Editor’s Note: Today’s blog comes from our friends at Barrington Freight where they give us a glimpse as to what the next 10 years will look like for automation in the freight industry.

Autonomy and artificial intelligence are two of the hottest tech ideas being integrated into modern industries. And the freight industry is no exception to that rule. New technologies are being experimented with and tested all of the time and the worry for many people in the industry is that, sometime soon, human intervention won’t be necessary at all. As freight and logistics solutions are getting smarter, it begs the question as to what will become of the automated freight industry in the next ten years.

Self-Driving Trucks

One of the biggest pieces of freight news that most people recognize is automated freight trucks. While the testing of these automated trucks has already been given the go ahead, there is a lot of concern around what this technology could mean for the 1.7 million truckers in America. For the company owners, however, self-driving trucks could massively cut down on costs, which means that more profit can be put towards improving other operations and developing on already existing technology to enhance its capabilities. However, it may still be some time until this technology is actually put to use as tests are still in the very early stages. Some professionals have predicted that it will take 30 to 40 years until self-driving trucks to brought into operations, and even longer for them to replace drivers completely, if ever.

Automated Freight Ports

While automated ports might be cutting down on jobs, they are potentially saving lives and increasing the efficiency of operations tenfold. Gantry cranes, transport vehicles and stacking cranes can be operated all by software, which means that a number of errors can be reduced and human workers need not be present in more dangerous areas of the port where goods are being loaded and unloaded. Typically, gantry cranes which pick up containers from the ships that carry them require a person present to unlock the container before it can be picked up. However, many ports have started to use equipment that can be automatically locked and unlocked, which means that no employees need to put themselves at risk by climbing the containers and getting in the way of the crane.

The port of Rotterdam, in particular, is a great example of an almost fully automated port which is almost completely run by software. Rotterdam is a huge port with almost 450 million tons passing through it per year and with software running the show they have a more consistent pace for loading and unloading and regular errors have reduced significantly.

Freight Drones

Drones are being used for everything these days and the possibilities of their capabilities are being explored all over the board, including air freight. Two Swiss companies, in particular, are experimenting with drones for air freight solutions. Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo are expecting to use drones to deliver to more remote locations that can’t be accessed by road. While these types of drones won’t be able to deliver around the world, local delivery seems more than feasible. The online retailer Amazon has been conducting similar experiments with drones, although they expect to replace a significant portion of their logistics services with drones. As well as delivering to remote locations, they expect to use drones for fast-track delivery.

Time will only tell how successful these new technologies will be and while they all seem very impressive in their development stages, there is a lot of work left to be done before we start seeing drones knocking on front doors and human-free ports. Until that time most freight forwarders are finding the most up-to-date technologies to help customers find the most efficient and cost effective means of transporting their goods. 

Cerasis Inc., announces that their “Essential Guide to Freight Claims Management” Webinar is now open for registrations by shippers of all sizes. Cerasis will present educational material covering all things freight claims on June 6th, 2017 at 10 AM CST.

Register for this webinar by visiting this link here: https://goo.gl/BwLKFl

The Latin phrase “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” may be the most quoted maxim of our information age—Knowledge is Power.

One unsung area where properly applied knowledge yields power is comprehensive freight claims management. An old joke asks, “What’s the easiest way to be a millionaire?” The answer: “First, get a million dollars.” So what’s the easiest way to manage your claims? First, get knowledge.

The Cerasis freight claims management team instructs shippers on how to first understand freight claims, damage, & loss and then files the freight claim on the shippers’ behalves, following up with both carriers and shippers until the claim is satisfied. In fact, all of our freight claims managers, are certified through the Institute of Logistical Management by passing their extensive freight claims course.

In this 60 to 75 minute freight claims webinar, attendees will come away learning the following information: 

This educational webinar is perfect for North American shippers who are interested in either managing freight claims better or looking to an outsourced provider to drive value in the area of freight management and take the entire burden of freight claims off their shoulders.

