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Freight fraud

Freight Fraud Is a Real Problem. Here’s How to Avoid Scams

Scams are rampant across all industries, and the logistics industry is no exception. BYX has dealt with fraud more than once, and freight fraud can be devastating for smaller organizations. Fraud is so common today that many corporations have entire departments dedicated to fraud detection. For those who lack the resources to follow suit, there are easier ways to spot a scam before you fall prey to it. 

The Most Common Freight Fraud Situations

Identity Theft
Identity theft is the oldest scam in the book. There are a few ways in which this occurs in the shipping industry. Some scammers pretend to be trucking companies and prey on shippers or brokers by picking up freight and fleeing. Others request fuel advances and vanish. 

Another common method of identity theft happens entirely online. Scammers design fake websites that look similar to legitimate shipping sites. Shippers assume its the real one, provide their payment details, and lose thousands. Always doublecheck a website’s URL. If it’s not identical to a legitimate company’s name, consider it a red flag. If the URL ends with the name of a free hosting site, like .wix or .hubspot, run. If a company is legitimate, they can afford their own domain name.  Read more

Rising insurance costs

Rising Insurance Costs and What It Means for Trucking

The past few years haven’t been easy for the trucking industry. In addition to the supply chain crisis that was made drastically worse by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we’ve also faced a persistent driver shortage, rising gas prices, an automation evolution and shifting client expectations. While fleet owners have been scrambling to find solutions to all of that, insurance costs have crept up in the background. Rising insurance costs has now become so substantial that ignoring it is no longer an option.

Over the past decade, insurance premiums have risen by 47%

The latest report by ATRI, the American Transportation Research Institute, found that insurance premium costs per mile increased by nearly half over the course of a decade, rising from 5.9 cents to 8.7 cents. Insurance rates also fluctuate substantially. Fleet owners hop on an unpleasant roller coaster ride when it’s time to renew coverage each year.

The last four years have been especially challenging. Between 2018 to 2020, virtually all motor carriers saw substantial rises in insurance costs. Despite efforts to improve safety and lower risk, insurance premiums continue to creep up. Read more

Rising gas prices visual

How Gas Prices Affect BYX and Our Customers

Gas prices fluctuate by the day. This is nothing new, but the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has caused an exceptionally painful spike. The current average price per gallon in Los Angeles County is currently $5.52, with diesel averaging $5.85, but some stations are charging over $6 per gallon. Trucking companies feel the sting of elevated fuel prices more acutely than most. To fill up a 100-gallon diesel tank costs about $585. If you’re thinking “ouch,” so are we. 

Gas prices look very different than they did in recent months. The average prices are up by 57 cents/gallon from just last month. It’s hard to believe that at this time last year, gas only cost $3.73 a gallon. Inflation is hardly a new dilemma, but now its effects are more pronounced than they have been in decades. 

Shipping companies use something called “fuel surcharge.” A fuel surcharge is a flat rate that allows the cost of fuel to be incorporated into shipping rates in a fair manner and allows shippers to have a fixed fuel cost they can count. Fuel surcharge is an important part of us continuing to operate our business and is set by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and updated weekly. 

Rising Gas Prices May Lead to Rate Hikes Down the Line

Before you panic, BYX just updated our rates at the start of 2022, and we hope to keep them stable for some time. Still, we prefer to be transparent with our customers so they understand why price increases have to happen. It goes without saying that elevated gas prices make transporting goods more costly. The farther the pickup, the more the additional fuel expenses are felt. 

The hike isn’t just felt by trucking companies. Every rung of the transportation ladder is effected, including cargo vessels and moving freight by air. Coupled with the existing supply chain crisis and materials shortage, the cost of everything is likely to increase, not just gas prices. Maintaining our fleet, from replacing tires to changing the oil, is more expensive than it was a year ago. Read more

Shipping appointment

Fed Up With Rising Prices? Shipping Appointments Are Partly to Blame

Every business owner knows customer care is the name of the game. Unfortunately, offering the best customer care possible sometimes comes at a cost. While making shipping appointments seems simple at first glance, the logistics behind arranging a simple pickup or delivery is more complex than it appears. 

The hidden cost of appointments

Every industry has annoying, unavoidable inefficiencies. The ones shipping companies like BYX deal with, however, didn’t exist just a decade or two ago. Originally, it worked something like this: Delivery companies would make their deliveries in the morning, and spend the afternoon making pickups. The only communication required was a quick phone call to let the customer know approximately when to expect the driver.

Today, expectations are very different. The workflow of a shipping appointment clerk looks something like this:

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Amazon location

Love Prime? Here’s Why Amazon Locations Are Actually a Nightmare

Say you have a particularly busy week and realize as you’re running out the door that you’re out of both coffee and paper towels. Who wouldn’t love being able to order a refill on Amazon over their lunch break? With Amazon Prime, both items will likely arrive within two days, sometimes even sooner. It’s like magic; addictive magic that we’ve all come to expect. Behind the scenes, it’s much more complicated. In reality, Amazon locations are a pain to deliver to and pick up from, and their methods may not be sustainable.

