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  • How Positivity Paves the Way for Success

    by Charlotte Freed | May 30, 2019

    Alicia Rusk Centerline account ManagerIt’s hard to be positive 100 percent of the time. While it’s totally natural to lose a sunny disposition, the key is to focus on positivity when times get tough. Especially at work. Being negative can bring you and your coworkers down, and can heavily impact productivity. Alicia Rusk, Major Accounts Specialist with Centerline, understands how important positivity is to her team, and takes the time to prepare herself mentally for each day.

    Rusk is busy. In a typical day, she’ll bounce from a number of tasks including contracts, rates, assisting current clients, or helping other Centerline employees. She’s constantly multitasking, but she always finds time to share positive energy when talking to her peers. Even while she’s battling to get everything done in a timely manner, Rusk stays positive – a strength she’s developed through constant preparation.

    Rusk starts each day the same: stepping outside to take in some fresh air, followed by listening to a podcast with her children. Once she’s completed these tasks, she’s ready to dive into work. Rusk explains it’s not just about how you start your day, but how you take care of yourself throughout the day as well - “even if it’s just for 1 hour a day.” This 1 hour can help prevent burnouts, stress and feeling overwhelmed. By prioritizing self-care, Rusk has become a positive force on the Centerline team.

    Rusk’s positivity and preparation have helped her excel with Centerline and in the transportation industry. Centerline is lucky to have a positive leader to help motivate the team in times of need and celebrate in times of success.


  • How Your Competitors are Using Blockchain

    by Charlotte Freed | May 24, 2019

    BlockchainBlockchain is the type of technology that benefits shippers, carriers and end users; however, fleets and companies around the world are slow to adopt or invest in this new way of tracking. With the ability to reduce the costs and risk of fraud throughout the supply chain, while making processes faster, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest names in logistics are adopting the technology.

    While these companies become the trailblazers of the blockchain world, smaller fleets can take a step back and learn from their success and failures. Fleets utilizing the technology have already seen success in these areas:

    Improving Trust

    Blockchain allows for the creation of an electronic library of documents, eliminating the need for important documentation to change hands numerous times. This reduces the chance of tampering with or falsifying reports, improving trust between shippers, carriers and consumers.

    Facilitating Automated Payments

    Blockchain was originally developed as the accounting platform for Bitcoin – the virtual currency. The technology is used to verify transactions, which is accomplished in a decentralized manner rather than a third party, such as a bank or credit card company. This facilitates automated payments: think tolls, fuel purchases, etc. This speeds up purchases, allowing drivers to quickly return to their routes. This will also reduce the cost of tolls by eliminating the fees that tolling agencies pay on credit transactions.

    There are still a number of challenges to blockchain adoption, such as multiple languages and currencies, preventing widespread adoption. While these hurdles are being tackled, fleets can continue to learn from early adopters to create a comprehensive strategy is in place when the time is right.


  • The Real Impact of Increased Tariffs

    by Charlotte Freed | May 10, 2019

    Cargo ship importing goods during trade warsEconomic headlines regularly impact the trucking and freight industry. Recently, economic headlines involving tariffs have made the biggest impact. Often put in place to impact foreign economies, these “foreign national taxes” are placed in an attempt to encourage domestic manufacturers to increase production. However, these taxes often have a greater effect on the U.S. consumer and businesses who now pay a higher price for the goods they want or need. So how does this impact the trucking and freight industry?

    Trade Volume

    Trade volumes of certain goods typically drop due to high tariffs. As demand for goods are impeded, less trade flows through the country, impacting freight demand. However, when tariffs are first being placed, shippers can expect high demand as retailers look to front-load their inventory. As trade volumes settle after the initial rush to import goods, truckload rates will drop.

