Service Center (888) 213-7483 Open 24/7

  • 3 Reasons Why Fleet Managers Shrug Off Data

    by Charlotte Freed | Aug 17, 2018
    Big Data in TruckingData is a hot topic across all industries: it’s necessary from operational and performance viewpoints and impacts decisions on all facets of business from sales to marketing. Constantly advancing technology allows fleet managers to access more data than ever, but knowing what to do with that data is what generates success.


    There are many issues that arise in relation to data analytics, such as lack of time to explore and understand the information, compliance, and knowing what to do with the statistics once gathered. Fleet managers aren’t alone when experiencing these struggles, as many are overwhelmed by the onslaught of information.

    Too Much Data

    It’s easy for fleet managers to forget about data, especially with the countless daily tasks they handle. While they know it is important, so are the other aspects of business that cannot be put off for the sake of digging into information.

    Not only are they considering the vehicle-provided data, but also information stemming from other channels like maintenance, fuel, and telematics.

    Compliance Challenges

    Observing regulations and ensuring compliance is a whole other obstacle that fleet managers face. With rules like the ELD mandate posing massive changes within many systems, delving into additional data tools can seem like a nice-to-have in comparison. The larger the fleet, the more attention needs to be paid toward ensuring proper alignment with rules and regulations to avoid fines, losing drivers, and managing their reputations.

    "Now What?"

    Even once the data is collected and aggregated, there is the whole next phase of interpreting, analyzing, and leveraging. Fleet managers may get to the point of gathering the information but find that next steps in using the data can be murky.

    Tech provides insights that can dramatically save costs and diminish inefficiencies. Understanding how to best garner that data, then applying tangible action items are crucial for fleets. Next week, explore how a fleet management partner can address all of these issues – and more.

  • Three Tips to Help Improve Driver Retention

    by Charlotte Freed | Aug 10, 2018

    8.10.18Stagnated wages paired with a rotating door of drivers has caused the trucking industry to reexamine the ways they compete for talent. Fleets are increasing pay rates to incentivize and retain drivers during an increasingly worrisome driver shortage, some pushing pay up by four cents a mile - in what NTI President Gordon Klemp called “aggressive moves.” While more money has proven to be the easiest way to capture driver interest, fleets are now looking at other ways to attract a shifting driver force.

    Pay rates are rising, slowly but surely, and that still doesn’t seem to be enough to fill the demand for drivers with fleets reporting that six to ten percent of their seats go unfilled. So what then, could be another approach in retaining the drivers when simply looking at the numbers isn’t enough? Consider the things important to you when looking for work. Pay, of course, but what about benefits, scheduling and hours, travel, and quality of life?

    It’s a Tough Gig

    You know drivers can be away from home for long periods of time, working irregular hours that can be taxing on the body. If they’re going to be doing this type of work, they’re going to find somewhere that pays them more to do it. While higher pay is the ultimate goal, acknowledging the importance of trucker’s jobs and that it takes skill will help drivers feel proud for the work they do – something we all understand as being a key part of our jobs.

    Look at the Numbers

    While drivers may earn a decent annual wage, weeks light on hours can be stressful, not to mention bad for the bills. Some fleets are taking a look at the inconsistent nature of the work and offering a minimum weekly pay to keep drivers when they might go somewhere else with more hours available at that time. With the peace of mind that comes with reliable pay, drivers are less likely to become unpredictable and more restful.

    Consider Comforts

    Feeling comfortable financially strongly influences the overall quality of life, but think about the small things that could prove to make drivers’ lives better. A flatbed trucking company in Tulsa found that providing premium in-cab satellite TV reduced driver turnover rate by 60 percent. Others see the success of hands-free mobile devices, allowing real-time connection with other drivers to keep them engaged, sharing the behind-the-wheel experience and reducing the feelings of isolation. Offering outlets and experiences that makes a big difference in drivers’ relationships with their work.
  • How Prepared are you for Tonnage's "Robust Growth?"

    by Charlotte Freed | Aug 03, 2018

    8.3.18Truck tonnage extends its long-lasting growth spurt rising 7.8 percent in June. The American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index shows an increase of nearly 8 percent in the first half of 2018. The growth rate of the first six months of 2017 was only 3.8 percent.

