Office: (763) 572-3788

The Nationwide Costs of implementing the ELD Mandate

 

With the trucking industry trying to come to terms with the ELD Mandate. We are seeing its effects throughout all industries as freight rates are rising due to the regulation, driver shortages, and retiring drivers. As freight rates increase for shippers, the price of the goods we buy on a daily basis will go up. This year we will see the added costs of trucking trickled down to the consumers across all industries.

Food prices expected to rise due to ELD mandate

The produce industry is one which has a large concern about being able to find the truckload capacity to move their produce around the country.

The prices of fresh produce is expected to rise in the wake of the ELD mandate (Source: Pexels) Ever since the ELD mandate in December, there has been a discussion about the inevitability in the inflation of food prices across the country. It does not take an economist to understand the scenario – ELDs enforce hours-of-service (HOS) rules, which is widely seen as a restriction on the trucking community and a limit on the number of hours drivers are on the road, thereby increasing the time it takes for freight delivery. It also reduces the profit margins of fleets and drive up rates, which has been quite evident across the industry over the last couple of months. The FMCSA defends the introduction of ELDs, saying it helps keep the roads safer by reducing truckers from going behind the wheel when they are fatigued. Data collected by FMCSA on ELD usage in 2014 showed a 12% reduction in the total crash rate. But the report also noted that there was a visible skewing in data towards larger fleet companies, which made the results questionable. Food prices expected to rise due to ELD mandate

thumbnail courtesy of freightwaves.com

How RC Transport can help your company

As a company that moves freight on a daily basis, RC Transport is seeing the tight capacity concern throughout our customer base. The increasing rates have made it hard for customers to move their products. In order to help with the increased truckload prices, we are offering Flat-Rate Shipping Services for all Partial and Full Truckload shipments. We also have discounts on our LTL Freight services. If your company is looking for better pricing and excellent service, contact us today.

 

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The Top 7 BOL Don’ts

RCT Blog back again with a few tips on what you should never put on an LTL Bill of Lading. In today’s world, BOL’s are scanned by computers and pallets are weighed and measured by computers and lasers. These automated systems require us to provide accurate information and if we don’t, we get penalized for it with outrageous fees. Here are some BOL Don’ts you should follow.

 

Accurately filling out your BOL will ensure you pay what you get quoted. These are 7 BOL Don’ts I have learned over time:

  • Don’t ever reference “liftgate” or “inside delivery” if you are not requesting these services.
    • I know this sounds like common sense, but sometimes goofy errors happen. Instead, if no services are required try stating-” No accessorial services approved without authorization.” This makes it so the carrier is required to contact you before adding any extra services.
  • In the Company Name Field of the BOL, don’t ever put a person’s name
    • This can result in residential delivery fees.
  • Don’t ever put “insured for $xxx.xx” on the BOL
    • Extra carrier insurance charges may result

 

  • Do not put the released value unless the nmfc# requires this information on the BOL.
    • Extra carrier insurance charges may result
  • Do not put deliver by, deliver on, or deliver after on the BOL.
    • Storage charges expedited/guaranteed delivery charges may result.
  • BOL’s must state- Contact “xxx” if delivery problems occur, an email and phone number should be provided.
    • Carriers will communicate about refused freight, accessorial service approvals, etc.
  • Ensure only one BOL is handed to the driver upon pick up.
    • If multiple documents required, ensure the driver places the pro sticker on the BOL Which is to be followed.
    • Drivers will often pro sticker the BOL with the shipper’s logo/ header.
    • Unwanted freight movement and re-consignment charges may result.

If you are looking for help classifying your shipments or would like some pricing, call us today and one of our freight specialists would be happy to work with you to get to where you need to be to reduce rebills and save you time and money moving forward into the future.

Click here to get a quote today!

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LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 3 of 3)

Hey everyone, RCT Blog is back again this week with our third part of our series: LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills- The Series.  In this section of our series, we will be talking about the ways you can make sure your description, NMFC#, and freight class are all matching up correctly.

Freight Description

On the BOL of any LTL shipment, the Freight Description must accurately match the freight that ships. When you find your NMFC#, the description used to describe you NMFC# in bold is exactly what needs to be used as the description on your BOL. Do not contradict the NMFC# description(Bold wording) with the freight description:

In the photo below, the bold wording is what is always used in the freight description.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing Your NMFC#

Be careful when you are deciding on your NMFC#’s and make sure that the entire NMFC # description matches the freight accurately. If you do not include an NMFC # on your BOL, then carriers will inspect your freight. The NMFC#’s change regularly, so it is important to keep them updated and be aware when they do update. Your class should be supported by your product description, density, and NMFC#. If one of these is lacking support then you could be shipping in the wrong class.