    Driver Staffing

    Tariffs will cause driver staffing to fluctuate much like demand and pricing. Companies need to be prepared for two scenarios: a tariff that drives domestic growth, and a tariff that decreases freight demand. In the first scenario, trucking companies can expect increased capacity, resulting in the need for more drivers. In the second scenario, companies should prepare for an initial increase in trade volume and an initial need for additional drivers. Then, companies will need to focus on optimizing routes with a core base of drivers as demand levels off.

    Keeping an eye on on-going trade wars and economic trends can be difficult and time consuming, yet it is necessary to ensure fleets are staffed appropriately, allowing for efficient and effective operations. Consider partnering with a driver recruiting team, like Centerline, to help you keep your operations running without a hitch, even when the economy is under fire.

  • Fixing our Nation’s Roads

    by Charlotte Freed | May 03, 2019

    Truck driving through automated tollAll drivers, commercial or not, will agree that the nation’s infrastructure is sub-par. Highway repairs, improvements and maintenance are in high demand and, unless addressed, will continue to effect the trucking industry. That’s why politicians are ready to work across the aisle to make necessary changes to the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

    While most feel infrastructure updates are needed, many are wondering where the nation will find the estimated $2 trillion needed to fix and maintain miles of highway. Infrastructure repairs and maintenance are currently funded through a fuel tax. Robert Poole, director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation, believes the fuel tax is outdated, especially with eco-friendly vehicles, strategies and policies on the rise. Poole notes that technology, like hydrogen-powered vehicles and platooning, will cause vehicles to use less fuel, decreasing the impact of the fuel tax each year.

    Poole points to other inefficiencies with the fuel tax. A major flaw is that the fuel tax charges the same rate for any kind of use. For example, a truck will be taxed the same whether it is making a delivery on a country road or making a delivery to an urban distribution center. This is because vehicles pay an average price through fuel taxes, not per mile. 

    To combat the shortcomings of the current tax, Poole’s latest research offered in The Case for Toll-Financed Interstate Replacement suggests tolling on interstates. This would require a change to a half-century old law that prohibits tolling on interstates. However, a major benefit to this change would be a statue that states taxes from highway tolls would only be able to be used for highway improvements. Suggested improvements include truck-only lanes and expanded service plazas. This would improve safety for both non-commercial and commercial drivers. 

    The changes suggested in Poole’s research would be gradual. Whether they are widely accepted or not, updates to the nation’s roads are needed to help the trucking industry continue to move America forward.


  • Focusing on Success with Joanne Vaifale

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 26, 2019

    Joanne VaifaleRecruiting in the transportation industry is hectic. Competition for quality drivers is fiercer than ever, and failure to stay focused and organized can cause a company to miss out on a fantastic hire. Luckily for Centerline, that isn’t the case. Joanne Vaifale, an 8 year veteran in the transportation industry, understands that focus is what will allow her to successfully juggle tasks to help both customers and drivers.

    Vaifale wears many hats at Centerline. From helping with recruiting for Centerline’s Mobile Driver Division to assisting with national and dedicated accounts, Vaifale does it all. It’s not uncommon to see her moving from a phone interview with a driver to training a fellow recruiter within the hour. Moving quickly from task to task requires Vaifale to battle distractions. The biggest challenge for her: completing a task she was working on prior to a phone call.

    To keep her on task, Joanne creates an ongoing checklist divided into two sections: tasks and detailed notes. An item isn’t crossed off the list until it is completed. If not completed that day, she moves it to the next day’s list. Vaifale explains, “It’s important to maintain focus because anyone in my role can fall behind.” She stresses the importance of prioritization and communication to stay on track.

    Vaifale understands that her attention to detail and ability to multitask is what has helped her grow in her 8 years with Centerline. She summed up the importance of focus with a final piece of advice: “If you’re focused and proactive, then you will be successful and trusted by your team, peers and leadership. This will allow you to take on more responsibilities.”

    Centerline applauds Vaifale’s effort and commitment to staying focused on putting our drivers and customers first.

