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DriverCheck Fitness for Duty Recap 2021

In this episode Bruce recaps the Fitness for Duty Summit 2021 virtual conference held by DriverCheck a couple weeks ago. Health and safety in the workplace are changing all the time and there are many questions in a variety of issues including mental health. Learn why this summit was important and who the speakers were. DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

Traffix Transportation is looking for owner operators to join their team operating in specific lanes between Toronto and Chicago or North Carolina. If you are looking for steady miles hauling dry and refrigerated freight then contact Chuck Snow at Traffix at 416-271-3946 or visit them online at www.Traffix.com

This episode is sponsored by Bison Transport with many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

About the Show

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST- The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

 

 

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Logicbroker completes $135 million raise to enhance its drop ship technology

Cloud-based e-commerce platform Logicbroker on Tuesday secured a massive $135 million funding raise led by K1 Investment Management. The Connecticut-based company plans to expand its full-function drop ship and marketplace services, which it offers to suppliers, retailers, brands and 3PLs alike.

Logistics is no longer just an expense for businesses — it’s a revenue driver. Whereas in the past companies viewed logistics simply as a tool for moving and delivering goods, they now see logistical innovations as a growth strategy that can help them handle the steadily increasing volume of packages flowing through the market.

One of those innovations is drop shipping. One of the many logistical headaches a company faces is the number of touchpoints a package must go through before it reaches the customer: It has to be shipped from the supplier (often across multiple modes), offloaded at the warehouse, stored and sent back out to the end consumer.

Drop shipping eliminates those touchpoints by cutting the retailer out of the fulfillment process entirely. The retailer never sees or touches the product — instead, it purchases the item from a supplier and has it shipped directly to the customer, reducing the burden placed on the retailer’s supply chain.

Logicbroker makes its payday off of automating that process for businesses. The company is growing its revenue by 80% year over year and manages $5 billion worth of gross annual merchandise for over 4,000 brands, including Mars Wrigley, Samsung and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), across five global regions. Logicbroker’s platform connects those companies to retailers such as Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) and Kroger (NYSE: KR).

Last year, the company closed with $2 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), and it is currently on pace to end 2021 with nearly $6 billion in GMV.

“Partnering with K1, a team that shares our passion for modernizing digital commerce, allows Logicbroker to scale globally,” said Logicbroker CEO Peyman Zamani. “With K1, we will continue to deliver the latest technology and solutions to our customers and help them succeed wherever they choose to sell and however they choose to ship.”


Read: ShipHero acquires Florida-based Cargo Cove Fulfillment

Read: Flytrex will make chicken wings fly in North Carolina


Jennifer Raber, director of retail digital business enablement at Walgreens, explained her company’s decision to switch to Logicbroker: “Walgreens moved to Logicbroker due to its modern technology, ability to support enterprise compliance requirements, and the fact that our suppliers would not have to incur any costs to participate in the Walgreens drop ship program.”

The popularity of drop shipping continues to grow rapidly. Valued at just over $160 billion in 2019, the global market for drop shipping is projected to reach nearly $600 billion by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of over 18%. And in a 2019 survey of over 180 retail and manufacturing executives, vice presidents and senior managers, 88% of respondents recognized drop shipping as “being inevitable for their long-term success.”

“Considering the tremendous growth in global e-commerce, K1 sought to invest in a category-leading software platform that was fueling digital transformation in the industry,” said Simon Yu, senior vice president at K1.

Of course, like any method of shipping, drop shipping has its drawbacks. One challenge drop shippers face is overcoming poor communication among supply chain partners, which can happen if a company is outsourcing its fulfillment process to suppliers, as one would when drop shipping.

Another is gaining visibility. Without the product making its way through the drop shipper’s supply chain, it can be challenging to maintain visibility over the entire process, which can lead to delays and inefficiencies.

That said, drop shipping can also be a major boon for omnichannel sales. According to Customer Think, two-thirds of retailers report that drop shipping boosted revenue by 14% or more, depending on industry and sector.

It can also improve customer service — Total Retail notes that 84% of retailers reported better customer service after deploying drop shipping in their omnichannel operations.

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CSX trailer rolled over on side of a road.

Because of their design, tractor-trailers roll over more often than other vehicles. They have a higher center of gravity, as well as more weight that might not be evenly distributed.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly half of all fatal large-truck accidents in 2019 resulted from rollovers, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says kill hundreds of truckers each year.

Based on data from Lytx, a trucking telematics company, these are the five places where truckers are most likely to experience a rollover at speeds of 40 mph or greater resulting from weather, cornering too fast and other factors. Rollover probability was calculated based on sensors in trucks detecting the physics of the vehicles that may lead to rollovers.

I-64/I-77, Giles to Dawes, West Virginia

A stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike (Interstates 64/77) less than 1 mile long is where truckers run the highest risk of rollovers. This area between the small towns of Giles and Dawes is a little more than 20 miles south of the state capital of Charleston.

I-85 at I-285, northeastern Atlanta

Known as “Spaghetti Junction,” the Tom Moreland Interchange in northeastern Atlanta has the second-highest chance of large commercial truck rollovers. This is at the intersection of Interstates 85 and 285, along with several access roads. Spaghetti Junction is a five-level stack interchange that handles about 300,000 vehicles a day, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and has 14 bridges.

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

I-40 at I-65, western Nashville

Just a few miles from Vanderbilt University lies the third-likeliest place for tractor-trailer rollovers. It’s where Interstate 40 intersects Interstate 65 on the western side of Nashville. One of the busiest freight lanes in the country, I-40 carries at least 8,500 trucks a day from coast to coast, according to the FHWA.

I-64, Nuckolls to Whittaker, West Virginia

Fourth on the list of high rollover risk for big rigs is another short stretch of highway in West Virginia, only 10 miles from the I-64/I-77 danger zone noted above. It runs for about 1.5 miles on Interstate 64 between the small towns of Whittaker and Nuckolls, almost 30 miles south of Charleston.

I-75 at I-285, northwestern Atlanta

Known as the Cobb Cloverleaf, the intersection of Interstates 75 and 285 in northwestern Atlanta round out the five places truckers are most prone to rollovers. It’s in Cobb County, just a stone’s throw from Truist Park, home of the Braves major leagues baseball team. Despite its nickname, the interchange has only two cloverleaf-style ramps. The Georgia Department of Transportation has posted signage on I-75 referring to the interchange by its official name, the Emory Parrish Interchange.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Biggest tsunamis in US history

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CSX trailer rolled over on side of a road.

Because of their design, tractor-trailers roll over more often than other vehicles. They have a higher center of gravity, as well as more weight that might not be evenly distributed.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly half of all fatal large-truck accidents in 2019 resulted from rollovers, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says kill hundreds of truckers each year.

Based on data from Lytx, a trucking telematics company, these are the five places where truckers are most likely to experience a rollover at speeds of 40 mph or greater resulting from weather, cornering too fast and other factors. Rollover probability was calculated based on sensors in trucks detecting the physics of the vehicles that may lead to rollovers.

I-64/I-77, Giles to Dawes, West Virginia

A stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike (Interstates 64/77) less than 1 mile long is where truckers run the highest risk of rollovers. This area between the small towns of Giles and Dawes is a little more than 20 miles south of the state capital of Charleston.

