By John W. McCurry
Concise communication, measurable quality control processes and development of critical technology are among the best practices deployed by airfreight forwarders. Sometimes, it s a simple as having the right equipment.
Clear, verbal communication is a key component of Lima, Pa.-based Pilot Freight Services. Email won t cut it for critical communication.
Our best practice boils down to how we communicate, mostly internally, Richard Phillips, Pilot s CEO, says. We have really pressed that in the last year or so. No. 1, we stay off email, especially for critical communication and pick up the phone as much as we can. That goes for internal as well as external for carriers and vendors. We get much better results and less is loss in translation when we pick up the phone.
Building on that foundation, whenever a shipment is involved, there is always a team of Pilot personnel involved, and they are always communicating. There is no room for assumptions. Phillips says Pilot s teams emphasize communication both when a situation goes well and when problems arise with a shipment.
With respect to our customers, we communicate to the extent that the customer wants to communicate with us, Phillips says. You have to find a way to discern how much communication they want and in what form so that the communication from us to them is welcome and timely and useful.
UPS, which has an extensive network on its forwarding side including service centers, regional ground and air hubs and international gateways, has developed in-house optimization tools that it uses to create forwarding scenarios on a regional basis.
With so many moving parts and especially with all the changes in the market the last few years, we developed a process that allows us to take a look at routing guides and recalibrate if necessary so we can re-optimize our forwarding network, Vito Losurdo, vice president, global airfreight for UPS Supply Chain Solutions, says.
Losurdo says UPS is able to model these regional outbound airfreight routings to ensure the company achieves optimal costs. An example of these would be the utilization of an alternative European gateway two or three times a week if it makes sense from a capacity and pricing standpoint.
When we do this, we often look at the freight characteristics of what we move on a lane, the air capacity out there and we come up with scenarios, Losurdo says.
UPS typically looks at these scenarios when there are changes in the market such as carriers cutting out or shifting capacity to alternate cities. These changes are more effective in Europe and the U.S. than in Asia because the geography is relatively compact, Losurdo says.
Another asset Losurdo cites is UPS global control tower at its Atlanta headquarters for its Temperature True service for temperature-sensitive shipments. Regional control towers are located in Brussels and Singapore.
We make sure proper temperature transportation and handling happens around the clock and around the globe, Losurdo says.
Responsibilities of personnel in the control tower include proactive tracking and tracing.
There is human intervention that goes on through the life cycle of the shipment, Losurdo says. Our team is looking at certain monitoring activities throughout the shipment. We look for risks that are out there.
For example, a shipment heading to Europe through the U.S. might face certain weather situations. Losurdo says the control tower team will hone in and watch the shipment closer and if needed, notify the customer. He describes the room, which seats about 30 people, as resembling a fish tank. Three LCD screens on the rooms help monitor world events.
In general, the control tower has been able to mitigate excursions that were potentially gong to occur because of proactive monitoring, Losurdo says. We have been able to avoid the loss that would result from an excursion.
Benno Forster, senior vice president and head of U.S. airfreight for Panalpina, says the company s best practices include freight consolidation at gateways and sourcing of airfreight at certain locations. Combining shipments and building pallets at gateway airports such as John F. Kennedy International Airport is among the company s top strategies.
If you cannot build your own pallets, you will never reach the threshold to become competitive, Forster says. It gives us the best buying power and allows us to give customers the best rates. Of course, it has a lot to do with the productivity of our own people.
Forster says Panalpina was one of the first freight forwarders to source airfreight from carriers.
We might have been one of the first to use sourcing of our procurement, Forster says. What we do is basically invite all providers to bid for certain tonnage. These days, you cannot be without it. In order to get the best deal from a carrier, you have to tell them what you can offer on a worldwide basis. We tell our key carriers this is the worldwide tonnage we have and we split it into different trade lanes. It s the same thing that big shippers do, companies like IBM or Apple you name it. They do the same thing with freight forwarders.
Vaughn Moore, president of AIT Worldwide Logistics, says one of his company s best practices is to maintain a scorecard for both vendors and clients to ensure quality control.