  • Limiting Distracted Driving at 3 Levels

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 19, 2019

    Distracted DrivingDistractions are everywhere. Whether adjusting the radio or sending a text, taking one’s eyes off the road for a just a few seconds can have disastrous consequences. Distracted driving accounts for 10% of all driving fatalities, and while conversations are often centered on how drivers can limit distractions, it is important to remember safety is a company wide effort. 

    Companies can make an impact on distracted driving at various levels by teaching and empowering drivers to make better decisions along their routes.

    Level 1: The Individual

    Drivers need to have self-discipline when it comes to limiting distractions. Self-discipline is not created overnight, but can become a habit with the help of fleet managers and supervisors. Encourage drivers to map out their routes. Knowing when and where to stop for food or for mandated rests will help drivers resist the urge to use electronic devices to find stops along their routes.

    Level 2: The Organization

    Self-discipline and habits can take a long time to develop. To make changes quickly, organizations can implement rules and policies that, when broken, result in consequences for engaging in distracting behavior. Easy to implement rules include, keeping cell phones out of the cab.

    Level 3: Peers

    Once rules and policies are in place, organizations can foster a peer-to-peer police mentality. Organizations should encourage drivers to talk to their team members if they are breaking with company policy. One driver engaging in distracted driving puts every driver at risk.

    By teaching drivers the dangers of distracted driving, and putting policies in place to prevent distracted driving, fleets can help make an impact on one of the industry’s biggest concerns.

  • How to Reduce Driver Turnover without Increasing Pay

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 12, 2019

    employee turnover graphicIn the last year, driver wages have risen 11 percent compared to just 1 percent in many other industries. Even with increased pay, some fleets are battling turnover rates as high as 94 percent. Soon, fleets will not be the only ones feeling the effect of sitting trucks. As spot freight booms, the everyday consumer will continue to be impacted by idle trucks, and businesses will feel and see this impact in customer satisfaction ratings. This makes solving the driver shortage and driver turnover issue even more pressing.

    But why isn’t raising wages solving the problem? The answer is simple – every fleet is doing it. This eliminates opportunities for fleets to differentiate themselves amongst their competition. Instead of focusing on wages, fleets should focus on pay, loyalty, and technology.

    Pay

    Pay refers to receiving an actual pay check – and for drivers, receiving a pay check does not happen fast enough. Many shippers or carriers often cut physical checks, dragging out the payroll process. To ensure drivers are getting paid quickly, fleets need to modernize their payment systems to allow drivers to have immediate access to funds.

    If updating your current payment system is not an option, consider partnering with a driver staffing team that offers direct deposit or can take over payroll for your dedicated team members.

    Loyalty

    Loyalty cannot be bought with increased wages. Instead, increased wages encourage drivers to leave full-time work for the next higher paying job. To build loyalty, fleets must build trust by focusing on drivers’ work-life balance. While shipping demands are at an all-time high, and it may be easy to turn a profit by picking up additional loads, it is important to create set schedules and honor time off.

    If additional loads are a must, consider using temporary drivers to assist with the additional work.

    Technology

    Technology is becoming increasingly more present in the transportation industry. While some forms of technology are necessary, other forms are considered a “nice to have.” When implementing technology, consider how it will impact drivers. Make sure that the impact is explained to the drivers prior to implementation, and have a well thought out implementation strategy that includes driver training.

    Wages are not the only way to retain drivers. Instead, fleets need to focus on relationships – being up front with drivers and making sure their basic needs are met. This in turn will reduce driver turnover, giving fleets a distinct competitive advantage.
  • Yes, there is a Driver Shortage

    by Charlotte Freed | Apr 05, 2019

    Empty loading dockA 16-page research paper published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is drumming up controversy in the transportation industry. The paper analyzes truck driving like most blue-collar jobs, and American Transportation Association (ATA) Chief Economist Bob Costello believes this is a critical mistake.