I-85 at I-285, northeastern Atlanta

Known as “Spaghetti Junction,” the Tom Moreland Interchange in northeastern Atlanta has the second-highest chance of large commercial truck rollovers. This is at the intersection of Interstates 85 and 285, along with several access roads. Spaghetti Junction is a five-level stack interchange that handles about 300,000 vehicles a day, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and has 14 bridges.

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

I-40 at I-65, western Nashville

Just a few miles from Vanderbilt University lies the third-likeliest place for tractor-trailer rollovers. It’s where Interstate 40 intersects Interstate 65 on the western side of Nashville. One of the busiest freight lanes in the country, I-40 carries at least 8,500 trucks a day from coast to coast, according to the FHWA.

I-64, Nuckolls to Whittaker, West Virginia

Fourth on the list of high rollover risk for big rigs is another short stretch of highway in West Virginia, only 10 miles from the I-64/I-77 danger zone noted above. It runs for about 1.5 miles on Interstate 64 between the small towns of Whittaker and Nuckolls, almost 30 miles south of Charleston.

I-75 at I-285, northwestern Atlanta

Known as the Cobb Cloverleaf, the intersection of Interstates 75 and 285 in northwestern Atlanta round out the five places truckers are most prone to rollovers. It’s in Cobb County, just a stone’s throw from Truist Park, home of the Braves major leagues baseball team. Despite its nickname, the interchange has only two cloverleaf-style ramps. The Georgia Department of Transportation has posted signage on I-75 referring to the interchange by its official name, the Emory Parrish Interchange.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

You might also like:

Colorado trucking company takes ‘huge hit’ from I-70 closures

Self-described ‘shaman’ arrested in California wildfire arson

Biggest tsunamis in US history

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Owner Operator Success with Rims Transport

John Barry of Rims Transport talks with Bruce about being successful as an owner operator with Rims Transport and who is a good fit for the type of work that Rims offers owner operators. RIMS Transport is looking for owner operators and drivers to work cross border operations out of Hamilton Ontario. You can learn more about the opportunities at www.rimstransport.com

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

 

Rss

CSX trailer rolled over on side of a road.

Because of their design, tractor-trailers roll over more often than other vehicles. They have a higher center of gravity, as well as more weight that might not be evenly distributed.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly half of all fatal large-truck accidents in 2019 resulted from rollovers, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says kill hundreds of truckers each year.

Based on data from Lytx, a trucking telematics company, these are the five places where truckers are most likely to experience a rollover at speeds of 40 mph or greater resulting from weather, cornering too fast and other factors. Rollover probability was calculated based on sensors in trucks detecting the physics of the vehicles that may lead to rollovers.

I-64/I-77, Giles to Dawes, West Virginia

A stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike (Interstates 64/77) less than 1 mile long is where truckers run the highest risk of rollovers. This area between the small towns of Giles and Dawes is a little more than 20 miles south of the state capital of Charleston.

I-85 at I-285, northeastern Atlanta

Known as “Spaghetti Junction,” the Tom Moreland Interchange in northeastern Atlanta has the second-highest chance of large commercial truck rollovers. This is at the intersection of Interstates 85 and 285, along with several access roads. Spaghetti Junction is a five-level stack interchange that handles about 300,000 vehicles a day, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and has 14 bridges.

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

I-40 at I-65, western Nashville

Just a few miles from Vanderbilt University lies the third-likeliest place for tractor-trailer rollovers. It’s where Interstate 40 intersects Interstate 65 on the western side of Nashville. One of the busiest freight lanes in the country, I-40 carries at least 8,500 trucks a day from coast to coast, according to the FHWA.

I-64, Nuckolls to Whittaker, West Virginia

Fourth on the list of high rollover risk for big rigs is another short stretch of highway in West Virginia, only 10 miles from the I-64/I-77 danger zone noted above. It runs for about 1.5 miles on Interstate 64 between the small towns of Whittaker and Nuckolls, almost 30 miles south of Charleston.

I-75 at I-285, northwestern Atlanta

Known as the Cobb Cloverleaf, the intersection of Interstates 75 and 285 in northwestern Atlanta round out the five places truckers are most prone to rollovers. It’s in Cobb County, just a stone’s throw from Truist Park, home of the Braves major leagues baseball team. Despite its nickname, the interchange has only two cloverleaf-style ramps. The Georgia Department of Transportation has posted signage on I-75 referring to the interchange by its official name, the Emory Parrish Interchange.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

You might also like:

Colorado trucking company takes ‘huge hit’ from I-70 closures

Self-described ‘shaman’ arrested in California wildfire arson

Biggest tsunamis in US history

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Driving for Bison as a Women Driver with Carrin Cabral

Bison driver Carrin Cabral joins Bruce in this episode to talk about how women can be successful as truck drivers over the road. We learn about Cabral’s career from driver to trainer and she offers tips on how you too can be successful on the road. Bison Transport has many opportunities for truck drivers in their fleet across Canada. You can learn more about Bison and the opportunities available http://fuelyourjourney.ca/  or call 1-800-527-5781 #fuelyourjourney @BisonTransport

About the Show

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST- The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

 

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Tractor-trailers of XTL at a company load facility.

Cross-border trucking and logistics firm XTL Group has acquired Georgia-based freight brokerage CBT, creating the Canadian firm’s first U.S.-based operation. 

The acquisition, announced Monday, gives Toronto-based XTL a brokerage focused on serving the food service industry, and poultry and egg processors. The deal complements XTL’s trucking and freight brokerage businesses, which serve some of the same sectors within Canada and in cross-border operations with the U.S.

“They’ve never sold cross-border, and we’ve never sold domestic U.S. [freight],” Craig Germain, XTL’s chief operating officer, told FreightWaves. “So we’ve got an opportunity now to take those strong customer bases and introduce additional services in a marketplace that obviously is very hungry for capacity.”

XTL had long-standing plans to expand into the U.S. with an acquisition, Germain said. 

The company found the right fit in Oakwood, Georgia-based CBT and its CEO, Connie Banks, who founded the brokerage in 1989. Germain said XTL saw similarities with how CBT approached its relationships with carriers.

“We’ve developed our carrier base in a very strategic fashion, partnering with the carriers to have that capacity so we can effectively sell that to our customers,” he said. “CBT has built themselves on the same model. As tight as the market has been over the last 18 months in the U.S., they’ve been able to grow — quite significantly. So it’s a testament to the way they treat their carriers.”

Acquisition ‘step one’ in US expansion, COO says

XTL follows other Canadian trucking and logistics firms that have entered the U.S. domestic freight market with an asset-light approach. Alberta-based Mullen Group acquired Chicago-area 3PL QuadExpress in June, while Ontario-based Titanium Transportation Group has opened three U.S. brokerage offices since 2019. 

Germain said entering the U.S. with an asset-light acquisition made sense for XTL. He noted that the company’s asset-light operation in Canada has grown faster than any other part of its business. 

XTL plans to continue expanding in the U.S., though Germain wouldn’t provide specifics.

“This is step one,” he said. 

Privately held XTL did not disclose the price of the deal. In February, the company made the first acquisition in its 36-year history when it bought Quebec carrier Transport Savoie.

Read more

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak

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The American e-vapor industry faces a major challenge that has nothing to do with selling to minors, concerns over health risks and black-market knockoffs. It has to do with putting its products in the hands of consumers.

On Thursday, the U.S. Postal Service’s ban on the shipping of all vaping products, which was mandated by Congress late last year, took effect. The Postal Service’s exit, combined with existing delivery bans by FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS) and DHL eCommerce Solutions, the e-commerce unit of German company Deutsche Post DHL (OTC US: DPSGY), leaves the vaping industry with limited options to get its goods to market.

