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BLOG: Solar Eclipse 2017

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: August 18, 2017, by Axle Logistics

As the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse grows near, Axle Logistics urges drivers to implement the following safety persuasions:

 

  • Plan to accommodate extended transit time as congestion is expected throughout the eclipse path on the day prior along with the day of the event
  • If possible, avoid transit through main path of eclipse if possible (see maps below)
  • Avoid stopping or parking along  shoulder of interstates during eclipse (13:24est)
  • If traveling along a highway, please exit to a safe location if seeking to view eclipse
  • It is strongly encouraged to not take photographs while driving
  • Opaque eclipse glasses are not safe to wear while operating a motor vehicle of any kind
  • Be sure to have headlights on prior and throughout event
  • While driving on smaller roads, be aware of pedestrians who may be walking to/watching event

 

The following maps show the projected path of the eclipse throughout the US and East Tennessee:

 

   

 

While the path of totality will only pass through 14 states, everyone throughout the United States will be able to witness this amazing event!  Enjoy and please be safe!!

Axle Logistics named to Inc.5000 for second consecutive year

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: August 16, 2017, by Axle Logistics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the second year in a row, Knoxville-based Axle Logistics is excited to announce it has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. This recognition comes again just five years after Jon Clay and Drew Johnson opened the doors to what they see as the future of third party logistics.

 

“This prestigious recognition provides validation for the hard work and efforts our team puts forth day in and day out,” Drew Johnson CEO of Axle Logistics shared.  “To earn such a high ranking on the list of America’s fastest growing private companies two years in a row proves to us that we’re doing something right and motivates us to continue to do better.”

 

The Inc. 500 list began back in 1982 and expanded to the Inc. 5000 in 2007. Since then, it has quickly become a hallmark of entrepreneurial success. To qualify for the award, companies must be privately-owned, based in the United States, independent (not a subsidiary or division of another company), and began earning revenue by March 31st, 2013. Additionally, the organization must have had revenue no less than $100,000 in 2013, revenue no less than $2,000,000 in 2016 as well as revenue in 2016 exceeding revenue in 2013.

 

“We’re pumped to be in triple digit rankings of the Inc. 5000 for the second year in a row,” Jon Clay COO of Axle Logistics expressed. “Axle wouldn’t be able to achieve such tremendous growth without its dedicated team members that drive our winning culture.”

 

The lively and active company culture plays a large role in the attraction of new top talent to the downtown Knoxville, TN headquarters. In addition to landing in overall triple digits, Axle also secured the #13 spot for top companies in Tennessee on the 2017 Inc.5000 list. “We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to build and achieve together,” said Johnson.

 

For more information on Axle Logistics, please visit AxleLogistics.com.

 

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About Axle Logistics

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Axle Logistics is a non-asset based, third-party logistics (3PL) company with a focus on providing safe, reliable, advanced transportation services – Truckload, LTL, Intermodal, and Warehousing – to a wide variety of customers throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.axlelogistics.com.

BLOG: LTL – Friend or Foe?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: August 11, 2017, by Axle Logistics

One of the main focuses for any shipper is to correctly select what mode of service is best for their freight and inventory. Often enough, Less Than Truckload (LTL) is utilized to get small shipments delivered through combining several different vendors to fill a truck to capacity. These multiple shipments are made up of pallets that span anywhere from 100lbs to 10,000lbs and are all different types of commodities.

 

Optimizing shipments is a key objective in the LTL world.  Carriers that specialize in LTL moves optimize route guides, scheduling and pallet placement in order to have their trucks run efficiently and effectively. Clients opt for this mode selection as it allows for flexibility and minimized costs.  Cost is one of the biggest draws to shippers utilizing LTL. Because a truckload is created by combining several shipments together, LTL costs are only tied to the space your pallet(s) are in fact using. This minimizes cost immensely! For smaller organizations, this cost savings is huge benefits to their overall transportation spend.

 

Although LTL has a proven way to provide cost savings, it doesn’t come without its challenges. LTL shipments can be sent three different ways: standard, guaranteed, or expedited. In addition to the type of shipment, there are many other services that can be added to for an additional charge. These services include inside pickup and/or delivery, lift gate use, residential access, and the most common, reweighing or reclassification.  The fees associated with these special requirements are called Assessorial Fees.

 

Other challenges include carrier selection and time. Not every carrier ships LTL so it is important to work directly with one who does or a 3PL like Axle Logistics who has established relationships with several LTL partners. And because pricing takes weight, dimensions, and commodity into effect, it is sometimes difficult to receive consistent and competitive pricing if LTL shipments are done intermittently.

 

Transit time sometimes suffers as a result of sending freight LTL. When dealing with going multiple locations to multiple clients, at times transit takes longer than expected. This is the unfortunate trade off of the cost savings seen. Unlike a dedicated truck going from point A to B, LTL drivers face an unforeseen amount of transit issues when servicing several customers with one truck.

 

LTL is a great option when a shipper only needs to send out a small amount of freight that perhaps is not time sensitive.  The minimized cost of LTL compared to the price of a full truckload often times makes many of the challenges of LTL manageable. When maximizing LTL shipments, it is critical to understand the LTL industry as a whole as well as the benefits and challenges it presents to your specific business model.