    Kristen Monaco, an associate commissioner for the Office of Compensation and Working Conditions at the BLS with over 20 years of industry experience, and co-author of the report, found that the trucking labor market – like any other blue-collar market – responds to increasing labor demand over time. In other words, while trucking has experienced high and persistent turnover rates, there is no evidence of a secular shortage.

    Costello disagrees with the paper’s findings, explaining how the ATA consistently finds evidence of the shortage. Using demographic data of drivers provided by the Census Bureau, the ATA creates a “supply” trend forecast. This forecast is then compared to how much freight and how many trucks are needed to move that freight. Costello and the ATA’s claims are backed by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), which claims the driver shortage has remained an issue for year.

    The key take away from the BLS report is that while the driver shortage may not be a secular problem, it is a concern for fleets today. Whether recruiting younger drivers, or implementing practices to limit driver turnover, fleets need to take action against the shortage.


  • The Leading Ladies of Centerline's Service Center

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 29, 2019
    Jeanine Suarez and Regina Frank

    While leaders come in different shapes and size, all have one thing in common: they can rally their troops to achieve the unthinkable. To do this, leaders must be committed and hardworking, enabling them to earn the trust and respect of their teammates. At Centerline, Service Manager Jeanie Suarez and Regional Service Manager Regina Frank are two leaders who are inspiring women to lead in the transportation industry.

    Both Suarez and Frank entered transportation knowing that the industry was heavily dominated by men. However, it never mattered to either of them. Both Suarez and Frank believe that in transportation, as long as you’re able to do the job and rise above the challenges, you will succeed. Suarez further explains, “I believe everyone has something to prove in any career.”

    With over thirty years of combined experience in transportation, both women are happy to see women starting careers in the industry. Frank notes that women have made great strides in transportation, with more women drivers, terminal managers, and upper level managers. As leaders, both were willing to offer advice to those just starting their careers: don’t be intimidated, speak confidently and stay true to yourself. Frank further explained that she wishes more women would take up the challenge of working in the industry, as it’s “a challenging, fun and exciting world.” 

    Centerline is lucky to have a team full of talented individuals – individuals who are willing to go above and beyond for their customers and drivers. Regina and Jeanine are two of these individuals, and we’re lucky that they are inspiring the next generation of women transportation leaders at Centerline.

  • Creating a Family-First Environment to Retain Drivers

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 22, 2019

    Daughter happy to see tucker fatherThe issue of work-life balance continues to be the center of attention as more millennials enter the workforce. The transportation industry is no exception. Fleets are reporting that increasing home time is eliminating a main source of dissatisfaction among drivers.

    For fleets that specialize in over-the-road operations, increasing home time means increasing the number of night’s drivers are home. For fleets focusing in LTL and last-mile delivery, with less overnight routes, it is important to focus on other ways to build a family-first environment that will attract and retain quality drivers.

    Flexibility within Policies and Procedures

    Policies and procedures are what define a company’s culture. In a family-friendly workplace, policies and procedures need to be flexible and accommodating, allowing employees to take care of their families if an issue should arise.

    Do you have maternity or paternity benefits that go beyond what the law requires? Do you offer daycare arrangements? How about sick days or days off? Working with a recruitment partner like Centerline can help you ensure your operations are covered when full-time employees take advantage of these benefits.

    Benefits for Everyone

    Family issues, such as illness or even education, can cause stress for your employees. Consider providing access to family counseling or creating programs that support and promote education through scholarships or tuition assistance.

    Programs that help the entire family will help employees feel as though their job is a family affair. If your company already offers these programs, make sure your drivers are fully aware of their benefits – consider listing them in your job descriptions to help increase the number of qualified drivers applying to your open positions.

    Celebrate Families

    Does your company celebrate Driver Appreciation Week in September? Do you throw an annual holiday party or have a summer barbeque? Consider making these events family friendly. This will increase the number of employees who attend the event, as they won’t feel pressured to choose work over family.

