Tucker Blog

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trouble Covering Loads? You're Not Alone. Four Simple Solutions.

According to the DAT® Freight Index – April 2014, “spot market freight volume continued to trend well above historic norms in April, up 51% from the same month in 2013.”  We sense demand for trucks is at an all-time high, rivaling or surpassing the nightmarish 2003-4. 

You can’t fight 2014 problems with 2013 approaches. This world doesn’t look anything like it did. Success in 2014 requires organizational strategic and tactical shifts within shippers. It requires assembling all stakeholders, including department heads, sales and customer service, and buyers as a start. A little education and small, meaningful and sustained strategic shifts add hours to the day, and days to the month. 

Tucker’s four (4) simple concepts to combat capacity issues are battle tested. They worked in 2003-4, last winter, and they’re working beautifully today for customers who are engaged. It can be the difference between lost orders and hitting goal; or between satisfied or angry customers.  Success is possible. We can help you be successful, but we need to be talking and planning now. 

Want to know the solutions? Contact our team to schedule a call or meeting.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tucker Races & Raises for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ("CHOP")

Most of our staff and family turned out on June 21 and 22, to join one of our customers at the TriRock Philadelphia Triathlon weekend. Between our two companies, we placed over 125 people on the course as volunteers and/or athlete participants. Additionally, another customer filled out an Olympic distance relay team. This is the 10th year of the event. Our two companies raised about $40,000 in total contributions, toward the weekend total of about $415,000. The money raised goes to CHOP’s pediatric cancer research, and may be enough to fund an important new project they wish to start. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shippers, Brokers, Forwarders Threatened By FMCSA Coersion Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) barged into every shipper’s door on May 13, 2014 and expanded its reach in an unprecedented way. 

FMCSA asked Congress for new powers in the MAP-21 legislation. FMCSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) shows just how much control FMCSA wants over shippers and brokers. (Hint: It’s a ton, and it’s scary!)  

As we previously reported, it is illegal and criminal to knowingly coerce a driver to break hours of service rules.  Coercion is defined as using force or threat of force to compel another to do something against his or her will.    Fair enough.  One can see the compliance and safety-related rationale for a rule like this.  However, the next bite FMCSA seeks to take is just impossible to swallow.

Under its proposed new rule, FMCSA feels brokers and shippers should be liable because they “should have known” that a delivery schedule  would break a driver’s hours  This not only shifts responsibility and liability in way that undermines safety and accountability, it also happens to be PRACTICALLY  not possible, in the real-world, for a broker or shipper  (or anyone other than the carrier itself) to know whether and how deliveries and driver schedules across a fleet can be managed to ensure compliance with HOS rules. It is untenable, unreasonable, and borderline, reprehensible, that FMCSA issues this NPRM.  Shippers of every size should write a letter, or comment online, by August 11, 2014, objecting to this nonsense.  See FMCSA CFR Parts 385, 386 and 390 [Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0377] RIN 2126-AB57 “Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers; Prohibition.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Need Capacity? No Problem. Seriously. Give Us A Call.

What makes Tucker different? We may be the only broker in America who doesn’t use owner operators directly. We only use small, mid and large sized fleets. Most of the big guys have made it their mission to be among the best assemblers and marketplaces for owner operators to bid on posted loads. Nothing against owner operators, but Tucker’s business plan provides for long term sustainability, relationship building and leveraging, and for providing waves of extremely reliable capacity. 

If you’re dealing with a broker, or looking to add brokers or carriers to your mix, you are probably harming your chances to add capacity with every phone call or RFP you make.  To that you might say, “But Tucker, that doesn’t make any sense.”   Let’s see …

Adding another broker (that isn’t Tucker) keeps you churning in owner operator pools. You might get some loads covered, but you’ll likely never see that driver. You might get a lot of loads dropped for better pay. That’s not capacity. It’s not sustained. It’s not necessarily safe.  Chances are the driver demanded a cash advance from the broker. It’s not a foundation. It’s a bandage, at best.  

In stark contrast, Tucker deals only with fleets --- small, medium and large. Our carriers are seeking long-term solutions to their imbalances, and work closely with our team to solve both your issues and theirs. They value Tucker, our reputation, and our customers. They bend, borrow and contort to ramp up capacity for us. When they’re primary on a lane, they’re like clockwork. When they sense they can move from backup to primary, they’re motivated.  

Consider making that call to Tucker today. You and your customers will be glad you did.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Six Simultaneous Product/Project Launches - 100% On-Time

We’re exceptionally proud of our team’s recent accomplishments. While many brokers and shippers have been struggling with capacity issues since the brutal winter months, Tucker’s been putting up record volume numbers, fulfilling huge surges in capacity demands. During the months of April and May, and into June, Tucker simultaneously coordinated six (6!) major product launches and/or project launches for multiple customers. Our activity doubled normal and expected volume, for weeks. We didn’t miss a beat.

One launch supported was the largest of its kind product launch, with multiple security and early/late delivery tripwires. Our team was 100% on-time in support of this project. Additionally, Tucker’s team moved 100% of the loads offered us, 100% on-time. Plus, we were 100% with emergencies, including covering those commitments our competition couldn’t fulfill.  The other five project launches consisted of hundreds more truckloads, with a variety of security, communication, collaboration needs, many of which required carefully coordinated sequential delivery.

We’re grateful to our customers for the opportunities, and for working hard to co-design systems to navigate the difficult trucking environment, making the “capacity crunch” a non-event.  We’re grateful to our carriers, for providing everything we needed, and for committing the right resources. As we’ve seen, leveraging those strong relationships, with strategic, careful  planning can create capacity under any and all market conditions.
Who needs capacity? We’ve got it. Let’s talk.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

America's #1 Soccer Mom Was First A Great Logistician

Team USA soccer goalie Tim Howard became world famous years ago, and achieved “rock star” status in America this summer, for his outstanding performance in the FIFA World Cup. So ardent are his fans that he was briefly shown as the current United States “Secretary of Defense” on Wikipedia!

Long before there was a Tim Howard, there was Esther Howard—Tim’s mom. Esther was a dedicated Tucker customer for many years, until her retirement a couple years back. We remember Esther as a delightful and wonderful person, a great communicator, great customer, and as someone who regularly balanced the needs of her customers, suppliers and her organization. She remained a student of the market and industry until her retirement.

It’s wonderful to see Esther now on television interviews. Her friends at Tucker have been behind Esther and her famous son, and his team all along. We wish both of them continued health, happiness and success.