experts began to warn drivers and trucking companies that they might soon be out of a job. Replaced by, you guessed it, robots. In 2017, experts stated that by 2030, an estimated 4.4 million drivers out 6.4 million would be jobless thanks in part to driver-less vehicles. As you can imagine, this caused some uproar because in recent decades, truck driving was the highest paid job for Americans who did not attend college. But as of recent, the logistics and transportation industry has been experiencing something scarier than robot-car takeovers: a driver shortage. This has everything to do with an increase in online shopping and a plethora of economic growth. And the fact that driving a truck over-the-road is not appealing to the majority of Millennials.   Manufacturers have plenty of goods to move but not enough man power to move it. So just like we learned in Economics 101, the demand for drivers has increased but the supply of drivers has diminished, driving up the rates for third-party logistics companies.

One of the biggest problems that third-party logistics companies are facing is sourcing and securing capacity. Drivers know their services are valuable right now and they are using that to their advantage. Shippers and third-parties are being forced to pay rates double or triple what they would normally pay because they are desperate to get their freight moved. Right now, it’s a driver’s market so how will the shippers and third-parties be affected?

Stay tuned for next week’s post and find out.

Self-Driving in the Supply Chain

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Last week, the state of Arizona banned autonomous vehicles on all state roads following a fatal car accident involving a self-driving Uber. The ride hailing company hasn’t been the only startup that’s experienced controversy and tragedy; A man driving a semi-autonomous Tesla crashed into a tractor-trailer going 70 miles per hour. Despite several warnings from the car, the victim kept the vehicle on autopilot and fatally hit the side of the big rig. This crash happened back in the summer of 2017 and since then, Tesla has updated the autopilot feature to shut off after a driver repeatedly ignores safety warnings.

Fortunately, not all autonomy is bad. The logistics and supply chain industry is getting a technological makeover as well. Google has hopped on the self-driving gravy train and they are making a stop in Atlanta, Georgia. Google’s self-driving fleet, Waymo, made their grand debut in early March of this year in the Southern city. The mega search engine’s technology will power Peterbilt Class 8 trucks and they will be used to carry freight en route to Google’s data warehouses. Google has tested these autonomous tractor-trailers in California and Arizona without incident. This comes as the transportation industry is experiencing a driver shortage. Autonomy is still very young so realistically, the driver shortage will carry on unless more qualified drivers enter the market. At this point, we can’t rely on autonomy to curve the shortage because even when autonomy is the norm, drivers will be required to be in the truck as a precaution. Autonomy will have a significant impact though, but it’s still up in the air as to when that impact will be felt.

The concept of self-driving vehicles has come a long way. From the shiny Utopian world of the Jetsons to an 18 wheeler navigating turns without human touch, we’ve started to melt away the uncertainty of the unknown. Yet, the world of innovative autonomy has decades to go before we are completely sold on the idea of being driven around by a robot.

Stay tuned, next week we take a more in depth approach to the driver shortage.

Uber, Autonomy, and the Tragedy in Arizona

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In the late 1960s, The Jetsons introduced us to flying cars and robotic maids. In 2018, Uber has introduced us to self-driving cars and a fear of too much autonomy. How did we get here?

One of the first concepts of an autonomous vehicle was actually born in the Jetsons’ era. In 1969, John McCarthy, a founding father of Artificial Intelligence, wrote about an “automatic chauffeur” in an essay titled “Computer-Controlled Cars.” He describes the vehicle as having the ability to follow destination commands, stop at restaurants, slow down, and speed up. Sound familiar? John McCarthy laid the ground work for the innovative entrepreneurs of the 21st century and we are capitalizing on it now, but at what cost? Uber is synonymous with innovation and technology. They have provided affordable transportation to the majority of Americans with a literal click of a button. But disrupting the ride hailing industry wasn’t enough, they needed to go further: autonomous vehicles. In 2018, self-driving cars aren’t just a figment of the imagination anymore, it’s reality. Unfortunately, with new innovations come new problems and in Uber’s case, it was a fatal problem.

On the evening of Sunday, March 18th, a pedestrian in Arizona was struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle and was killed. There was a person in the car acting as a safeguard in case something went wrong. There is an ongoing investigation as to what happened and who is to blame but state governments across the nation are already pointing fingers. A week after the accident, the state of Arizona suspended Uber’s operation of any autonomous vehicles on state roads.

As tragic as this accident is for the family of the victim, it also sets the tech world back tremendously. Someone lost their life by the hands of a technological innovation that was supposed to make life easier. So what does this mean for Uber and autonomous vehicles? This tragedy will more than likely result in heavier regulations and more test models so full autonomy might be more of a distant dream than we thought.

