Beginner’s Guide to Intermodal Freight Service

Posted by PLS Logistics April 4, 2017 at 9:30 AM

FTR’s Intermodal Competitive Index (ICI) rose in October 2016, reflecting a moderately favorable environment for intermodal transportation. The ICI looks at a variety of factors including truck capacity, fuel prices, rail service, intermodal rates, and more.

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Why Shippers Love Supply Chain Visibility

Posted by PLS Logistics March 23, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Visibility refers to understanding what goes on between the start and end of a process. With supply chain visibility, companies can analyze data and evaluate suppliers, processes and prices.

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8 Things to Know if You've Never Worked with a Freight Broker

Posted by PLS Logistics March 16, 2017 at 9:04 AM

A substantial amount of over-the-road freight transportation is handled by freight brokers.  A freight broker is a person or company that brings together a shipper (with freight to move) and a qualified carrier (who has capacity to move the freight).

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Everything You Need to Know: Spot Market Freight

Posted by PLS Logistics March 2, 2017 at 9:12 AM

Have you ever wondered about how the product you buy from a store ended up there? The complexities of a supply chain and the steps for moving freight to its end location are often overlooked. But, for manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers, logistics is a top priority to business operations. Accurately planning for efficient transportation routes and potential delays comes with many challenges, which is why many shippers turn to a freight broker to ship goods.

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Shipper Strategy: Flower Demand and Reefer Rates

Posted by PLS Logistics February 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Demand for reefers is not only seasonal, but regional.

In late November 2016, reefer load and truck posts rebounded after the Thanksgiving holiday. Load posts jumped 49%, yielding a 36% increase in the load-to-truck ratio. That's the highest reefer ratio since March 2015. Then, in January 2017, reefer load posts dropped 9%, compared to December 2016. From January 29 to February 4, DAT Trendlines show that reefer load posts dipped 5%, and the national average reefer rate fell 6 cents to $1.91 per mile to accommodate the loss in demand.

Despite fluctuating demand, reefer trailers can be expected to rise in February, thanks to Valentine’s Day, the biggest flower-selling holiday of the year.

For Valentine’s Day, fresh flowers have been arriving at sea ports and airports, where they are transferred to temperature-controlled warehouses and onto reefers for delivery to flower markets and distribution centers around the country.

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Can Shippers Beat This Year’s Capacity Crunch?

Posted by PLS Logistics February 7, 2017 at 10:43 AM

From 2015 to 2016, freight declined hurriedly, by as much as 15% in the dry van sector. In 2016, freight volume and rates began to rise and shippers had consistent capacity. Freight demand was strong at the end of 2016; the DAT Freight Index revealed that spot market demand increased for 6 straight months, from June-December 2016. This year, analysts are predicting less capacity, steady freight volume and rising rates.

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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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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 JOC.com 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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7 Facts about Hazardous Freight Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics December 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM

  1. Hazardous materials are substances that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has determined are capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety or property when transported.

  2. There is an assortment of items that can be listed as dangerous: batteries, lithium tanks, magnets, dry ice, bleach and perfume. There are 9 classes of dangerous materials:
    • Explosives
    • Gasses
    • Flammable liquids
    • Flammable solids
    • Oxidizing substances
    • Toxic and infectious substances
    • Radioactive material
    • Corrosives
    • Misc.

  3. Hazardous materials regulations are in Subtitle B, Chapter 1 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49, set by DOT. It lists more than 3,600 items as dangerous goods.
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