Monthly Archives: November 2014

PLS Logistics Services Named to Top 25 Freight Brokerage Firms List

Company moved up two spots from their 2013 ranking from Transport Topics

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PA – November 20, 2014

PLS Logistics Services (“PLS”), a leading provider of 3rd party logistics solutions and freight brokerage services, was named to the Transport Topics Top 25 Freight Brokerage Firms list for 2014. Moving up two spots from the 2013 ranking, PLS continues to experience rapid double digit organic growth in a period of tight truck capacity.

“We’ve built strong partnerships with carriers and shippers alike and their belief in PLS has been a key reason for our market share growth.” says Greg Burns, PLS’ Chairman, President and CEO. “We’re excited about our recent office openings in the Tampa and Dallas markets and we look forward to additional expansion in 2015 and beyond.”

This marks the 8th year that PLS has made this list. “We are especially gratified to have achieved our results through organic growth and promotions of our internal talent which remains a critical differentiator for PLS,” added Burns.

About PLS

PLS Logistics Services is a leading provider of logistics management, brokerage and technology services for shippers across all industries. PLS handles millions of loads annually across all major freight modes: flatbed, van, LTL, rail and barge, air and ocean. The PLS carrier network consists of over 15,000 trucking companies along with Class-1 railroads and major barge companies. To learn more, visit www.plslogistics.com or call (724) 814-5100.

Thanksgiving Travel – Top 10 Most Congested Roads

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For the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, thousands of cars will be on the road as people throughout the US travel to be with friends and family. About 91% of Thanksgiving trips are made by car. What does that mean for carriers? Hours added to travel time.

Last year, congestion on the nation’s highways added over $9.2 billion in operation costs to the trucking industry. California led the nation with over $1.7 billion in costs.

The Weather Channel’s list of America’s top 10 most congested roads stem from these cities:

  1. I-95 Corridor (I-95 from NYC to Washington DC) – Some experts estimate that this 225-mile trek is the slowest stretch of highway nationwide during the holiday season.
  2. Boston (Westbound Massachusetts Turnpike from downtown Boston to I-84 in Sturbridge)
  3. Chicago (Borman Expressway I-80/I-94, the Tri-State Tollway)
  4. NYC (Throgs Neck Bridge and Whitestone Bridge)
  5. San Francisco (Eastbound I-80 to Sacramento and Tahoe)
  6. Atlanta (I-285 in both directions between I-75 and I-85)
  7. Washington DC (I-495 from Merrifield VA to Landover MD)
  8. Dallas (I-35)
  9. Detroit (Northbound US-23 and Northbound I-75 merge)
  10. Miami (The Palmetto Expressway near MIA)

What routes would you add to this list?  

 

Third Party Logistics Explained

 

So what is a 3PL anyway…and what can they do for me?  If you are new to logistics, you might ask this question multiple times a day.  Or if you are a shipper, this might guide you to selecting the right Third Party Logistics Services company.

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Logistic services encompass anything that involves management of the way resources are moved to the areas where they are required.  In business, 3PL has a broad meaning that can be applied to any service contract that involves storing or shipping things. A 3PL service may be a single service such as transportation or warehouse storage or it can be a system-wide bundle of services capable of managing multiple areas of your supply chain.  To put it simply, a 3PL is a company that works with shippers to manage their logistics operations.  This could include:

  • Transportation or freight management 

  • Freight bill auditing

  • Freight rate negotiation

  • Warehousing

  • Distribution management

  • And much more

Some 3PLS will specialize in certain industries – frozen food as an example.  While others might specialize in one of the specific areas of logistics mentioned above. With so many 3PL options, narrow your search and be strategic to find a partner that provides reliable, affordable service and is truly vested in your company. 

To learn more about how you can reduce your transportation costs via a flexible 3PL provider, contact PLS Logistics Services today for a FREE Transportation Cost Analysis.

Join the PLS Freight Broker Agent Program

freight-agent-programPLS Logistics Services is actively recruiting experienced Freight Brokers for the Freight Broker Agent Program.

Maximize your earnings and build your business with the PLS Freight Broker Agent Program.

  • Unlimited compensation
  • 20+ years of solid financial strength
  • Exceptional commission rates
  • Weekly direct-deposit, based on previous week’s invoices

 The foundation to build your business:

  • All available modes: flatbed, van, temperature-controlled vans, LTL, rail, barge and specialized equipment
  • Superior LTL pricing and service
  • Expansive nationwide carrier base
  • Accelerated payment programs for carriers – we pay our brokerage carriers in 28 days
  • Tier-1 Support 
  • Best-in-class transportation management system, PLS ProSM
  • Free access to third-party tools, such as Transcore 3sixty (DAT), TruckStop, PCMiler, MileMaker, fleetseek, getloaded, Rateindex and many more
  • Experienced and specialized accounting staff
  • Carrier Management and Claims Processing departments

Best of all, the PLS Freight Broker Agent Program provides you with all the tools, support and resources you need to build a profitable business – and the long-term partnership you’ve always wanted.