Some NMFC# will have special packaging requirements, so be aware of all relevant notes and packaging requirements listed under the NMFC#’s. One last thing you will want to do is confirm that the selected nmfc# falls within the appropriate Group for the type of product it is.

 

Choosing Your Class:

When choosing a class for your LTL shipment you should always start with your product description and then find the correct NMFC# for your product. Once you find the correct NMFC#, then you can use the density of your pallet to determine the class. Most NMFC#’s are broken down into subs which change the class based on the density. If you don’t know your NMFC#, it is best to run your shipment at the class associated with the density.  This diagram shows which classes go with each density:

 

                                                                          SUB                           DENSITY                          CLASS

 

Now we have gone over the top 6 things that you need to have to help your freight broker reduce re-bills. They were; Knowing what accessorial charges are needed before shipping, accurately documenting weight and dimensions, and finding the correct NMFC# in order to provide the correct freight description and class. If you need help or have questions on how to find any of this information and RCT Specialist can help you today- call (763)-572-3788

You can check out the last post of this series here “The Top 7 BOL No-Nos” Please Enjoy!

 

 

 

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LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 2 of 3)

Welcome back everyone, in this post we are going to be looking at how LTL Shipment Weight can possibly cause a re-bill incident. In our previous post (LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 1 of 3)), we spoke about how it is important to have accurate information for your BOL in order to avoid re-bills. Your LTL Shipment Weight is one of the most important pieces of information you can have correct on your BOL. There are a few different kinds of shippers in the fact that they weigh their shipments differently. Here are the different kinds of shippers:

Certified Weight – As a certified shipper you have taken the steps and invested in a calibrated and certified scale to get the most accurate and documented LTL shipment weight. This allows you to document proof to fight reweigh situations when they arise.

Estimated Weight- As an Estimated shipper, you take the weight of your product and add weight for the packaging and pallets. Over time you have found an LTL shipment weight that works well for you. With this kind of weighing you could expect some rebilling until you find the right LTL shipment weight for your products.

Relayed Weight- As a Relayed shipper, you are given the LTL shipment weight information by another party who either has a scale or is guessing the weight. In this situation, you should expect a few re-bill situations due to miscommunication.

 

How LTL Shipment Weight Can be Wrong-

 

 

When shipping managers tend to ship freight they can sometimes forget to account for the pallet weight or the packing material weight. It is important to remember to account for everything involved in your shipment when calculating weights. If your product weighs “X” already packaged, don’t forget to add 30-45 lbs of pallet weight per pallet. If your product is unpackaged remember to add in packaging weight and pallet weight. It is best to always weigh and measure pallets after they are finished and built.

 

Weight Tips for LTL Shipments:

  • Be sure the equipment type you are using can handle the weight of your shipment. For instance, a liftgate has a maximum load capacity of 3,500 lbs. 
  • Avoid using whole numbers or rounding weight to whole numbers:
    • 400  lbs would be better at 407 lbs and when it is 400 lbs, it raises a red flag to the carrier’s system and usually, the shipment will be inspected and reweighed.

Weight is very important for your shipments because the weight of your shipment helps determine the density of your shipment. A smaller or larger density can have a big impact on the class of a shipment. Changing the class of your shipment can have huge effects on the price of your shipment, that is why it is so important to run your shipments at the correct class every time.

 

Dimensions of your Pallets

When shipping your pallets you need to be sure they are being built correctly in order for your dimensions to be accurate. In today’s transportation world, more and more tasks are becoming automated and the ones that already are include weighing and measuring your shipments. Machines called Dimensionalizers are used to measure your shipments using lasers. Your shipment is placed in a square box on the terminal floor and lasers from all sides take measurements up and down your pallet. If your pallet is 48 x 40 on the bottom, but 54 x 46 on the top, then you will be getting a re-bill using the dimensions of 56 x 46 to price the shipment.

Winning in an Automated World?

It is possible to challenge the automated systems that are now used in today’s terminals. Most of the time we will lose due to a poor job on the front end of correctly building and securing the pallet. It is important to make sure you are using the widest most dimension of your pallets when you get your pricing because that is what you will ultimately be billed for. Winning in an automated world is all about playing by the rules and having the most accurate information possible. Its pretty simple really and if things get a little hairy….people like myself are here to save the day!