How does this all tie into the Supply Chain and Logistics industry? Stay tuned.

Do you have comments or opinions? Let us know.

How to Nail a Career Fair

Career Fair

Let’s face it. Career fairs can be intimidating. You get dressed up, tweak your resume, and walk around a room packed full of professionals from different companies eager to question you. It is overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Career fairs are an exceptional way to make a great first impression and get your foot in the door. Instead of sending your resume online, you get real face time with a recruiter from that organization. Your chances of getting called in for an interview are drastically higher than someone who submitted their resume online along with the other 500 people that did the same.

If your school has a career fair coming up soon, don’t miss out! Follow these tips to help you nail the career fair and score the job.

  1. Dress for success – Don’t dress like you’re going to a night club. Be conservative and professional. Opt for the lower heals and avoid tight clothing. Your image is our first impression of who you are.
  2. Prepare ahead of time – Research the companies that will be there and decide which ones you are most interested in. Be prepared with questions for these companies. Just by mentioning a recent project or fact about each company, you can instantly establish your interest. Create a flawless resume and bring several copies.
  3. Practice your elevator speech – Companies want to know who you are. So, tell them. Prepare a brief 30 second message that summarizes who you are, what you are looking for and how you can benefit the company or organization.
  4. Be confident and lighten up - You have nothing to lose. Walk in strong and approach potential employers. You do not have to wait for them to talk to you first. Always let your personality shine through. Are you funny, kind, passionate? Wonderful! Your personality will help us remember you. It is important to stand out.
  5. Save the best for last – If you are nervous, practice first. Start with companies that you are least interested in and “practice” on them. Once you get the hang of it, move on to the big wigs.

We highly recommend to start attending career fairs in your junior year. Career fairs are usually held twice a year. This allows you to gain practice at four career fairs before you graduate and gives you the opportunity to establish a relationship with the recruiters.

Remember preparation is key. If you create a plan, do your research, dress appropriately, and be yourself, you will be successful.  

Now, go out and nail it!

Our recruiter, Alli, at a Career Fair

Our recruiter, Alli, at a recent Career Fair

Merry Christmas from C. L. Services, Inc.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from everyone at C. L. Services, Inc.! We appreciate doing business with you! Wishing you peace, joy and all the best this holiday has to offer. Many blessings to you and your family in 2018!

Merry Christmas 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from C. L. Services, Inc.

Happy Thanksgiving from CLS

At C. L. Services Inc. we have so much to be thankful for. From our wonderful clients and carriers to our outstanding employees who take the extra time and effort to go the extra mile, we are full of gratitude this holiday season! But, we wanted you to hear directly from some of our extraordinary staff. Check out what they were thankful for or what their favorite part of Thanksgiving is each year!

Jeff Lantz, CEO, Owner: “I am thankful for meeting Russ 21 years ago and starting C. L. Services Inc. and meeting everyone along the way.”

Malina Mooney, Team Leader Accounting. “My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the turkey, left-over turkey sandwiches are the best!”

Allen Brown CSR Military: “I am thankful for my wonderful family, precious grandbabies, and my job that allows me to be a part of a great company.”

Wendy Daniels, Executive Admin: “My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is our family all coming together to enjoy the meal, the football and the day, and reflect on all that we have been given. We are so blessed!”

Michael Meadows, CSR, “I’m http://healthsavy.com/product/cialis/ thankful for napping opportunities after I destroy some turkey.”

Tami Risoen, HR Manager: “I’m thankful my family grew this year by adding a new son-in-law and that my children are healthy and happy.”

Kendall Pence, Sales Coordinator, “I’m thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life– through work, my family & my friends!” 

Derek Anderson, Nighttime Dispatch. “There have been times in my life that my family and I have needed help. I am thankful that now, I am in a financial situation, where I can help others, paying forward what has been done for me.” 

Britney Hicks, CSR Assistant. “I am thankful for family traditions that make Thanksgiving even more special.”

Alli Webb, HR/Recruiter. “My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is being around my family and the acceptable number of naps you can take.”

Brian Boston, Team Lead, National Accounts, “I am thankful for my family.”

Let’s have some fun! We would love to hear from you. Leave us a comment with your favorite thing about Thanksgiving or what you are thankful for this holiday season.

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2017

The ABC’s of the Capacity Shortage

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Understanding the Capacity Shortage 

Anyone who regularly moves freight likely has realized that their brokerage is facing a major capacity shortage, along with a hike in prices to go with it. Industry experts predicted a shortage and rate increase a few months ago, but it is already underway. Unfortunately, it will likely get worse in the coming months, requiring preparation and awareness by anyone responsible for shipping and freight carrying. With a better understanding of why this capacity shortage occurred, planning becomes possible, keeping your business on top of the problem.