Again, you may register at https://goo.gl/BwLKFl.

As most professionals in the freight business are already aware, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been implementing a Unified Registration System (URS) since 2015. It was bound to enact the second phase of the new system this September, but the deadline has been postponed.

The idea behind the URS is to unify all data about the entities whose activities are regulated by the FMCSA. In this way, the registration process for businesses would get easier and smoother.

The first stage of rolling out the URS was already executed in December 2015. Since then, all new registrations are conducted via the new system. The second phase was supposed to be launched in September 2016, but instead will start in 2017.

Let’s look at the details behind the URS and why the change of deadlines is taking place.

What the Unified Registration System is all about

The purpose of the Unified Registration System is to replace the requirement for obtaining an MC, FF and USDOT number with a single registration system for all types of licenses issued by the FMCSA.

The move towards the new system came largely as an answer to the dissatisfaction of businesses who found the old process unnecessarily burdensome. Applications will no longer be accepted in paper form, as the whole application process will be moved online. By having a single place with all relevant data, the FMCSA will have a better overview and control over licensees. The old system was in place for 18 years.

More than 20 different registration system will be combined in the new URS. To make the transition process smoother, the FMCSA has decided to split it into three phases – for new applicants, for current licensees and for private and exempt carriers.

The first phase of the URS was enacted at the end of 2015. As of December 12, all new applicants have applied for a URS number instead of the old options for registration.

In the next 10 years, the new system is expected to bring savings of more than $9 million for the freight industry.

The new deadline for Unified Registration System’s second phase

As for existing licensees already in business, the second phase of the URS was supposed to be rolled out on September 30, 2016.

However, since the change that the FMCSA needs to enact is significant and the information that needs to be processed is enormous, it will be postponed for January 14, 2017. The date for the second phase has already been postponed a few times because of these reasons. 

This means that freight brokers, carriers and forwarders who are currently in operation have a few more months to prepare for the change. According to the FMCSA, only 16% of applications are submitted on paper. For freight professionals who are among these applicants, this gives enough time to adapt to the new rules and potentially look for a third party processing agent to assist you in the process.

The third phase will be rolled out as of April 14, 2017, which affects private and exempt carriers. 

What the URS means for freight businesses

The URS is designed to make the licensing and controlling processes conducted by the FMCSA easier and lighter for freight businesses. It will decrease the volume of paperwork that licensees need to take care of, which means less administrative burden. Processing errors should also be reduced as a result of the new system.

It is not yet clear whether there will be other changes for current freight brokers, carriers and forwarders. The licensing fee of $300 might be increased, as has been suggested by the FMCSA. However, the freight broker surety bond requirement is likely to remain at $75,000, as it was increased from $10,000 back in 2013.

What are your thoughts on FMCSA’s new Unified Registration System? If you are already using it, what are your impressions? Please share your insights in the comments below.

Todd Bryant is the president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds. He is a surety bonds expert with years of experience in helping freight brokers get bonded and start their business.

From cloud-based systems to transportation management, the state of the logistics industry is evolving to expand an increasing number of services. Meanwhile, the overall capacity of shipments is climbing higher, reports Jeff Berman of Logistics Management, and the driver shortage is becoming more essential as full truckload shipments decrease. Although an initial view of the logistics and freight industry seems stale, it represents how the flow of goods and services are sprouting and delivering more with fewer resources. Take a look at some of the most compelling factors that are playing into the current state of the industry.

1. Less-Than-Truckload Exhibits Growth Despite Limited Industry Growth.

Moving as much product as possible is critical to continued growth in the industry. However, recent years have seen more shippers turn to less-than-truckload (LTL) and freight consolidation with full truckload (FT) to reduce the number of trucks on the road. Many of these trends were in response to unforeseen surges in fuel costs and regulatory fees, but lower fuel charges over the last year have helped to reduce the urgency to avoid FTs at all costs. Instead, today’s shippers have found the overall savings can be achieved through a renewed focus on using LTL and freight consolidation to enhance the amount of product moving to diverse places.

