• Growing E-Commerce Prompts Logistical Changes

    Feb 17, 2017
    shutterstock_482025226_300x240The reports from the U.S. Commerce Department are in for the third quarter last year and they show that e-commerce sales were $101.3 billion, up 15.7% from the third quarter in 2015. However, total retail sales for the third quarter were only up 2.2%. These $101.3 billion in sales aren’t just your typical consumer clothing and electronics, but also items such as auto parts that consumers prefer to buy online. It is expected that e-commerce business-to-consumer parcels will make up more than half of U.S. domestic shipments by 2019.

    The increase in e-commerce will have a very large impact on logistics. Whether e-commerce affects you directly or not, it is putting consumers in control more than ever. Consumers are able to decide when, where, and how they want packages delivered, and parcel carriers such as UPS and FedEx are changing rapidly to support the movement. Meanwhile, for large products that can’t go through a conveyor-base handling system, less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are stepping in to deliver to residential areas. The LTL carriers are using medium-duty trucks rather than larger Class 8 trucks to meet the demand and type of delivery environment.

    Beyond delivery, e-commerce is changing the distribution model which is effecting truckload, less-than-truckload, long-haul, and regional operations. Today retailers aim to keep stores stocked, but also deliver directly through e-commerce, requiring the use of urban real estate and urban centers. This change is good for LTL, but not as good for truckload since frequent trips and smaller vehicles are required to visit these urban fulfillment centers.

    The most unpredictable side of e-commerce logistics is demand. Since technology allows to consumers to order at any time of the day with a click of a button on their phone, predicting buying behavior and peak times has been extremely difficult. If a company is able to manage the logistics, a real opportunity exists to profit from the demand. E-commerce has changed transportation from being an end-thought, to being a critical piece from the very beginning, all the way through.
     
  • Staff Shout Out – Ronnie Franklin

    Feb 10, 2017
    Shout Out Ronnie_300x240This month we recognize Recruiting Manager, Ronnie Franklin for showing great customer service and dedication to the industry as a whole.

    Ronnie has only been at Centerline for a little over a year, but he is proof you can make a big difference in a company and community in little time. He is a recruiting manager in the Sacramento area, and is a California native, growing up in the L.A.-Stockton area. Centerline is not the first time Ronnie has worked in the industry, he has held various positions since 1999 working as a Class A Driver, an instructor, a recruiter, an operations manager and a safety manager. He knew when he started in truck driving he would like to stay and grow in the industry because of its association with logistics and customer service.

    As much as we at Centerline appreciate Ronnie, the feeling is mutual with him. He loves that his work at Centerline isn’t just a numbers game, and that it involves a relationship with the drivers. He aims to put drivers in a place they want to be and does so by learning about the driver in their interview, working well with his account manager, and communicating with the other Centerline offices. Ronnie highly values teamwork and told us he can’t think of a time that he’s needed someone at Centerline and they haven’t come through, it’s like a family. 

    He finds the most rewarding part of his job to be exceeding the needs of drivers. He aims to lay out the facts to drivers upfront. The biggest lesson he has learned since working in this industry – honesty. His other piece of advice? – “Learn your area. Sacramento is not the same as the Dallas area.” 

    “My recruiter Ronnie picks up the phone or returns my phone calls in a timely manner. Awesome person, excellent customer service.” – Centerline Driver

    When he isn’t working hard with Centerline, Ronnie enjoys spending time with his four sons, all who have different personalities. He commits time to each of their passions, football, soccer, MMA, and academics. He also shares their love of longboarding, skateboarding, and bike riding together as a family.

    Ronnie has three people he considers influential on his life. Two of them are Les Brown and Eric Thomas, motivational speakers and YouTube stars. He loves to start his day with their bits of wisdom. The other person he finds influential is our very own Jill Quinn. He loves Jill’s story, and was really moved by a visit she had in Sacramento this past year where she gave a message about drive and passion.

