Tucker Blog

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tucker Company Named One of America’s Leading 3PLs for 2016 by Global Trade Magazine

Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc., a customer-focused Third Party Logistics service provider (“3PL”), is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of America’s Leading 3PLs for 2016 by Global Trade Magazine.

“All of our Team at Tucker are so pleased to be named by Global Trade Magazine as one of “America’s Leading 3PLs” in 2016. Nothing is better than being recognized leading logistics innovator and problem solver. Our team thrives on helping customers run their businesses better through timely service, effective use of tools, data and collaboration that changes business behaviors in positive, meaningful ways," said CEO Jeff Tucker.

About Global Trade Magazine’s Report
Global Trade magazine's fourth annual America's Leading 3PLs report has named the top 105 third-party logistics companies for 2016, selected by the publication's editors based on the providers' abilities to serve the diverse and complicated needs of Global Trade's audience of U.S.-based manufacturers that export. Companies were selected to one of 10 needs-based categories—Global, North American, Technology, Innovative, Temperature-Controlled, Versatile, Specialty Services, Specialty Cargo, Greenest, and 15 To Watch.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tucker Company Named a Top 100 3PL for 2016

Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc., a customer-focused Third Party Logistics service provider (“3PL”), is pleased to announce that it has been named to Inbound Logistics’ Top 100 3PL Providers list for the 15th consecutive year.

Tucker Company Worldwide continues to provide the logistics, transportation, and supply chain solutions Inbound Logistics readers need to achieve the visibility and control that drives successful supply chains. Tucker Company Worldwide was selected as a 2016 Top 100 3PL Provider because it is flexible and responsive, anticipating customers’ evolving needs with innovative solutions empowering logistics and supply chain excellence.

“On behalf of our entire Tucker team, we thank Inbound Logistics’ readers and editors for this recognition. Inbound Logistics continues its tradition of exploring the nation’s supply chain firms, and identifying those innovators, who are solving customers’ complex transportation challenges. This kind of recognition means a lot to our team. We take great pride in collaborating with our customers and our carriers to solve both new, and nagging supply chain issues. “ said CEO Jeff Tucker.

About Inbound Logistics
Inbound Logistics the leading trade magazine targeted toward business logistics and supply chain managers. The magazine's editorial mission is to help companies of all sizes better manage corporate resources by speeding and reducing inventory and supporting infrastructure and better matching demand signals to supply lines. More information is available at www.inboundlogistics.com

About Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc.
Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc. is a family held, third generation firm with a proud 55-year legacy of leadership in three primary transportation arenas: bio- and life-sciences, specialized & over-dimensional freight, and food-grade temperature control. We pride ourselves in understanding our clients’ specific needs and providing solutions that deliver results. Tucker has a rich history of advocacy and professionalism, earning it widespread recognition and leadership roles throughout the industry.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

100% of Commercial Trucks to Contain Electronic Logging Devices by December 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires ELDs on all trucks by 12/18/17. Essentially, this means drivers will no longer have written log books, and errors contained on those logs will disappear. The ELDs, when calibrated properly, will demonstrate with certainty, how many hours a driver may drive.

This is a major development in capacity, and in freight security. The fines carriers receive from law enforcement for breaking hours of service are severe, and will likely continue to worsen. Likewise, shippers will undoubtedly see changes in carrier behaviors that might seem frustrating. For example, in heavy traffic, or delayed by weigh station, a driver may run out of hours just minutes from pickup or destination, and shut down (as they should anyway). With the new “Driver Coercion” laws in effect, pressuring the driver or carrier to proceed, in the name of service, timeliness or safety will land someone in jail!

It’s all part of a seismic shift in how we understand the freight transportation market, and how we manage our businesses. The new regulatory and supply/demand dynamics require new thinking, and savvy planning and communication among business partners. Some experts who study disparities between traditional logs and ELDs, have found as high as double-digit percentage errors between the two. Whether it’s a percent or two, or 10% or more, you should plan on capacity disappearing over the next 23 months, with the conversion from paper to ELD. How solid is your capacity? Talk to Tucker.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

CSA Absolute Measure Scores Coming Back!

In a confounding move, FMCSA headlines freight news this week. FMCSA is preparing to repost its “absolute measure” CSA scores, weeks after the FAST Act required FMCSA to remove from public view CSA’s alert symbol; each of the five relative BASIC scores; and the intervention threshold for each score. While it is not illegal for FMCSA to post these absolute scores, doing so represents an affront to the intent of Congress, in passing the FAST Act, and reintroduces the uncertainty about the use or non use of these scores in play. This harms safety, and isn’t in the public interest.

FMCSA defends its move, pointing to this paragraph in the FAST Act -- Sec. 5223 (c) CONTINUED PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF DATA.— “Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, inspection and violation information submitted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by commercial motor vehicle inspectors and qualified law enforcement officials, out-of-service rates, and absolute measures shall remain available to the public.”  FMCSA interprets “shall” as “must” regarding these scores. Our trade association representatives in Washington have spoken with relevant Congressional leaders this week, who disagree with FMCSA’s interpretation, but neither are they surprised.