    Creating a family friendly workplace demonstrates a sense of caring to employees. While increased home time is important, driving does not always allow it. Changes to policies and procedures can send the same message, and can help attract and retain highly qualified drivers.

  • Don’t Compromise Qualifications for Drivers

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 15, 2019

    Benefits for driversWith freight booming and drivers becoming harder to find, many companies are willing to hire anyone with a CDL to fill open positions. This strategy may put people in the driver’s seat, but may also be generating high turnover which effects your operation and bottom line.

    While it may be difficult to consider waiting to hire the right driver, hiring strategically can help you find a driver who is not only qualified to do the job, but fits into your company’s culture. A driver who is the right fit based on your company’s culture and values will be less willing to quit when they learn of a better sign-on bonus later that month.

    To help attract and hire the right driver, be specific in your job requirements. Note any endorsements a driver may need and have those conversations up front with the driver after an application is submitted. After a driver is hired, it’s important to make sure they are the right fit for your company. This is hard to determine during the recruitment process. Instead, think long and hard about your onboarding process. Is it just a day? Or is it a week on the road with a veteran driver? A longer onboarding process may take longer to get a new hire operational, but may help you and the driver determine if the job is truly a good fit.

    Making these changes can take time. One solution is to use a recruiting partner like Centerline. A recruiting partner has the resources and technology to find qualified drivers faster. When working with a recruiting partner, or with a fleet management provider, provide the following information to help find the most qualified drivers:

    • An overview of your company’s values
    • A detailed job description, including any endorsements a driver may need
    • An explanation of what the onboarding process looks like
    • A description of who your ideal driver is, including prior experience

    Taking a more strategic approach to hiring drivers may take longer, but finding qualified drivers based on your company’s specific needs will help reduce turnover rates, resulting in more efficient operations.

  • ETAs and Driver Expectations

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 08, 2019

    on-time deliveriesIn trucking, customer service is often measured by on-time and late deliveries. In fact, 42% of private fleets use delivery accuracy as their main metric. As on-time deliveries become more and more important, drivers are feeling pressured to complete their routes with as little disruption as possible. This pressure can cause turnover within a fleet.

    Below we’ve outlined tips to help alleviate pressure and help prevent driver turnover.

    Guaranteed Windows

    Today, customers not only expect a delivery date, but a delivery time as well. Providing a guaranteed delivery window meets the request of the customer while providing leeway for the driver. This window should help account for delays at previous stops, putting less stress on the driver.

    Load Size

    E-commerce and same-day deliveries are on the rise, and carriers are feeling the pressure to fill trailers to the brim. Use data on traffic and route information, such as day of the week and time. This information will help you determine if a driver can make 50 deliveries or 10 deliveries on a route. Drivers will appreciate a reasonable load.

    Technology

    Today, technology allows dispatchers and drivers to work together to optimize routes. Dispatchers can watch maps alerting drivers of delays ahead, and drivers can report back in with real time information. Investing in this technology not only helps fleets plan routes, but makes drivers feel empowered.

    A fleet plays an important part in determining the customer service of a company. Drivers are the face of fleet. By keeping drivers needs in mind, fleets can reduce driver turnover and minimize disruptions to their operations.

  • Staff Shoutout: Success in the “Show Me State”

    by Charlotte Freed | Mar 01, 2019

    Centerline St. LouisWelcome to the “Show Me State,” home to one of Centerline’s newest locations. In St. Louis, Recruiting Manager Breanna Metzger and Account Manager Laura Nienhaus are making a name for themselves, taking Centerline from underdog to superstars.

    Breanna and Laura have been battling their lack of reputation since day 1 – they are the unknown. They both agree that their lack of reputation has been the most challenging part of their business. Whether it’s getting an opportunity to present Centerline’s offerings to a new company or recruit top talent, they’re battling established competitors, having to build exceptional relationships based on trust from the ground up.