BLOG: Why Be a “Shipper of Choice”?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: July 20, 2017, by Axle Logistics

The 2017 capacity crunch has uncovered a clear shift in power within the transportation industry. A saturated market, with freight stacking up from coast to coast, has been impacted with a shortage of carriers to haul it. The power of freight selection has come into play and carriers now more than ever have the power to pick and choose which shipments they want to take on. More often than not, a carrier will select the shipment with the most profitability BUT not just in terms of revenue. They often go with a Shipper of Choice.

 

A Shipper of Choice is one who shows a carrier their desire to partner with them, their want to achieve a common goal, and display an investment by providing accommodations at their facilities. These particular shippers understand and appreciate the drivers they encounter and treat them accordingly. Also, Shippers of Choice distribute benefits to the parties involved and keep efficacy in mind. Partnership, in this case, surpasses price.

 

Benefits and accommodations can span from friendly staff, nice restrooms and a comfortable waiting area to flexible delivery windows, automated scheduling, paying invoices on time, and much more. Recently, Axle spoke with a carrier partner who had two shipments available to him paying a difference of $100.00. The driver explained he’d like to be assigned to the shipment paying $100.00 less because the experience at one particular shipper was more valuable to him then the increase in pay. This Shipper of Choice had a respectful staff, coffee, and snacks along with a waiting area in which the driver was able to get out of his cab and stretch his legs as his trailer was being loaded. All of these amenities were of great value to this particular driver.

 

From a driver’s perspective, each location is an experience, positive or negative. Being treated with respect, receiving competitive pay, and spending two+ hours of loading/unloading  time in a comfortable environment all play a very important role in shipment selection. Collecting feedback from drivers on their experience while at your facility can uncover unknown deterrents or issues that occur while on site. This provides insight into what makes your shipments more or less desirable to carriers and may be some things that can be tweaked in the future.

 

In today’s carrier climate, it is very important for there to be a driver friendly environment at a facility. An appealing atmosphere can ultimately strengthen a partnership between drivers and vendors. This type of partnership increases the likelihood of carriers having a memorable, positive experience and wanting to be assigned to these particular shipments in the future.

 

BLOG: Full Charge Ahead?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: July 6, 2017, by Axle Logistics

Electronic run vehicles have rapidly been growing in popularity over the last few years. China as well as the European Union has been pushing towards the shift to electronic vehicles in order to minimize reliance on diesel and take steps toward a cleaner environment. This sudden influx of technology has now crossed the pond leading to 500,000+ electric cars sold throughout the United States. The growing demand for electric passenger vehicles has now led to manufactures to work on producing an all-electric semi-truck.

 

In theory, the addition of this type of equipment to the transportation industry could be revolutionary but it doesn’t come without its own set of hurtles to overcome. First, an all-electric heavy-duty truck will need the range and battery power to complete cross country shipments. Creating this type of power and battery life poses challenges but these trucks may be appearing on the roads sooner than you think.

 

In 2015, BMW put an all-electric 40 ton truck on the road in Germany. The following year, Mercedes-Benz developed a truck that can haul 28,000lbs over a 124 mile stretch with only one charge. Do to the success of this test run, Mercedes-Benz plans on testing several of these trucks for a consecutive twelve months to fully vet all challenges that may incur with this new technology. After testing is complete, the data gathered will be applied to optimizing the vehicles so they can be on the market for sale by 2020.

 

Other manufacturers such as Tesla are also working on creating this Eco-friendly, cost efficient trucks. They are focused on developing an all-electric, heavy duty semi which is capable of larger, heavy shipments. This type of truck will consist of several model 3 motors, the same type you would find in a sedan. This truck is expected to be in production within the next four years.  Although there are still questions as to the battery pack Tesla will use to accomplish this, they are determined to compete with the technology Mercedes-Benz and BMW have created.

 

Another issue manufactures face is the need for updated infrastructure at the supercharger stations. These stations will need to accommodate the charging of these semi-trucks which is necessary in order to allow electric trucks to function throughout a given shipment route. Aside from the financial impact, based on the success of passenger vehicles charging stations, there are no foreseen issues with company’s establishing and implementing the required infrastructure.

 

The presences of electric powered trucks are projected to increase throughout the industry all over the world. And even though they have the ability to minimize emissions and provide long term cost savings, they most likely will not replace traditional trucks any time soon.  Not only must the new technology and infrastructure be embraced, but the awareness of the environmental impact trucks are currently making must take on a presence within an industry that has always run the same way – on diesel.

BLOG: Self-Driving Trucks – Hazard or Innovation?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: June 22, 2017, by Axle Logistics

Rumors have it that self-driving trucks may be appearing on roads near you. In 2016, Budweiser ran a shipment 120 miles through the state of Colorado, successfully, with a self-driven truck.

 

Many questions arise from this technological advance: Will this cause a decline in drivers? How do they even work? And most importantly, how safe could these trucks be?

