• Place Your Order for Platooning Systems Now!

    Apr 20, 2017

    Platoon-4.20-2017Platooning technology is around the corner and Peloton Technology is taking pre-orders. Josh Switkes, Co-founder and CEO of Peloton Technology, elaborated on their strategy to create partnerships with a diverse group of investors like Omnitracs, UPS, Volvo, Intel, Nokia and more in order to bring platooning truck technology to market. This coupled with the recently announced $60 million investment from Omnitracs has Peloton projecting a two-truck driver-assisted platooning system release by the end of the year.  

    By tapping into a deep bench of experience in all areas of the industry, Peloton says it is creating an ecosystem that supports platoon technology’s introduction and adoption as a beneficial system for all stakeholders. Although at first fleets were skeptical, the attitude towards the technology is beginning to change especially with Omnitracs’ recent investment.   

    Peloton’s platooning system uses avoidance systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to allow trucks to travel closer together than usual in order to increase fuel economy. The company’s goal is to solve two challenges, accidents and fuel use. Omnitracs shares these aspirations and goals. 

    “The transportation industry is going through a massive change,” said Omnitracs CEO John Graham. “Macro-level trends like the Internet of Things, cognitive applications, faster delivery of goods, and new levels of customer service are at the core of our new partnership with Peloton. We want to expand the possibilities of truck automation on the nation’s highways and set new standards in integrated dispatch, tracking and routing as well as driver-facing applications to maximize and optimize the orchestration of both same-fleet and cross-fleet platooning.”

  • How to Train Drivers for ELDs

    Apr 05, 2017

    04.03.17_ELDTrainingThe December 2017 compliance deadline for ELDs is fast approaching. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to start equipping your trucks with ELDs, or prepping drivers to use them. If you equip trucks with the ELDs now, drivers will be able to become familiar with them before the deadline. Once you have the ELDs installed, training can begin. There are two options for training: develop your own program, or ask your ELD vendor to provide training. 

    Whichever program you decide to take, make sure all the necessary bases are covered. Here are tasks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stated drivers will need to know when using an ELD:

    • Log in
    • Respond to the unassigned driving hours the ELD records
    • Record duty status changes
    • Edit records
    • Add notes to records to explain any edits or additions
    • Certify records to indicate that they are complete and accurate
    • Access RODS data from the ELD
    • Review and understand the ELD printout/display information
    • Transfer ELD data by e-mail or Bluetooth to inspectors or law enforcement
    • Identify and correct or report data diagnostic issues
    • Report ELD malfunctions

    In addition to these training tasks, there are certain documents needed in vehicles as they relate to ELDs. These documents include:

    • ELD User’s Manual
    • Instruction sheet for transferring HOS records to safety officials
    • Instruction sheet on reporting ELD malfunctions and recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions
    • A supply of paper tracking forms (grid graphs) for at least eight days, in case of ELD malfunction

    Training will need to not only happen at the start of ELD compliance, but should be conducted at an ongoing bases as refreshers or “spot” training. The FMCSA has theabove information, and more checklists and timelines for carriers on their website. Now is the time to prepare yourself and your drivers to be successful at executing the use of ELDs.

     
  • What is the Status of NAFTA?

    Mar 31, 2017
    03.28.17_NAFTAThe Trump administration is continuing their efforts to renegotiate U.S. trade deals with other countries. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross laid out a strategy on March 21st for NAFTA renegotiation.  According to people familiar with the matter, Ross met with a group of House members as a requirement ahead issuing a 90-day notice that the administration plans to revise the agreement. Ross did not go into detail about what the U.S. will seek from Mexico and Canada. 

    President Trump and his administration are conducting this plan under the law that gives him fast-track authority on trade pacts. He must give 90 days’ notice that he intends to revise, he’s also required to lay out the administration’s goals, consult with the Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, and the two congressional committees with jurisdiction over trade. 

    On March 10th Ross warned the public that the administration would give a 90-day notice “in the next couple of weeks.” Mexico announced February 1st the start of its own consultations on NAFTA, which is one of the world’s largest trade zones. With just a six months’ notice, any of the three countries can withdraw from NAFTA. President Trump said he will pull out of the deal if the other two aren’t willing to renegotiate. Peter Navarro, the President’s top trade advisor, said one of the key goals of the talks is tightening the rules of origin to help U.S. manufacturers. 
     
  • Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation

    Mar 24, 2017

    03.23.17_RecruitMilinneals
    Millennials are categorized as a generation that is technologically driven, social media savvy, multitasking, diversity craved, and truly globalized. They are the individuals born between 1982 and 2000, who lived through shifting government periods and events. Despite this, they remain confident, and optimistic. In the workplace they value feedback, interaction, teamwork, and multitasking. 

    At the 2017 NTEA Work Truck Show there was a panelist of millennials who currently work in trucking, they were available for questions and tips. When asked the best way to recruit millennials, utilizing LinkedIn was suggested as well as internship programs which offer growth. Growth was mentioned to be an important factor for employee loyalty as well. Millennials want to know that there is opportunity for growth, they are also more likely to leave an employer when they have a fear of the unknown. Another obstacle in retaining millennials is personal circumstances that effect income. For instance finding a higher paying job to account for student loan debt, or relocating because a spouse received a more attractive job offer. 

    The issue of millennials asking prematurely for raises was also brought up as a reason retention was difficult. One millennial panelist suggested that if management doesn’t lay out the company’s compensation expectations, their generation believes that being aggressive and asking for a raise can’t hurt. It was said that retention can also be achieved by showing appreciation. Each person may view appreciation differently, but it’s important an effort is made to show it. 

    Networking and training can be addressed differently for millennials as well. It is important to encourage them to communicate one-on-one to be more personal. Other generations should try to be aware of how they communicate with this younger generation. It is important to realize the benefits of hiring a millennial, rather than closing the door when you realize their age. It is important for employers to be aware of future employees’ needs while recruiting. Building relationships across generations retains the employees of the future.

     

  • What’s President Trump’s plan to solve the Highway Funding Crisis?

    Mar 17, 2017
    03.17.17_InfrastructurePresident Trump announced last week that the plan for U.S. infrastructure should include funding from both public and private capital, and he reaffirmed his earlier pledge for a $1 trillion infrastructure act. The President still wants Congress to take the approach of incentivizing private companies to invest in infrastructure, offering discounted financing and tax breaks. Other options to increase money for infrastructure include raising fuel taxes, and increasing the number of tolls.

    A major concern surrounding infrastructure is the need to revive the Highway Trust Fund, which is exhausted. Currently the U.S. spends $15 billion more than the fund takes in each year. The Highway Trust Fund is financed by gas and diesel taxes, but Congress hasn’t raised the fuel tax since 1993. This has resulted in the current rate falling behind the spending need. In addition to a stagnant tax rate, fuel efficient vehicles have slowed the money that supports the Highway Trust Fund. The reason for this is because less fuel is being purchased by drivers of fuel efficient cars.

    Historically, the U.S. has leaned on public dollars for its highways. However, this isn’t the case in many nations, which include some European countries who have managed to maintain healthy highways and a good trucking industry. On the other hand, France, Italy, and Spain, to name a few, have relied heavily on tolls to support their highways. The precedent set by these other countries could provide a case study for how to privatize our infrastructure. 

    Although it is suggested to provide additional funds through privatization, Greg Cohen of the Highway Users Alliance says that wouldn’t be enough. He estimates that would make less than a 10% dent in the deficit. His suggestion is for Congress to use bills on tax reform to direct public money to highways. President Trump and Congress will have many options to consider for both private and public funding of infrastructure. 
     
  • Staff Shout Out – Leonard Holman

    Mar 10, 2017
    03.06.17_StaffShoutOutLeonardThis month we recognize Senior Service Specialist Leonard Holman for his dedication to Centerline’s drivers and customers. Leonard has been a Senior Service Specialist at Centerline for two years, working in the Northern California area. He loves putting drivers to work and finding the right fit for both the driver and the customer.

    Leonard’s work ethic includes staying true to what he does and being real about the details of the job. He strives to make sure no matter the person, they are set up for success from the beginning. In addition to that philosophy, he feels most people deserve a second chance and opportunity, and he hopes to sometimes be the person to give it to them. 