Some tips on dimensions:

  • Put exact dimensions on BOL
  • Include all dimensions on BOL
  • A large majority of NMFC#’s are density based and dimensions are used to calculate density.
  • Having no dimensions listed on your BOL with a Density-Based NMFC# will guarantee you an inspection.
  • Selecting the “standard pallet” option is not a substitute for entering dimensions.
  • Ensure freight is adequately attached to your pallets. Freight Shift can change your dimensions.

 

 

 

As you can see above if your dimensions change, the carriers could end up changing the price on you. We just need to take all of the precautionary steps to prevent freight-shift and re-weighs. By securing your freight and documenting accurate weights and measurements for your shipments, we can drastically reduce rebills and make them non-existent for you. RC Transport specializes in Less Than truckload shipping and would enjoy the opportunity to partner with you and reduce your rebilling instances and save you money on your shipments. Call (763)572-3788 Today for a Quote or email nate.abbott@rctransportusa.com

In our next post we will talk about LTL Freight Description and NMFC#’s on your BOL’s. It is important to have this information correct to prevent rebilling from the carriers. To read more click here:  LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 3 of 3)

 

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The Trucking Industry has Essentially hit the 100% Capacity Mark.

A new year brings challenges to the trucking industry as it continues to struggle with truckload capacity issues. The problems with capacity continue to stem from the increased overall freight demand. Along with this increased demand, we just saw a big change in the industry with electronic logging. The ELD Mandate is changing the way freight moves and therefore impacting truckload capacity further.

 

trucker.com

 

Data tracked by DAT Solutions, for example, showed that the number of available loads for the week ending December 16 increased 2.4% while available capacity dipped 7.5%, sending load-to-truck ratios higher in the dry van, refrigerated and flatbed sectors compared to the previous week. Trucking freight rates, in both the spot and contract segments, have been increasing for shippers, which is an “immediate reflection” of the tight truck capacity situation.  Little to no truck capacity ahead for early 2018 | American Trucker

The Next 6 Months:

If we see any big winter storms this season, it could push truckload capacity way above the current 100%.  This would leave shippers having to pay much more to get loads delivered on time. Shippers might even have to be more flexible with delivery times if they can in order to save money on freight cost. This first half of 2018 will prove to be challenging for everyone in the industry.

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LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 1 of 3)

Working with a Transportation Provider-

Most transportation managers today are working with a transportation provider to assist them in managing their freight shipping needs. When shipping less than truckload shipments, a transportation provider helps in dealing with freight claims and billing disputes.  From my previous experiences, I found it hard to deal with the rebills and claims with my LTL shipments. Once my volume got to a certain point, I spoke to my boss about using an outside transportation provider. It makes sense and allows you to have the time to handle other aspects of the job. In my case, I also was in charge of hiring employees for the warehouse.

How a Transportation Provider can Help-

Working with a transportation provider can help your LTL operations run more smoothly. A great transportation provider will make your job easier. If you have a knowledgeable transportation provider they will be able to save you money. They do this by running shipments at the correct classes and avoiding rebills. They will also fight to dispute rebills and claims for you when those situations do happen. The transportation carriers have turned to automation in their facilities. It now requires more attention to detail than ever to run freight correctly and abide by all of their rules. But, if you do so, shipping through LTL is very cost effective. A knowledgeable transportation provider can help guide your way through the complex system.

Correctly Setting Up Your LTL Bill of Lading-

For starters, correctly setting up your bill of lading or BOL (as the industry calls it), is one of the most important steps you can take when shipping LTL freight. When shipping an LTL shipment a correct BOL reduces the likelihood of a re-bill. Having a strong BOL will reduce the chances that your freight will be inspected by the LTL carrier. This will reduce the chance of any dimensions or weight being changed due to a possible error. Also by providing the most accurate information to your transportation provider such as the information below, you can ensure you will get the most accurate pricing:

 

Correct Class

NMFC#

Accurate Description

Exact Dimensions

Exact Weight

If you are unaware of the class or NMFC#, you will need to provide your Transportation provider with some information. They will need an accurate description of the product and the exact dimensions and weight. Your provider will be able to get the class and NMFC # to accurately price the shipment with a definition, weight, and dimensions.