It would seem as though all FTs are being eliminated, yet this is simply not true. FTs continue to make up a vital part of the industry, especially for shippers who need to move large volumes of product across vast distances. The key to understanding this symbiotic relationship lies in how the behaviors of today’s consumers. As more customers order more products online and through omni-channel solutions, the need to reach a wider market will subsequently increase. However, each customer or retailer may not be able to justify the costs of purchasing a FT of a shipment, which would leave the original seller with a loss. Therefore, the sellers must keep their minds open to how competition among shippers can help the industry grow, even if it is minimal when compared to the records of the past.

2. Shippers Are Facing More Competition.

Competition is a healthy part of any industry. It enables the production to keep prices low by making each entity accountable to the end users. With the expansion of the industry in the past few decades, especially during times of record-breaking growth, as explained by the 2016 Third-Party Logistics Study, more third-party logistics providers (3PLs) have risen.

Emerging markets are driving shippers to consider the political, environmental and consumer-driven demands of new areas. Unfortunately, the focus of shippers has shifted away from any 3PL to the best 3PL. So, the conversation needs to turn toward another aspect of how 3PLs influence the state of the logistics and freight economy, digitization.

3. 3PLs Expand Services Further.

We know Big Data and analytics are game-changers, asserts Russel Reynolds Associates, but what are they actually changing? Some common benefits include:

Major players have used These technologies for years. However, it was not until cloud-computing capabilities dawned that smaller entities could actually influence the market. In other words, smaller players in the market mean larger entities need to focus more on how to squeeze greater profits out a stretched operation. The answer to the problem was already in work when 3PLs began to ponder the ideas of value-added services (4PLs).

Unfortunately, value-added services are something that cannot simply be instilled without work. They involve the use of low-energy, connected devices, which are then paired with the technologies of the Internet of Things, and radio frequency identification (RFID) measures to gain greater visibility, which helps the supply chain learn how to adapt in real time. As a result, supply chain entities can eliminate any fat to reach an unparalleled level of lean and agile processes. Unfortunately, the problem with much of today’s supply chain rests on traditional operations.

When executives in the supply chain were reviewed for capability in the digital supply chain, most respondents fell short. Either they did not understand how their operation was involved in a digital process, or they were incapable of discerning what digitization means. Therefore, the role of the 3PL is starting to encompass teacher and trainer, as well as provider. This will only serve to help the current state of the industry continue on a slow path toward growth. However, the issue of drivers’ needs must also be considered in today’s supply chain.

4. The Demands of Today’s Drivers.

The supply chain of 2016 is not completely operated by robots (at least not yet). So, the biggest question about the state of the industry needs to think about who is getting products from A to B—drivers.

The driver shortage is evident, but the actual number of driver positions is climbing. Shippers are dealing with lost costs on 75 out of 500 trucks without an adequate number of drivers. Having the fleet in place is one step, but how do today’s shippers entice the drivers to come back? Like many occupations, it goes back to satisfaction, appreciation and time.

Shippers are doubling down on efforts to make hauls shorter, which is catalyzing a stronger push toward LTL and intermodal shipping options. Since the number of options has increased, even though capacity while at work has not really changed, more shippers are turning to 3PLs to realize their full potential. For those entities who do work with 3PLs, approximately 93 percent of shippers-client partnerships are reported to be “successful.”

By reducing overall logistics’ costs, supply chain entities can devote more time and resources to creating a driver-conducive environment, which may include shorter drive-times, less time spent waiting on shipments and less stress on the operation. As a result, drivers will be more likely to stay with their current employers throughout 2016.