 

With the introduction of this innovative technology there is a worry that the need for drivers will decrease 50-70% within the next thirteen years. However, these numbers are not logical. Although the trucks drive themselves, they still require a driver to sit in the cab. The idea behind the truck is to select the auto pilot feature to fight fatigue on long highways. The driver can take over at any time to change lanes, exit, or for any other reason. They are also needed for pulling into docks, dropping trailers, and navigating smaller roads.

 

Many accidents involving 18-wheelers occur when drivers become drowsy and this innovation will assist in decreasing these crashes. If an event occurs in which the truck cannot drive in a certain condition, such as snow, the driver will take over and safely navigate the truck in a more traditional manner.

 

These trucks can also sense and adapt to the speeds of cars around it to gauge a safe speed. Additionally, they are programed to keep a safe distance from vehicles around them. A cruise control can also be in affect when autopilot is activated. Cameras allow the truck to see the lines on the road to prevent it from drifting into another lane.

 

Trucks are being tested and monitored across the nation. In 2016, there were self-driving trucks conquering long distances throughout Colorado, Ohio, and Nevada. Many of the areas allowed the trucks to be tested in ideal traffic and roads.

 

Other aspects that haven’t entered the industry wide conversation include:  government regulations, safety precautions, and the decision process of these vehicles when in a dilemma. When there is no longer a need for a driver to be present, how will the autonomous vehicle make a decision in an unpredictable situation?

 

Due to the size of these trucks, it will take time before they are regularly seen out on the roads. However, they will start popping up around the nation more so in the next decade!

BLOG: What is “D.O.T Week”?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: June 6, 2017, by Axle Logistics

Known throughout the transportation community as “D.O.T Week”, drivers across North America proceed with a heightened sense of caution. During this 72-hour window, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) inspectors in all parts of the continent will be conducting examinations of commercial motor vehicles and their drivers.

 

For each of the 30 annual International Roadchecks, the CVSA selects a primary focus each year and places a specific importance on violations within that category. This emphasis is a way for the CVSA to bring attention to the importance of the selected category as a reminder to the transportation community as a whole. Checking for compliance with safe cargo securement regulations is always a key part to a normal inspection, but this year it has been selected as the highlighted focus.

 

This sounds simple enough. For drivers however, it tends to put an added complication to shipment planning and adhering to on-time expectations throughout these 3 days. How you might ask? Inspectors will primarily be conducting the North American Standard Level I inspection. This is the most thorough and lengthy roadside inspection as it is a 37-step procedure. These 37 steps include inspection of vehicle mechanical fitness as well as driver operating requirements. Vehicle inspection includes examining items such as coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft, brake systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, frames, suspension, steering mechanisms, lighting devices, wheels, tires, windshield wipers, and of course cargo securement. Driver inspection includes hours of service documentation, driver’s license review and motor carrier registration as well as shipping documentation. Inspectors also examine things such as seat belt usage and the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 

On average, 17 trucks or buses are inspected every minute during this 72-hour period. 1.5 million inspections have been completed since the International Roadcheck campaigns commencement 30 years ago. With participation by U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Transport Canada, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico), this is the largest implementation program on commercial motor vehicles in the world.

 

Communication throughout the industry on safety is critical to the wellbeing of everyone on the roads. As time consuming and tedious as the International Roadcheck may seem, it is a clear reminder how challenging of a job carrier partners have and the numerous protocols that need to be followed in order to keep our society safe while traveling.

 

BLOG: Cargo Safety over Holiday Weekend

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: May 24, 2017, by Axle Logistics

As Memorial Day approaches and vacation plans begin to form, the transportation industry takes a different look at this honorable three day weekend. According to CargoNet, Memorial Day weekend has seen a 40% higher rate in theft compared to non-holiday weekends. Unfortunately, the standstill of cargo across the country makes it a popular time for theft to occur. 98 thefts were reported over the last 4 years during Memorial Day weekend alone.  In order to not fall subject to one of these crimes, taking the proper precautions is necessary. But what are they?

 

Awareness is key. Education of employees, clients and carriers are crucial to the success and safety of products. All parties must been painfully aware of the concept “cargo at rest is cargo at risk.” It is a daunting reality that is a constant in this industry. However, on weekends such as this one, it is a heightened truth.   Participation is needed from all members of internal staff, whether that is drivers, managers, planners or shippers.

 

If available, tracking systems should be utilized at all time. If use is available, a tracking systems geofencing will send an alert when and if a shipment ever moves. This gives you full visibility to any changes during transit. Depending on the tracking system, some have the capability to alert users any time a door on the trailer opens. This adds another layer of safety to your shipment over a long weekend when a trailer may be sitting unattended.

 

Utilize secured locations whenever possible. When staging product, loading carriers, leaving available equipment – using a secured location minimizes the opportunity of a theft to occur. In a report released by Sensitech, 71% of thefts occur from an unsecured yard. When it comes to trailers, they should always be connected and locked to a truck while it is unattended. In order to secure equipment, trailers are recommended to use landing gear, king pin locks, air cuff locks and rear door locks at all times.