    Ronnie’s many years in the industry and commitment to being honest with others has allowed him to make a great impact on our drivers at Centerline, and we are so thankful he is on our team!
     
  • Will the New Administration’s View on Trade Help or Hurt Fleets?

    Feb 03, 2017

    01.31.17TradeThe reexamination of international trade agreements have been one of the items on Donald Trump’s list this week. The primary agreements in question are the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). 

    The agreement that poses the biggest impact on the trucking industry is NAFTA. Last summer the U.S. Department of Transportation reported the agreement would generate $89 million for the industry. If NAFTA were to be disbanded, some implications to the industry would be: higher tariffs, Mexico trade fallout, and more. 

    Changes to the TPP would also impact the industry, as it has the potential for the U.S. to take advantage of trading with Asia. Greg Wright, professor of economics at the University of California notes, "Trade with Asia is indeed potentially good for U.S. trucking since a large proportion of trade through LA/Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle-Tacoma is put on rail and truck for shipment across the country." However whether or not this will be the direction is unclear because the U.S. has recently pulled out of negotiations with the TPP on January 23rd.

    Despite the uncertainties with NAFTA and TTP, domestic opportunities for the industry show growth due to the increase in ecommerce. Additionally, Trump’s plan for reforming corporate taxes and a move towards deregulation would be beneficial to fleets.  

    As Trump and his administration negotiate new trade deals for the U.S., they will likely be met with resistance in legal action. The NAFTA adjudication panels, World Trade Organization (WTO) adjudication panels, and U.S. and Mexican courts will argue the implications in court to prevent major impacts on each country’s employment and economy. 

     

  • White House Orders Freeze on New Regulations

    Jan 26, 2017
    01.26.17_TrumpFreezeLast week, President Donald Trump issued an order directing executive agencies to freeze all new regulations. While the administration's memo states that the freeze will not affect regulations related to health, safety, finance, or national security, it is still unclear how this will directly affect trucking.

    Freezes on regulations are not uncommon during presidential transitions - President Obama issued a 30 day freeze in 2009 when he took office. The current freeze will affect regulations that have been implemented but have not taken effect within the past 60 days before Trump took office. Trump's memo also directed agencies to hold any new regulations to the Federal Register. 

    A major rule that will not be affected is the ELD Mandate. Since the rule is already law under a Congressional mandate it will not be considered during the freeze. New final rules in trucking that may be affected include the driver training regulation and the drug and alcohol clearinghouse. The effective date for both regulations fall within the 60-day window of the freeze, but compliance deadlines for both rules are not slated until 2020.

    Lane Kidd, director for the Trucking Alliance is not concerned about the memo, as they are standard procedures. The FMCSA said they will assess the memo before making statements on any pending regulations.
  • Competing with and Embracing Technological Changes in Trucking

    Jan 19, 2017
    01.19.16_21centuryTechnology has and will continue to drive changes in almost any industry. In the annual State of Logistics Report, the council of Supply Chain Management Professionals points out that the trucking industry is not immune to these changes.

    Government regulations, the ebb and flow of drivers available to work, the increased demands by customers and shippers, and ecommerce are just some of the factors that are changing the game in trucking.

    Among all the factors disrupting the industry, ecommerce has caused the most significant changes. Ecommerce has given control to the customer who is now able to tell shippers when and where they want deliveries. With more control, logistics has seen a rise in same day, next day, two day, and on the fly delivery - all causing retailers to rethink how they fulfill and distribute their products.

    These changes in delivery are creating ample opportunities in last-mile delivery services as parcel carriers struggle to meet the ever increasing demand of customers. Companies are increasingly launching last-mile divisions, whose future goes beyond trucks and enters the realm of drones and establishing fulfillment centers in suburban areas just to keep up with demand.