    While tonnage dipped 0.4 percent from May, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello shared that “This robust growth fits with what is likely to be a very strong GDP reading for the second quarter” and that he expects “growth in tonnage to moderate, but remain at very high levels in the months ahead.” He added that factory output is “shaping up to be the highest level of production since 2007, and 2019 should be the highest on record.”

    The Cass Freight Index Report tracks monthly levels of shipments through the volume of shipments and freight shipment expenditures. The report shares that June demand was “exceeding capacity in most modes of transportation by a significant margin” and that “the current level of volume and pricing growth is signaling that the U.S. economy is growing.” However, it adds “that level of growth may have reached its short-term expansion limit.”

    Trucking accounts for over 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of freight transportation and is widely used to gauge the current national economy. While tonnage soars, available CDL drivers continue to decline. From effects of the ELD mandate to retirement, fleets feel the strain of the driver shortage and more find themselves utilizing staffing partners to help mitigate stress and financial burden.

  • Staff Shoutout: Scott Anderson

    by Charlotte Freed | Jul 27, 2018

    Scott AndersonEarning a medal in the Circle of Excellence is an honor and achievement. Winning two times in a row is truly fantastic – and Scott Andersen is one who’s done it. Joining the team at the start of 2013, Scott has been an essential part of the interwoven connection that makes the California market work so well together. Using his previous ten years as a terminal manager, and having utilized Centerline, he brought experience to the company that complements the skills of the great people around him.

    Some of the skills and standards that have prompted Scott to soar in his position harken back to his first job at Carl’s Jr. He remembers studying a booklet on restaurant standards, with customer service standing out in particular. He says that he’s retained that information throughout the years and still uses those insights today.

    Scott knows that building relationships is the most important part of his work. Luckily, this comes easily for him. Quick to joke and a lively talker, Scott enjoys making new friends and being in a whirlwind of activity. He’s happy to go out of his way to ensure that the people he works with feel appreciated and that their needs are met, whether for the driver, customer, or internally.

    Scott hopes to change lives every day and shares that the most important aspect of his work is to help people. After celebrating five years with Centerline, Scott Andersen has enjoyed a big year full of growth, success, and of course, laughter.

  • Will Big Data Save Millions and Solve the Driver Shortage?

    by Charlotte Freed | Jul 20, 2018

    7.19.18Operational disorganization and inefficiencies aren’t new to the trucking industry. What is new is the technology that could cut hundreds of millions of dollars in these inefficiencies for trucking in the coming four years. Jeff Sass, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Navistar, shared this forecast at the 2018 Heavy Duty Trucking Exchange explaining big data pulled from truck usage could be leveraged to make better use of assets while slashing operational costs.

    Newer technology from SaaS (software-as-a-service) routing and scheduling systems, in-cab video devices, GPS insights, and mobile apps are helping fleets work smarter with better routing, improved load matches, enhanced safety, and the ability to problem-solve around logistical issues.

    Sass said that if the trucking industry “could get just 5 percent more efficiency out of our operations, it could possibly eliminate the driver shortage entirely.” This is music to the ears of fleet owners struggling to find and keep qualified drivers. While automation and electric trucks have had the most recent places in the disruptor spotlight, more fleets can utilize basic and accessible technology to obtain information. This information, or big data, could improve timing coordination, unload time, and overall organization – everyday challenges that cost companies millions and frustrate drivers. If you’re curious and interested in researching the hundreds of available software options, Capterra is a great place to start.

  • How will Brett Kavanaugh Influence Transportation Regulations?

    by Charlotte Freed | Jul 13, 2018

    7.13.18Washington DC Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court - and the whole nation is talking about the potential outcomes. Chosen by President Donald Trump, the 53-year-old former clerk for Justice Kennedy is a conservative pick. The pro-business, anti-regulation judge is expected to have an impact on a number of issues including net neutrality, environmental protection, gun rights, and voting rights.