The prohibitions imposed by the four carriers affect online sales to consumers as well as business-to-business transactions between manufacturers, distributors and retailers. There are about 10 million regular vapers in the U.S., according to the American Vaping Association (AVA), a pro-vaping advocacy organization that receives funding from the industry. Between 2.5 million and 3.5 million consumers order vaping products online, the group estimates. It has no data on the size of B2B transactions.

With the Postal Service, which serves every U.S. address, out of the picture, the vaping supply chain, whether in B2B or in the business-to-consumer channel, will need to develop new shipping strategies to remain viable. New models have already sprung up. A company called Vape Freight, founded by Michael Wittenberg, a logistics veteran who also has experience in the vaping industry, is offering B2B customers a portfolio of services ranging from small-package to LTL to container shipping. 

On Monday, regional parcel delivery carrier LSO, which has transported vaping products for some time, vowed to step up activity in its 10-state territory, which includes every ZIP code in the company’s home state of Texas. The Austin-based carrier said in a statement that shipping vaping products to residences is similar to deliveries of apparel, food and wine, health and beauty aides, and other legal products. The main difference with delivering products like wine and vaping is they require an adult signature.

“I find it puzzling why other carriers have chosen not to support the vaping market,” said Richard Metzler, LSO’s CEO, in the statement. Metzler said it’s a “head-scratcher for me” as to why carriers treat vaping products any differently from legal products requiring an adult’s sign-off. “Who knows? Maybe they will ban wine deliveries next,” he added.

In an email, Metzler said he’s unaware of any other regional carrier that transports vaping products, though some local delivery firms may. Executives at regional carriers OnTrac and LaserShip, the two largest in terms of geographic reach, did not respond to requests for comment. LaserShip’s parent, private equity firm American Securities LLC, plans to buy OnTrac in a $1.3 billion deal that many expect to lay the foundation for the first national parcel-delivery operation carved out of regional networks.

The Postal Service will allow a limited number of vaping transactions between consumers as long as they are not commercial in nature. Businesses can apply to the agency for permission to sell to other businesses. However, the vaping industry will be governed by the same onerous requirements that apply to cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies in the B2B space, said Gregory Conley, AVA’s founder and president. 

For example, applicants must furnish the names and addresses of all the businesses they will ship to, and supply a list of their customers’ licenses. Should a business add customers, or an existing customer changes its address, the application must be updated and approved by the Postal Service before products can be shipped to new addresses, according to Conley. Packages have to be brought into the post office, and each one must be processed over the counter. 

The writing was on the wall for the industry last December after President Donald Trump signed a 5,000-page omnibus spending bill that included a law called the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act. Language in the act mandated that the Postal Service ban all shipments of vaping products with limited exceptions. The vaping industry was also brought under the 2009 Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, which is designed to fight online sales of untaxed cigarettes.

Under that law, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco could no longer be shipped through the mail, and online sellers had to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the tax administrators of each state. The PACT Act established standards for private carriers shipping tobacco products to residences and businesses, and created stringent tax collection and reporting rules, with heavy penalties for noncompliance.

The postal ban on vaping products was originally to go into effect at the end of March. However, the process was delayed after the agency was deluged with thousands of comments to the then-proposed rules.

In March, FedEx said it would exit the vaping-delivery business. UPS followed suit a month later, telling affected customers it would no longer ship vaping products within the U.S., or internationally to and from the U.S., because of the “increased complexity” of shipping those goods. The DHL unit had been out of the business well before that.

Conley of AVA suggested the regulatory environment surrounding the delivery of vaping products had become “too murky” for the companies to continue doing business in the space.

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[caption caption="US retail inventories remain 9.2 percent below their prepandemic peak, US Census Bureau data show. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]US retailers and their suppliers are scrambling to get goods to store shelves and into e-commerce distribution networks as retail inventories remain persistently short of prepandemic levels. “There’s a pent-up need (among shippers) to increase the in-stock levels...

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Teletrac Navman launches real-time, predictive telematics platform (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, supply chain inefficiencies and bottlenecks have been undeniably exposed, so much so that the White House made a recent commitment to actions that would “move more goods faster, and strengthen the resiliency of our supply chains, by moving towards 24/7 operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.” 

These two ports are the point of entry for 40% of containers entering the U.S. and recent counts of idling ships off the coast of California have reached as high as 73. While port congestion slows shipping between Asia and the U.S., labor shortages in warehouses and transportation further stall the movement of goods. 

Consumer demand for goods is outpacing the supply of available trailer capacity and drivers. Transportation companies that want to invest in more technology to increase trailer visibility and utilization are actively seeking ways to automate their fleet and streamline administrative tasks. 

According to Gartner in its 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap, IT talent is also scarce, which is stalling the deployment of emerging technologies. According to this survey of IT executives, the lack of IT talent was a more common obstacle for companies than the costs to implement technology or the risk of data security. But the irony is that some advanced technologies, once implemented, remove a company’s reliance on a traditional IT department. Automation is one of those technologies that bolsters productivity without adding more employees, particularly for companies with fleets. Fleet automation will allow fleets to do more work with fewer resources and a smaller staff.

There’s a common fear that new technologies will be so advanced that regular people won’t be able to use them. “But consider how predictive text operates when typing an email or a text,” said John Mitzel, senior director of marketing at FleetUp, a California-based fleet management solutions company founded in 2013. “That’s machine learning. It’s not just powerful; it’s intuitive. It just makes doing a task easier, reducing the mundane work that people resist doing anyway.”

Fleet automation integrates telematics and Internet of Things devices into truck cabs, trailers, shipping containers, chassis and pallets. The technology uses artificial intelligence to collect data, then suggests the next best action to take. Over time, approved suggestions become automatic, taking work off of fleet managers’ desks. “Automating your fleet with AI-enabled devices allows fleet management to spend less time monitoring drivers,” said Mitzel. 

By placing all assets on the same platform, fleet managers no longer have to manually track asset location, driver hours of service status, or engine condition. It’s all on a single screen. As soon as intervention is necessary, the platform alerts the team with helpful strategies to address the issue, truly maximizing the time and energy of full-time employees. 

FleetUp’s plug-and-play devices make telematics software installation easy for fleets.  Because the software is stored in the cloud, drivers and managers can sign in on any device, without the worry of losing data. 

Businesses that add automation to their fleets will not only reduce their reliance on IT, they will be able to work more efficiently and gain a competitive edge. “With the workforce shortage, more automation will benefit your bottom line and help management do more work with a leaner operation,” added Mitzel. “Automation impacts operations from top to bottom, from your office staff to your drivers on the road.”

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Recap of The Professionals of the Highway Charity Tour 2021

Bruce recaps the Professionals of the Highway Charity Tour 2021 with excerpts from the different stops and interviews done along the way. A big thank you to Chrome Supply Warehouse, Canadian Truck Warranty, KRTS / Transrep, Sharp Transportation, Rims Transport, Ontario Truck Driving School, Tilbury Truck Wash, Carrier Center / Townline Parking, and Big Rigs Truck Show for your participation. You can view full interviews of all the stops on our podcast under the Professionals of the Highway Tour tab.