    In this new era of trucking, fleets need to be able to determine the difference between interesting data and actionable data. As Jack Levis, senior director of process management at UPS explains, fleets need to deploy perspective analytics, "which goes beyond prediction and determines the optimal action to take."

    As Andrew McAfee, an MIT scientist who studies how technological progress changes businesses, the economy and society says: "The worst strategy is to ignore it." Fleets need to continue to face these challenges head on as technology continues to shape trucking and embrace the opportunities it creates.
  • 1,400 Jobs to End 2016 Indicates a Strong Start for Trucking in 2017

    Jan 13, 2017
    01.12.17_NewJobsThe Labor Department’s preliminary Employment Situation Report indicated that trucking capped 2016 by adding an additional 1,400 jobs in December. This is just another indicator that things are looking up for the industry at the start of 2017.

    The 1,400 new jobs created in December demonstrate the industry’s continued growth after a rough loss in the first half of the year and brought the total number of for-hire trucking jobs added to 10,000 for 2016.

    Overall, the U.S. labor market improved its performance closing out 2016 with over 2 million job gains for the sixth straight year. As a whole, the U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December, which was less than the 175,000 jobs economists had expected. Though the economy fell short of the expected number of jobs to be created in December, the unemployment rate ended the year at 4.7% - the lowest it had been since August of 2007.

    Along with job increases, the Labor Department also reported that annual earnings for workers increased 2.9% over the last 12 months. This is the best annual performance since 2009. Scott Brown, Florida-based chief economist for Raymond James Financial Inc. believes the job market is very strong overall. He expects that wage pressures will continue to rise upward.

    Experts believe this strong end to 2016 indicate a strong start to 2017.  
     
  • New Administration means Unexpected Future for Trucking

    Jan 06, 2017
    01.06.17_2017Trend
    With a new administration in the White House, 2017 will bring new changes to the U.S. economy. While experts believe the economy will continue to expand, uncertainty shrouds 2017's outlook.

    Most experts agree that business will improve as it has been doing since June of 2009. Bob Costello, chief economist for American Trucking Associations (ATA) believes that U.S. gross domestic product will rise 2.2%, a slight increase over what was seen in 2016. The amount of growth the U.S. will see in 2017 depends on what the Trump Administration will do with infrastructure spending, tax reform, and regulatory relief.

    The Trump Administration has promised an increase on infrastructure spending which would assist those in trucking. A more controversial regulations is the ELD mandate which many believe will go untouched due to its fast approaching deadline. Richard Stocking, CEO of Swift Transportation believes that the ELD deadline will create a meaningful capacity contraction, resulting in a positive impact on the rate environment for carriers. Todd Fowler, director and equity research analyst at Keystone Capital Markets is less optimistic about rate increases, as the ELD mandate will reduce the amount of freight that can be hauled and will cause insurance premiums to rise anywhere between 10% and 30%.

    The Trump Administration has also promised changes in trade agreements, specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Bill Sullivan, executive vice president and chief lobbyist for ATA said the trucking industry would push back on changes to the agreement if they effected the flow of goods to and from Mexico. 

    Larry Gross of FTR Transportation Intelligence's advice for those in trucking: "Have a contingency plan and be prepared to make adjustments to whatever happens."
  • Staff Shout Out - Isabel Castro

    Dec 21, 2016
    Untitled design (24)Centerline is a company made up of incredible employees that go above and beyond in their roles to help the company grow and prosper. Each role is an important piece of the success of the whole company, and among those pieces lies one resilient Account Manager, Isabel Castro.

    Isabel has been an Account Manager at Centerline for the greater Atlanta area for two years. She grew up in Atlanta, and has loved the area. Her family is from Columbia and comes from a vibrant family full of culture and excitement.

    A typical day for Isabel begins around 6:40 a.m. when she checks her phone for any emails that may have come through. Isabel wants to make sure that customers are responded to early and as soon as possible. Isabel takes care of all her emails and phone calls in the morning to help her avoid the nightmare that is Atlanta traffic. After the workday has started and traffic has died down a little, she heads out to visit customers and stops by any locations that would be a great prospect for Centerline. Isabel then returns to the office where she diligently follows up with customers and prospective clients and catches up on paperwork.