Think about another aspect of the driver shortage. 47 percent of all workers in the U.S. are female, and only 6 percent of trucks drivers are female. Meanwhile, the average age of today’s truck driver is 47. In less than 20 years, the average truck driver will be retiring. As a result, the need for more drivers is only growing more prevalent. Today’s shippers will need to start making millennials and second-career-goers see how beneficial a career in trucking can be. In other words, a small investment in diversifying truck drivers’ “load-scape” today could be the push the industry to meet the demands of the future.

Logistics and Freight Economy: Putting It All Together.

The logistics and freight industries of 2016 seem stale, but it is actually within the margin of error of record-breaking patterns in the past. The industry is experiencing growing pains, but even with trouble, growth is still occurring. The logistics and freight economy is evolving to include more factors than imaginable, and 3PLs are leading the charge to reclaim a better, more productive logistics and freight industry. By understanding the four major factors that are impacting the current state of the industry, supply chain executives and thought panels will be able to see what focuses can lead to stronger growth in the coming years.

Editor’s Note: This is a blog from our friends at market-inspector.co.uk. They are a unique service where you can compare quotes and offers from a range of different suppliers for your office. We, at Cerasis, thought this would be a fantastic time to talk about something important to all of us in the freight world: Shipping containers. More specifically, how to recycle and reuse them. 

Shipping containers are increasingly being re-purposed to build many different structures around the globe. Sending empty shipping containers back to their ports of origin is costly when compared to the cost of the container itself, meaning many shipyards are filled with homeless containers.

Two types of containers are available for purchase. The first being worn-out containers that have been retired by shipping companies. These are the most affordable option. The second type of containers available are one trip containers that were only used for a single journey. These containers are often in excellent condition and are the more expensive option.

Where to buy your container? Shipping containers can be purchased from warehouses, port terminals, or even eBay and Craigslist! An important note! Before going ahead with your project, ensure there are no container building restrictions in your area.

Shipping containers are increasingly being used to build a large variety of structures around the globe. The recycling of cargo containers is the perfect way to reuse materials while building beautiful and unique structures.

Shipping container construction is the ideal way to give all the lonely containers at port terminals another chance!

Check Out These Awesome Shipping Container Construction Projects Below:

12 Creative Ways to Reuse Shipping Containers

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog from our friend Vic Lance. Vic is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates. In this post, Vic discusses the roundtable that the FMCSA plans on having later this month to discuss the BMC-85 trust fund and what it means to freight brokers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is organizing a Broker and Freight Forwarder Financial Responsibility Roundtable on May 20 to discuss BMC-85 trust funds, used by freight brokers and forwarders. It seeks feedback on these practices due to some recent complaints. The biggest issue with trust funds, as it appears now, relates to the procedures in case of brokers’ financial failures. The BMC-85 trust fund is one of the options for freight brokers and forwarders to meet the $75,000 financial guarantee requirement set by the FMCSA during the licensing process. The other way to comply with the rule and obtain their operating authority is to post a BMC-84, namely, a freight broker surety bond.

BMC-85 Trust Fund Issues

The FMCSA is collecting information from shippers and motor carriers about any difficulties they have met when making claims against freight brokers and forwarders. The point is to understand whether the interests of the parties that need to be protected by the BMC-85 trust fund are, in fact, actually safeguarded.

This initiative comes after many complaints related to BMC-85 trust fund providers have been filed with the FMCSA. The Administration also had to provide help to claimants who wanted to launch a procedure against brokers and forwarders with financial problems.

Due to these occurrences, the FMCSA wants to ensure that the financial instruments are working well and that freight brokers are solvent so that they can cover their financial obligations to fleets and owner-operators.

The Roundtable Questions on BMC-85

To address these pressing issues, the FMCSA is seeking feedback on a few core issues. It is collecting information if any BMC-85 trust fund operators have consistently failed to consider claims made by shippers and motor carriers.

The second point of concern is the type of assets that BMC-85 trust funds require to hold. The FMCSA is also looking to understand what is considered as the best composition of assets for these funds – solely cash or a combination with other liquid financial instruments.