    While being the underdog has been challenging, the team agrees it has also been the most rewarding part of working for Centerline. The team truly believes in the Centerline values, and have appreciated building their brand. And they’re building this brand together. “We include each other in every part of our process. We feel the client and drivers know they have our full commitment,” explains Laura. To build strong partnerships, the team focuses on actions, not just words. Open communication and a hands on approach have helped build trust. This trust has built and will continue to build success.

    When companies in the area ask our St. Louis team to show them why Centerline is the best in the business, we’re proud to have Breanna and Laura on our team. 

  • Two Ways ELD Data Can Improve Efficiency

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 25, 2019

    Trucks driving down highwayFor the past year, article after article has featured the infamous ELDs and their impacts. Few articles have explained how ELD data can help fleets make operational changes to improve efficiency. ELDs provide important information, ranging from potential HOS violations to route problems. Here are two ways your fleet can use ELD data to improve your operations.

    Pinpoint Route Problems

    Inefficient routes can cause delays, resulting in late deliveries and poor customer service. ELDs offer GPS tracking, giving carriers better insight on where drivers are located, and why that location is effecting their shipments. By instructing drivers to annotate their routes on their ELDs, managers can learn which routes have more traffic than others, or which routes are being impacted by weather, road closures and construction. Having this insight can help with route planning, allowing carriers to improve their route efficiency and ensure timely deliveries.

    Staff Drivers Appropriately

    One of the main benefits of ELDs is their ability to collect HOS information. This helps fleet managers ensure drivers aren’t driving more, or less, than they should be. To help increase productivity and profitability, fleets can keep trucks moving by rotating through drivers who are other being underutilized. Fleets can also learn when and where they may need more drivers. By sharing this information with a driving staffing partner, fleets can improve their recruiting processes.

    ELDs are here to stay, and as fleets and drivers begin to embrace them, the benefits will become more apparent. For help implementing and navigating ELD information, rely on industry partners like Centerline. Sharing information is the best way to create a customized staffing plan for your fleet.

  • How is E-Commerce Impacting the Driver Shortage?

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 15, 2019

    e-commerce impacting driver shortageSince its inception, e-commerce has impacted trucking. E-commerce has caused businesses to adjust operations to cater to the demand of faster deliveries and shorter hauls, and now, studies are showing that it’s impacting the driver shortage as well. The question truckload carriers should be asking is: Is this the impact the industry needs?

    The Immediate Impact

    One of the challenges the trucking industry faces is quality of life for drivers. The truckload sector features an average haul of 500 miles a trip, and while this number has fallen substantially since 2000, it still does not compare to the shorter hauls a delivery driver makes on a day-to-day basis. A major concern is that this benefit could lure drivers away from truckload carriers, further exacerbating turnover rates.

    Long Term Benefits

    Is this a training opportunity? Laws prohibit drivers under the age of 21 from participating in interstate operations, meaning truckload positions aren’t an option. Young truckers could use local hauls from e-commerce as training opportunities, allowing them to gain the necessary driving experience needed for longer hauls in the truckload sector. Companies that remain flexible and add services for the final mile can benefit from developing a home-grown population of younger drivers.

    As the last mile segment of the industry continues to grow, companies will need to keep an eye on how it effects the growing driver shortage – for better or worse. 

  • 2 Ways Your Company Make a Positive Impact on the Driver Shortage

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 08, 2019

    Truck driver with hands on the wheelTwo conversations that are always top of mind in the transportation industry are the driver shortage and the perception of the driving profession. It’s not surprising that these two issues go hand in hand. For years, driving has been a thankless profession, and now companies are feeling the impact as they struggle to find drivers to move their products.

    Businesses can help improve the perception of the industry, and attract more qualified individuals to the driving profession in two ways:

    Follow the Rules

    Organizations like the FMCSA have created regulations such as HOS Rules and the ELD Mandate. While these regulations are controversial, they were created to help improve the safety of the nation’s highways. While on-time deliveries are an important measure of customer service, they should not trump the safety of drivers. Businesses should never encourage their drivers to break HOS rules, and should instead make safety the priority to help create an image of safe and responsible drivers.