    When Isabel is not at work she enjoys being active at the gym. Her favorite gym activities are running, rowing, and weight lifting.  Along with being a remarkable Account Manager, she is also a mother of two and loves spending time with her family. Isabel’s kids have made her the person she is today. A couple of fun facts about Isabel include; she has both a dog and cat, and when it comes to her soda preference, she doesn’t drink it, instead preferring water or something healthier with no GMO’s. The most rewarding part of Isabel’s job is getting to know a customer. Isabel loves meeting new people and getting to know her customers both professionally and personally.
    Isabel is motivated by her team and loves how consistent they are with their energy and never wants to let them down.

    Isabel’s advice to her fellow colleagues is to, “make sure to stay consistent and not give up, document everything and make sure you are always following up because you never know when your next lead could be your next big break”.

    It is evident that hard work and reliability are ingrained in Isabel’s life. Centerline customers often give her a shout out and say, “she does an outstanding job, and we really appreciate all the hard work and dedication that she does”. Great job Isabel! Keep up the great work!
  • Employee Retention to be a Key Issue in 2017

    Dec 16, 2016

    shutterstock_21275290_BlogDriver retention and the driver shortage are commonly mistaken for the same problem in the trucking world; however, this is not the case. The shortage refers to the lack of available qualified drivers. The topic of retention refers to how to hold onto the current driver workforce. In essence, the shortage is the issue, retention could be part of the solution.  Retention, when looking at any industry, is becoming a bigger problem that companies need to pay more attention to.  

    In the latest survey conducted by Globoforce and the Society for Human Resource Management, 46% of organizations cited that employee retention was a top workforce management solution. When looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics data this does not come as a surprise. The ratio of unemployed persons per job opening fell to 1.4 in September, the lowest it has been since 2001. 

    Why does this ratio matter? According to Eric Mosley, CEO of Globofroce, “workers may have tolerated a less than satisfactory experience at work for the sake of job security…but in today’s job market, all the power is in the hands of the job seekers.” 

    Mosley suggests that organizations need to win over the hearts and minds of their employees. This means taking a more human-centric approach, and focusing on social recognition and employee experiences. In trucking, this often boils down to the work to home time ratio. According to a Stay metrics report from earlier in the year, companies can actually improve the productivity and performance of drivers by meeting their requests to take time off. 

    As we enter the New Year with increasing regulations, the driver retention issue is one that companies will want to keep a close eye on.

  • Tightened Capacity and Improved Pricing coming to Trucking

    Dec 15, 2016

    12.14.16_FTRThe FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for October has been released, and the results show that the trucking industry will continue to regain its footing in the coming year.

    In this monthly report, any score above zero represents an adequate trucking environment in regards to capacity, fuel, bankruptcies, cost of capital, and freight. Readings above 10 demonstrate that volumes, prices, and margins are falling in a good range for carriers. The month of October was scored at a 2.84, falling in low positive territory. Though the score fell slightly from September, there are signs of improving conditions for carriers.

    FTR said that the October reading reflects a current pullback ahead of 2017 when capacity is expected to tighten due to the implementation of regulations. These regulations are expected to improve pricing and margins for companies throughout 2017, with prices peaking in late 2017 or early 2018.

    While the impact of regulations, specifically the ELD mandate, remain unknown for 2017, the continued improvement of the spot market, up 40%, and truckload rates are what FTR COO Jonathan Starks sites as evidence for improvements in the industry.

    Sparks believes that the “market is already showing a positive shift, and the negative pricing of the last two years is unlikely to last much longer.”

    Companies will have to keep an eye on regulations as delays could lessen the impact of tightening capacity and affect pricing.