Watch the video on this episode here

This episode is sponsored by C.A.T. Transport offering flexible work options, pet friendly programs, and is one of the Best Managed Carriers in Canada. Learn more at www.cat.ca  or call 1-800-363-5313

Traffix Transportation is looking for owner operators to join their team operating in specific lanes between Toronto and Chicago or North Carolina. If you are looking for steady miles hauling dry and refrigerated freight then contact Chuck Snow at Traffix at 416-271-3946 or visit them online at www.Traffix.com

This episode is also sponsored by Ontario Truck Driving School has a number of courses to help you be successful when starting a career in transportation from heavy equipment to over the road trucking. You can learn more about starting your career at www.otds.com

About the Show

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST- The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

 

 

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Recap of The Professionals of the Highway Charity Tour 2021

Bruce recaps the Professionals of the Highway Charity Tour 2021 with excerpts from the different stops and interviews done along the way. A big thank you to Chrome Supply Warehouse, Canadian Truck Warranty, KRTS / Transrep, Sharp Transportation, Rims Transport, Ontario Truck Driving School, Tilbury Truck Wash, Carrier Center / Townline Parking, and Big Rigs Truck Show for your participation. You can view full interviews of all the stops on our podcast under the Professionals of the Highway Tour tab.

Watch the video on this episode here

This episode is sponsored by C.A.T. Transport offering flexible work options, pet friendly programs, and is one of the Best Managed Carriers in Canada. Learn more at www.cat.ca  or call 1-800-363-5313

Traffix Transportation is looking for owner operators to join their team operating in specific lanes between Toronto and Chicago or North Carolina. If you are looking for steady miles hauling dry and refrigerated freight then contact Chuck Snow at Traffix at 416-271-3946 or visit them online at www.Traffix.com

This episode is also sponsored by Ontario Truck Driving School has a number of courses to help you be successful when starting a career in transportation from heavy equipment to over the road trucking. You can learn more about starting your career at www.otds.com

About the Show

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST- The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

 

 

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American Shipper is reporting another wrinkle facing the Port of Los Angeles as it tries to clear the massive congestion. Thousands of additional empty containers are en route to the Port of Los Angeles from East Coast and Gulf Coast ports.  

Over the last couple of weeks, up to 2,000 empty containers originating from the ports of Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; New Orleans and Houston were headed to the Port of Los Angeles to be loaded onto vessels. These containers were requested by the carriers and will create more burden for the port terminals to receive local trucks trying to unload their own empty containers.

“The biggest hurdle we see in the market is the inability to return empty containers,” said Weston LaBar, head of strategy at Cargomatic. “This congests our carrier and customer yards and adds to the chassis shortage. Ultimately this can delay the ability to pick up imports due to the shortage in chassis availability and yard space. 

“We have customers whose warehouses can receive goods; however, the lack of chassis and space in their yards due to the stranded empties impacts the ability to keep a delivery cadence.”

The phenomenon of containers traveling from other ports to Los Angeles is not a new one. Local truckers tell American Shipper the port is known to be the “empty container dumping ground in the country.”

“Even containers from Port Rupert [in British Columbia, Canada] have made their way down to Los Angeles via rail,” said one trucker who requested anonymity. “This is making a bad situation worse. There is a finite number of slots to return empties. How can we pick up empties if we can’t unload our chassis?”

The reason for the carriers moving containers from the East Coast either by truck or rail to the West Coast is time. The LA trade route to China is faster than the maritime routes from the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports.

Despite the claims of 24/7 ports by the Biden administration, the Port of Los Angeles is still in talks with the various port stakeholders to seek participation. In an effort to expand service, the port is opening gates at 7 a.m. PT and on weekends so truck drivers can return empty containers and pick up loaded boxes. 

But because of the lack of warehouses open during the flex time and on weekends, coupled with the container restrictions that are imposed by the terminals at the order of the ocean carriers, appointments are being left unused.

According to the Port of Los Angeles, 50% of weekend appointments have been left open and 30% of weekday appointments remain unused.

The Harbor Trucking Association says the surge of extra containers will only add to the already stressed system.

“We are trying to free up chassis, but we can’t because we are competing with these additional empties contracted by the ocean carriers,” said Matt Schrap, Harbor Trucking Association CEO. “This is not helpful for the supply chain.”

The acceptance of empty containers at the Port of Los Angeles is on a first-come, first-served basis. That means if the terminal hits its empty container allotment at noon and a trucker arrives at 12:05 p.m., he or she will be turned away with a full chassis and cannot pick up a loaded container.

This photo given to American Shipper by port sources illustrates the unused truck appointments. The photo was taken from the APM Terminal at 7:38 a.m. PT at the Port of Los Angeles last Wednesday. It was a flex gate and opened at 7 a.m. The first appointment was a Walmart tuck at 9:45 a.m.     

“We’ve been more successful than the market at threading this needle for our customers,” said LaBar. “But an increase in empties coming from the East Coast, Gulf Coast and even Canadian ports should be a cause for concern for everyone servicing and using the Southern California ports.” 

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New loading dock update: now I can get the trailer in, but the deck is 10-12" too low

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container shipping

The more stuff people buy, the more ships ply the Pacific Ocean loaded to the brim with containers. Combine rough weather, the occasional human error and way more chances to get it wrong, and you inevitably get more accidents at sea.  

A record number of containers fell overboard from ships into the Pacific last winter, coinciding with the import surge. A leading theory on this month’s oil spill off Southern California is that a container ship dragged its anchor over a pipeline during a severe storm in January, and months later, the pipeline finally gave out.

The container ship Zim Kingston lost around 40 containers in heavy seas on Friday. The next day, containers aboard the ship caught fire. 

Zim Kingston casualty

The 2008-built Zim Kingston has a capacity of 4,253 twenty-foot equivalent units. It is owned by Danaos Corporation (NYSE: DAC) and is on long-term charter to Zim (NYSE: ZIM) at a rate of $25,500 per day through April 2023.

View from helicopter on Friday of Zim boxes overboard (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

The vessel is currently deployed in Zim’s ZP9 service, which calls at Chinese ports including Yantian, Ningbo and Shanghai, then Busan, South Korea, then Vancouver.

As the ship sailed toward Vancouver with a full load on Friday, around 40 containers fell overboard at the mouth of the Straits of Juan del Fuoco when “the ship listed to its side due to rough seas,” said the U.S. Coast Guard.

Following the loss of boxes, the Zim Kingston weighed anchor off Vancouver Island’s port of Victoria. On Saturday, a fire broke out within containers onboard the ship. The Canadian Coast Guard said that at one point, 10 containers were on fire, two of which contained potassium amylxanthate, a hazardous material used in mining.  

Cold water used to cool hull overnight on Saturday (Photo: Canada Coast Guard)

Sixteen crewmembers were evacuated; five remained on board. The Canadian Coast Guard set an emergency zone within one nautical mile of the ship Saturday, warning that the fire was “expelling toxic gas” and reporting that another two containers had fallen into the sea. On Sunday, Transport Canada restricted all drones and aircraft from coming within two nautical miles of the accident.

MarineTraffic ship-positioning data showed three vessels assisting with firefighting on Sunday: the towing vessel Seaspan Raven and offshore supply vessels Maersk Trader and Maersk Tender.

The Canadian Coast Guard explained that “overnight, the Seaspan Raven cooled the hull by spraying the hull with cold water. Due to the nature of chemicals onboard the container ship, applying water directly to the fire is not an option.” Video of the ship on Sunday (live webcam here) showed that fire-fighting efforts were still ongoing. During a press conference late Sunday, Canadian Coast Guard representatives said the fire was “smoldering.”