Carriers Knew It Would Happen, But Not When

For months on end, truckload carriers carefully analyzed data to see when the capacity shortage would arrive. During this time, the shortages that did arrive were short lived, quickly being overcome. Even so, most recognized this as a sign that a more long-term shortage was on its way. After all, for months, the spot market has shown that demand was greater than the capacity within the truckload market.

The real signs of an upcoming shortage and rate increase arrived in the middle of August when larger carriers could tell that contract rate increases were about to arrive. At that time, some were dealing with just 3 percent increases but warned that customers who didn’t pay that increase would end up dealing with an increase of between 8 and 10 percent in the near future. Of course, the larger carriers have a bigger influence, but as their rates rise, so do those of smaller fleets. With recent hurricanes in the Southeast, things got even worse.

Tight Capacity

Even before the recent capacity shortage, the capacity was already considered tight. The spot market had recovered and was showing rate increases that seemed like they would remain. That prediction proved true. In the last few weeks, the rates have either remained at these new higher ones or increased even more.

A Major Shortage of Drivers

To make matters worse, the capacity shortage is impacted by the tight labor market. Unfortunately, the driver http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/zovirax_generic.html force was at full employment before the increase in demand arrived. As such, there simply aren’t more drivers to bring in to accommodate the larger demand. Another factor at play is that this population is aging, meaning more workers are retiring.

Regulations

Because of tighter regulations on things such as immigration, the labor pool for drivers is shrinking. As such, it is nearly impossible to find replacements for those who retire or move on to another job. It is even more of a challenge to increase the number of drivers currently working.

Heavy Construction

In addition, the entire market is experiencing an increase in construction demand. Other segments are also growing or in high demand, such as the oil sector. Even the fact that the economy is doing well overall increases freight demand, as companies need to bring items to new destinations.

Natural Disasters

Recent hurricanes, like Harvey and Irma, have only increased the demand on truckload capacity, as more supplies need to be delivered to the affected areas. Between rebuilding and resupplying, more truckloads are needed than there are drivers available. The initial efforts will focus on relief before rebuilding can truly begin. As such, the increase in demand in Texas and Florida from Harvey and Irma, respectively, should not go away anytime soon.

Stores and other businesses in these areas will also be working hard to replenish and replace their lost stock, which requires the assistance of truckloads. Between the thousands of stores in the states affected by recent disasters, the increased demand is a given. As always, any increase in demand allows the companies to increase their rates, which has led to the price hike.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several factors contributing to the current capacity shortage and unfortunately we see this trend maintaining through the foreseeable future. However at C. L. Services, Inc., you can rest assured we are doing everything possible to build solid carrier relationships to ensure our freight is moved.

 

C. L. Services, Inc. Gives Back to the Local Community

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On July 14th, C. L. Services, Inc. kicked off a two-week School Supply Drive for Hapeville Elementary School. Hapeville Elementary School is a Title I school located two miles from our headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

To encourage donations, we made the School Supply Drive a friendly competition between departments. We already knew how amazing our employees were, but we did not expect to be so blown away by the outpouring of donations made across all departments. OUR EMPLOYEES ROCK!

All the boxes lined up for donations:

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All ready to go!

 

 

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Thank you for your donation Taylor and John!

 

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Thanks for your donation Alli and Channing!

The winning team was to receive this 1st Place Trophy and bragging rights for going above and beyond for our local community! It quickly became highly sought after.

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Some of our leadership team giving back to the local community.

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The donations kept flowing in!

All together we collected over 3,036 pieces of school supplies! Everything from folders and paper to pencil boxes and backpacks. Our team went above and beyond for these children!

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And finally the winning team is……..The CLS Accounting Department with 801 pieces collected. Well done, team! We are so proud of you, and thank you so much for supporting the children in our community!

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We want to thank each and every one of our employees for your generosity. We couldn’t have helped our local community without your support. Thank you!

And lastly, we want to give a special shout out to Meg Scott, our Corporate Trainer, for organizing such a successful event on behalf of our company. You ROCK!

Podcasts for Truck Drivers and Owner-Operators

Spending countless hours in your cab by yourself can get lonely. You need quality entertainment to help pass the time. Good thing there are tons of podcasts – downloadable audio programs – to alleviate the sometimes monotonous journey of over the road driving. You can find podcasts on virtually every subject from business and history to science and cooking. The best part is they are free. Here is a list of some of our favorites:

TalkCDL: This podcast is from truckers for truckers. Every Friday at 5 am a new podcast is posted covering trucking industry news, laws, surveys, issues, etc. It is funny, entertaining and covers extremely useful topics for all professional drivers.