    Image Source: Truckinginfo.com
  • Trends to Watch in 2017

    Dec 08, 2016
    12.8.16_2017TrendsAs 2017 quickly approaches, it’s hard to tune out the hot button issues that continue to be discussed. Tax reform, infrastructure, the economy and other regulations and policies will all impact the U.S. freight market. 

    Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations explained, “When you move 70% of the nation’s domestic freight there are few issues out there that we are not a part of either directly or indirectly.” Keep these three trends in mind when heading into 2017. 

    Infrastructure. President-elect Trump’s most notable rally cry is his 10-year, $1 trillion infrastructure proposal. Infrastructure is key to trucking, and as Sandeep Kar, global vice president for mobility at Frost & Sullivan explains, expedited refurbishment and enhancements to U.S. highways could increase freight and vehicle efficiency.  

    Tax Reform. Infrastructure improvements inevitably trigger higher taxes. This is in conflict with Trump’s plans of corporate tax reforms. The goal of these reforms would be to entice businesses to consider establishing or reshoring US operations. Kar explains that while on the surface this seems to be great news for the U.S. trucking industry, it may not be as great for truck manufacturers and suppliers. “Lower corporate taxes will most likely drive service-based businesses to the U.S., which would be of less benefit to freight movement than a move of manufacturing operations.” Tax reforms could further affect the global economy, driving inflation and wages higher. 

    Economy. More specifically what CEO of BoldIQ, and former Boeing executive Roei Ganzarski describes as the “on-demand economy.” In today’s world, consumers want to get what they want when they want it. This leads the transportation operator to be demand-driven which is causing shorter planning cycles and decision making time frames. Ganzarski believes that the industry will consolidate as transport companies fail to adapt to this change in economy. 

    While it’s not certain what reforms and changes will be made, the trucking industry must be prepared for all of the changes on track for 2017. 
  • Staff Shout Out – Michelle Graves

    Dec 06, 2016

    Centerline Account ManagerEvery day we have employees who are doing an amazing job within our Centerline community. Demonstrating commitment to great customer service, a true passion for connecting people to work, and representing our company values overall. We appreciate the hard work our team puts in. This month we recognize Michelle Graves for going above and beyond to help our customers.

    Michelle has been a part of the TrueBlue family for over 17 years, working first for our general labor division and now for Centerline as a dedicated account manager.

    “As I have said, Michelle Graves and her team have been a tremendous help to me. I would like to thank her and her team for all the help she has provided for myself and my company.” – Centerline customer

    It is no surprise that Michelle’s’ dedication earned admiration from her customers as she believes in giving her clients 100%. Michelle says there is nothing more rewarding than watching our drivers have the opportunity to change their lives. Helping people get a second chance is what motivates Michelle to continue to do a great job.

    Michelle advises anyone working in a similar field to make sure to offer a smile and follow up with customers. A smiling face coupled with a willingness to help goes a long way in providing a great customer experience. Michelle says there are times you may not have the answer, but you can still provide assistance by taking time to point them in the right direction. Michelle’s ability to build relationships have been very valuable in serving her long-term customers.

    Key influencers in Michelle’s life have been her family. Her mother and daughter is the reason behind Michelle’s good character. Her daughter drives her to work hard and make the best decisions and her mother has taught her to always be kind and helpful towards others. Michelle also owes her work ethic to her time in the military. She served six years in the Navy which taught her the importance of being accountable, being on time, and to make yourself available for others in need. Her family and service has shaped Michelle’s character to make an impact at Centerline. Michelle is a true professional that we are lucky to have on our team!

  • Tasked with Big Plans, Chao is Eager to Lead the DOT

    Dec 01, 2016
    Elaine-ChaoPresident-elect Donald Trump has nominated Elaine Chao to serve as Secretary of Transportation under his new administration. Once the nomination is confirmed, Chao will begin to help the Trump administration get approval for infrastructure spending.