A few questions are concentrating on the regulation of BMC-85 trust funds as well. The FMCSA wants to understand whether other authorities regulate trust fund filers and whether freight brokers and forwarders should be required to showcase the solvency of the trust funds they choose.

Last but not least, the FMCSA would like to get input from all interested parties what actions it can take to make the claims process smoother and to tackle issues with trust funds solvency. The goal is to ensure that shippers and carriers who are making legitimate claims against a trust fund can collect their legal reimbursement with ease.

The Administration underlined that the talks will not focus on any increases to the financial responsibility limits, currently set at $75,000 since 2013. Thus, brokers and forwarders should not worry about their requirements, but there might be changes for the financial institutions providing the trust funds.

The roundtable will take place on Friday. May 20 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The session is open to the general public and will be held at the Media Center of the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Financial Guarantee Options For Freight Brokers and Forwarders

In 2013, the FMCSA introduced a higher requirement for the financial guarantee that freight brokers have to provide as a part of their licensing process. Earlier, the amount was $10,000, which was then increased to $75,000 in the form of either a  BMC-85 trust fund or a BMC-84 freight broker bond.

The main difference between the two options relates to the initial investment that brokers and forwarders have to make to satisfy the FMCSA requirement. In the case of BMC-85 trust funds, the whole amount needs to be provided upfront and should stay in the fund for the duration of the license. As for BMC-84 surety bonds, brokers need to pay only a few percentages of the sum and renew their bonds annually. Their surety then guarantees that they can provide compensation up to $75,000 if a claim against them gets proven.

The purpose of both the BMC-84 and BMC-85 is to protect shippers and carriers from fraudulent activities or financial failures by freight brokers and forwarders.

Individuals who are interested in sharing their opinion on the topic but would not be able to attend the roundtable physically can submit their comments to the FMCSA online.

What is your experience with BMC-85 trust funds? Do you see a reason for the FMCSA to introduce changes for it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy New Year! Since today is the last day of the year before we all get ramped up towards a productive 2016 and after finishing out top 10 most read articles in each of our five main categories (Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Logistics, Transportation, & Freight) we wanted to give you all a treat and list the top 50 most read articles of all time from the Cerasis blog.

When I hit publish on today’s blog, we will have published 659 blog posts on the Cerasis blog, with our very first blog post coming nearly 3 years ago to the day

If you are a regular reader (or heck even if you are not) what you will see from our blog is a focus on education. This is in part due to the fact that as a third party logistics company, focused on efficient and strategic transportation management solutions through technology and services, it is vital for us to educate our shipper customers and our team in order to continually improve and always provide value. 

We have also featured on our blog over 90 guest bloggers featuring voices from experts in all of the five main categories who have talked about such subjects as the Skills Gap, Reshoring, Technology, Innovation, STEM, the Maker Movement, Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain, the Internet of Things, and much much more. I encourage you to use the search bar to the right or the blog category picker to explore many topics in depth. If you yourself would love to contribute your thoughts to our blog, feel free to contact us with an idea. 

We have also now published an e-book, put out several white papers, and held several webinars. By clicking on the respective links, you can access this information as well. 

50 Most Read Articles of All Time From the Cerasis Blog

We will feature the 50 most read articles of all time from the Cerasis blog by covering the 50th most read counting down to the most read blog of all time. We will simply list the blog title with a hyperlink for easy access. These 50 articles truly cover the gamut of our categories, but what is clear is that people love Infographics and they love trends. 

Without any more words or ado, here are the 50 most read articles from the Cerasis blog of all time!