 

Communication between shippers, carrier partners and transportation providers are needed in order to provide safety over a long weekend. Taking these simple precautions may be the difference between a happy Tuesday morning, or a challenging one!

BLOG: THE NEW GENERATION OF HEAVY DUTY ENGINE OILS

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: May 3, 2017, by Axle Logistics

There is a new generation of heavy duty engine oils. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and major engine manufacturers have put into place new objectives around medium and heavy-duty vehicles fuel economy and emissions. To meet these goals as well as secure proper engine protection, new generations of diesel engine oils have been rolled out.

 

The new PC-11 (Proposed Category 11) Heavy Duty Engine Oils (HDEO), now called CK-4 and FA-4 will surpass current CJ-4 oil technology. What is the difference you ask? Many next-generations engines will require being run at a higher temperature while operating in order to meet the requirements of releasing fewer emissions. This is where PC-11 comes in.

 

We know what you’re thinking – how does it impact us? When it comes to transportation companies, this new standard will provide the opportunity to cut operating costs and reduce fuel consumption. Other benefits such as reduced wear and deposits on engines will help minimize maintenance costs and downtime. A shift in oils can allow fleet owners to see a significant fuel economy savings while giving drivers confidence and peace of mind that the product they are now using has gone through severe testing for performance engine protection.

 

CK-4 and FA-4 oils will have to pass the seven existing CJ-4 tests for licensing qualification. In addition, there will be two new tests added measuring improved oxidation and aeration.  These two new tests will indicate the oil’s ability to provide fuel economy benefits and enhanced engine protection – things that are not currently measures as there are no specific fuel economy tests.

 

For transportation companies throughout out the United States, this change has already been a positive one. Although there is an initial adjustment to the types of oils that need to be used to keep fleets in tip top shape, there is a long term cost benefit as well as the ability to minimize their greenhouse emissions. Reach out to your Axle Logistics Consultant or your current Fluid Management partner for more details!

BLOG: FREIGHT DECLINE – FACT OR FICTION?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: April 18, 2017, by Axle Logistics

As 2017 began, several outlets released that the freight decline was coming to an end. And as it turns out, this prediction seems to be holding true. Supply chains across the industry typically see a decline in freight availability through April each year. But as of February, there has been more than a 100% increase in spot market volumes over this time last year. Capacity has continued to loosen and various factors have allowed rates to stay relatively stagnant.

 

One of the main indicators is a slow amount of contracted freight has been moving this year in the Southwest region. This has pushed normal “contracted carriers” into the spot market. Another major factor has been the influx of refrigerated carriers entering the spot market as well. The minimal demand so far in 2017 for refrigerated trailers has landed those drivers competing for spot van opportunities. This has allowed vendors to keep rates low for longer than usual.

 

But things are slowly starting to tick up. The demand for vans has increased over the last several weeks in many of the country’s larger markets such as Atlanta, Chicago, and Memphis. But even though there has been a small increase in accessible freight, the low number of available trucks has kept these major cities off the DAT Hot Market Map indicator.

 

Although vans and reefers are competing for seasonal opportunities, flatbed volumes have been increasing at a progressive rate which is ahead of schedule. Large volumes have entered into the North and Southeast primarily driven by oil productions.  Drilling in the Permian Basin, which is located in the western part of Texas, has increased the volumes of routes such as Pittsburgh to Houston. Pittsburgh has gushed up 28% in the past 5 weeks causing them to be the largest raising market in the area. Tampa and Birmingham have also increased just over a strong 20% in the same time frame.

 

Across the country, several factors are dabbling into what we consider the normal market cycle. We are seeing an influx in spot freight, weather patterns that are lasting longer than usual and slower production levels. The research points to FACT – the freight decline is over. Only time will tell what the rest of the 2017 Q2 has in store.

BLOG: What Does the Sanitary Transportation of Food Rule Mean for You?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: April 4, 2017, by Axle Logistics

On April 6th 2017, the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule will take effect. If you are a supplier of human or animal perishable food or if you are a carrier that handles this type freight, you most likely heard that this piece of legislation was coming down the pipeline. The Sanitary Transportation of Food rule is just one segment of the Food Safety Modernization Act. But many people are asking what does this rule mean for them and how will it impact the transportation industry? Let’s take closer look!

 

It is very important to prepare for the changes that may impact shippers and carriers alike on a daily basis.  Procedures must be carefully followed to ensure the safety of food throughout transit. This includes keeping ready-to-eat food separate and away from raw food, there must be adequate temperature controls, and food must be protected from cross-contamination’s. Records of written procedures, training and agreements must be created by carriers. These records must be retained based on the group requirements outlined in the Sanitary Transportation of Food rule. Additionally, all carrier employees must adhere to the new training requirements.

 

When will this impact your company? Well, this rule will be rolled out in a staggered outline. First, large shippers and carriers must be compliant by April 6th 2017 while mid-size businesses have until April 2018. Although many companies have until 2018 to comply with the second deadline of this roll out, most shippers are expecting carriers within their programs to comply by the April 6 deadline, regardless of the size of the carrier’s business. There is an exception to this rule – smaller carriers, shippers, and/or receivers are not required to comply with the rule. It is very important to read the guidelines and confirm what segment your organization falls in to avoid any issues. Although an exception exists, it is still important to remember that most shippers will anticipate compliance with this rule by all transportation providers.

