WORKFORCE ED PIC 2Mobile workforce management solutions can help minimize fleet travel time and 

fuel costs. 

By Steven Smith

While the interconnectivity of people, goods and services – powered by increased mobility – has ushered transportation and logistics into the 21st century, there remains the need to operationalize the new, readily available data. With more than 15 million commercial vehicles on the road today, and improved adherence to customer commitment, the increased use of operational data yields a number of benefits including reduced fuel costs, minimized travel time and improved compliance with safety mandates.

 TECH ED PIC 1Why delivery and logistics startups are failing.

By Joel Ritch

Commerce launched an unprecedented demand by consumers for merchandise not seen in the shipping and logistics industry prior. The attitudes of, and behaviors by, consumers on the other end of a package have changed dramatically. On top of all of that, established shipping and logistics companies traditionally are not at the front of the pack leading with innovation, which means there has been a lot of room for improvement.

 EMP LAWSUITS ED PIC 1

Learn these 10 strategies to avoid common – and costly – employee lawsuits in the transportation industry in California.

By Todd R. Wulffson and Denisha P. McKenzie

California is many things, but pro-employer likely is not one that immediately comes to mind. This is particularly true in the transportation industry, where employers face a myriad of regulatory and other legal challenges, in addition to the logistics involved in massive population centers spread out over one of the largest states in the nation. It can be extremely difficult to manage the legal risk exposure and still maintain a profitable business. The following are 10 very common legal pitfalls for employers in the transportation industry in California, and suggestions for how to minimize legal exposure:

Good news for millennials. Supply chain jobs are expected to grow by 25 percent over the next decade, according to the new 2016 Third-Party Logistics Study from Penn State researcher John Langley, Jr.

That presents great career opportunities in a dynamic industry, but the management challenges are even greater. One of the most worrisome is the intensifying shortage of transportation and warehouse workers. The supply chain is already experiencing significant labor shortages and that trend will accelerate as older workers retire. 

The recent acquisition of Con-Way by XPO Logistics – a move that makes XPO North America’s second largest provider of less-than-truckload (LTL) services – is just the latest in a surge of acquisitions in the logistics space. As cash-rich companies both inside and outside the industry continue to buy and sell with what feels like an unprecedented degree of vigor, the value of an experienced and capable third-party logistics provider (3PL) that utilizes a transparent logistics platform is becoming increasingly evident.

In today’s unpredictable marketplace, transparency matters. A commodity model may be increasingly common in the transportation industry, but the role played by freight forwarders, centralized brokers or contractors is more opaque. This means that the customer has little to no idea of the costs and margins involved in transportation and logistics services. That is a liability at any time, but is particularly burdensome during periods of transition before, during and after a merger or acquisition.

Since the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938, the Department of Labor (DOL) and plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country have targeted employers who fail to strictly adhere to the FLSA’s requirement that employees be paid minimum wage and overtime. However, trucking companies have not been a major target for either the DOL or plaintiffs’ attorneys. 

The drive for efficiency in the transportation sector has never been more achievable than it is today, thanks to the rise of data gathered from in-vehicle sensors and GPS navigation and tracking systems. Understanding and reacting to this data in real-time is where opportunity lies, particularly for fleet management.

Data Analytics

The interpretation and analysis of data informs fleet logistics practices and can lead to significant operational efficiencies. The consulting group Accenture estimates that an analytics-informed fleet operations strategy can help to, on average, reduce fleet size by more than 15 percent, reduce maintenance costs by more than 10 percent and achieve fuel savings of more than 8 percent.

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