CSA’s BASIC scores, their weighting and their methodology have proven to be unsound and in need of extensive review. It took years and an act of Congress for FMCSA to remove the scores from public view, so that shippers, brokers and the public don’t rely upon them to make commercial carrier selection decisions. By publicly posting absolute measures instead of relative measures, FMCSA is intentionally muddying the waters--again.

Congress’ intent in hiding CSA BASIC scores is clear—it’s to stop the public from relying upon CSA scores for commercial carrier selection purposes, and to send the BASICs back for increased study. The parties who introduced and pushed the FAST Act language did so for exactly this reason. Congress passed the law for this reason. It appears once again, the only fix to FMCSA’s continued muddying of the waters is to seek a Congressional mandate, by hitting Capital Hill again.

Tucker’s position is that FMCSA’s “absolute measures” are absolutely useless to the public, for any purpose. Meanwhile, FMCSA is busy at work on a new Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) which will apply an algorithm to all 7 BASICs (even the 2 the public can’t see), to determine “unfit” carriers. The fact that their algorithm isn’t final, and the public won’t ever be able to apply a final algorithm (because 2/7 of the scores are hidden), and accidents will not be predicted, is further evidence that the scores are useless. If FMCSA’s decisions and reactions to criticism weren’t so harmful to public safety, they could be the stuff of a sitcom. Stay tuned.

Freight Tonnage Rises; American Trucking Associations Sees 2016 Strong Growth; Slow Start

The January 4, 2016 Transport Topics cover story, by Rip Watson, reviewed ATA’s economic reports, showing November freight tonnage barely growing at 0.2%, and averaging only 1.2% over the past three months. Recent years have shown far stronger growth, consistently, which has put a continual strain on truck capacity.

Exceptions? Absolutely!  For niche and specialty carriers, like  temp control, high insurance requirements, teams, etc., the lull has been less. Recent storms ratcheted up capacity concerns very quickly again. The lesson for now is that capacity can tighten very quickly, with a trucking market very close to balanced.

ATA’s call is that inventories will begin to fall, strong consumer spending will continue (representing about 70% of GDP, and GDP growth is estimated to be 2.6-2.8%, higher than 2015. If it’s true, 2016 could be another challenging year.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Driver Shortage? It’s Worst at the Big Carriers

There’s a driver shortage, right? Maybe yes. Maybe no. It depends on who you ask.

The fact is, since early 2012, the number of for-hire drivers has increased by 409,286, representing a 21% increase, and bringing the total number of drivers to 2,354,547. This is a huge story that nobody’s talking or writing about.

Ask the largest carriers if there’s a driver shortage ─most will say “absolutely.”  And they’re right, from a certain limited point of view. The biggest carriers have a very hard time filling seats and keeping them filled. So yes, there’s a driver shortage if you’re a large carrier. No doubt.

Ask the largest shippers if there’s a driver shortage. Most will say “yes.”  And they’re right, too. The biggest shippers often deal with the biggest carriers, keeping a number of the nation’s largest 100 carriers on speed dial. So by definition, the biggest shippers, because they make heavy use of the biggest carriers, have a driver shortage.

So where are the 409,000+ new drivers? Since 2012, they’ve largely supercharged growth in the micro-, small and mid-sized fleets. For example, the number of micro-fleets (1-6 trucks) increased by 42%; the number of small fleets (7-9 trucks) increased by 29%; mid-size (20-100 trucks) increased by 22%. While during that time the number of larger fleets (101-500) grew 14% and the largest (501+) grew by 10%. Every fleet size grew since 2012, but the clear winners of the driver war are the smaller and mid-size fleets.

The takeaway: align yourself with smaller and mid-size fleets, and brokers who specialize in the thriving middle of the market. Establish strong partnerships and open lines of communication. Some words of caution regarding the big name brokers—they make prolific use of owner operators. You’ve got to ask yourself—is that the kind of capacity you need? Is that the kind of capacity a business can rely upon?

(Data source: FMCSA & QualifiedCarriers.com)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shipper of Preference – Be Attractive to Carriers and Drivers

In November 2015, the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), working in concert with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) published a long awaited “Voluntary Guide to Good Business Relations for Shippers, Receivers, Carriers and Drivers.” The document responds to the rising chorus of many of the nation’s largest shippers seeking to become “shippers of preference.”  A shipper of preference is one that attracts and inspires loyalty from carriers and drivers, even as capacity slowly and steadily tighten, leaving less attractive shippers without trusted partners on troubled lanes.

Shipper practices significantly impact the movement of cargo, the positioning of equipment, and ensure safe practices are followed.  The best practices impact these things in a positive manner, and also foster honesty, fairness and openness in business dealings with carriers and drivers. Good carrier and driver practices, in turn, promote fair business dealings, increase compliance with shipper protocols, provide safe services, and ensure drivers conduct themselves professionally and responsibly. The four page NITL-TCA document contains many excellent ideas to help shippers position themselves for success in an increasingly challenging environment. Please ask your Tucker sales representative for more information.