Your Top 5 Questions on NOx Standards Answered

Posted by PLS Logistics January 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing a rule that would set new standards to reduce NOx emissions from heavy-duty truck engines beginning in 2024. The agency last tightened its NOx standards for truck engines in 2010 to 0.2 gram per brake horsepower-hour.

The California Air Rescue Board is pushing for a lower NOx standard, as low as .02, so they can meet the federal ambient air quality standards for the ozone. That would be a 90% reduction in NOx emissions.

What is NOx? Nitrogen Oxides. NOx pollutes air with its chemical compounds. NOx represents a family of 7 compounds. The EPA regulates nitrogen dioxide, NO2, as a surrogate for this family of compounds because it’s the most prevalent form of NOx in the atmosphere and is generated by human activity.

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8 Fascinating Statistics from Shippers about 3PLs

Posted by PLS Logistics January 17, 2017 at 8:50 AM

3PLs have two fundamental responsibilities – leading customer relationships that focus on supply chain services and providing the management of those services. Most 3PLs have achieved a clear focus on what they do best, and on what expertise they can provide in order to enhance a shipper-client’s supply chain.

3PLs and customers are becoming more proficient at what they do (individually and together) which improves the quality of the relationship. 91% of 3PL users and 97% of 3PL providers report their relationships are successful and their work has positive results. Successful relationships are defined by openness, transparency and effective communication between the two parties.

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Capabilities and Benefits of Shipment Tracking

Posted by PLS Logistics January 12, 2017 at 11:45 AM

Shipment tracking technology enables shippers to be in control of their transportation and locate freight at any point in its journey. Track and trace features are available on a transportation management system (TMS). With this technology, you have insight to carrier performance, transportation costs and market trends as you manage your logistics. Shipment tracking is a necessary element of supply chain management.

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Beginner’s Guide to PLS PRO, Transportation Management System

Posted by PLS Logistics January 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM

TMS software is credited for saving companies money; those who manage transportation poorly spend $53 for every $1,000 of total spend on outbound transportation, while those utilizing a TMS only spend $6.35 per $1,000.

PLS created a SaaS based software, PLS PRO, that is highly configurable, adaptable and dynamic. PLS PRO is an online transportation management tool that enables shippers to oversee, operate and adjust shipments using a centralized network – regardless of shipment size or customer requirement. PLS built PLS PRO to be a simple, effective way to monitor logistics processes.

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The Interrelated Issues Facing the Trucking Industry

Posted by PLS Logistics January 6, 2017 at 11:45 AM

The American Trucking Association projects that the trucking industry is poised for serious growth by 2022. The forecast suggests that overall revenue for the industry will rise almost 66% and tonnage will increase 24% by 2022.

However, 2016’s economy saw slow growth, shipping rates and volumes. Due to low demand, excess inventory and infrastructure bottlenecks, revenue YOY only rose 0.2%. But 2017’s trucking outlook improves: demand, spending and manufacturing are expected to pick up.

The driver shortage still overshadows the industry, and is expected to get worse. There aren’t enough qualified drivers filling open positions, and the aging workforce is retiring.

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A Step Closer to Automation: DOT Rule for V2V

Posted by PLS Logistics January 4, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death and injury in the US – killing more than an average of 32,000 people a year. A 2007 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that almost half of all two-vehicle crashes are rear-end crashes, and the primary reason for rear-end crashes is driver inattention.

In order to reduce injuries and fatalities on America’s roadways, DOT has proposed a rule that would advance the use of connected vehicle technologies with the intention to considerably reduce accidents. Vehicle-to-vehicle systems (V2V) allow cars to communicate to each other in an effort to warn drivers about potential risks and to prevent crashes. The new DOT rule applies to passenger vehicles and would require automakers to include V2V technologies in all new light-duty vehicles.

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5 Trending Transportation Updates: December 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics December 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  1. Amazon Innovation: Grocery Stores. Amazon’s first big venture into brick-and-mortal is revolutionary: a grocery store with no cashiers or checkout lines. In the new store, shoppers will scan their Amazon Go app, and the technology will keep track of what you are picking up and add them to your virtual shopping cart. (Read: Omnichannel Takes on Food Industry & Gains Consumer Support)

  2. Elaine Chao to Lead Department of Transportation. President-elect Trump has chosen Chao, who has had experience in the White House under President George W. Bush, for Secretary of Transportation. Chao said that given the nation’s need to improve infrastructure, it’s important to find ways to expedite the process of making repairs and building new constructions and decreasing regulatory burdens.

  3. Post-Election Hope for Alaska Mines, Toll Supporters and Consumer Confidence. Miners expect the EPA to announce in Q1 that it will let the application process for a copper and gold mine in Alaska to proceed. The EPA has been blocking the mine project for nearly 3 years. (Source)
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4 Recommendations to Save Money on LTL Shipments in 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics December 28, 2016 at 9:30 AM

LTL carriers saw all-time high revenues in 2014, then due to a decrease in fuel prices, revenue dropped in 2015. Balanced supply and demand kept LTL prices from dropping in 2016, and reports that LTL carriers are looking forward to 2017 as freight volumes are predicted to be higher. Next year, the LTL sector could see a capacity crunch due to the ELD mandate, a slow economy and pricing models. LTL pricing is expected to increase in 2017 and fuel costs aren’t likely to see change. In order to cut LTL freight shipping costs, shippers need to be exact with freight’s weight and dimensions, package and pallet the freight properly, consider consolidation, and utilize transportation management systems.

Infographic: Breaking Down the Costs of LTL Shipping

  1. Weight and Dimensions
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PLS’ 11 Most Popular Blog Posts from 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics December 20, 2016 at 12:30 PM

(#11 Most Read Blog in 2016) Seasonal Freight Surge and Consumer Forecast
-Fuel prices, weather, capacity, and e-commerce are a few factors that determine truckload demand during the holiday season. Before Thanksgiving, reefer volumes increased and as December’s holiday shoppers start buying, more dry van loads were posted. UPS is expected Monday, December 19 to be the busiest shipping day, and for this year to have 14% more shipping volume than last year. (See the NRF predictions here.)

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The Top 6 Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics December 19, 2016 at 4:00 PM

  1. Globalization

The supply chain is affected by the globalization of business, and those who work with international suppliers don’t have the same competitive advantage they once had. More markets are emerging in the global economy, and traditional supply and demand is changing. Industry Week reports that by 2025, global companies will have procurement managers based in China to source materials and services not only for their operations in that country, but for their entire organization. Brazil, Russia and India are predicted to become sources of supply and demand for global companies. Companies will have to be transparent in supply chain expansion strategies and offer suppliers visibility.

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