Internally, we use a vendor scorecard, and we do hold them accountable, Moore says. We measure monthly, and we meet with them quarterly. This includes issues such as on-time delivery and making sure we have all the items we needs. So we are in a true partnership and have an honest dialogue. We identify problem areas and things that may pop up on claims. I do believe we are doing a good job and are a best-in-class partner in that regard with vendors and our client base.
Moore says AIT builds on the information gleaned from the scorecards and uses it to work toward continual improvement.
It certainly holds us accountable to be a best-in-class partner with on-time shipments, low claim ratios and billing accuracy, Moore says. It makes us a better partner with our clients. We review trends with them and both sides are catching things that we can address. We have been able to identify problem areas that if we were not doing this, we would have missed.
Moore notes that challenging economic times have forced forwarders to be diverse in their service offerings. He says companies have to be varied and focused at the same time.
It s a fine line we walk to be best in class in vertical markets such as perishables, he says. It s a real tightrope walk.
AIT has been in business since 1979 and despite the economy of recent years, it has shown strong growth over the past decade. Moore notes that the airfreight industry is undergoing challenges, but he remains optimistic.
One industry that airfreight has never gone away from is perishables, and that will stay strong overall, he says. With manufacturing picking up, I am hoping to see some more just-in-time products get shipped out via air. There is a lot of near-sourcing going on, and it will be interesting to see what happens with that.
Langham Logistics is an Indianapolis based 3PL that will mark its 25th anniversary in July. Cathy Langham, the company s co-founder, president and CEO, says her company is diverse and is involved in forwarding, fulfillment, warehousing, pick and pack and airport logistics.
What we do very well is leverage the strength of our team, Langham says.
This came into play in 2012 when baking products specialist Clabber Girl, another Indiana-based company, became a customer. After a series of contacts led to a meeting with company officials, Langham Logistics had an opportunity to demonstrate its strong points.
We came up with three areas of opportunity, Langham says. One of our folks is a good visual marketing person, and we synthesized their challenges into a one-page picture that allowed them and us to get a good picture of where the opportunities are and where to move forward. At that point, we had a contract of sorts, a working document that we all signed off on to make sure everyone was on the same page and moving in the same direction. It allowed us to move forward and bring our smart people and their smart people together.
Langham says developing a simple visual solution and listening to Clabber Girl s needs were the keys to getting its business.
Another practice that Langham says has worked well is a quarterly review process with the company s largest accounts. She says this has helped grow the company s business because it highlights not only the customer s accomplishments, but also Langham Logistics accomplishments in general and gives an opportunity to talk about all the services it offers.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Trucking) Jump to: navigation, search This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This article’s lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. (June 2012) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2007) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (March 2009) A truck transporting a container on Interstate 95 in South Florida. Disruptions in organized traffic flow can create delays lasting hours.
Main article: History of road transport
The first methods of road transport were horses, oxen or even humans carrying goods over dirt tracks that often followed game trails. As commerce increased, the tracks were often flattened or widened to accommodate the activities. Later, the travois, a frame used to drag loads, was developed. The wheel came still later, probably preceded by the use of logs as rollers. Early stone-paved roads were built in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley Civilization. The Persians later built a network of Royal Roads across their empire.
With the advent of the Roman Empire, there was a need for armies to be able to travel quickly from one area to another, and the roads that existed were often muddy, which greatly delayed the movement of large masses of troops. To resolve this issue, the Romans built great roads. The Roman roads used deep roadbeds of crushed stone as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water would flow out from the crushed stone, instead of becoming mud in clay soils. The Islamic Caliphate later built tar-paved roads in Baghdad.1
During the Industrial Revolution, and because of the increased commerce that came with it, improved roadways became imperative. The problem was rain combined with dirt roads created commerce-miring mud. John Loudon McAdam (1756 1836) designed the first modern highways. He developed an inexpensive paving material of soil and stone aggregate (known as macadam), and he embanked roads a few feet higher than the surrounding terrain to cause water to drain away from the surface. At the same time, Thomas Telford, made substantial advances in the engineering of new roads and the construction of bridges, particularly, the London to Holyhead road.
Various systems had been developed over centuries to reduce bogging and dust in cities, including cobblestones and wooden paving. Tar-bound macadam (tarmac) was applied to macadam roads towards the end of the 19th century in cities such as Paris. In the early 20th century tarmac and concrete paving were extended into the countryside.
