Differences Between LTL Shipping and TL Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics September 27, 2016 at 11:05 AM

Deciding the best mode to ship your freight can be complicated. To determine the primary way to move freight, shippers should identify the size of the shipment, the budget, the delivery schedule, and the freight’s fragility.

The 2016 logistics report exposed challenges in over-the-road (OTR) transportation; truckload carriers have extra capacity, most shippers have surplus inventory and consumer spending is low.

Low transportation rates and fuel surcharges are affecting truckload carriers more than LTL companies. As a solution, many truckload carriers are removing old trucks from their fleets to close the overcapacity gap until freight demand picks up. LTL carriers, however, are not experiencing overcapacity and have maintained, and even raised rates. In July 2016, both truckload and LTL carriers added jobs.

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Did Brake Safety Week Create a Rate Surge?

Posted by PLS Logistics September 22, 2016 at 3:00 PM

The week of September 11-17, 2016 was Brake Safety Week, an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial motor vehicle brake safety.

More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.

During the 7-day period, law enforcement agencies across North America conduct inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes, and brake-system and anti-lock braking system violations as part of CVSA’s Brake Safety Week.

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Recent History: International Trade and US Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics September 20, 2016 at 7:45 AM

Advances in transportation and telecommunications technology have contributed to the growth of international trade. The United States imports and exports more merchandise than any other country making it the world’s largest trading nation. The US trades with nearly 200 countries worldwide. Trade encourages economic efficiency by providing an assortment of goods at lower, competitive costs.

Our nation’s freight transportation system has shaped and been shaped by the increase and change of demands of international trade. The expansion in trade has been accompanied by changes in security, economies and freight modes.

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Case Study: Project Cargo Logistics

Posted by PLS Logistics September 15, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Project logistics refers to specialized freight moves that are oversized, heavy-lift or hazardous. Moving over dimensional, over weight or toxic cargo is a complex job that involves heavy shipping equipment and moving project materials to w
ork sites, facilities and construction stations whether on- or off-highway.

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Advice for Retail Shippers Struggling with Last Mile

Posted by PLS Logistics September 13, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Understanding Last Mile Logistics

Last mile logistics refers to the outbound transportation from a fulfillment or distribution center to the final delivery at the customer’s door. The last mile is the top priority for retail brands, but is also the most expensive, least efficient and most challenging part of the delivery process.

Read: 6 Signs it’s Time to Outsource Transportation Management

The e-commerce consumer market is growing; eMarketer forecasts that global B2C e-commerce will reach $2.3 trillion by 2017. With more shoppers comes increased need for quick fulfillment, generating further attention to the last mile.

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Market Update: LTL Volume Down but Prices Stay Firm

Posted by PLS Logistics September 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The less-than-truckload (LTL) market is adjusting to a soft freight environment, triggering less volume, revenue and profits. As the U.S. freight economy weakened, LTL carriers saw a slip in revenue year-over-year. To date, the only large LTL carrier that hasn’t reported a decline in revenue is FedEx.

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Key Factors Impacting Freight Transportation Today

Posted by PLS Logistics September 1, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Transportation is a major element of the US economy. According to the 27th Annual State of Logistics Report, freight volume slowed in the final months of 2015, allowing shippers to demand cheaper rates. Truckload rates and demand are soft and continue to fall, and low fuel prices plus accessible capacity keep transportation costs down for manufacturers and retailers.

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6 Transportation News Stories: August 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics August 31, 2016 at 8:00 AM


  • Louisiana Weather Causes Shipment Delays. Louisiana called a state of emergency after heavy rainfall affected the region. More than 280 state roads have been flooded and closed, affecting intermodal rail and truckload shipping. “It’s a major disaster,” said Rodney Mallett of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. (Learn more here.)

  • Market Condition: Continued Price Declines. The most recent edition of the Truckload and Intermodal Cost Index reflects the ongoing stretch of rate declines for both modes. Truckload rates dropped 1.6% annually in July, marking the 5th straight month of annual declines. July’s intermodal rates were down 2.4% annually. (Read more here.)

  • GHG and Fuel Efficiency Rules Set. The EPA and DOT’s NHTSA finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution. The final rules build on the fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards already in place. (How Will Shippers Be Affected by Green Regulations?)

  • FAA Permits Test Delivery Drones in US. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, will be flying drones in designated areas to gather data to develop an airspace management system. Google is pressing for product delivery-by-drone within the next 3 years. (When Will Your Products Be Delivered by Drones?)

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How New GHG Regulations Affect the Future of Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics August 30, 2016 at 10:30 AM

On August 16th, the Obama administration released the final rule on Phase 2 of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for the transportation industry. Phase 2 is more comprehensive than Phase 1, and will gradually be enforced from January 1st, 2018 until its full implementation in 2027.

Under the Phase 2 regulation, for the first time ever, trailers will be subject to aerodynamic standards to improve fuel efficiency beginning in 2018. Additional truck and trailer requirements, including fuel-efficiency guidelines and CO2 emissions standards, will be implemented in 2021, 2024 and 2027. Phase 2 GHG emission regulations will affect every business involved in freight transportation.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have worked closely with industry insiders to develop the final GHG rule, so many in the transportation industry are satisfied with the rule.

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How Important is Accuracy on the BOL?

Posted by PLS Logistics August 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM

A bill of lading (BOL) acts as evidence: a receipt and a document of freight services. It’s proof of a contract between a carrier and shipper. It’s a legally binding document, containing relevant information about the shipment. A BOL includes pickup and delivery addresses, a place to note any freight damage, shipping/purchase order numbers, special shipping instructions and other details so the freight is delivered and invoiced properly.

2 Most Common BOLs

  • Straight: Non-negotiable. Where goods have been paid for and the shipment will be delivered to a consignee upon confirmation of ID.
  • Order: Where the goods and BOL can be transferred by endorsement to third parties.
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