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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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