 

Rest assured the FDA feels that these new requirements simply reflect the current industry best practices. Many shippers and carriers across the country already have these requirements implemented in their current process so it is anticipated that there will be minimal impact to the industry. To put it simply, the goal of the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule is to improve the safety of food while it is transit over the road or by rail.

 

If you have any questions regarding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule or the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), reach out to your Axle Logistics consultant today!

BLOG: The Produce Effect

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: March 21, 2017, by Axle Logistics

Across the country, crop volumes are at a peak height from early spring to the summer. This is what we in the supply chain world call Produce Season! Throughout this time of the year, trucks are in high demand to get time-sensitive produce into markets, primarily out of the southeast.

 

Many variables are factored into the rates that hit the market during this time of year. For the most part, produce farms are in relatively secluded areas which cause a large impact on carrier availability. This also can lead to higher rates for capacity – especially refrigerated trailers. Most produce is always shipped on a refrigerated truck as other modes such as intermodal cannot adhere to the time sensitivity. This puts a strain on capacity throughout the nation as produce season creates somewhat of a shortage for other shippers needing a refrigerated piece of equipment.

 

DAT North American Freight Index released that it is typical to see a 30% spot freight increase during this time. Because of this, other modes are impacted as well. Dry van carriers, railroads, and LTL carriers tend to push for rate increases in response to the higher refrigerated capacity demand.

 

A big way to elevate the capacity crunch and rate increases is for shippers to align their transportation program with a 3rd Party Logistics provider. As a 3PL, Axle Logistics has the capability to proactively plan for this time of year and adjust before the market changes instead of reacting to it like many asset based providers are forced to. Axle is aligned with a network of carriers, contracted year round for dedicated corridors. This allows us to provide our clients first in class service year round eliminating shipper’s fear of a lack of capacity or increase of rates.

 

For our produce suppliers, you too are in the right hands! Axle is fully educated and experienced within the produce industry. From high volume to high value, Axle is integrated in hundreds of clients supply chains focused on safety and proper execution of a shipment containing perishables. No matter what line of business you are in, Axle Logistics has the capabilities to shield you as much as possible from the impacts of produce season allowing your supply chain to continue to run uninterrupted.

BLOG: 2017 The Year of ELDs

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: March 7, 2017, by Axle Logistics

As a society, we are accustomed to a 24/7 news cycle and the overflow of unsolicited information from countless social media outlets. Most times, we do not have the luxury of selecting the conversation or content we want to hear about. And as a carrier in today’s transportation world, there are many things that are a growing concern that need to be front and center. One of those conversations is the implementation and impact of Electronic Logging Devices.

 

The implementation of ELDs looks as though it will find a permanent way into the transportation world by the end of 2017. There is a very competitive and growing market of ELD providers which continues to expand month after month. Costs for ELDs have been minimized by the approval of smartphone applications by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The most expensive piece for carriers to onboard an ELD program is the one time cost of the cable that connects to the truck (about $175.00) and then the monthly service by the ELD companies themselves – averaging $40.00/month. Long term, this is a much more minimal cost than originally anticipated.

 

Aside from the cost of implementation, the most popular question is how much of an impact will ELDs actually make on keeping drivers hours of service in check. According to FMCSA, during a surprise nationwide inspection in May of 2016, 12.4% of vehicles stopped were placed out of service due to HOS violations.

 

It is the hope that ELDs will promote and require safer driving as well as a decrease in HOS fines for drivers throughout the industry. In addition to minimizing fines, many smaller carriers see ELDs as the ticket to creating a level playing field and allow them to better control customers’ expectations. Only time will tell how ELDs will truly impact the market but one thing is for certain – fasten your seat belts because they are coming!

BLOG: Ripple Effect of Poor Transportation Service

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: August 23, 2016, by Axle Logistics

Those that have been in the logistics business for a number of years have probably experienced a missed pickup or delivery at one time or another, but what some shippers don’t realize is the trickle effect that these instances of poor transportation service can have on organizations. Let’s think about what happens when a truck misses a routine pickup…

More than likely, the load (product) was already staged at a dock at a shipping facility, which means no other trucks could use that dock during that time, creating an operational bottleneck. The potential also lies for added labor costs as a result of employees having to wait on the truck to arrive for loading and perhaps having to move and re-stage the load multiple times.

Additionally, you have to consider the “missed opportunity” costs associated with potentially dissatisfying the receiver, which could result in reduced purchases or even a lost customer forever.

What about from a different perspective? For receivers, this one missed pickup can also have a big impact. It could result in potential stock outs or inventory issues, or force the shut down or retooling of a production line in order to work around the absence of a product in high demand. And, let’s not forget the inefficient use of labor due to waiting around to unload a shipment that is late or never arrives.