Major weather event

Weather conditions are forecast to worsen as a so-called “bomb cyclone” hits North America’s West Coast. Winds around Victoria are expected to exceed 40 miles per hour on Sunday and Monday. Oakland is expecting heavy rains, winds of up to 45 miles per hour and hazardous seas.

Container ships off Los Angeles/Long Beach on Sunday. Map: MarineTraffic

To the south, off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, there is an armada of container ships in the queue. The Marine Exchange of Southern California said Friday, “For the wind event Monday, the Marine Exchange requests vessels voluntarily to go sea … for the safety of their vessel and other vessels. This [has been] common practice in the past.”

As of Sunday, vessels have yet to depart their anchorage spots. The number of container ships stuck waiting off Los Angeles/Long Beach hit an all-high of 79 on Thursday. MarineTraffic ship-positioning data shows that the number of container vessels offshore remained historically high on Sunday as the weather system approached.

Fire fallout

Even if the fire is largely extinguished Sunday with little environmental impact, fallout from the Zim Kingston casualty will be significant. Shippers with undamaged boxes aboard the vessel face very lengthy delivery delays. The ship itself will likely be out of service for an extended period, which will negatively impact Zim’s Q4 2021 throughput.

From a broader market perspective, incidents like the Zim Kingston casualty are having a much greater knock-on effect than in the past.

Lars Jensen, CEO of consultancy Vespucci Maritime, told American Shipper in a previous interview, “You always have a vessel that broke down. You always have a port strike somewhere. I wouldn’t say you always have a vessel on fire, but unfortunately, that also happens fairly frequently. Normally, that’s a local problem. Cargo gets delayed a little bit or that cargo is shifted onto another service.

“But now, there are no other vessels. They’re all soaked up — you can’t put a replacement vessel in. And shifting the cargo to the next ship is out of the question, because they’re already booked solid. So, right now, with every additional operational mishap, you’re adding more cargo to the pile of cargo you can’t move that you’re pushing in front of you and things are just getting worse.”

Click for more articles by Greg Miller 

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I guess that's one way to fuel

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There were few surprises in the list of the top trucking industry issues released Sunday by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), but what is always most intriguing about this list is the difference in perception between drivers and company managers.

In a survey that had more than 2,500 respondents, the driver shortage was listed as the top concern in the overall rankings. Second was driver retention and third was driver compensation. The trifecta of concerns all relate to the same issue: putting people behind the wheel to drive the truck.

But it is the side-by-side comparison of the driver responses and the motor carrier responses that spells out some stark differences in what’s important to drivers versus management. This is not all that surprising; drivers are paid to do one thing and management is paid to utilize those drivers to do another.  They are not necessarily supposed to have identical views.

The results were released at the annual Management Conference & Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations, of which ATRI is an arm. It is the first MCE conference in two years.

Where the difference between the two segments of the industry is so striking, this year and in previous years, is with the issue of truck parking.  Among truck drivers, the issue of parking was tied for first on the list of top issues, along with driver compensation. But the motor carriers? It didn’t even crack the top 10.

This could be in part because the truck parking issue is tied up in a host of private sector and government decisions on how much parking to provide and how to make it happen. What a private company can do about it is limited. 

But given that this issue is clearly making drivers unhappy, the gap in the ranking of the issues is striking. 

As ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster said at the MCE session regarding the list, “we’re forcing our professional drivers to sleep on the side of the road because there is not enough parking.”

Hayden Cardiff, the CEO and founder of truck management platform Idelic and a member of the ATRI-sponsored group that conducted the research, said the lack of parking is also putting law enforcement personnel “between a rock and a hard place.” It is the duty of the police to enforce laws on where trucks can or can not park, but they also know that truckers need to sleep and rest, Cardiff said. Yet truck drivers constantly live with the anxiety of “am I going to get a tap on my door in the middle of the night by sometime trying to enforce the law,” Cardiff said.

That there is a limit to what individual companies can do to create more parking was evident in ATRI’s proposed solutions, released in conjunction with its top 10 list. All of them involve some level of government activity: creating a new federal fund designed to construct new parking, an effort that failed earlier this year; encouraging local governments to reduce regulations that slow the construction of parking; and advocating for states to supply more real-time information on parking availability.

Other divergent rankings between drivers and company personnel reflected differing perceptions of the issues facing the industry. For example, soaring fuel prices were third on the list of drivers, but not in the top 10 for carrier responses. (Of all responses, about 25% were from drivers, Brewster said.)

Brewster said the responses to the survey included a significant number of owner operators who particularly expressed concern about fuel prices. Owner operators generally book rates that do not have a fuel surcharge in them, seeking instead for a rate that will cover the cost of diesel. 

Hugh Ekberg, president and CEO of carrier CRST International and a member of the ATRI survey team, noted that for companies that hit customers with a fuel surcharge, the surcharge tends to smooth out some of the pain from rising prices, “but stability is the key. When they are moving is when they disrupt our cost structure.”

A year ago, the Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration average retail diesel price was $2.388/gallon. It currently stands at $3.671/gallon. The price has risen in 40 of the last 52 weeks. 

One item that made the top 10 list for the first time was a diesel technician shortage, coming in at 10th place. A little more than 4% of all respondents listed it as their number one concern.

ATRI, in its report on possible solutions to the various issues of the top 10, cited three potential courses of action to address the need for more diesel mechanics. The first is to “encourage collaboration between motor carriers and local community colleges/tech schools to promote technician training and placement.” The second is to “conduct research to quantify the scope and cause of current technician shortages and develop best practices for technician recruitment and retention.” The third is to work with the U.S. Department of Labor to specifically recruit veterans into the field. 

Among some of the other issues along with comments from panelists at what ATA called the “reveal”:

Insurance cost/availability, 9th overall: “It’s a much bigger cost of our operating business. Most of you are like us,” Ekberg said. “The accident frequency is going down but insurance costs are going up.”

Infrastructure congestion/funding, 8th overall: Brewster said ATRI’s research revealed that what was an eight-minute trip across the I-40 bridge that spanned the Mississippi until it was shut down by safety concerns became an 84-minute trip.

Detention/delay at customer facilities, 7th overall: Bill Hambrick, a driver for Werner (NASDAQ: WERN), said the issue is one that impacts many other concerns, such as driver retention. “What it does to the driver is that it creates less pay and more stress, and that is what the driver has to deal with,” he said. 

Lawsuit abuse reform: Brewster said this issue had not been a top 10 item on the ATRI survey for 10 years. Ekberg said of the lawsuit issue: “This may not be the number one issue for me but it is the number one source of frustration because it doesn’t make sense.”

The top 10 issues overall from the survey:

  1. Driver shortage
  2. Driver retention
  3. Driver compensation
  4. Lawsuit abuse reform
  5. Truck parking
  6. Compliance, safety, accountability
  7. Detention/delay at customer facilities
  8. Transportation infrastructure
  9. Insurance cost/availability
  10. Diesel technician shortage

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Cognitive Testing with DriverCheck

Have you ever wondered how cognitive testing can help your team? We talk with the team at DriverCheck about cognitive testing and how it helps improve safety in the workplace. DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com

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This commentary was written by Lori Ann LaRocco. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.

By Lori Ann LaRocco

We all know some of the biggest kings in retail have been publicly talking about the contracting of charter vessels. The price is inflated so just like using airfreight, businesses have to justify the expenses. With an all-in of around $7 million, companies need to make sure they will see a return on investment.