 

This 5 part blog series will provide basic tips on how to work with your transportation provider. You will help them ensure your freight moves correctly and without any re-billing issues. The first topic I will be talking about will be:

 

Accessorial Charges

When shipping Less Than Truckload shipments, there are many accessorial charges for add-on options to your shipments. As a shipper, it is important to confirm with your consignee’s the type of equipment that is required for delivery. Every shipment is different, but by having the exact details, your transportation provider can ensure you accurate pricing without re-billing issues. These are some common Accessorial charges:

 

  • After Hours Delivery/Pickup Fee: Imposed on any shipment that is outside of the general pickup/delivery window of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL) Correction Fee: Imposed when an incorrect BOL is used, or if a correction has to be made to the BOL once the shipment has been picked up.
  • Canadian Border Crossing Fee: Charged for shipments that are crossing the Canadian border.
  • Convention, Exhibition, and Tradeshow Delivery/Pickup: Applies to any shipment that is delivered or picked up from a convention, exhibition, or tradeshow.
  • Excess Length Fee: This varies between carriers, but as a general rule, this may be applied to any shipment over 10’ in length.
  • Grocery and Food Warehouse Delivery/Pickup Fee: Applies to any shipment that is delivered or picked up from a grocery or food warehouse.
  • Hazardous Cargo Charge Fee: Applies to any shipment that contains hazardous chemicals or substances.
  • Inside Delivery/Pick Up Fee: Applies when all or part of a shipment is not directly accessible or immediately adjacent to the doorway or dock.
  • Lift Gate Delivery/Pickup Fee: Lift gates enable carriers to lift and lower shipments from the ground to the truck and vice versa, so this fee applies when a shipper or receiver does not have the means to load or unload the freight using a dock or forklift.
  • Limited Access Fee: Applies when the carrier picks up or delivers to locations such as schools, prisons, military bases, convention centers, construction sites, airports, ocean docks, wharfs, or piers.
  • Notify Before Delivery Fee: Applies when notification prior to delivery is requested.
  • Protect from Freezing Fee: Applies when the consignor or consignee requests for a shipment to be protected from freezing.
  • Residential/Farm Delivery Pick Up Fee: Charged when the carrier makes a pickup or delivery at a private residence.
  • Segregating (Sorting) Fee: Incurred when shipments are required to be sorted or segregated according to size, brand, flavor, or other distinguishing characteristics.
  • Weight and Inspection Fee: Applies in the event a carrier inspects or reweighs a shipment and discovers a variance compared to the weight and/or freight class listed on the BOL.

 

All of these Accessorial charges can cause re-billing on your shipments. You need to evaluate if they are to be added on to the shipment beforehand. Shipment Re-billing can be avoided a majority of the time if we take the right steps. If you have any questions about correctly setting up your LTL bill of lading or anything else related to LTL shipping, feel free to email me at nate.abbott@rctransportusa.com

In my next few blog post, I will be continuing to cover tips on how to fill out the BOL correctly. We will be talking about Weight and Dimensions, Description, NMFC#’s, and Class, as well as Don’t’s for filling out BOL’s. Stay tuned for more great tips on how to use your BOL to avoid re-bills.

 

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November marks over 42,000 Trailer Orders in 2017

Transportation Industry is Booming

With the United States economy doing well and the continued growth of e-commerce, we have seen the transportation industry booming. Every mode of transportation is being pushed to its limits of capacity. The truckloads we are demanding to be shipped on a daily basis are continuing to grow exponentially. One of the modes being strained the most is the trucking industry.

With the two hurricanes that hit the US earlier this year, the trucking industry was pushed to the max. Now truck drivers are dealing with the change of being forced to use electronic logging. ELD’s put tighter restraints on how they manage their driving hours. Transports that used to be next day are now turning into 2-day transports. This is costing shippers more and the drivers are having to change how they manage their loads. Overall available capacity is being affected on a daily basis.

Trailer Sales are Up!

As a result of increased demand, last month trailers sales grew to over 42,000 trailers. Sales are projected to continue to grow to put the manufacturing schedule well into 2018. Unfortunately, a lack of available drivers continues to plague the transportation industry. This is pushing the innovation of automation and efficiency in the transportation industry.

 

http://www.ttnews.com/articles/trailer-orders-soar-above-42000-novemberTrailer Orders Soar Above 42,000 in November Trailer orders hit 42,600 units in November, according to the research company FTR, citing preliminary data amid what it called tremendous freight growth in the fourth quarter. The volume will boost backlogs that had looked to be weakening at the end of October, according to the Bloomington, Ind.-based company. Annualized trailer order numbers are now 295,000 for the past twelve months. “November trailer orders are wonderful news for the industry and for the general economy,” FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake said in a statement. “Fleets continue to anticipate the need for more trailers in 2018.” FTR forecasts freight growth to remain at least good through the first half of 2018. “We can expect more use of drop-and-hook logistics in dry vans, refrigerated vans and flatbeds as trailer truck productivity is reduced and the driver shortage intensifies,” Ake said.