    Chao is no stranger to the cabinet, having served as George H.W. Bush's deputy secretary of transportation and George W. Bush's Secretary of Labor. American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear has praised Trump's decision.

    Spear, who worked alongside Chao during his time at the Department of Labor, believes Chao "understands the issues we face as we try to keep America's freight moving safely and efficiently." The ATA is "eager to support her as our country and our industry work to improve our roads and bridges, improve safety...to continue to move our country forward."

    Come January, Chao will play a key role in helping President Elect Trump get infrastructure spending approved by Congress. During his campaign, Trump pledged to deliver legislation to Congress within his first 100 days in office that would lead to the investment of $1 trillion in infrastructure over 10 years.

    Chao is up for the challenge, as she believes the president-elect's plan and vision will transform the country's infrasturcutre, helping to accelerate growth and create jobs.

    To learn more about Chao's political background, you can visit her page on the Department of Labor webpage.
  • How the ELD Mandate Could Affect the Trucking Industry

    Nov 23, 2016
    Untitled design (16)The ELD mandate, which was given the greenlight last month by the courts, will play a huge factor in affecting trucking trends in 2017. With little over a year remaining until the mandate is implemented, analysts have started to predict these trends.

    In order to understand how the ELD mandate will affect the trucking industry, it is important to note some trends from 2016.

    • Freight pricing has been slow since the summer of 2016. Due to annual contracts, these prices will remain that way until the second half of 2017.
    • Used equipment has seen an increased rate of depreciation which puts pressure on carrier's earnings. This has resulted in lower new truck sales, as carriers are putting off purchases.
    • With lower residual value of equipment and lower pricing, carriers are becoming more disciplined with their fleets, often downsizing and rightsizing to save.
    • Some smaller carriers and owner operators have stated that they would rather leave the market completely than become compliant with a new mandate.

    So what do these trends mean when combined with the fast approaching ELD mandate?

    If carriers are to leave the market, freight capacity would be lower, causing a potential boom for freight pricing; however, those carriers threatening to leave the market are the ones purchasing used equipment. Without this source of purchasers, the used equipment supply will increase, causing new truck order to fall further.

    The driver shortage may also be affected by the mandate. The mandate is also chasing drivers out of the market. This in contention with downsizing fleets may not change the shortage problem at all, as there will be less drivers while there are also less jobs available.

     Analysts stress that these are just predictions based on current trends. Drivers, fleet owners, and interested parties will need to wait to see how the pending regulations impact the industry.

  • Indemnification Clauses are Disappearing from Trucking Contracts

    Nov 18, 2016
    11.18.16_IndemnityIndemnity clauses have long held trucking companies responsible for damaged goods - regardless of fault. New York became the latest state to take this unfair protection away from shippers.

    With the support of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA), New York became the 45th state to do away with indemnification clauses in truck contracts. The new law will prevent shippers from being indemnified for losses caused by their own negligence.

    The law, which took effect immediately after being signed by Governor ANdrew Cuomo will not limit anyone's ability to collect for damaged goods, but will hold the responsible party liable. OOIDA director of state legislative affairs Mike Matousek said that New York, as well as other states who have created laws to bar these clauses, has created a "reasonable and fair solution to address rules that essentially provide shippers and receivers with immunity from any damage caused by their negligence while a trucker is on their property."

    With the passing of New Jersey and New York's Anti-Indemnification Laws earlier this month, the only states that still permit indemnifications clauses in trucking contracts are Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

    Trucking contracts without these clauses will no longer leave companies with burdensome liabilities when damage to goods is not their fault. Head to the OOIDA's website to see a full list of states where Anti-Indemnification Laws are present.
  • Updates to Drug Testing Policies in Trucking

    Nov 10, 2016

    11.04.16_DrugTestBig changes centered on drug testing are coming to the trucking industry. For some major motor carriers, these changes are not happening fast enough, and that’s why they’re petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) for exemptions on existing drug testing rules.