American Shipper, along with Import Genius, reviewed the bills of lading of three of the big names using charters: Ikea, Costco and Walmart. The strategies of the companies can be clearly seen based on the contents in the containers.

For Costco, chartered containers show holiday items that recently arrived at the port to replenish out-of-stock items. Containers filled with Christmas trees like this 7.5-foot pre-lit Aspen Micro Dot LED Tree arrived at the Port of Oakland, California, on Oct. 7.

Also included are other hot seasonal items, such as firepits and patio sets. Based on the volume of TEUs, Costco’s total imports this year will surpass prior years. Investors in Costco should be cheering over this data.

In the case of Ikea, the tale of the containers shows preservation of inventory. Countertops, cabinet bases and nondescript “equipment” are listed in its bills of lading. The company is nearing its normal import volumes — which for investors is a good forward-looking indicator of the company’s supply chain and outlook on the consumer.

One of the reasons retailers are using charters is to have more control over their logistics and avoid congested ports. You can clearly see the market share loss that the Port of Los Angeles has seen when reviewing the bills of lading of Ikea.

Not only do you see the Port of Seattle gaining container volume, you also see LA losing share to its sister port, Long Beach.

Charterers are looking to route their cargo to where they have an existing distribution network already in place.  

“Businesses are not using the charter exclusively as their volume is too large and too fragmented,” one chartered explained. “The charter vessels are going to feed into a preexisting system, unless they have one single location where they need a huge volume of cargo.”

For example, one importer used a charter vessel on the Shanghai to Savannah, Georgia, route since much of its inland trucking is in place from the distribution center in Savannah.

Meanwhile, bills of lading identifying Walmart and Sam’s Club show a consistent pattern of imports. While they are up compared to 2020, they are nowhere near 2019 imports. 

Remember, Walmart shelves include products from smaller companies that are not using charters. Those containers filled with products would have the name of the smaller company — not Walmart — on the bills of lading.

Walmart recently detailed its logistics supply chain plan on its website. There, the company explained the hiring of truckers, warehouse workers and how it is chartering ships and diverting shipments through less-congested ports. 

Walmart also mentioned it has rerouted inland shipments, utilizing less conventional transportation methods to avoid rail delays. Containers filled with garments and towels are listed on the bills of lading.

Retail analyst Joe Feldman of Telsey Advisory Group said the large, big box retailers have the most efficient supply chains and are proactively managing it to procure the goods needed to meet the consumer demand.

“They ordered early, received goods earlier, expedited shipments where possible, and contracted private vessels,” said Feldman. “In addition, many of the largest retailers have their own domestic transportation fleets to move the goods once here in the U.S.”

Inflation has shown the increase in the cost of logistics has been passed on to the consumer.  The return on investment in using charters to gain security of a supply chain can be clearly correlated. With Americans not slowing down in their shopping habits, it should come as no surprise the use of charters will be expected well into next year.

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The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: A Kenworth truck is set to deliver the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree for the eighth time; a project44 partnership offers camper vans for employees to work from anywhere; and ATA’s road team delivers supplies to Afghan refugees in Wisconsin.

Custom-wrapped Kenworth to deliver US Capitol Christmas tree

On Tuesday, truck manufacturer PACCAR revealed a special Kenworth T680 Next Generation that will be used to transport the 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from California to Washington, D.C. 


This will be the eight consecutive year that a Kenworth will be delivering the Capitol’s Christmas tree. The Kenworth has been wrapped for its celebratory journey, decorated for this year’s theme, “Six Rivers, Many Peoples, One Tree,” showcasing a sunset over the Six Rivers National Forest, where the tree, which is scheduled to be harvested Sunday, is located. 

Special Kenworth T680 Next Generation for U.S. Capitol Christmas tree delivery. (Photo: PACCAR)

This new Kenworth features a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, the company’s latest SmartWheel technology and a customizable 15-inch digital display with full forward LED lighting.

The truck will be driven by Cheney, Washington-based, flatbed freight hauler System Transport. Employees Bill Brunk, Jeremy Bellinger, Mike English, Terry Jefferson, Robert Lee and John Schnell will drive the truck during the 3,300-mile journey. 

System Transport employees Lonnie Epley, Joel Eggert and Sean Magee will help support and service the truck until the tree, named Sugar Bear, is delivered to the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 16.

(Video: US Capitol Christmas Tree – Youtube)

Project44 offers new employee perk

On Tuesday, supply chain visibility company project44 announced a partnership with mobile suites company Roameo to offer team members access to camper vans and conversions to either work out of or to use for their own pleasure.

“Whether we’re ‘sharing the wheel’ to solve exciting industry challenges together or a team member is at the wheel of a Roameo mobile suite headed toward a workspace in nature, the outcome is the same – inspired teams that are equipped to engage in meaningful collaboration that drives customer success from anywhere,” said Jett McCandless, founder and CEO of project44.

The new perk has been a huge hit for employees, who booked out the fall pilot program dates 10 minutes after the partnership was announced internally.

Some employees have used it for weekend getaways while others have used it as a way to work from a different setting for an extended period of time.

“Driving cross-country is my favorite pastime, so taking my work on the road was a no-brainer,” said Sara Vermilyea, a communications manager at project44. “I drove from Chicago to Colorado to reset and returned to work feeling fully recharged.”

ATA delivers supplies to Afghan refugees in Wisconsin

This month, the American Trucking Associations partnered with the Afghan Youth Relief Foundation to deliver 24 pallets of supplies to Afghan refugees who have been resettled in the United States at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

When these refugees first arrived in the United States, they were taken to Dulles Expo Center in Virginia to quarantine and be processed. During that time, a number of Virginia residents donated clothes, diapers and other necessities to support the refugees. 

Now that these refugees are being moved to other bases across the country, the ATA has worked with its America’s Road Team to deliver those leftover supplies to other bases that are currently housing refugees like Fort McCoy.

The trucks facilitating those moves are driven by ATA’s America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks. These drivers are chosen through the ATA as they have demonstrated their commitment to the trucking industry and the importance of growing industry recognition through grassroots efforts. 

These efforts include attending educational events to explain the difficulties of managing safety and compliance on highways. America’s Road Team also works with a variety of organizations to move charitable goods throughout the year.

ABF Freight driver Nate McCarty and Yellow Corp. driver Jeff Payne worked together, in two different trucks, to deliver 24 pallets of supplies to Fort McCoy earlier this month.

“These people had been through so much, so if we could make things just a little bit easier for them, it was just something we had to do,” said Payne.

ATA Executive Vice President Elisabeth Barna said, “Trucking is always first to respond when people are in need. Whether it is drivers like Nate and Jeff delivering for these refugees or the countless drivers who respond to natural disasters every year, this is the kind of commitment to service we expect from our professional heroes.”

Have a transportation-related human-interest story to share? If so, please contact gsharkey@freightwaves.com.

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The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: A Kenworth truck is set to deliver the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree for the eighth time; a project44 partnership offers camper vans for employees to work from anywhere; and ATA’s road team delivers supplies to Afghan refugees in Wisconsin.

Custom-wrapped Kenworth to deliver US Capitol Christmas tree

On Tuesday, truck manufacturer PACCAR revealed a special Kenworth T680 Next Generation that will be used to transport the 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from California to Washington, D.C. 