Stuff You Missed in History Class: Let’s admit it, we all fell asleep in high school history class. The creators of this podcast understand. We love how comprehensive this podcast is with a wide range of subjects. It is definitely one of the best history podcasts out there.

Freakonomics: Most people have heard of this podcast and it’s for a good reason. It is amazing! Host Stephen J. Dubner explores the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. You don’t want to miss this one!

Trucking Podcast: Trucking podcast was created by trucker, Buck Ballard. The show’s slogan, “helping you make more money and rediscover the adventure.” Not only is this a great resource for truckers, but it is quite entertaining as well.

Serial: If you are into drama, this is the podcast for you. Each season tells a true story with a surprising twist at the end. It has won several awards and literally has a cult following. Make sure to listen to each season in order though.

Good Job, Brian: “Quiz show, offbeat trivia, awesomeness.” Need to stay awake while driving through the night? Trivia is a fun way to stay alert. Test yourself with weird trivia and learn random news.

Trucker Dump: With topics like “How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job” and “Stupid Rules that Truckers Tolerate,” Trucker Dump offers insights into almost every topic in the industry. It is hilarious and relatable.

Outside the Lines: Calling all sports enthusiasts. This podcast takes a backstage look at the lives of athletes, teams and sports culture. Outside the Lines gives you a different angle on the sports industry.

Top Podcast

Let us know your thoughts on our picks. Do you have a podcast that you love? Share it below in the comments. As always, stay safe out there, drivers!

 

What Effect Will ELDs Have on the 3PL Industry?

December 18th, 2017, a day that most in the industry are fearing, will be upon us in only a matter of months. Phase 1 of the FMCSA’s ELD mandate will be over, and Phase 2 will begin. Requiring drivers and carriers to put down the paper logs and start electronically recording their HOS. Owner operators and contracted drivers have been hoping for some change in the legislation or some type of stoppage to the new mandate, but nothing has been able to halt the implementation. What will the major impacts of this be for the 3PL industry? In short, two major areas will be affected, capacity and utilization.

As discussed in our previous article, the ELD mandate will play a role in the shrinking capacity over the course of the next few months and potentially years to come. Major carriers have already equipped their fleets with ELDs, they have technicians to handle the maintenance, and drivers are being trained to use them properly. The capacity crunch will most likely not come from companies such as Werner, XPO, and Swift but from individual owner operators and smaller fleets. This will still have a very significant impact as roughly 97% of the estimated 1.2 million trucking companies operate a fleet of 20 trucks or less. A large group of veteran drivers also feel that the government intrusion into their work is a perfect time to leave the industry. The impact in this regard will depend solely on who you choose to do business with. Many 3PLs turn to major carriers already to cover freight needs; owner operators though, the most affected by this mandate, could see a drastic decline in capacity. To go hand in hand with this issue, prices could start to surge across the board as competition to find available trucks will increase.

EDL

Another factor to consider will be tractor utilization. An increased emphasis on driver safety and HOS regulations are the fuel to the ELD fire. Thirty minute breaks and strict 11/14 hour rules will have to be abided by all drivers on the road. Potentially, this could be very http://healthsavy.com/product/ventolin/ harmful to service levels and overall customer satisfaction. While we don’t like to think that drivers are breaking their HOS rules, if product is delivered on time most of the industry seems to turn a blind eye. No longer could this be the case. Tracking freight will become ever more important as these rules are more strictly enforced. Now, not only do DOT stops potentially shut down drivers, but carriers themselves will be tightly monitoring their drivers’ movement. In addition to this, shippers could begin to use alternate forms of distribution i.e. rail or mandating expedited shipments. Again, the effect of this will vary depending on the specific 3PL, who you work with, and how you conduct business.

There may be a need to retrain employees on HOS rules to ensure that when selling freight, a driver will have the correct hours needed to run the lane as required by the customer. At a minimum, ensuring the appointment times are feasible will have to be a required check before getting a truck on a load. Shippers should already be ahead of the game in diagnosing their freight lanes and setting proper appointments. In order to provide exceptional service though, 3PLs will have to be involved in this process in order to meet customer expectations.

The last shred of hope to potentially end the ELD mandate is the new presidential administration. While we have seen several new regulations come into place, President Trump has yet to touch the trucking industry. With his ideas of looser regulations in all markets we could potentially see the ELD mandate altered or go away all together. No sign has been made yet that this will be the case. The 3PL industry should try to get ahead of the mandate and plan for it accordingly. As suggested, training could be required to inform employees of HOS rules and ensure service does not become your downfall as we see capacity shrink. Customers will expect the same results once the regulation takes hold, ensure your staff isn’t the reason your customers go elsewhere.