    Kavanaugh is a staunch believer that regulators should be restrained. Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican leading the Senate Judiciary Committee said of Kavanaugh, “He has a reputation for keeping regulators under control and not allowing regulators to travel too far beyond the intent of Congress, if at all, and kind of putting limits on the administrative state.” He continues to side with deregulation and industry while making it known that he expects regulators to justify their decisions and rules. It is believed that he will likely give agencies leeway when removing regulations and that his methods may cause deeper skepticism of federal regulations, while potentially causing uncertainty as the legal landscape changes.

    It is too early to determine how Kavanaugh’s approach will effect the transportation industry exactly, and arguments continue around whether deregulation will be a pro or con for transportation. In 1970, the United States passed several laws removing economic regulations from the nation’s carriers including airlines, freight and motor carriers, and railroads. Regulations returned when a report from 1987 was released. The report outlines “the rising incidence of highway accidents involving rigs driven by individual owner-operators spurs calls for more-stringent safety standards, licensing requirements and mandatory drug testing for truck drivers.”

    Post deregulation, carriers experienced difficulties with stability – some going bankrupt and carriers losing aspects of their economic and political influence. However, surveys conducted in 1994 and 1997 suggest that the impact of further deregulation contributed beneficially toward transportation, allowing carriers more flexibility and impacting costs, services, and safety positively.

  • ELDs Slash Hours of Service Violations

    by Anna Mischke | Jul 06, 2018

    CL Customer News Image 070318The Electronic Logging Device mandate cut hours of service violations in half, according to data from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There have been roughly 300,000 inspections every month over the past year.

    Pre-Compliance
    From May to December 2017, fleets slowly adopted ELD technology. Hours of service violations averaged 1.28 percent throughout these months with a flurry of research around the new regulation.

    Early Adoption
    During the soft implementation of the mandate from December 2017 to April 2018, HOS violation rates dipped to 0.93 percent. At this time, there was widespread contention among the industry regarding the pros and cons of ELDs. Recently Coretex surveyed 303 U.S. trucking companies on the technology, with 47 percent of fleet operators responding they believe ELDs benefit the transportation industry. Thirty eight percent do not think ELDs will improve their CSA scores and 15 percent have yet to decide.

    Hard Enforcement
    The ELD mandate rolled out full enforcement April 2018. Since then, the average violation rate decreased to .67 percent, a 48 percent drop from pre-compliance time frame. Out of 559,940 inspections, only 4,720 resulted in hours of service violations.

    While hours of service violations are low, 69 percent of Coretex survey respondents said that ELDs did not improve driver satisfaction. Thirty three percent said that they find it more difficult to retain drivers due to the strict HOS compliance. Outside of HOS in relation to ELDs, fleets ranked real-time tracking, ease of use, and reporting capabilities as the most substantial areas of improvement.

  • Staff Shoutout: Melissa Springfield

    by Charlotte Freed | Jun 29, 2018

    Melissa SpringfieldConcocting a delicious, home-cooked meal takes time, effort, and a mind that doesn’t just read a recipe- but envisions the ultimate outcome. When Melissa Springfield isn't working as a Regional Recruiting Manager, she's cooking up feasts at home, from scratch.

    In an industry facing an enormous driver shortage, her job isn’t easy, but her dedication to the team and their goals propel her forward. Melissa first joined Centerline through an acquisition and was dubious of how a centralized service model would work. “Wow! Was I wrong,” says Melissa, “our model is the best I have seen!” She explains that being able to focus on a specialized role ensures that each person is at the top of their game in each niche, whether in recruiting, sales, service, compliance, or payroll. Unlike some branch-based businesses, Centerline can focus on a specialty and provide the expertise required.

    Melissa sees her role within Centerline as more than just a career, saying “These folks are truly family. We celebrate together, we laugh together, and we cry together. Because of that, we always have each other’s back…we are one and we unite.”

    Like a key ingredient, we know we can count on Melissa to be part of a recipe for success.

  • Will the Tax Reform Benefit Fleets?

    by Charlotte Freed | Jun 22, 2018
    6.22.18

    Will the Tax Reform Benefit Fleets?

    The new Tax Cuts and Job Acts is arguably the largest tax reform since the 1980s and was created to boost the nation’s economy as a whole while creating new jobs, lower tax bills, and simplify the tax filing process for millions. Middle earners are expected to see an average of a $930 tax cut, freelancers and independent contractors may see taxes cut by one-fifth, and lower income families will average an $817 refund increase. As a fleet owner, here’s what you should know about this reform and how it can increase your profitability.