The basics of Amazon shipping

There’s a reason that your comfy pair of winter boots or last-minute birthday gift arrived so quickly. Most Amazon sellers send their goods to large Amazon warehouses. There are more than 50 warehouses across the U.S., so there’s one relatively close to almost any residential address nationwide. That’s how Amazon can promise 2-day shipping. The goods really don’t have to travel that far. Based on product availability and distance from the nearest warehouse, same-day shipping may even be available. 

There’s a dark side to all of this, however. To start, Amazon has a sizeable history of complaints regarding employee welfare and ethics. The corporate giant supposedly installed $52 million worth of air conditioning units in their U.S. warehouses to make working conditions more comfortable, but there’s still room for improvement. For example, warehouse workers at Amazon locations are on their feet all day, and they have extremely demanding quotas to fill.  Read more

Driver shortage

TIME Claims There’s No Truck Driver Shortage. Here’s Where They’re Wrong

Time Magazine published an article in late 2021 claiming that the truck driver shortage is a fallacy. As a decades-old trucking company, we beg to differ. While their statistics are on point, Time lacks perspective. To clear things up, here’s an insider view on one of the biggest issues plaguing America’s supply chain issues today. 

The claim: The driver shortage doesn’t exist.

To start, TIME’s infamous article covered some indisputable basics: America’s supply chain is struggling, leading to frustrating delays over the holidays and ongoing product shortages. The crisis began months ago, and yet our favorite muffin at Starbucks and the new smartphone we saved up for remains stubbornly unavailable. 

Many experts have cited a truck driver shortage– the largest we’ve seen in decades, as a strong contributing factor to the recurrent delays, but TIME says it doesn’t exist. To be specific, their article stated that:

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Supply chain crisis double exposure

8 Tips For Dealing With the Supply Chain Crisis

In the past year, companies of all shapes and sizes have been hit hard by uncertainty, shutdowns and unpredictable demand shortages. Now, we’re also facing a prolonged supply chain crisis. It’s been a long time coming, but the COVID-19 pandemic made matters substantially worse.

With the supply chain issues forecasted to continue well into 2022, what’s a business owner to do? While completely safeguarding your business from complications is impossible, these eight steps will help you get through today’s crisis and prepare for future disruptions.  Read more

Ships like this one are struggling to unload cargo due to the global supply chain crisis

The Global Supply Chain Crisis of 2021: Here’s What to Expect

Go to a department store and try to buy a dress for a wedding. Can’t find one? It’s not just you. The shelves have been picked clean of countless different products, from clothing to certain food items and takeout boxes. The items that we used to take for granted seem to be in short supply. Prices won’t quit climbing. But why? Our global supply chain wasn’t built for e-commerce in the first place.

To Start, the System Was Already Struggling

When a customer placed an order 20 years ago, they expected to receive their package in a couple of weeks. Now, we get antsy if it’s been a couple of days. The global supply chain, however, has struggled to meet the demand for more and more products to be delivered faster than ever. 

While ordering a product online might seem like the easy option, there’s more to it behind the scenes. The process to actually manufacturer a product, sell it, and deliver it to your doorstep is complex. First, the supplies to produce the product need to be shipped to the manufacturer. Then, the products have to make their way through a complicated import and export system to make it to U.S. retailers. Then, products are shipped, often being passed through many hands before they make it to your door.  Read more

pallet shipping

Pallet Prices Remain Sky High. Here’s What It Means For You

For decades, pallets were commonplace and inexpensive. They were so easy to come by that people even made tutorials on how to repurpose them, making them into DIY furniture. Unfortunately, the days of turning old pallets into bookshelves and garden art are on pause. Earlier in 2021, the prices of lumber soared, and the prices of every single wooden pallet rose along with them. But why? 

Like countless other problems, the lumber shortage began with COVID

To start, the lockdown in early 2020 had all of us stuck at home. While some of us spontaneously learned to bake bread, thousands of others decided it would be the perfect time to start that DIY home improvement project they’d been putting off. The demand for lumber increased, but there was a problem: The sawmills weren’t even open.  Read more

accessorial

What Customers Need to Know About Accessorial Fees

Was your last freight bill more than you expected it to be? These added charges are called accessorials. If you don’t know what an accessorial covers, it can come as an unpleasant surprise. As frustrating as that may be, there’s almost certainly a good reason why the invoice exceeded the original estimate. 

Why Freight Shipping Costs Aren’t Cut and Dry

Wouldn’t it be nice if freight charges were as straightforward as shopping at Target? In retail stores, the price advertised on the tag is always exact, aside from sales tax. That’s because there are no surprises for the item’s manufacturer. By the time you toss it in your cart, there’s nothing that could possibly add to the company’s expenses. 

The world of freight shipping is more like plumbing or similar trade industries. We give estimates, but factors beyond our control contribute to the final bill. These accessorials are necessary to help us recover the costs of overweight shipments, inaccessible delivery locations, and similar factors that add to the expense of a given shipment.

Due to the nature of the shipping process, we typically apply fees after shipments are completed. This is because many accessorial causes occur during the shipping process itself. For this reason, the final bill may look different than our first estimate.

 

Our previous blog post went over a few of the elements that contribute to shipping costs. Let’s go over accessorial charges in more detail to help you better understand why they occur and how to avoid them. 

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