50. 8 Most Common Reasons Why You May Receive a Freight Claim Declination Letter

49. Lean Initiatives: Understanding at a High Level & The Benefits of 5S

48. 9 Steps to Establish the Lean Supply Chain: A System of Interconnected & Interdependent Partners

47. [INFOGRAPHIC] Top 10 Logistics and Supply Chain Facts of 2014

46. 5 Advantages of Hiring a 3PL Provider for Outsourced Logistics

45. [INFOGRAPHIC] Expert Reveals 7 Supply Chain Trends to Watch

44. Why use a Third Party Logistics Provider and How to Implement a Successful 3PL Project

43. Marketing in Logistics: 4 Elements of the Market Research Phase in a Sound Digital Marketing Strategy

42. 6 Benefits of Logistics Automation in a Transportation Management System

41. What is Kanban and How Can it Aid in Lean Manufacturing?

40. Safety in Manufacturing: Learn the Top 5 Safety Manager Responsibilities & Never Take Safety for Granted!

39. Make Your Life Easier With These 5 Freight Bidding Platforms

38. Voice of The Customer: 4 Common Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

37. The Definitive Guide to Transportation Terminology to Stay on the Same Logistics Page

36. The Rise of Distributed Manufacturing and 7 Advantages over Traditional Manufacturing

35. 6 Effective Problem Solving Steps for Logistics, Supply Chain, Business, or Life in General

34. 3PL Pricing Structure: Part 2 In Third Party Logistics Implementation

33. Manufacturing Trends 2014: Top 10 Predictions from IDC Manufacturing Insights

32. 10 Ideas for More Efficient & Productive Warehouse Operations

31. Top 4 Manufacturing Issues in America – Part 1 of 2

30. Manufacturing Metrics that Matter Most: A Comprehensive Checklist

29. 5 Sweeping Technologies Rapidly Changing Paradigms & Execution of Manufacturing Processes

28. 5 Awesome Infographics About the Trucking Industry

27. The Impact of 3D Printing in the Supply Chain and Logistics Arenas

26. [INFOGRAPHIC] The Evolution and History of Supply Chain Management

25. The Future of Logistics: Are 3PL Companies Ready to Adopt these 4 Emerging Technologies?

24. What is Reverse Logistics and How Is It Different than Traditional Logistics?

23. New Hours of Service Rules Explained With Compliance Date Coming July 1, 2013

22. Non-Asset Based Logistics vs. Asset Based Logistics: What’s the Difference?

21. Transportation Metrics That Matter Most to Track and Improve Performance

20. Freight Bill vs. Bill Of Lading: Knowing the Difference Is Key to Effective Logistics

19. [INFOGRAPHIC] 3 Core Supply Chain Management Trends Gearing Up to Change SCM Forever

18. What are The Elements of a SWOT Analysis?

17. Accounting For Freight Costs: Freight Expense Account vs. Cost of Freight-Sales Account

16. 5 Benefits of TMS (Transportation Management System)

15. The Importance of A Value Proposition Statement for your Business and How to Write One

14. Third Party Logistics Services Explained, The Different Types of 3PLs, and The Various Levels of Outsourcing

13. Logistics Service Level Agreement and Logistics Key Performance Indicators: A White Paper

12. Third Party Logistics Companies: A Checklist When Evaluating Which 3PLs are Best for YOUR Needs

11. 8 Freight Claims Tips to Ensure You Get the Full Amount Paid

10. History & Academic Definition of Supply Chain and Logistics Management

9. E-Commerce Logistics: The Evolution of Logistics and Supply Chains from Direct to Store Models to E-Commerce

8. Bill of Lading: Importance Of, Error Consequences, and Effective Solutions

7. 10 Factors Which Determine LTL Freight Rates

6. What is Transportation and Logistics Management and Are They the Same Thing?

5. What are Incoterms and Common Definitions of Incoterms

4. What is 5S? An Explanation of the Elements of 5S for a Lean Culture

3. What is LTL Shipping (Less-Than-Truckload) and How Did it Come About?

2. 3PL vs 4PL: What are these PLs, Anyway? Layers of Logistics Explained

1. Freight Class: What is and How To Determine LTL Freight Class

We hope you enjoy and continue to enjoy our blog posts and articles! From everyone at Cerasis to our customers and the manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, transportation, and freight community, Happy New Year!