    When Leonard isn’t working hard for Centerline, he enjoys hanging out with his family. He is a big family man with a big family to match! He has four daughters and one son. As a family they enjoy playing sports, going to Monster Jam, and going to the beach. Those who have had the pleasure to know Leonard would describe him as an outgoing and fun guy with a sense of humor and team player attitude. 

    Leonard feels Centerline is embedded in success. He said some of his key influencers in life and at work are his team: Scott, James, Ronnie, Brad, Sheila, and Regina. He credits Sheila with giving him his opportunity with the company, and loves that he can turn to Regina for advice.

    The most rewarding part of his job is when the drivers get hired on full time. He loves receiving phone calls from drivers and clients thanking him for the opportunity. 

     “I love working with Leonard. He is very personable and makes you feel more like family than an employee and I appreciate that. He's great at his position.” –Centerline Driver

    We are so grateful for Leonard’s hard work and love getting comments like the one above. He is a valuable part of our team. 
     
  • Trump Asks for Regulation Team in Federal Agencies

    Mar 03, 2017
    03.02.17_TrumpRegulation President Trump is continuing on his path of regulatory reform by issuing an executive order directing all federal agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to develop a team to evaluate current regulations. The team is to target regulations that hurt job creation, impose unnecessary costs, or are simply outdated and ineffective. He has asked the teams to recommend whether the regulations need repeal, replacement, or modification. The teams are to be called Regulatory Reform Task Forces, and to be made up of senior agency officials and others.

    In addition to the teams, Trump ordered the federal agencies to appoint a Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO) within 60 days. This officer will head the Regulatory Reform Task Force and ensure that reform initiatives are taken. The RRO will also seek input on reform from state and local governments. 

    This executive order is the third pertaining to regulations since Trump took office. The first was a regulatory freeze, and the second was removing two regulations for every one new regulation enacted. The American Trucking Association has been in support of reviewing regulations. The upcoming FMCSA task force will have to produce their first report concerning regulations within 90 days.

    Image Source: CNBC.com
  • The Transportation Industry’s Leadership and Year in Review

    Feb 24, 2017
    02.22.17_USDOTStatusIn 2017 the trucking industry will be faced with many changes in regulation, trade, technology, and infrastructure. Many of the changes are originating from government leadership changes, starting with the new President, but also with the new Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, and the new administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Currently the FMCSA is being run by Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson, the Trump administration has not indicated when a new administrator will be nominated.

     Before looking ahead to the changes the new administration must face, it is important to note the accomplishments of last year’s administration. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released its Transportation Statistics Annual Report (TSAR) for 2016.  This pocket guide to transportation contains a comprehensive guide of numbers relevant to the transportation industry. Below are some highlights to consider: 

    Freight Movement
    • For domestic shipments by value, Alaska and North Dakota had the highest rates of exporting goods to other states than they imported. This could be because of the low population in the states and the role of oil as a major export. California, Connecticut and Illinois were among the other states exporting more than importing.
    • Besides Hawaii, Florida and Arizona had some of the highest rates of importing more than exporting freight. 
    • From 2000-2015 international trade increased from $2.4 trillion to $3.4 trillion (adjusted for inflation). Five of the top ten trading partners were in Asia. China is the leading trade partner, followed by Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany. 

    Safety

    • The number of traffic deaths has decreased over the last 50 years. In 1966 there were 5.5 deaths per hundred million miles of highway travel, in 2015 there were 1.12.
    • Truck parking is a major concern as current regulation requires a certain amount of rest after a maximum 11 hours driving. There are parking shortages along major corridors and metropolitan areas. More than 75% of drivers reported having difficulty finding safe and legal parking during rest periods. 

    Condition of Transportation System

    • In 2014 there were more than 200,000 trucks were registered than the previous year. 
    • Out of all the surface conditions of the nation’s interstates, 2.2% of rural interstates were in poor condition in 2014. For urban interstate conditions, 5.4% were in poor condition in 2014, a slight increase from 2013.
    • Bridge conditions are improving. Structurally deficient bridges have decreased from 15.2% in 2000 to 9.6% in 2015. Functionally obsolete bridges reduced from 15.5% in 2000 to 13.7% in 2015. 
     
  • 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!