We Need Drivers:

With the transportation industry booming, we really need to work on ways to create more interest in a career in transportation. Being a truck driver provides opportunities that you don’t find in other job settings. You get to travel to different places all of the time and work with all kinds of different people. I work in transportation as a freight broker and enjoy interacting with drivers. Truck drivers can have some great stories to tell if you have some time to listen to them. Another great part is there is always a curveball that gets thrown your way when you work in transportation. If you find a transportation company that has a great work/life balance, a career as a truck driver can be very rewarding.

 

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Has Your Business Been Affected by the ELD Mandate?

 

The first week of using Electronic Logging in the trucking industry is coming to an end.

How has Electronic Logging affected your business?

At RC Transport we have seen many of our customers become frustrated with Electronic Logging. What used to be next day delivery shipping lanes have now turned into 2-day transit lanes. Drivers are having to learn how to manage their time differently. The Electronic Logging is becoming a learning experience for everyone in the industry. Over time we will all learn how to deal with the new changes that come with it. While it will take some time for us to see exactly what all of those changes are going to be. Here is what on trucking company has to say about the new technology:

https://www.dat.com/blog/post/eld-mandate-how-has-your-business-been-affected

 

We’re using Cummins’ ZED ELD and drivers are having issues pairing and using the system. We run a fleet of 30 trucks with average dispatches between 450-550 miles (AZ-CA). We used to be able to run the lane with next-day service but will probably have to change that to 2-day transit. Impact on our capacity will be greater than 15% loss. Jaime on ELD Mandate: How Has Your Business Been Affected?

 

What you can expect as a Shipper:

As a shipper, you can expect to see rates increase throughout the new year as capacity is affected by this new electronic logging rule. We can expect to see probably a 3-5% increase as we come across capacity strains due to carriers that have not prepared for the new compliance rule. All you can do is try and be flexible, the more flexible you can be with deadlines, the better chance you have of moving your freight for reasonable prices.

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to The RC Transport(RCT) Blog

RC transportation is a freight shipping company focused on delivering results. At RCT we want to provide you with the resources and knowledge you will need today. The information that helps you move product and be more efficient every time. RCT works on a personal level by making sure each of our customer accounts is handled with CARE. One of our Freight Specialist is assigned a limited amount of accounts to manage at one time so that the right amount of focus is given to each partner account. We then hire and train new specialist as we acquire new partnerships with shippers ensuring we are always delivering excellent service.

Freight is always moving-

The RCT Blog will be providing resources that will help you stay in tune with the transportation marketplace. Throughout the United States freight is always moving and sometimes major delays will happen and possibly a natural disaster will occur. This all affects the truck capacity and when there are delays and overflow with freight,  you will end up paying more for your shipments. To help offset the high cost of shipping during tight capacity markets, RC Transport is offering Flat-Rate Shipping Service.

RC Transport is The Flat-Rate Shipping company in the United States and our focus is on safely delivering your freight throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We work with companies in industries such as; Power Generation, Pipeline, Automobile Equipment, Metal Reclamation & Refining, Food Commodity, Construction, Industrial Equipment, Metal Fabrication, and Battery Industries. 

This Blog will go over topics in the areas of:

Freight Shipping Freight Rates
Freight Class Partial Truckload
Truckload Refrigerated Temperature Controlled
LTL Custom Solutions
Shipping Tips Freight Adjustments
Freight Industry Intermodal Rail Transportation
How to ship Freight Flat-Rate Freight Service
Expedited Freight ELD’s
Trucking Automated Trucking

About the Author of The RCT Blog-

My name is Nathaniel Abbott, My background is in marketing and logistics. After college, I started a  marketing agency and soon after moved into working in the logistics industry. For a few years, I shipped pallets of computers all across the world. I will be writing to you about what is happening in the world of transportation. We will also be providing tips and educational materials for all things Freight. I have experience with shipping both LTL, partial, and full truckload shipments. My goal is to be writing and sharing fresh content at least a couple times a week. With transportation always changing, there is always something to stay up to date on.

Please feel free to share comments, questions, and suggestions

To see a list of our services click here for our services department.

 

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