We conclude our “Most Popular” Blog posts series, where we have been giving you the most viewed blog posts in 2014 from our main content categories. We first featured the most popular manufacturing blog posts followed by the top Supply Chain blog posts, then logistics, transportation, business, 3PL, and then finally we round out our series today featuring the most popular blog posts focused on freight and freight management.

2014 was surely a fun year of content on the Cerasis blog. We not only had over 200 blog posts, but we featured voices from all around the industry by having over 45 guest bloggers. This variety of voices gives us the best and brightest around all of these industries in a collective effort to provide value and education to the Cerasis blog readers. Now, why do we blog? In part, we do it to gain business, build our SEO equity, and show our thought leadership and expertise in transportation management and logistics. However, as we’ve built out our content over the last 21 months, we’ve also gained a passion for all of these subjects. Eventually, we’d love Cerasis to be a provider of not only excellent content, but one day a forum for all to contribute and engage around these subjects which are all related to the supply chain. We figure, if we give value to these categories, it’s an extension of our core values of continous improvement of not only our own company, but improvement for our shipper customers.

We thank you for being a part of or reading any of our posts on the Cerasis blog. Look out for great stuff in 2015! Happy New Year and we hope you enjoy!

The 12 Most Popular Freight Blog Posts from 2014

Freight is something very near and dear to us at Cerasis. It’s the precious goods, the supplies, or a customer’s new order wrapped in shrink wrap and on a pallet which then needs a carrier to pick it up and deliver the goods. Most all of the things we have in our lives that we own came to us on a pallet, as freight, on a truck. We help manage transportation for our shipper customers, and freight is the materials they need to make products that they then ship to their customers. It’s a lot of work to effectively manage freight and that is evident as readers gobbled up posts around freight claims, freight shipment processing by understanding the documentation and how to class your freight so you can get a freight rate. Readers also wanted to know and make sure they were working with reputable freight brokers. Also of great interest were posts around freight accounting and naturally, how to reduce costs related to freight. Without further ado, here are the top 12 Most Popular blog posts in the freight category for 2014:

  1. Bill of Lading: Importance Of, Error Consequences, and Effective Solutions: Many people think that a bill of lading is a contract between the Seller and the Buyer and many also think that a bill of lading is a contract of carriage between the Carrier and Shipper. However, this is not entirely correct. Read the Full Blog Post.
  2. Freight Bill vs. Bill Of Lading: Knowing the Difference Is Key to Effective Logistics: To capture the most value from your logistics department, it is important you know the terminology from the industry. No matter what kind of enterprise you represent (manufacturing, distribution, any company that ships freight), freight bills and bills of lading are parts of a unified network of standards developed by logistics providers to help you get your freight from your own facilities to the end user or from your supplier to you via inbound freight. As a result, you can start to understand more about most fundamental logistics processes simply by knowing certain key terms. Read the Full Blog Post.
  3. Lower Freight Costs with These 6 Often Overlooked Areas (And No…it’s Not the Freight Rate): Most companies do a reasonably good job controlling costs in the outbound freight area. This responsibility usually rests in the shipping department, where shippers take pride in getting the lowest price. However, there are ways to lower freight costs which may be overlooked that don’t depend on the negotiated freight rates with your carriers. Read the Full Blog Post.
  4. 8 Most Common Reasons Why You May Receive a Freight Claim Declination Letter: You’ve worked really hard as a company to manufacture your product, or distribute to the end customer. You’ve selected the right carrier for your needs. And then…..you hear something has gone awry. Now you must take the first 6 steps of filing a freight claim. You get everything together, you file the freight claim. Then, like those nervously awaiting college acceptance letters this time of year, you get a notification letter stating “Freight Claim Denied!” You proceed now to curb frustration and anger as you now have to go back to your boss and let them know…you are not getting all of your freight claim paid. Cue the trumpets playing “Wah wah.” Read the Full Blog Post.
  5. Freight Classification Changes: How Shippers Can Avoid Increased Costs: If you are a manufacturer or distributor, most likely you use many modes to ship your freight, such as less-than-truckload freight shipping or LTL shipping. If you have any experience in shipping LTL, you know how volatile, process driven, and challenging it can be to make sure you get the best carrier, best time, best rate, and are making the best long term decisions. There are many things that go into effectively managing LTL freight and many factors that determine pricing. One of the most important factors is freight classification (read our post about how to determine freight class to understand freight classification at length). Read the Full Blog Post.
  6. Make Your Life Easier With These 5 Freight Bidding Platforms: If you are a freight broker, you must know how time consuming freight bidding is. But it’s something you can’t skip. After all, it helps you get better rates and more value for your money. Naturally, technology can help with this part of your work. There is a variety of freight bidding software (sometimes simply referred to as “online truck load boards” or “freight load boards”) that you can use to establish better ties with shippers and carriers, become more efficient, and save some money along the way. Here are 5 of the best platforms out there. Read the Full Blog Post.
  7. Freight Brokers: 6 Things Shippers Need to Know about You: Dear freight brokers, no matter how big, small, or independent, how much work you get and how much money you earn will depend solely on you. That’s why it’s essential to establish good relationships with shippers, in order to help their business thrive and have a constant flow of clients. Read the Full Blog Post.
  8. The Importance of How to File a Freight Claim and the 6 Main Steps of Successful Freight Claims: It’s been said that the one area that most shippers are the least knowledgeable in is that of claims for freight loss and damage. However, this does not mean that an understanding of how to file a freight claim or freight claims in general aren’t vital to running an efficient transportation and logistics department. The late William J. Augello, co-author of Freight Claims in Plain English, had a passion about this topic as few others have. There are at least two reasons why Bill felt so strongly about the importance of understanding claims. Read the Full Blog Post.
  9. How to Check if Your Freight Broker is Legitimate: Wouldn’t it be great if you did your business trusting all of the parties involved in freight without a shadow of a doubt? Sometimes this is indeed possible – when you’ve worked with the same partners for years and you’ve managed to build a work environment of mutual trust and cooperation. Most of the time, however, it’s not a bad idea to use available channels to check if the freight broker whose services you are about to use is legitimate. Read the Full Blog Post.
  10. The 4 Types of Freight Claims: A Freight claim is a legal demand by a shipper or consignee to a carrier for financial reimbursement for a loss or damage of a shipment. Freight claims are also known as shipping claims, cargo claims, transportation claims, or loss and damage claims. Read the Full Blog Post.
  11. 3 Ways to Make your Freight Invoice Work for You Not Against You: If you are a controller, or CFO at a manufacturing or distribution company, you handle many a freight invoice in your job. By now you know that freight accounting has good days and bad days. The days are good if there are no claims, the quote the logistics manager received matches the freight invoice, and everything is easy to pay. However, if you want to make sure your freight expindutures are managed well, you need to take advantage of all the things you can use a freight invoice for.  Read the Full Blog Post.
  12. Freight Insurance vs Freight Liability: Knowing the Difference For Freight Claims: If you are involved in logistics or related fields, or in an industry that depends upon logistics in order to be successful, you are well-served by knowing as much as you can about the basics of freight claims. In the event that items in transit are lost or damaged, freight claims are the means of recovering some of that lost value. However, just as in any insurance situation, it is very important that you take all of the proper and appropriate steps. The first part in knowing how to better manage freight claims starts before you start shipping: choosing the right amount of freight insurance and freight liability. But, do you know the difference? Read the Full Blog Post.

What in freight would you be interested in reading? Or would you like to be featured as a guest blogger? Then let us know in the comments below!

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