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5 Simple Steps to Enthusiastic Employees

Between COVID-19 and wildfires, 2020 has thrown up plenty of roadblocks. This is especially true for business owners and their employees. For local freight companies like us, work has been busier than ever, but in many other industries, that’s sadly not the case. 

When work is slow or sporadic, even the most productive team can become sluggish and stressed. Fortunately, business owners can help! Keep reading to learn five easy ways to elevate, engage, and excite your employees. (Even in 2020!)

1. Show Gratitude

Everyone thrives off appreciation, and your employees are no exception. Team meetings are a good start, but teams are made up of individuals. By acknowledging the skills and contributions of each team member, you’re telling them, “Hey! You’re not just a chess piece to me. You’re important to this company and I’m glad you’re here.”

The more your team members feel valued, the more value they’ll add!

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How Rainy Days Affects Shipping in Southern California

Have you ever gone shopping during a rainstorm or unusual weather? You may have noticed that grocery stores and other markets were low on inventory for certain products. This happens because weather has an enormous impact on the freight industry—and in a variety of ways. Even the best trucking companies with the most efficient systems experience delays due to inclement weather. In Southern California, we are also affected by fires that cause obstacles in the form of dangerous conditions and the closing of major highways.

Bad weather is a serious safety hazard for drivers. Driving in bad weather or even after a storm is risky—nearly 50 percent of accidents occur when it’s raining. Truck drivers must use extreme caution so that they minimize the risk of having an accident and ultimately flipping their load. They need to be careful and even stop altogether sometimes when roads are too slippery or gridlocked, or their vision is impaired by rain. Poor weather can also result in roads being closed or the occurrence of a natural roadblock. Read more

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The Basics of NMFC Codes

In the world of shipping, National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) codes are critical to the freight classification process. Nearly every type of product or commodity shipped in this country has its own NMFC code that helps carriers determine the cost of any given load. Therefore, it’s essential for freight companies to use the right one to ensure timely delivery and accurate price estimates.

The History of NFMC Codes

When regulators became aware of the need for better industry standardization, The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) developed a classification system. The system breaks every type of freight into 18 different classes, each denoted with a code number between 50 and 500. These codes allow carriers and shippers to determine tariffs and rates for shipments.

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The Impact of the AB5 State Law on Freight Companies

The California Assembly Bill 5, also known as the AB5, passed in September and is making waves across many industries, including transportation and freight. The AB5 bill limits independent contractors in the state of California, including owner-operator truck drivers and freight companies. It may be a wise decision to take a look at your vendor list and decide who you should work with. Although it may not seem like too large of an issue as a vendor, hiring independent contractors or companies that use independent contractors in 2020 may become a larger issue.

In order to be marked as an independent contractor, the worker MUST follow these three rules known as the ABC Test:

(a) the worker is free from control and direction in the performance of services; and
(b) the worker is performing work outside the usual course of the business of the hiring company; and
(c) the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.

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The Impact of Longer Detention Times

A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that truckers are waiting longer at customer docks than in previous years. The wait times associated with both pickup and delivery, known as “detention,” rose significantly since 2014, when more than 1,900 fleets and 1,600 drivers from various freight companies were originally polled. Drivers reported a 27.4% increase in delays of six hours or more when they were surveyed again in 2018.

This research conducted by the ATRI, which is the independent research arm of the American Trucking Associations, brings awareness to the full financial impact associated with detention times. As truckers spend longer time periods waiting at loading docks, this cuts into revenue and gross profits for freight companies and drivers, and ultimately, increases consumer costs. According to a 2018 report by the Department of Transportation, wait times are estimated to cost trucking companies and drivers over $1 billion per year in revenues lost.

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