    Respect your Drivers

    The economy is booming and e-commerce is on the rise. As demand continues to rise, so will contracted and spot shipping rates. While extra profit is a benefit most shippers can enjoy, it is important not to forget the drivers. Consider raising driver wages, creating new incentives or improving equipment to show drivers they are appreciated.

    As a career coach for drivers, Centerline is committed to partnering with companies that advocate and improve the image of America’s professional drivers.

  • Centerline welcomes new Safety Operations Manager

    by Charlotte Freed | Feb 01, 2019

    Jim LedbetterEarlier this month, Centerline welcomed Jim Ledbetter to the team. As Centerline’s Safety Operations Manager, Jim will be responsible for establishing a “safety first” mentality. To establish this culture, Jim intends to be a very vocal quarterback.

    With over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, Jim understands that safety is the key to success. According to Jim, running a safe operation not only eliminates risk, but “allows customer service and operational costs to be successful as well.” To create a safety first mentality, safety has to be a face to face interaction starting from the very beginning of the recruitment process. One of Jim’s goals at Centerline is to help streamline safety processes, and help the Centerline team recruit, identify and retain the safest drivers.

    As the driving pool continues to shrink, it becomes increasingly important to minimize the turnover of safe drivers. That is why Jim stresses the importance of taking safety seriously: “Don’t be an ‘armchair quarterback.’ Get up, walk the yard, do a ride along. Understand the struggles your drivers are going through on a daily basis.” Understanding safety is the key to communicating with drivers. If you can talk it and live it, you’ll have the ear of the driver. Establishing a safe culture is more than sending an email or posting a bulletin. Jim explains, “Drivers don’t have time to read bulletins – you need to be available and reiterate the message of safety over and over and over again.”

    The safety of the driving public is a reasonability Centerline takes very seriously. We ensure that all drivers are properly qualified under DOT regulations and meet our stringent eligibility requirements. Our drivers undergo continuous driver training, evaluation and mentoring.

  • Collaboration: Solving the Final-Mile Delivery Dilemma

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 25, 2019

    Last-Mile DeliveryEveryday new technology is being created to disrupt and replace tired practices and processes. The transportation and freight industry is no exception. There is one key difference between this industry and others: government. Local routes, especially urban deliveries, are heavily impacted by road restrictions, speed limits and parking restrictions.

    Final-mile delivery continues to grow with the rise of e-commerce, but without collaboration from the public sector, existing delivery processes will be hard to challenge. Transport Topics identified a number of inefficiencies that will need to be addressed by local governments to help streamline processes:

    1. Urban Kiosks: Fixtures like Amazon lockers are already becoming the norm in some cities, providing a central delivery location for e-commerce orders. To help minimize traffic disruption, local planners will need to determine the best location for these hubs.
    2. Urban Warehouses: Companies are already competing for warehouses closer to urban centers to help ensure faster deliveries. Local governments will be critical partners in helping regulate the location of these warehouses, ensuring the transfer of goods to last-mile vehicles is as smooth as possible.

    Technology is continually being developed to help disrupt and replace old, frustrating processes; however, equally as frustrating is having government hold up changes behind closed doors or in years of study groups. Technology is fast, yet government often ties the hand of industry disruptors. Moving forward, final-mile delivery is likely to see drones, self-driving trucks and more. Working with local governments to create rules or establish infrastructure will be critical in allowing new delivery models to flourish.

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Last-Mile Delivery

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 18, 2019

    last-mile deliveryTime-sensitive delivery options are changing consumer expectations. Today, the demand for free or 1-day shipping is the expectation and the norm. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart have discovered that speed is one of the keys to consumer satisfaction – but cities and logistics are now struggling with how to keep up with demand.