Contact our Freight Broker Agent Director at 724.741.6573.

Join the PLS Carrier Network Program

carrier-network-program

Stay busy moving freight, not doing paperwork.

Carriers need to focus on hauling freight and less time with back-office busy work. Join the PLS carrier network program to ensure you have a streamlined back-office with consolidated billing. Every minute you spend searching for loads is wasted revenue. Our simple technology and high shipping demand will keep your fleet focused on generating revenue.

Our demand for freight shipments has never been greater. With new offices opening throughout the country, we need high-quality carriers to meet the increase in demand. When your fleet is moving freight, your business is making money. Keeping your fleet busy and your lanes full is our commitment to you.

Make your life easier and your business more efficient with our simple and powerful online tools. Our intuitive technology was built specifically for our carrier network. Through one system, you can manage your entire operation and keep your fleet doing what they do best.

We have spent more than two decades streamlining our own operations to ensure that our carriers get the best treatment in the industry. We are commitment to consolidated, consistent, and fast payment.

To join the PLS Carrier Network Program:

  1. Contact a Carrier Management Specialist at 724.709.2345 or carriermanagement@plslogistics.com
  2. Complete the Carrier Profile
  3. Provide us with a W9, proof of insurance and Operating Authority
  4. Obtain your username and password

Contact Us

 

Transportation Management in the Post-PC World

transportation-management-post-pc-worldWith the popularity of mobile devices, consumer behavior has changed dramatically. Consumers have moved past the committed early adopters and entered the fast-followers phase with technology being the driving force. Smartphones and tablets are powerful tools that are selling fast and easily taking over the PC market.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are available in the ‘cloud.’ (According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is defined as internet-based computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow for centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources. Many automobiles produced these days are equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots. These types of improvements will continue. The post-PC world will involve more than just technology adoption. It is changing the way that many businesses think about culture, their organization and IT. Businesses will have to approach procurement, finance, training, legal, human resources, etc. in different ways with particular concern in risk and security.

What does this mean for the transportation and logistics industry? It means that logistics companies will have to update their systems so that they’re mobile-friendly to allow for faster access to load updates, data and reports, among many other things. With a smartphone and Wi-Fi-access, no longer will shippers and freight carriers have to be in the office to obtain information.

A few tasks typically reserved for accomplishing at an office computer can now be done quickly using a handheld smartphone or tablet. They include:

  • Many trucking and logistics companies are now using carrier dashboard smartphone apps equipped with live document scanning.
  • Easily scan and view invoices at the touch of a button
  • Internet Truckstop is developing mobile apps to integrate it’s transportation management system
  • Dispatchers are able to do weekly load searches and post their truck’s availability.
  • Dispute resolution can be satisfied much quicker than before.
  • Around-the-clock live support is easier on the customer service representative; they no longer have to be sitting at their office computer, but could be out to dinner on the weekend and still check shipment status.
  • Executives can check key performance metrics anytime, anyplace.

PLS Logistics Services Moves into Larger Office in Tampa Due to Growth

Rapid growth and expansion plans in the Tampa region spurs need for new office

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PA – November 4, 2014

PLS Logistics Services (“PLS”), a leading provider of 3rd party logistics solutions and freight brokerage services, moved into a new office space in Tampa on November 3, 2014 to accommodate their rapid growth in the region. The Tampa office opened on December 30, 2013, with nine employees and since then has grown to 60. The office plans to add 150 new jobs in the next 18 months.

tampa-08“We’re very pleased with the quality of talent we have found in Tampa,” says Bob Janeda, PLS’ Senior Vice President of Transportation. “We’re rapidly expanding our client base in the greater Tampa area, and we will be looking for more top-notch sales talent to support our growth in the region.”

The majority of the jobs created by PLS’ Tampa office will be entry level sales positions. These positions offer unlimited growth and earning potential, with many employees quickly advancing into sales management roles.

About PLS

PLS Logistics Services is a leading provider of logistics management, brokerage and technology services for shippers across all industries. PLS handles millions of loads annually across all major freight modes: flatbed, van, LTL, rail and barge, air and ocean. The PLS carrier network consists of over 15,000 trucking companies along with Class-1 railroads and major barge companies. To learn more, visit www.plslogistics.com or call (724) 814-5100.