The bottom line is that this complex chain of events was all started with one simple missed pickup, and the end result most often is an unhappy customer. As a third-party logistics company with a focus on service, we manage a lot of moving parts and have a lot of people relying on us, which makes it essential for all of our consultants to understand the effect that one misstep can have.

There are few industries like transportation and logistics where one mistake impacts so many others. It’s what makes our business so challenging but also so rewarding.

Axle Logistics named to 2016 Inc. 5000 list

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: August 17, 2016, by Axle Logistics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Knoxville-based Axle Logistics, a third-party advanced transportation logistics company, announced today that it has been named to the 2016 Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. Axle Logistics was co-founded in 2012 by University of Tennessee graduates Jon Clay and Drew Johnson and now finds itself ranked #693 on this year’s prestigious list.

Companies on the Inc.5000 list are ranked according to the percentage growth of their annual revenue over a three-year period. Additionally, they must be U.S.-based, privately held, independent, and for-profit in order to qualify for the listing.

“We’re honored to be recognized alongside some of the country’s most innovative and fastest growing companies,” said co-founder Jon Clay. “This achievement is a validation of our company’s commitment to developing strong, personal relationships with our customers, while being fully dedicated to meeting their needs on a daily basis.”

Following a recent expansion of its headquarters, the company expects the growth to continue with plans of further expansion in Knoxville along with adding a second location outside of Knoxville in the future.

“There is no question the key to our rapid growth has been and will continue to be our people,” said Drew Johnson, co-founder of Axle Logistics. “All that we have achieved can be attributed to our entire team, which is the foundation of our success. Their continued commitment to providing high-level service and solutions to our customers has been the driving force behind our year-over-year growth.”

As the transportation industry continues to evolve, Johnson believes that Axle is perfectly positioned for the future. “Because of our forward-thinking, team-oriented culture and the uniqueness of our approach to managing logistics, we expect to sustain this healthy growth pattern as demand continues to grow for innovative third-party logistics providers,” said Johnson.

For more information on Axle Logistics visit axlelogistics.com.

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About Axle Logistics

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Axle Logistics is a non-asset based, third-party logistics (3PL) company with a focus on providing safe, reliable, advanced transportation services – Truckload, LTL, Intermodal, and Warehousing – to a wide variety of customers throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.axlelogistics.com.

BLOG: “Uberization” of the Trucking Industry?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: July 14, 2016, by Axle Logistics

The term “Uberization” has become a popular topic in the commercial trucking industry over the last two-plus years, as more and more companies explore mobile applications to deliver smarter, faster, better logistics and supply chain management solutions. According to a recent study by Frost & Sullivan, it is estimated that mobile “brokering” will affect $26.4 billion of all truck/freight revenues by 2025, paving the roads for evolution in the industry.

One of the reasons that the concept of “Uberization” has gained traction in the transportation industry may be the number of potential benefits that mobile applications can offer. The concept of “Uberization” promises drivers exclusive access to more payloads on shorter timetables, allows them to realize additional revenues, and reduces empty miles and congestion on the roads. Additionally, the overall transaction between shipper and carrier can be made quicker so that shippers are billed and carriers are paid without unnecessary delay. Sounds pretty good, right?

Of course, with innovation also comes challenges. An industry-wide movement into mobile applications like this will require significant consideration of licensing and regulation, as well as acceptance from drivers, which may be one of the main reasons adoption has been slow up to this point. Implementing this “Uberization” dynamic into a heavily fragmented industry will also require a certain uniformity as it relates to legal, compliance, insurance and contracts that currently doesn’t exist.

Keep in mind there remains significant variance between shipper-carrier, shipper-broker, and broker-carrier contracts. Ambiguity around governing these contracts and the legal process is high. Regulation is increasingly complex and vague. And, shippers are getting more extreme with the assumption of liability that they demand out of carriers and brokers in the ongoing “push” for common ground. With all sides so far apart regarding who ultimately takes on the risks, amplified with the fragmentation in the industry, one can only speculate where the evolution of technology will take us. Until the industry implements a more uniform platform regarding regulation, insurances and contract liabilities, it’s going to be difficult for the “Uberization” trend to take hold. Furthermore, in many cases, large carriers and shippers have developed long-standing relationships over the years that they may not be willing to sacrifice for the thought of an “app” despite its efficiency.

So, can what Uber did to the Taxi industry be accomplished by a similar organization in the commercial trucking industry? Consider the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 which served to deregulate cooperative price setting, ease of entry into the market and price controls. Now, consider how the Taxi industry operates and the effect Uber has had on it. Technology can certainly do great things to create a free marketplace, and Capitol Hill can also help by passing legislation for a more competitive transportation environment.

While experienced shippers who have already developed a network may not want to switch to using the mobile applications, others may find that doing so will allow them to run their businesses more efficiently. Whether you’re “old school” or “new school”, it’s ultimately about bringing the best of technology and applying it to improve the transportation industry. It will be interesting to see what that looks like over the next few years as technological changes continue to occur at an exponential rate.

BLOG: Driverless Trucks…Sure to Create Industry Controversy!