This will be the eight consecutive year that a Kenworth will be delivering the Capitol’s Christmas tree. The Kenworth has been wrapped for its celebratory journey, decorated for this year’s theme, “Six Rivers, Many Peoples, One Tree,” showcasing a sunset over the Six Rivers National Forest, where the tree, which is scheduled to be harvested Sunday, is located. 

Special Kenworth T680 Next Generation for U.S. Capitol Christmas tree delivery. (Photo: PACCAR)

This new Kenworth features a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, the company’s latest SmartWheel technology and a customizable 15-inch digital display with full forward LED lighting.

The truck will be driven by Cheney, Washington-based, flatbed freight hauler System Transport. Employees Bill Brunk, Jeremy Bellinger, Mike English, Terry Jefferson, Robert Lee and John Schnell will drive the truck during the 3,300-mile journey. 

System Transport employees Lonnie Epley, Joel Eggert and Sean Magee will help support and service the truck until the tree, named Sugar Bear, is delivered to the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 16.

(Video: US Capitol Christmas Tree – Youtube)

Project44 offers new employee perk

On Tuesday, supply chain visibility company project44 announced a partnership with mobile suites company Roameo to offer team members access to camper vans and conversions to either work out of or to use for their own pleasure.

“Whether we’re ‘sharing the wheel’ to solve exciting industry challenges together or a team member is at the wheel of a Roameo mobile suite headed toward a workspace in nature, the outcome is the same – inspired teams that are equipped to engage in meaningful collaboration that drives customer success from anywhere,” said Jett McCandless, founder and CEO of project44.

The new perk has been a huge hit for employees, who booked out the fall pilot program dates 10 minutes after the partnership was announced internally.

Some employees have used it for weekend getaways while others have used it as a way to work from a different setting for an extended period of time.

“Driving cross-country is my favorite pastime, so taking my work on the road was a no-brainer,” said Sara Vermilyea, a communications manager at project44. “I drove from Chicago to Colorado to reset and returned to work feeling fully recharged.”

ATA delivers supplies to Afghan refugees in Wisconsin

This month, the American Trucking Associations partnered with the Afghan Youth Relief Foundation to deliver 24 pallets of supplies to Afghan refugees who have been resettled in the United States at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

When these refugees first arrived in the United States, they were taken to Dulles Expo Center in Virginia to quarantine and be processed. During that time, a number of Virginia residents donated clothes, diapers and other necessities to support the refugees. 

Now that these refugees are being moved to other bases across the country, the ATA has worked with its America’s Road Team to deliver those leftover supplies to other bases that are currently housing refugees like Fort McCoy.

The trucks facilitating those moves are driven by ATA’s America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks. These drivers are chosen through the ATA as they have demonstrated their commitment to the trucking industry and the importance of growing industry recognition through grassroots efforts. 

These efforts include attending educational events to explain the difficulties of managing safety and compliance on highways. America’s Road Team also works with a variety of organizations to move charitable goods throughout the year.

ABF Freight driver Nate McCarty and Yellow Corp. driver Jeff Payne worked together, in two different trucks, to deliver 24 pallets of supplies to Fort McCoy earlier this month.

“These people had been through so much, so if we could make things just a little bit easier for them, it was just something we had to do,” said Payne.

ATA Executive Vice President Elisabeth Barna said, “Trucking is always first to respond when people are in need. Whether it is drivers like Nate and Jeff delivering for these refugees or the countless drivers who respond to natural disasters every year, this is the kind of commitment to service we expect from our professional heroes.”

Have a transportation-related human-interest story to share? If so, please contact gsharkey@freightwaves.com.

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The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: A Kenworth truck is set to deliver the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree for the eighth time; a project44 partnership offers camper vans for employees to work from anywhere; and ATA’s road team delivers supplies to Afghan refugees in Wisconsin.

Custom-wrapped Kenworth to deliver US Capitol Christmas tree

On Tuesday, truck manufacturer PACCAR revealed a special Kenworth T680 Next Generation that will be used to transport the 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from California to Washington, D.C. 


This will be the eight consecutive year that a Kenworth will be delivering the Capitol’s Christmas tree. The Kenworth has been wrapped for its celebratory journey, decorated for this year’s theme, “Six Rivers, Many Peoples, One Tree,” showcasing a sunset over the Six Rivers National Forest, where the tree, which is scheduled to be harvested Sunday, is located. 

Special Kenworth T680 Next Generation for U.S. Capitol Christmas tree delivery. (Photo: PACCAR)

This new Kenworth features a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, the company’s latest SmartWheel technology and a customizable 15-inch digital display with full forward LED lighting.

The truck will be driven by Cheney, Washington-based, flatbed freight hauler System Transport. Employees Bill Brunk, Jeremy Bellinger, Mike English, Terry Jefferson, Robert Lee and John Schnell will drive the truck during the 3,300-mile journey. 

System Transport employees Lonnie Epley, Joel Eggert and Sean Magee will help support and service the truck until the tree, named Sugar Bear, is delivered to the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 16.

(Video: US Capitol Christmas Tree – Youtube)

Project44 offers new employee perk

On Tuesday, supply chain visibility company project44 announced a partnership with mobile suites company Roameo to offer team members access to camper vans and conversions to either work out of or to use for their own pleasure.

“Whether we’re ‘sharing the wheel’ to solve exciting industry challenges together or a team member is at the wheel of a Roameo mobile suite headed toward a workspace in nature, the outcome is the same – inspired teams that are equipped to engage in meaningful collaboration that drives customer success from anywhere,” said Jett McCandless, founder and CEO of project44.

The new perk has been a huge hit for employees, who booked out the fall pilot program dates 10 minutes after the partnership was announced internally.

Some employees have used it for weekend getaways while others have used it as a way to work from a different setting for an extended period of time.

“Driving cross-country is my favorite pastime, so taking my work on the road was a no-brainer,” said Sara Vermilyea, a communications manager at project44. “I drove from Chicago to Colorado to reset and returned to work feeling fully recharged.”

ATA delivers supplies to Afghan refugees in Wisconsin

This month, the American Trucking Associations partnered with the Afghan Youth Relief Foundation to deliver 24 pallets of supplies to Afghan refugees who have been resettled in the United States at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

When these refugees first arrived in the United States, they were taken to Dulles Expo Center in Virginia to quarantine and be processed. During that time, a number of Virginia residents donated clothes, diapers and other necessities to support the refugees. 

Now that these refugees are being moved to other bases across the country, the ATA has worked with its America’s Road Team to deliver those leftover supplies to other bases that are currently housing refugees like Fort McCoy.

The trucks facilitating those moves are driven by ATA’s America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks. These drivers are chosen through the ATA as they have demonstrated their commitment to the trucking industry and the importance of growing industry recognition through grassroots efforts. 

These efforts include attending educational events to explain the difficulties of managing safety and compliance on highways. America’s Road Team also works with a variety of organizations to move charitable goods throughout the year.

ABF Freight driver Nate McCarty and Yellow Corp. driver Jeff Payne worked together, in two different trucks, to deliver 24 pallets of supplies to Fort McCoy earlier this month.

“These people had been through so much, so if we could make things just a little bit easier for them, it was just something we had to do,” said Payne.

ATA Executive Vice President Elisabeth Barna said, “Trucking is always first to respond when people are in need. Whether it is drivers like Nate and Jeff delivering for these refugees or the countless drivers who respond to natural disasters every year, this is the kind of commitment to service we expect from our professional heroes.”