    Hefty Deduction

    The new law implements a 20 percent deduction on net business profits of “pass-through entities” – or companies structured as S Corporations, Limited Liability Corporations, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships. Most owner-operators and many small and medium-sized carriers fall within these categories. Now, only 80 percent of business’ net income will be taxed beginning in the 2018 filing year.

    The Old is New

    Bonus depreciation, previously only applied to new trucks, is now extended to used trucks and trailers in addition to software and other business expenses. Until the end of 2022, carriers can deduct 100 percent of truck and trailer purchases up to $1 million each year. In 2023, the bonus depreciation deduction will begin decreasing 20 percent each year until 2026 and eliminated in 2027.

    Per Diem Shift

    The per diem deduction has been nixed for company drivers, which allowed drivers to deduct $50.40 for each day spent working away from home, or 83 percent of $63 per day. An option that fleets and drivers can explore to mitigate the shift is adjusting pay structures. For example, a driver may choose to decrease their base salary of 40 cents per mile to 30 cents per mile and add a 10 cent per diem rate. Those additional 10 cents would not be taxed under the new law. 

    Limited Interest

    Companies were previously allowed to deduct all interest expense incurred by business. Now, companies with revenues above $25 million may only deduct a certain percentage of their tax EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). From 2018 - 2021, the deductibility rate will be 30 percent of overall EBITDA. Starting in 2022, interest expenses will be limited to 30 percent of EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes).

  • Driver Pay Climbing and Staying, NTI Reports

    by Charlotte Freed | Jun 15, 2018

    6.15.18The National Transportation Institute has released data showing that per-mile driver pay surged in this year’s first quarter compared to the first quarter of last year. Mostly midsize to larger carriers pushed driver pay up by 7 to 11 cents per mile. Called “aggressive moves” by NTI President Gordon Klemp, who has tracked driver pay fluctuations for the past 25 years, he says the “staggering amount” of increases are historically strong gains.

    Klemp notes that 6.25 percent of fleets tracked gave pay boosts in the 7 to 11 cent range, 43.75 percent implemented 4 to 6 cent increases, and the remaining 50 percent upped pay by 1 to 3 cents per mile. As the driver shortage continues to worsen, industry-wide efforts are being put in to recruiting and retaining drivers. Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research believes that rather than a driver shortage, the industry faces a “retention shortage”. Noel Perry, chief economist at Truckstop.com says “The easiest way to get drivers is to pay them more.”

    Sign-on bonus rates for van drivers also saw large gains in the first quarter, averaging $7,000 over last year’s $1,500 in the first quarter. Reefer driver bonuses grew to an average of $3,000 and flatbed to $6,000. The American Trucking Associations chief economist, Bob Costello, said in March that “Not only are fleets paying drivers more on pay-rate basis, but drivers are working more because there’s more freight – so they’re actually getting a double benefit.” Klemp sees the increase cycle ending soon. Now over 80 percent of fleets the NTI studied have increased pay and the remaining 20 percent are expected to adjust soon with the next round of pay moves coming this autumn.  

  • ELDs May Illuminate HOS Discrepancies According to Head of FMCSA

    by Charlotte Freed | Jun 08, 2018

    shutterstock_708809872The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate may initiate a reassessment of hours of service rules, according to Ray Martinez, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Martinez stated that the new regulation may stoke the need for “providing flexibility in the current rules.” Only 1 percent of 300,000 drivers having been “cited for failing to have an ELD when they were required to have one” since the start of the mandate on April 1st and the seemingly successful adoption of the new rule may in turn effect existing restrictions.

    With all carriers and drivers now operating on a “level playing field” with the ELDs, Martinez explains that hours of service are less likely to be doctored and that engaging with stakeholders in the regulated community and safety advocates will help point to what changes may be made. He has expressed interest in receiving feedback from everyone in the industry “whether they are members of the associations or not”, adding that “there are really good suggestions that I’ve already heard over the last few weeks”. Hoping for constructive dialogue surrounding regulations, Martinez says that the FMCSA are still in the “aggressive listening stage” before making any specific decisions surrounding hours of service rules.