A public transport bus
Transport on roads can be roughly grouped into two categories: transportation of goods and transportation of people. In many countries licencing requirements and safety regulations ensure a separation of the two industries.
The nature of road transportation of goods depends, apart from the degree of development of the local infrastructure, on the distance the goods are transported by road, the weight and volume of the individual shipment and the type of goods transported. For short distances and light, small shipments a van or pickup truck may be used. For large shipments even if less than a full truckload a truck is more appropriate. (Also see Trucking and Hauling below). In some countries cargo is transported by road in horse-drawn carriages, donkey carts or other non-motorized mode. Delivery services are sometimes considered a separate category from cargo transport. In many places fast food is transported on roads by various types of vehicles. For inner city delivery of small packages and documents bike couriers are quite common.
People are transported on roads either in individual cars or automobiles, or in mass transit by bus or coach. Special modes of individual transport by road like rickshaws or velotaxis may also be locally available.
Trucking and hauling
Trucking companies (AE) or haulers/hauliers (BE) accept cargo for road transport. Truck drivers operate either independently working directly for the client or through freight carriers or shipping agents. Some big companies (e.g. grocery store chains) operate their own internal trucking operations. The market size for general freight trucking was nearly $125 billion in 2010. Since 2005, the trucking industry has decreased by 1%.2
In the U.S. many truckers own their truck (rig), and are known as owner-operators. Some road transportation is done on regular routes or for only one consignee per run, while others transport goods from many different loading stations/shippers to various consignees. On some long runs only cargo for one leg of the route (to) is known when the cargo is loaded. Truckers may have to wait at the destination for the return cargo (from).
A bill of lading issued by the shipper provides the basic document for road freight. On cross-border transportation the trucker will present the cargo and documentation provided by the shipper to customs for inspection (for EC see also Schengen Agreement). This also applies to shipments that are transported out of a Free port.
To avoid accidents caused by fatigue, truckers have to keep to strict rules for drivetime and required rest periods. In the United States and Canada, these regulations are known as hours of service, and in the European Union as drivers working hours. One such regulation is the Hours of Work and Rest Periods (Road Transport) Convention, 1979.3Tachographs record the times the vehicle is in motion and stopped. Some companies use two drivers per truck to ensure uninterrupted transportation; with one driver resting or sleeping in a bunk in the back of the cab while the other is driving.
For transport of hazardous materials (see dangerous goods) truckers need a licence, which usually requires them to pass an exam (e.g. in the EU). They have to make sure they affix proper labels for the respective hazard(s) to their vehicle. Liquid goods are transported by road in tank trucks (AE) or tanker lorries (BE) (also road-tankers) or special tankcontainers for intermodal transport. For unpackaged goods and liquids weigh stations confirm weight after loading and before delivery. For transportation of live animals special requirements have to be met in many countries to prevent cruelty to animals (see animal rights). For fresh and frozen goods refrigerator trucks or reefer (container)s are used.
In Australia road trains replace rail transport for goods on routes throughout the center of the country. B-doubles and semi-trailers are used in urban areas because of their smaller size. Low-loader or flat-bed trailers are used to haul containers, see containerization, in intermodal transport.
Today roadways are principally asphalt or concrete. Both are based on McAdam’s concept of stone aggregate in a binder, asphalt cement or Portland cement respectively. Asphalt is known as a flexible pavement, one which slowly will “flow” under the pounding of traffic. Concrete is a rigid pavement, which can take heavier loads but is more expensive and requires more carefully prepared subbase. So, generally, major roads are concrete and local roads are asphalt. Often concrete roads are covered with a thin layer of asphalt to create a wearing surface.
Modern pavements are designed for heavier vehicle loads and faster speeds, requiring thicker slabs and deeper subbase. Subbase is the layer or successive layers of stone, gravel and sand supporting the pavement. It is needed to spread out the slab load bearing on the underlying soil and to conduct away any water getting under the slabs. Water will undermine a pavement over time, so much of pavement and pavement joint design are meant to minimize the amount of water getting and staying under the slabs.