    The demand for last-mile delivery is causing changes in the freight world in the best and worst of ways.  

    The Good

    With more and more consumers choosing to shop online, the demand for 2-day or same-day delivery has increased. In November, Cyber Monday sales eclipsed $7 billion – a 20 percent increase from 2017. This number screams consumer confidence, and has opened the door for smaller fleets to participate in the delivery boom as household names like FedEx and UPS struggle to keep up with demand. As consumers continue to turn to online shopping for their everyday needs, the opportunity for fleets will continue to increase.

    The Bad

    As opportunity increases, companies are entering a heated battle for strategically located warehouses. Reports indicated that for every $1 billion in e-commerce sales, a company will need about 1.25 million square feet for warehousing. This has caused companies to increasingly turn to “urban warehouses” or “micro fulfillment centers” often located in the heart of congested urban areas. To complete deliveries, companies are often turning to smaller vehicles like vans, even bicycles at times. With more traffic on the road, urban planners are feeling the pressure to alleviate congestion.

    The Ugly

    Congestion not only frustrates truck drivers, but it costs trucking companies. In recent years, congestion costs in urban areas have skyrocketed, with the Texas Department of Transportation’s Freight and Intermodal Trade Section reporting a $5 billion increase in just three years. This increase is heavily correlated to the increase in residential deliveries. All across the country cities are unveiling strategic freight plans that address issues such as delivery hours and parking. Until these problems are solved, costs are expected to rise.

    To combat major issues associated with the explosion of last-mile delivery, companies are turning to driver management services and recruiting services, like Centerline Drivers, to help manage seasonal highs and lows, unexpected turnover and more, ensuring delivery services go uninterrupted.

  • Infrastructure and Trade, 2019’s Big Ticket Topics

    by Charlotte Freed | Jan 11, 2019

    Infrastructure and Trade in 2019Economic growth is slowing, but by no means lagging. Industry experts anticipate infrastructure to be a priority for Congress and President Donald Trump. Also tied to the administration rests the status of global trade, weighing on trade deals between the United States, Canada, and Mexico and with China and the European Union.

    American Trucking Associations’ Chief Economist, Bob Costello, says “we have hit the peak in the current freight cycle, the economy is still growing”- albeit at a slower pace than the previous year. Costello projects a 2.5 percent increase in U.S. domestic product for the coming year, but expects freight activity in the first quarter to waver due to shipping patterns shifting due to threats of tariffs on Chinese goods. While Trump and Chinese President Xi JinPing came to an agreement at the G-20 summit to halt additional tariffs for 90 days, imports had already begun to course in while exports shrank, launching the U.S. trade deficit to a record $43.1 billion.

    The Associated General Contractors of America in Washington Chief Economist, Ken Simonson, anticipates another year of growth for construction due to the increase of personal income and low levels of unemployment. However, those same low levels of unemployment could strain construction projects lacking labor force. Trade policy instability also effect construction, with businesses dependent on import and export materials feeling the inflation.

    While a number of economists are optimistic of manufacturing due to the current strength of consumer confidence, others are wary of the economic expansion - some even nodding to the next recession. Technology joins manufacturing in its growth and impact, with new options boosting productivity and pushing efficiency. With the rise of connected and driverless cars, hydrogen-fueled trucks, and a hike in Class 8 trucks, truck equipment investment is slated to grow for the next four quarters.

    All of that in mind, the lack of drivers only becomes more apparent. Rising prices caused by longer cargo waiting times may prompt emergency intermodal fees or stop door delivery, in addition to higher cost to the end consumer. Technology may help alleviate the shortage, but many carriers are turning to trusted temporary driver staffing services, such as Centerline Drivers, for their truck driver hiring needs. Without additional recruiting expertise to help bolster waning fleets, business owners are feeling the squeeze as drivers continue to retire, without a new generation to fill their seats.
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