Three Ways Carriers Can Recruit New Drivers

three-ways-carriers-can-recruit-new-driversThe transportation industry faces a unique problem in today’s economy: hiring new drivers. Most current truck drivers are approaching retirement, and few people are willing or able to replace them. This means that freight carriers must start getting creative and investing heavily in the ways they recruit new drivers. There are many ways to recruit, but there’s a common theme in all of them. Jeff Stoicheff, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Penske Logistics, sums it up well when he says, “It’s about respect; good pay and benefits; safe, reliable equipment; and home time.” A freight carrier must appeal to these driver needs to be a competitive recruiter.

Pay and Benefits

Increasing driver pay is one of the most important aspects of recruiting. A freight carrier has to provide a competitive level of pay, or no one will want to drive for them. Gordon Klemp, Founder and President of the National Transportation Institute, says driver pay would have to increase from $40,000 – $50,000 to $80,000 – $90,000 per year if the current issue were to be seriously resolved. Due to the unstable economy, this is very unlikely to happen.

Driver pay has been stagnant over the past couple of years. Klemp also stated that due to inflation, drivers have lost 3.8 cents per mile since 2007. Driver pay is a very important, if not the most important aspect of recruiting and carriers are now focusing on this issue.

Swift Transportation, Con-Way Truckload, and US Xpress are all making dedicated efforts to increase driver pay. Swift Transportation did not disclose the amount they will be increasing pay, but said that it will be a significant amount and further increases in the future are likely. US Xpress has increased their drivers’ pay by about 13% across the board.

Con-Way has also made significant changes, increasing pay by 42.5 cents per mile, adding a bonus program of 1.5 – 3 cents per mile, and increasing layover pay to $75 per day. These numbers are far from the increase that Klemp claims is necessary to attract new faces to the industry, but they are certainly a good start and make truck driving appeal to a wider crowd.

Driver Respect

An important aspect of recruiting is retention, especially with new drivers. Most recruiting efforts are wasted if drivers don’t want to stay on the job, so treating drivers with respect is crucial. This begins in the recruiting process. Recruiters have to be open and honest with potential drivers so that they know what they’re getting into ahead of time. This will significantly increase the likelihood that drivers will remain on the job.

The entire company, not just recruiters, must treat truck drivers with respect, especially during the first few months. Developing a personal relationship with new drivers, allowing open communication, and providing a method for them to make suggestions, vent frustrations, and ask questions, will make them feel appreciated. Terry Chappell, Safety and Recruiting Coordinator for Fikes Truck Line, goes out of his way to ensure these things are happening. He calls new drivers after their first week on the job to ensure everything went smoothly and answer any questions they might have. This type of one-on-one communication is exactly what drivers need to feel respected.

Trent Dye, with Paramount Freight Systems, a multiple Best Fleet to Drive For honoree, says his company created a buddy program. Experienced drivers were paid extra to stay in contact with new drivers for 60 days and answer any questions they might have. Not only does this help new drivers transition into their job, but it makes the older drivers feel their expertise is valuable and appreciated. Their buddy program has been a huge success and there is actually a waiting list for experienced drivers to become mentors.

There are many ways you can show drivers that they are appreciated, but it’s crucial that you do show them somehow. One of the best ways to recruit is through other drivers, and if your company is known to be a great place to work, you may not have to invest so much in recruiting.

Technology and Other Recruiting Tactics

Utilizing technology can be of great benefit to recruiting efforts. Social Media outlets are free and are a great way to reach out to future potential drivers. Many companies who hope to hire experienced drivers have trouble reaching them during normal business hours. There are several apps for drivers to view open positions. Also, new recruiting software has features such as automated employment screenings and applicant tracking systems. These can save time and money towards recruiting efforts.

Jeff Stoicheff of Penske Logistics says with so many technological outlets for recruiting, carriers must utilize them to reach out to drivers; however, simply bombarding every outlet is rarely effective. Carriers must see what works for them, and implement their own unique solutions.

Indiana-based Celadon-Group is taking driver recruitment very seriously and has put their own solution in place. They have created their own driver school, including a $7 million training center, which greatly benefits applicants and the company. The program allows potential drivers to earn their CDL in four weeks. The training is free, as is the CDL, housing, meals, and transportation during the program. The training center has a basketball court, racquetball court, and workout room to encourage a healthy lifestyle. On top of all this, the trainee has a guaranteed job after completing the program. The only requirement for driver trainees is to fulfill the contract to drive 120,000 miles with Celadon after completing the program.

It is these types of programs that will attract new drivers. There are many different ways a freight carrier can get creative to recruit drivers, as long as they do it. A freight carrier must find what methods work for them and invest heavily in those recruiting tactics.