Shoulders are also an integral part of highway design. They are multipurpose; they can provide a margin of side clearance, a refuge for incapacitated vehicles, an emergency lane, and parking space. They also serve a design purpose, and that is to prevent water from percolating into the soil near the main pavement’s edge. Shoulder pavement is designed to a lower standard than the pavement in the traveled way and won’t hold up as well to traffic. (Which is why driving on the shoulder is generally prohibited.)
Pavement technology is still evolving, albeit in not easily noticed increments. For instance, chemical additives in the pavement mix make the pavement more weather resistant, grooving and other surface treatments improve resistance to skidding and hydroplaning, and joint seals which were once tar are now made of low maintenance neoprene.
See also: Road traffic safety
Nearly all roadways are built with devices meant to control traffic. Most notable to the motorist are those meant to communicate directly with the driver. Broadly, these fall into three categories: signs, signals or pavement markings. They help the driver navigate; they assign the right-of-way at intersections; they indicate laws such as speed limits and parking regulations; they advise of potential hazards; they indicate passing and no passing zones; and otherwise deliver information and to assure traffic is orderly and safe.
200 years ago these devices were signs, nearly all informal. In the late 19th century signals began to appear in the biggest cities at a few highly congested intersections. They were manually operated, and consisted of semaphores, flags or paddles, or in some cases colored electric lights, all modeled on railroad signals. In the 20th century signals were automated, at first with electromechanical devices and later with computers. Signals can be quite sophisticated: with vehicle sensors embedded in the pavement, the signal can control and choreograph the turning movements of heavy traffic in the most complex of intersections. In the 1920s traffic engineers learned how to coordinate signals along a thoroughfare to increase its speeds and volumes. In the 1980s, with computers, similar coordination of whole networks became possible.
In the 1920s pavement markings were introduced. Initially they were used to indicate the road’s centerline. Soon after they were coded with information to aid motorists in passing safely. Later, with multi-lane roads they were used to define lanes. Other uses, such as indicating permitted turning movements and pedestrian crossings soon followed.
In the 20th century traffic control devices were standardized. Before then every locality decided on what its devices would look like and where they would be applied. This could be confusing, especially to traffic from outside the locality. In the United States standardization was first taken at the state level, and late in the century at the federal level. Each country has a Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and there are efforts to blend them into a worldwide standard.
Besides signals, signs, and markings, other forms of traffic control are designed and built into the roadway. For instance, curbs and rumble strips can be used to keep traffic in a given lane and median barriers can prevent left turns and even U-turns.
Main article: Toll road
Early toll roads were usually built by private companies under a government franchise. They typically paralleled or replaced routes already with some volume of commerce, hoping the improved road would divert enough traffic to make the enterprise profitable. Plank roads were particularly attractive as they greatly reduced rolling resistance and mitigated the problem of getting mired in mud. Another improvement, better grading to lessen the steepness of the worst stretches, allowed draft animals to haul heavier loads.
A toll road in the United States is often called a turnpike. The term turnpike probably originated from the gate, often a simple pike, which blocked passage until the fare was paid at a toll house (or toll booth in current terminology). When the toll was paid the pike, which was mounted on a swivel, was turned to allow the vehicle to pass. Tolls were usually based on the type of cargo being transported, not the type of vehicle. The practice of selecting routes so as to avoid tolls is called shunpiking. This may be simply to avoid the expense, as a form of economic protest (or boycott), or simply to seek a road less traveled as a bucolic interlude.
Companies were formed to build, improve, and maintain a particular section of roadway, and tolls were collected from users to finance the enterprise. The enterprise was usually named to indicate the locale of its roadway, often including the name of one of both of the termini. The word turnpike came into common use in the names of these roadways and companies, and is essentially used interchangeably with toll road in current terminology.
Toll roads peaked in the mid 19th century, and by the turn of the twentieth century most toll roads were taken over by state highway departments. The demise of this early toll road era was due to the rise of canals and railroads, which were more efficient (and thus cheaper) in moving freight over long distances. Roads wouldn’t again be competitive with rails and barges until the first half of the 20th century when the internal combustion engine replaces draft animals as the source of motive power.