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: June 22, 2016, by Axle Logistics

Recently a convoy of self-automated “smart” trucks completed a European cross-border trip, concluding the first-ever cross-border experiment of its kind. The self-driving trucks began their trip from factories from as far away as Sweden and southern Germany and finished their journey in Rottersdam Harbor. The test trucks were semi-automated and, despite computers allowing them to drive by themselves, human drivers were still required on board.

While self-driving cars seem to be getting all the headlines these days, this successful test-drive across Europe serves notice that self-driving trucks may actually transform our roads first.

Undoubtedly, self-driving trucks will be a controversial issue for the industry. Advocates will say that self-driving trucks could lower shipping expenses by cutting costs and with no weary drivers, enable trucks to be on the road longer. They will say that additional savings could be achieved through fuel efficiencies, and since trucking represents a considerable portion of the cost of all the goods we buy, consumers could possibly benefit from lower costs. Of course, improved driver safety should also be considered.

Additionally, self-driving trucks could present a solution for the nation’s driver shortage. The industry shortage is currently estimated at 35,000-40,000 drivers. Meanwhile, projections call for 240,000 new drivers needed by 2023 just to keep up with freight growth.

Despite all of the potential benefits of self-driving, there is a downside to consider. Self-driving trucks could put a lot of people out of a job. While the technology gains are real – too real to pass up in some cases – there are tremendous potential adverse effects.  In addition to the 1.6 million American truck drivers, who would be put at risk, the economic trickle down to truck stops, highway diners, rest stops, motels and other businesses who serve the trucking industry could be devastating.

Bottom-line, this is another example of how technology continues to shape our industry. We predict the debate regarding self-driving trucks will be a long and hard fought one.

BLOG: How Much Regulation Is Too Much?

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: June 2, 2016, by Axle Logistics

The roots of regulation of the U.S. transportation industry go back to 1887, when Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission to oversee the railroad industry. In the years between 1887 and 1980 the trucking industry was added to the regulation landscape. The result was the addition of more and more regulations that over time became more cumbersome and restrictive for the industry.

Driven by the need to keep pace with the country’s rapidly expanding need for transportation services, in 1980, Congress enacted the Motor Carrier Act of 1980.  The Motor Carrier Act, in effect, deregulated interstate freight transportation before Congress took further measures to clean up and decontrol the industry in 1995.

Now comes 2016… it seems like the industry is experiencing new regulations coming out every month, and there is every indication that this fact is not going to change. Most recently, the industry has been faced with implications and implementation of the mandating of electronic logging devices (ELD); the THUD bill which addresses hours-of-service rules restart provisions; regulatory-induced reductions in capacity; CSA (Compliance, Safety and Accountability) and the implementation of the Fast Act which poses major implications for determining rates and the ability for transportation companies to work together.

No doubt there are pros and cons to all of these regulations, whether you agree or disagree with them, but the point is that all of us who work in the transportation and logistics industry need to be collectively vigilant. We need to exercise our right to speak out, to protect our businesses and the industry. After all, Congress and the regulators work for us. When a new regulation is proposed, let them know your opinion. Only then can we define how much regulation is too much!

Axle Logistics announces volunteer and financial support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: June 1, 2016, by Axle Logistics

Axle Logistics today announced the company has formed a relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, a non-profit organization that since 1970 has been providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that transform their lives for the better.

Axle’s support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is highlighted by the commitment of multiple Axle employees who recently volunteered to become “Bigs” as part of the organization’s site-based and community-based programs – a result directly attributed to what was one of the most highly attended lunch-and-learns in Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee’s history earlier this month.

In addition to volunteer support, the newly formed relationship also includes Axle Logistics’ financial support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee through the sponsorship of the organization’s new Mentor 2.0 program, as well as its “Roof Top Crawl Party” fundraiser scheduled for later this summer.

In the past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has served approximately 878 children and has been focused on increasing fundraising efforts to aid in matching more children with a mentor.

“The work that Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee does in this community is tremendous, and continues to make an impact in children’s lives,” says Jon Clay, co-founder and managing partner of Axle Logistics. “We believe strongly in their vision that all children have the opportunity to achieve success in life, and we look forward to helping them push this mission forward in a variety of meaningful ways.”

Launching in fall 2016, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee’s Mentor 2.0 program is a technology-enriched, email-supported, one-to-one youth mentoring program directly targeting qualifying high school students at a local high school, in this case South Doyle. The program focuses on college readiness and success for high school students, particularly those who are slated to become first-generation college students.

Mentors and mentees will communicate through weekly writing activities, discussing important topics such as professionalism, perseverance, self-advocacy, college financial aid, and career choices. In addition to email communication, mentors and mentees will meet in-person eight times per year at Big Brothers Big Sisters-sponsored activities.

Mentor 2.0 students will attend a weekly class session to work through a research-based curriculum as well as spend time messaging their mentor. The curriculum creates a baseline of conversations and activities for all matches. It covers non-cognitive skills necessary for college success such as perseverance, critical thinking, help seeking and self-advocacy, and optimism about the future. It will also cover college knowledge such as college selection, applications and financial aid.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great organization with a large need that happens to match up very well with our workforce’s demographic,” says Drew Johnson, co-founder and managing partner of Axle Logistics. “We have a number of young, energetic professionals that are passionate about helping this community and giving back in an impactful way. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a great way to facilitate that initiative.”