    For over two hours during a May hearing, Martinez spoke before the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, touching on hot issues such as sleep apnea testing, the medical examiner registry attempted hack, detention time, the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program, and the influence of ELDs on the future of hours of service rules. 

  • Staff Shoutout: Miguel Garcia

    by Anna Mischke | Jun 01, 2018

    Miguel Garcia

    Teamwork is:

    • Not being selfish: if you’re selfish how can you say that you’re part of a team?
    • Taking the initiative and doing the things that others might not want to do
    • Determining your strengths and weaknesses and of those around you: a strong understanding of these allows room for growth

    This is the definition of teamwork according to Miguel Garcia. Those who have the opportunity to work beside and around him can vouch that he not only understands the importance of teamwork, but embodies it fully as well.

    In addition to his role as a Service Specialist for Centerline, a husband, and a father – Miguel also coaches high school baseball. Within each of these realms, he pays close attention to how he can better the experiences for the people he interacts with. The most enjoyable aspect of his work is the ability to influence lives.

    Miguel’s aptitude using Excel, valuable experience in the trucking industry, and dedicated work ethic make him an ideal Centerline fit. He is quick to provide solutions to problems and would rather face any issues head on. For example, if he receives a difficult phone call he will take the time to find the root cause of the reason for the complaint or distress – then aims to work toward fixing the problem, whether by himself or working with others. He knows that it can be the small things in daily interactions that make the biggest difference when overcoming tricky situations. “Take ownership,” Miguel says, “even if it isn’t your territory.”

    Inspired by his parents’ diligence and hardworking lifestyle, Miguel lives by the principles they instilled in him. While he takes pride in his work and constantly puts forth one hundred percent, he also knows the importance of a work/life balance. Being present for his family, staying involved in coaching, and allowing himself the time to enjoy all aspects of baseball are all keys to being in the strongest mindset to provide his best at work.

    Centerline hit a home run by having Miguel as part of the team and looks forward to many more seasons with the all-star teammate.

  • 2019 Freight Predictions ‘murky’

    by Anna Mischke | May 25, 2018

    shutterstock_568945930

    The remainder of 2018 looks as if it will remain strong for trucking according to industry analysts. However, next year’s predictions are less clear. FTR chairman and CEO, Eric Starks, has spoken out about potential concerns for the coming year and that markets are feeling a degree of uncertainty surrounding economic conditions, particularly those relying heavily on political outcomes.

    Ambiguity around a potential trade war with China, revocation of participation in the Iran Deal, the rising federal deficit, and backing out of the North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA) are all points of concern for Starks. He told a group of fleet executives at the Heavy Duty trucking Exchange mid-May that President Trump pulling out of NAFTA “scares me to death, because NAFTA has a huge impact on your business.”

    While Starks expressed concern surrounding potential negative factors, he did outline trends that continue to lead the trucking market upward. He called out manufacturing as a growing attribute in that “business activity related to consumer goods is showing a healthy, growing trend”. Additionally, the “demand is very strong in the weekly spot market” while existing home and automobile sales continue to remain robust.

    Starks urges industry stakeholders to stay watchful and informed on a few specific topics over the next five years including additive manufacturing or 3D printing, electric vehicles, and blockchain and assured that autonomous vehicles will continue to gain prominence as new technology develops in the coming years. 

  • FMCSA: Fatal Truck Crashes Increase

    by Anna Mischke | May 18, 2018
    Customer News 051818

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) annual “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts” report cites 3,864 fatal crashes involving 4,213 large trucks in 2016, increased from 3,622 with 4,074 trucks the previous year. 4,213 lives were lost – 722 of which were occupants of the trucks.

    29,813 crashes in 2016 involving passenger vehicles caused 32,702 fatalities on top of 2.1 million non-fatal crashes resulting in more than 3 million injuries among 3.77 million passenger vehicles. 20.5 percent of passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal passenger crashes had blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 while 3 percent of commercial drivers had blood alcohol content between 0.01 and 0.08.