With the development, mass production, and popular embrace of the automobile, faster and higher capacity roads were needed. In the 1920s limited access highways appeared. Their main characteristics were dual roadways with access points limited to (but not always) grade-separated interchanges. Their dual roadways allowed high volumes of traffic, the need for no or few traffic lights along with relatively gentle grades and curves allowed higher speeds.
The first limited access highways were Parkways, so called because of their often park-like landscaping and, in the metropolitan New York City area, they connected the region’s system of parks. When the German autobahns built in the 1930s introduced higher design standards and speeds, road planners and road-builders in the United States started developing and building toll roads to similar high standards. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, which largely followed the path of a partially built railroad, was the first, opening in 1940.
After 1940 with the Pennsylvania Turnpike, toll roads saw a resurgence, this time to fund limited access highways. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, after World War II interrupted the evolution of the highway, the US resumed building toll roads. They were to still higher standards and one road, the New York State Thruway, had standards that became the prototype for the U.S. Interstate Highway System. Several other major toll-roads which connected with the Pennsylvania Turnpike were established before the creation of the Interstate Highway System. These were the Indiana Toll Road, Ohio Turnpike, and New Jersey Turnpike.
Interstate Highway System
Main article: Interstate Highway System
In the United States, beginning in 1956, Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System was built. It uses 12 foot (3.65m) lanes, wide medians, a maximum of 4% grade, and full access control, though many sections don’t meet these standards due to older construction or constraints. This system created a continental-sized network meant to connect every population center of 50,000 people or more.
By 1956, most limited access highways in the eastern United States were toll roads. In that year, the federal Interstate highway program was established, funding non-toll roads with 90% federal dollars and 10% state match, giving little incentive for states to expand their turnpike system. Funding rules initially restricted collections of tolls on newly funded roadways, bridges, and tunnels. In some situations, expansion or rebuilding of a toll facility using Interstate Highway Program funding resulted in the removal of existing tolls. This occurred in Virginia on Interstate 64 at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel when a second parallel roadway to the regional 1958 bridge-tunnel was completed in 1976.
Since the completion of the initial portion of the interstate highway system, regulations were changed, and portions of toll facilities have been added to the system. Some states are again looking at toll financing for new roads and maintenance, to supplement limited federal funding. In some areas, new road projects have been completed with public-private partnerships funded by tolls, such as the Pocahontas Parkway (I-895) near Richmond, Virginia.
The newest policy passed by Congress and the Obama Administration regarding highways is the Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011.
Main article: Tire
As the horse-drawn carriage was replaced by the car and lorry or truck, and speeds increased, the need for smoother roads and less vertical displacement became more apparent, and pneumatic tires were developed to decrease the apparent roughness. Wagon and carriage wheels, made of wood, had a tire in the form of an iron strip that kept the wheel from wearing out quickly. Pneumatic tires, which had a larger footprint than iron tires, also were less likely to get bogged down in the mud on unpaved roads.
Road transport and the environment
Main article: Environmental impact of roads
- AETR (Tachograph regulations in the EU)
- German autobahns
- Neo-bulk cargo
- Right- and left-hand traffic
- ^ “Road Transportation A History and How We Use it Today”. American Auto Move. 30 August 2012. http://www.americanautomove.com/information/road-transportation-a-history-and-how-we-use-it-today/. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- ^ “General Freight Trucking Industry Statistics, Market Research, and Financial Ratios”. Pell Research. http://www.pellresearch.com/General-Freight-Trucking.htm.
- ^ “What do we want to achieve ?”. European Comission. 19 June 2012. http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road/index_en.htm. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
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From: Econintersect Combined RSS Feed – 9:39pm – January 23, 2013
Econintersect: The American Trucking Associations (ATA) trucking index rose again sharply 2.8% in December after gaining a revised 3.9% in November. Compared with December 2011, seasonally adjusted tonnage was down 2.3%. Overall trucking volumes were down 2.3% for 2012. It should be noted that jobs grew in December in the trucking industry. From ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello: December was better than anticipated in light of the very difficult year-over-year comparison. In December 2011, the index surged 6.4% from the previous month. Costello anticipates more sluggishness in the index this year, especially early in the year, as the economy continues to face several headwinds. Read more
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