Today’s announcement comes just a few short weeks after Axle Logistics recently announced it will soon begin the expansion of its headquarters on the 10th floor of the Langley Building in downtown Knoxville in order to accommodate the hiring of an additional 40 employees over the next year and a half.

About Axle Logistics

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Axle Logistics is a non-asset based, third-party logistics (3PL) company with a focus on providing safe, reliable, advanced transportation services – Truckload, LTL, Intermodal, and Warehousing – to a wide variety of customers throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.axlelogistics.com.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one‐to‐one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Through these relationships, children achieve success throughout their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee has served more than 850 children in 2015. Through one to one mentoring relationships, these children make better decisions about their lives, have a better attitude about school and choose to avoid risky behaviors. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is always seeking mentors to serve as Bigs in the program. For more information on becoming a mentor, go to www.tennesseebig.org.

Welcome to the New Axle Website

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: May 10, 2016, by Axle Logistics

First, let us take this opportunity to welcome you to the new Axle Logistics website. We’re incredibly excited to bring it to you!

Here, you will find an in-depth look at our capabilities and experience in delivering safe, reliable, advanced transportation services to a variety of customers throughout North America, including details about our uniquely skilled team; our innovative technology and processes; our personal, high touch approach; and our positive work environment and culture.

Through this website, you will gain a better understanding of our commitment to valuing people, performing with integrity, and exceeding client expectations, no matter the size and scope of the customer or shipment. We trust that you will also get a sense of the passion, innovation and service that we strive to provide every customer and carrier every time – a philosophy which has led to Axle Logistics becoming one of the fastest-growing third-party logistics companies in the U.S.

Since our inception, Axle Logistics has been ahead of the curve in terms of the service, expertise and advanced technologies that we offer our customers, carriers (partners) and employees, and we hope that this new website helps reflect the fact that we’re different. Because, quite frankly, we are.

On behalf of Axle Logistics, we want to thank you for taking the time to visit our new website, and hope that you will take the next step in considering us for your shipping needs or future career.

Knoxville-based Axle Logistics announces headquarters expansion amid rapid growth

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: May 10, 2016, by Axle Logistics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Axle Logistics, a third-party logistics company co-founded by University of Tennessee graduates Jon Clay and Drew Johnson, today announced that it will soon begin the expansion of its headquarters on the 10th floor of the Langley Building in downtown Knoxville on Summit Hill Drive.

Formerly occupied by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the company currently holds more than 5,000 sq. ft. of space and has acquired an additional 3,322 sq. ft. as part of the expansion. Interior construction is scheduled to begin this month.

“When we started Axle Logistics, we knew we were different in our approach and we certainly had a vision for success,” said Jon Clay. “What has transpired in such a short period of time since in terms of the company’s reputation and growth, including today’s headquarters expansion announcement, is directly in line with our initial vision and expectations. We’ve come a long way, but we still consider ourselves to be on the ground floor of our growth potential and are just scratching the surface as far as where we’re headed.”

Since its inception, Axle Logistics has continued to experience rapid growth year-over-year with overall revenue and employee count nearly doubling in each of the last three years. The company expects this trend to continue as the country’s shipping needs continue to grow and evolve and more clients become aware of the value and expertise that Axle brings. The company has grown from two employees in its first year of operations and expects to employ more than 60 by the end of the 2016.

In the fast-paced transportation industry where global supply chains are changing on a daily basis and customer behavior can change overnight, the need for innovation and true partnership in the industry continues to grow. Axle Logistics was founded on this growing need and was built with the overall vision of bringing a sense of comfort and convenience to an industry often filled with inefficiencies by providing specialized customer service and a unique overall philosophy and approach to logistics.
For more information on Axle Logistics, visit www.axlelogistics.com.

Axle Logistics names Branch Manager

NEWSPRESS RELEASE: Publish Date: May 10, 2016, by Axle Logistics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Axle Logistics announced that Shawn McLeod has been named Branch Manager of the company’s downtown Knoxville office.

McLeod brings to Axle more than a decade of experience in third-party logistics and the transportation industry. In his role as Branch Manager, McLeod will be responsible for leading the and sustaining all of Axle’s Knoxville Branch sales and client service operations, including developing relationships with prospective customers, negotiating with carriers, and mentoring staff to ensure the company’s performance and service standards are being met and are consistent.

“Shawn’s wealth of knowledge and successful background in this industry adds multiple levels of value to our growing company and service offerings,” said Drew Johnson, co-founder of Axle Logistics. “This is yet another step in our commitment to delivering superior value and service to all of those we touch.”

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Axle Logistics is a non-asset based third-party logistics (3PL) company with a focus on providing safe, reliable, advanced transportation services – truckload, LTL, intermodal, warehousing, and dedicated – to a wide variety of customers throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico.
For more information, visit www.axlelogistics.com.

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