Have a transportation-related human-interest story to share? If so, please contact gsharkey@freightwaves.com.

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In the Class with Ontario Truck Driving School

Find out what it’s like to be in the class environment as a student with Ontario Truck Driving School. Ontario Truck Driving School has a number of courses to help you be successful when starting a career in transportation from heavy equipment to over the road trucking. You can learn more about starting your career at www.otds.com

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com 

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com   , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

 

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Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Texas lawmakers criticize effort to restrict energy sales to Mexico; US blocks tomato imports from Mexican farm; Nuvocargo boosts team with hires from Uber, McKinsey; and Hutchison Port Holdings breaks container delivery record at Mexican port.

Texas lawmakers criticize effort to restrict energy sales to Mexico

A bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers has united in opposition to Mexico’s newly proposed energy policies, which they labeled an attempt to limit competition in the country’s electrical power sector.

In a letter to Ken Salazar, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, 20 U.S. representatives and the two U.S. senators from Texas criticized changes proposed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that could restrict the market share of private power companies (several of which are Texas-based) and favor Mexico’s state-owned utility company.

“We urge you to engage directly with senior Mexican government officials to ensure that American energy firms are able to export goods fairly and can continue to drive private investment and job growth throughout the region,” the letter stated.

It was signed by U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar and Michael McCaul, among others. They said Mexico’s new energy policies could “discriminate against American energy producers.”

“We are focused on ensuring full implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and are concerned with recent actions taken by the Mexican Administration to favor state owned enterprises and push out American investment. These actions violate the spirit and letter of the USMCA and need to be addressed,” the letter sent on Tuesday stated.

López Obrador sent a bill to the Mexican legislature Oct. 1 that would cancel most permits awarded to private companies for electricity generation.

The bill would give the state-owned power utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) about 54% of the electricity producing market. The CFE currently holds about 38% of the market.

López Obrador’s reform would also get rid of two independent regulators in Mexico: the National Hydrocarbons Commission and the Energy Regulatory Commission.

López Obrador said the aim is to boost the Mexican government’s control of the electricity market and reverse business-friendly energy legislation enacted by previous Mexican administrations as far back as 1992.

About 69% of U.S. natural gas exports went to Mexico and 31% went to Canada during 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Mexico relies heavily on energy exports from the U.S. to power its energy grids — especially natural gas. More than 60% of the electricity produced in the country is generated with natural gas imported from Texas, according to Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission.

Companies that export processed natural gas to Mexico include Houston-based Stabilis Energy Inc. and Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc.

U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico established a new monthly record in June, surpassing 7 billion cubic feet per day in June, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

One of the emerging markets for U.S. exports of natural gas is Mexico’s vehicle fuels market. Trade officials said more passenger cars, taxis, buses and tractor-trailers are using natural gas to power their vehicles.

“In Mexico, natural gas is an economic, ecological and safe vehicle fuel alternative,” Andrés Bayona, president of the Natural Gas Vehicle Association of Mexico (AMGNV), told FreightWaves.

AMGNV and other associations have been pressing the Mexican government to provide more infrastructure and allow more permits for the construction of LNG fueling stations across the country. 

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) accounts for about 500 million cubic feet of natural gas exports per day.

Bayona said more people and companies are turning to LNG to power their vehicles. There are currently 91 natural gas fueling stations in Mexico, with plans to add as many as 61 more by the end of 2022.

“With this growth we can see that natural gas fuel in Mexico has doubled in just two years and we can conclude that our sector presents an important investment opportunity in our country,” Bayona said.

López Obrador’s bill to reform the country’s energy sector is currently in the Mexican legislature, which could vote on the proposals by Dec. 11.

US blocks tomato imports from Mexican farm

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it will bar imports of fresh tomatoes produced by a Mexican tomato grower following accusations regarding forced labor.

CBP issued a Withhold Release Order Thursday against the company based on what it said was “information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor against its workers.”

CBP investigators found evidence of deception, withholding of wages, debt bondage, and other abusive working and living conditions at Agropecuarios Tom S.A. de C.V.-Horticola S.A de C.V., and its subsidiaries.

The company is based in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The farm has more than 600 employees.

Nuvocargo boosts team with hires from Uber, McKinsey

Nuvocargo recently announced three new hires: Josefina Blanco, legal and compliance lead; Luis Garcia, head of carrier relations; and Claudio Gonzalez, head of strategy and chief of staff. 

New York-based Nuvocargo is a digital logistics platform for cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico.

Deepak Chhugani, founder and CEO of Nuvocargo, said the company has more than doubled in size since last year.

“I’m excited that we are creating jobs in both the U.S. and Mexico and modernizing this hugely outdated industry with our digital platform,” Chhugani said.

Blanco will be based out of the company’s office in Mexico City. Blanco has spent more than 10 years working for various law firms, where her practice focused on cross-border financing, banking regulation, and M&A transactions.

Garcia will also be based in Mexico City. Garcia most recently served as the head of national operations and marketplace at Uber Mexico.

Gonzalez will be based in Nuvocargo’s New York office. Before Nuvocargo, Gonzalez was an investigative reporter at Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad, and also worked as a business analyst at McKinsey.

Hutchison Port breaks container delivery record at the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas

Hutchison Ports recently set a record for container deliveries during a single shift at the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

Hutchison employees managed to move 704 boxes in a single eight-hour shift on Oct. 14 at Specialized Container Terminal I at the port, according to a release

The terminal on average loads about 350 to 400 boxes per shift to trucks at the port.

“This kind of achievement is fundamental for the development and competitiveness offered by the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas, constituting an axis of economic growth in the Mexican Pacific, as well as the importance of having a state-of-the-art infrastructure to promote global trade,” port officials said in a statement. 

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Ports operates six terminals at four seaports and one inland port in Mexico, serving 20,000 customers. The company operates ports in 26 countries around the world.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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We talk with Chris Wilkinson of DriverCheck about cognitive testing and how it can help make the workplace safer. Learn why this is a great way to help your employees stay productive longer. DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com 

 

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Cognitive Testing with DriverCheck

We talk with Chris Wilkinson of DriverCheck about cognitive testing and how it can help make the workplace safer. Learn why this is a great way to help your employees stay productive longer. DriverCheck is a leader in drug and alcohol, cognitive, and workplace testing helping employers have a safe workplace for their staff. Learn how DriverCheck can help you be safe at www.drivercheck.ca

About the Show

JOIN THE LEAD PEDAL PODCAST FAN CLUB www.TheLeadPedalPodcastFanClub.com

LISTEN TO LEAD PEDAL RADIO at www.LeadPedalRadio.com

The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with bonus material on other days. You can learn more about the host and show on our website and make sure to SUBSCRIBE to the show on your favourite podcast platform. www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

What does The Lead Pedal Podcast mean? The Lead (pronounced - Led) stands for acceleration or fast-track of your career or business. It is a play on words and we certainly are not here promoting speeding in the industry. We are hoping this information will help you become a professional driver faster than if you didn’t know about many of these topics.

Are you enjoying the show? If so we would appreciate you leaving us a rating and review on iTunes or on your favourite podcast platform. The show is available at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com  , ITunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Tunein, iHeartradio, SoundCloud, and other popular podcast platforms. Thanks for listening

Join The Lead Pedal Podcast Fan Club where are loyal fans get first chance at specials, discounts on merchandise and much more.The club is free to join and you can learn more at www.theleadpedalpodcastfanclub.com