    The first change the industry will see is the creation of the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse, which could be live by the end of the month, will create a database of CDL holders who have failed or refused to take a drug test. Carriers would submit positive tests and refusals to the database, or authorize a third-party administrator to submit any information. This would allow information to be shared with other carriers.

    Many major motor carriers believe that the Clearinghouse is not enough to prevent drivers from skirting around the system, and have filed a petition to allow the sharing of test results from hair-testing. Current FMCSA rules, as per last year’s FAST Act highway bill allow for hair-testing in addition to mandatory urinalysis. Hair-testing, which tends to be twice as accurate and tends to cost twice as much, must be done in addition to urinalysis, and the information cannot be shared with other carriers.

    Lane Kidd, the managing director of the Trucking Alliance, believes that the petition “clearly shows the loophole in the FMCSA’s desire to keep drug users out of trucks.” At many of these carriers, hair-sampling is used, and many times CDL drivers who pass the urinalysis are identified as lifestyle drug users based on the additional test.

    With drug test protocols in place, Kidd questions why the FMCSA will not allow the results of the hair-testing to be shared when urinalysis results will have to be published to the Clearinghouse.

    The Trucking Alliance hopes that these changes will be made in a timely manner, rather than being held up by rule makers, as their overall goal is to improve highway safety. 

  • How to Combat Cold Weather Challenges

    Nov 10, 2016
    11.10.16_WinterColder weather is an inevitable challenge that the trucking industry must face every year. Not all hope is lost in the annual battle against the cold. Combating these winter woes starts with reviewing fleet data from the previous year and implementing training programs to help fleets know what to expect. 

    As the winter months approach, companies tackle issues such as increases in idle time, lower tire pressure, heavier rolling resistance, and increased safety issues. All of these factors lead to deteriorated fuel economy and delays.

    Mike Spence, senior vice president of fleet service at Fleet Advantage suggest analyzing data from the past 13 months in order to take the appropriate precautions before winter begins. This includes checking tires often to make sure they are in good condition, keeping the fuel tank half full to prevent freezing, and keeping an eye on idle time which tends to increase 25% in winter months. Knowing how your vehicle perform is half the battle.

    Training one's fleet is the next step to preparing for the winter months. Driver fatigue is a serious safety issue which is heightened in the winter. Weather can cause delays in deliveries resulting in an estimated loss of 32.6 billion vehicle hours and loss of $2.2. billion to $3.5 billion annually. Industry loses of this magnitude have created a culture of "pushing through" as opposed to a culture that promotes finding places to stop and rest. Rather than pushing through, drivers should be taught the early signs of fatigue, and should be encouraged to report fatigue. 

    There's no way to avoid colder weather and the issues that come with it. Instead, fleets can be prepared. Know what routes your fleets are taking, review your data, and prepare your drivers. Being prepared not only keeps your drivers safe, but keeps your fleet productive, resulting in maximized cost effectiveness for your company.

    Colder weather is an inevitable challenge that the trucking industry must face every year. Not all hope is lost in the annual battle against the cold. Combating these winter woes starts with reviewing fleet data from the previous year and implementing training programs to help fleets know what to expect. 
  • Staff Shout Out - Constance Salters

    Nov 02, 2016

    Centerline Employee: Constance SaltersCenterline is passionate about connecting drivers with the right companies. An essential component in making that happen is building a strong team that embodies that passion as their own. Constance Salters is an example of this.

    Constance has been an Account Manager at Centerline since 2009, and has 15 years of experience under her belt.

    She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but got tired of the snow and ended up finding a career in Tampa, Florida as a recruiter. She has persevered through good and bad times always working hard to connect customers with the best drivers available. Her secret to success, she says, is being able to work well with the people around her.

    “You have to have a good team,” says Constance. “I give 200% all of the time.” She explains that when the people you work with have the same passion as you do, you have a complete team. “It’s like magic: everything falls into place.”