    Additional key takeaways from the report include:

    • 6 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were 25 years old or younger and 6 percent were 66 or older.
    • 23 percent of injury crashes occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    • 84 percent of fatal crashes and 88 percent of non-fatal crashes occurred on weekdays.
    • In 2015, there were 83,000 injury crashes involving trucks and 104,000 injury crashes involving large trucks in 2016.

    At Centerline, safety is paramount. We ensure all drivers have the right tools and information they need to be successful in their assignments. Drivers are equipped with extensive safety training to protect our drivers and the motoring public.

  • 5,500 Trucking Jobs Cut in April

    by Anna Mischke | May 14, 2018
    shutterstock_505372393

    For the first time in seven months, trucking employment declined in April. As the unemployment rate dropped below 4%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hourly earnings rose a minute 0.1%, following a downwardly-revised 0.2% gain in March.

    Payrolls at trucking firms fell by 5,500 on a seasonally adjusted basis during April; the first drop in the sector since August 2017. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) shows U.S. freight tonnage up 6.3% from the previous year in March, also due to the growth of online shopping. While freight market conditions stabilized after a drastic increase toward the end of last year, the industry continues to confront the continually swelling driver shortage. Alternatively, parcel-delivery companies and warehouse operators experienced strong gains with a combined 12,300 jobs in sectors experiencing growth from e-commerce. Hiring drivers for e-commerce fulfilment is less difficult in the driver-lacking market as short delivery runs have less stringent licensing requirements that long-haul or interstate services.

    However, qualified candidates with strong safety records continue to prove scarcer as the driver market shifts and demand increases. These constraints are causing many shippers to experience increased difficulty in delivering products on-time while experiencing higher shipping costs. In the past twelve months, Class 8 Truck orders have totaled 368,000 units and Class 5-7 orders were up 33% year over year at 24,800 units according to FTR Transportation Intelligence analysis. 

  • New CVSA Committee Focuses on Crash Data Improvement

    by Anna Mischke | May 04, 2018

    Customer News 050418A new committee stemming from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is working towards improving the currently deficient uniform crash data for truck-involved crashes while addressing crash accountability within the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.  The Crash Data and Investigative Standard Committee was introduced at the annual CVSA workshop in Portland, OR this April.

    The CSA program has highlighted the lack of crash test data and the unreliability of previously collected data. The new team aims to work with others to create a uniform reporting and investigative process to “basically establish a standard protocol and reporting system” for crashes and to “help everyone with better data – to do better investigations, and to be more consistent” in research and reporting.

    Director of CVSA crash standards and analysis, Scott Hernandez, shared that Thomas Fitzgerald, a CVSA member out of Massachusetts will be new committee chair and that the CVSA “needs to step up and take a lead on this issue.”

    Updates on the CVSA website outline the new committee’s goals:

    • Establish and maintain a uniform commercial motor vehicle/large vehicle crash reporting protocol.
    • Establish and maintain a uniform commercial motor vehicle/large vehicle crash investigation protocol.
    • Report authorized crash information/data in a uniform manner that allows for stakeholder analysis.
    • Establish and maintain uniform commercial motor vehicle/large vehicle crash training for stakeholders.
    • Work cooperatively with all stakeholders to reduce commercial motor vehicle crashes.
    • Establish accredited training curriculum.
  • Retailers See Consumer Demand Return

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 27, 2018

    shutterstock_500547007Figured released by the Commerce Department support the Federal Reserve’s view that consumer weakness from December to February was a transitory state. March retail sales in the U.S. increased by more than expected and was the first gain in four months.

    Gains occurred in auto, furniture and home stores, along with electronics and appliance sales, advancing 0.6 percent following a 0.1 percent drop in February. Eight of 23 major retail categories showed increases with particular growth in health and personal-care stores at 1.4 percent and 2 percent in auto sales. Apparel dropped 0.8 percent and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores fell 1.8 percent, the most since December.

    Factors including job-market strength, rising wages, tax refunds and cuts hold consumer optimism at somewhat high levels. Estimates for economic growth remain in check with analysts forecasting that gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, down 2.9 percent in the previous quarter.

  • Protect Your CSA Score

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 23, 2018

    shutterstock_1027781617After nearly a month since the ELD mandate went into full effect, it is important to understand what you can do to challenge an incorrect citation or inspection report so that erroneous data won’t affect your CSA score.