    According to Constance, the most rewarding part of her job is finding that perfect match of driver and customer. “My strongest skillset is that most of the time I can look at a driver and know what customer he or she would fit with within a five minute conversation. It’s a combination of what they say, how they act, previous experiences and personality. Since I know the customers so well, I know what would be a good match.”

    She explains that when it comes to establishing a relationship with customers, building trust is a must. “Integrity first and foremost every single day. If you’re honest and you’re sincere, you will build loyalty and commitment.” Customers are reaching out to her regularly, and she does her best to be there for them – even on her breaks. “I just try to be myself and always be honest about what I have and about what I can offer. When you’re able to sell to people that have a need, everything else falls into place.”

    In true team spirit, Constance is quick to give a shout out to her fellow coworkers. She explains how Centerline’s centralized support team plays a large part in her success. “My support person is incredible. We’re totally in sync with expectations for each other.”

    In addition to her support at work, Constance says her mother has been a key supporter in her life. Not only did she build her confidence, but taught her the value of integrity.

    It is evident that hard work and integrity are ingrained in Constance’s life. Centerline customers have often noted that she, “will go out of her way to help with whatever needs we may have.” We are proud and thankful to have her on the team!

  • Accelerate! Conference to be held Nov. 7-9

    Oct 28, 2016
    10.27.16WomeninTruckingFrom November 7-9, the Women in Truck Association, Inc. (WIT) will be hosted its annual Accelerate! Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. With over 30 educational sessions, WIT will drive the message of how gender diversity can have a positive impact in the trucking industry. 

    The annual conference is designed to support the WIT mission: Encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry. The 30 plus education sessions will highlight various perspectives of the positive impact women can have on the industry.

    The conference and membership to WIT is not limited to just women. The organization encourages all genders to attend as the three day conference will address topics on the economy, capacity challenges, work/life balance, recruiting from non-traditional demographics, and more. 

    One major highlight of the event will be when T.F. Scott Darling, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speaks during the opening ceremony. Darling will tackle some of the major regulatory issues facing the industry, including the implementation of the FAST Act and proposed rulemakings on speed limiters.

    Centerline is happy to announce it will be returning as a Sapphire Sponsor for the second year in a row. Stop by our booth to meet and network with President Jill Quin, National Accounts Director Rod Crowell, and Director of Business Development Ruthanne Roper.

    For more information, including the schedule of events and registration, visit the WIT website
  • ATA Predicts a Promising Future for Trucking

    Oct 20, 2016
    10.21.16_ATAFutureAs 2016 comes to an end, economists will begin to look towards the future to map out what to expect in trucking. Last week, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) released its ATA American Trucking Trends 2016projecting a promising U.S. freight transportation forecast to 2027.

    There's no denying that 2016 has been tough on trucking; however, the ATA predicts this year will be an outlier compared to the growth the industry will see in the coming decade. According to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, the trucking industry will see growth due to sustained increases in the overall economy, particularly due to manufacturing, consumer spending, and international trade.

    The forecast projects a drop in the share of freight moved by trucks from 70.1% to 66.5%, but even with this drop, the estimated 27% growth of the amount of freight moved by trucks will allow trucks to retain its stronghold over rail, water, and other modes of transportation. 

    The ATA predicts that by 2027 trucking revenues will grow by 77.2%. If these predictions are right, the trucking industry will gross a total of $1.605 trillion by the end of the next decade. In order to hit this number, overall freight volume is predicted to climb 2% a year from 2017 to 2022 and then 1.6% a year from 2024 to 2027. 

    Though no one can accurately predict the future, the ATA's Freight Forecast has proven to be a valuable tool in the past, as it has been used by industry leaders and government policy makers. In a constantly transforming economy, one thing remains certain: so long as the economy continues to grow, trucks will continue to move a vast majority of America's goods. 

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