    On the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website, motor carriers and owner-operators can utilize the DataQs tool to request and track a review of Federal and State data issued by the FMCSA that they feel is incorrect or incomplete. The system then forwards the driver Request for Data Review (RDR) to the proper office while collecting and presenting responses and updates for ongoing Requests.

    Know Your Regulations

    Understanding the regulations is key before challenging a citation. Owning and referring to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s out-of-service (OOS) conditions guide will help you gauge whether you have been placed out of service wrongly or not. This list of every out-of-service condition is used by each inspector to determine whether a driver is put OOS. The guide can be purchased as a PDF or hard copy on the CVSA website under the “Store” tab.

    Show Evidence

    Providing supporting data is important when challenging reports or citations in DataQs. Citing the appropriate sections of the regulations from the OOS conditions guide can be useful if you can prove that your citation conflicts with the regulation. Ensure you always receive an actual copy of the actual driver vehicle examination report rather than simply a screen shot or an online summary which will not include any additional notes. You can request a copy through the DataQ website.

    Challenge in Court

    If a citation is challenged and dismissed in court, the state is required to remove it from your CSA score. The same goes for citations being reduced to lesser charges.  Tickets can be better than a warning – as a warning cannot be argued in court, hence enforcement officials writing less tickets. 

  • Transport Jobs Surge as Freight Market Booms

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 13, 2018

    Customer News 041318Payrolls grew at the fastest pace since 2015 in March as transportation and logistics companies added almost 10,000 jobs to keep pace with the flourishing shipping market. The Labor Department reported that the trucking sector alone added 6,700 workers in March rounding out the first quarter hires to 18,500: the strongest quarterly growth in trucking since 2012.

    High freight demand keeps trucking in heavy demand with the continuous growth of e-commerce retail sales and hard enforcement of the ELD mandate has led to fleets adding drivers at a faster rate.

    FTR transportation research firm analyst, Avery Vise, shared that “Transportation providers and warehousers are doing what they have to do just to meet the demand, they’re scrambling to fill positions that are needed just to keep the economy moving.”

    Adding to the pressure of rising fuel prices and the mounting driver shortage, fleets are raising pay to attract more drivers which causes cost increase for customers. Freight costs to ship have affected the bottom line for many manufacturers and advances the dilemma of raising consumer prices to cover the cost of shipping. According to Reuters, interview with ten executives from food, consumer goods, and commodities sectors revealed the harsh difficulty of protecting profit margins as costs nearly double the inflation rate.

  • Staff Shoutout: Constance Salters

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 06, 2018

    constance salters resizedIf you took a peek into Constance Salters’ schedule, it’s unlikely you’d find much free time. An Account Manager for Centerline for the past nine years, she embodies the words “leader”, “teacher”, “salesperson”, “supermom”, and “strong”. Constance continues to evolve in her role while building the relationships that mean the most to her at work: those with drivers and customers.

    Originally educated as a teacher, Constance found that her skills were more suited towards sales. After working in sales with a company that thrived during her employment, she decided it was time for something new. She secured a new position as a Recruiter where she quickly became a market manager and eventually joined Centerline when they acquired the previous company as part of the transition. During this transition, Constance moved into her place as an Account Manager – where she now trains new Account Managers as they join the team. She recognizes that this is a strong match for her because she finds such immense satisfaction in the connections she builds with clients, based on respect, dignity, and integrity.

    Although Constance decided to leave scholastic teaching behind, she practices her skills in educating the trucking and staffing industry. Using proven methods, she works with new Account Managers to grow their business and learn the process. She takes pride in seeing the success of trainees as they embark on their own and has found that the best way to learn is to listen intently.

    Constance has a rare skill of maintaining a positive attitude – even when faced with extremely difficult circumstances. Diagnosed with cancer, she powered through her sickness and believes that the experience made her more resilient.

    A member of the Women in Leadership Council within TrueBlue, Troop Leader to two Girl Scout troops, and homeroom mom – Constance is prized for her crucial role in many places, including Centerline – where her smile and encouraging outlook make a difference, daily.

12345678