Carriers Now Required to Comply with Electronic Logging Device Mandate

electronic logging device, ELDLawmakers established a new mandate that went into effect December 18, 2017. The new federal law requires machine transport carriers to fit their trucks with electronic logging devices (ELD). Freight companies, whether operating as an LTL or truckload linehaul service, must abide by this new mandate.

What Is an Electronic Logging Device?

Federal law requires an ELD on each carrier truck. The device syncs with the truck’s engine and records the total time and distance traveled. Many freight companies have embraced the new ELD rules, though several feel the implementation is bad for business.

ELDs make it more difficult for drivers to falsify their records. Some carriers pay their employees by the mile. Drivers for these carriers record their total driving hours and mileage on paper logs. ELDs eliminate this age-old practice, which is prone to fraud, especially when drivers are on the road beyond the 14-hour limit. Continue Reading →

Freight Insurance Vs. Freight Liability: What’s the Difference?

freight insuranceWhen you ship out freight, you would be wise to insure the cargo in the event it incurs damage in transit. You ask: “Don’t carriers cover you automatically?” Well, yes and no. We’ll discuss freight insurance and freight liability and how they differ.

Freight Insurance and Freight Liability Explained

Insurance and liability coverage are similar but not exactly the same. Federal law requires all truck transports to have basic liability coverage. Depending on your freight and personal assessment, this may or may not be adequate.

Basic liability coverage differs from carrier to carrier. It covers a specific amount of damage, usually calculated by a dollar amount for every pound of freight. The maximum coverage amount may be less than the monetary worth of the freight. Continue Reading →

Industrial Rigging Safety Tips for Machine Tool Transportation

industrial rigging safetySome companies hire third-party riggers to prep their machine tools for dedicated truck or trailer transportation. Others have their own crew perform this labor-intensive task. If you rely on your own internal team, then their safety is absolutely critical. We’ll cover essential industrial rigging safety tips for you to pass down to your rigging team.

Safety Tips for Industrial Rigging

Rigging Equipment Precautions

1. Know the capacity load of the crane or rigging gear. Excessive overload can damage the crane, causing it to collapse.

2. Periodically inspect the rigging gear. Inspect for bent or sprung hooks, broken strands, frayed slings, and overstretched links.

3. Replace all defective gear, even if they only appear minimally worn.

4. Only assign rigging duties to trained personnel. Never assign an untrained staff member simply because you’re one person short. Continue Reading →

Manufacturing Industry Hacking is on the Rise

manufacturing industry hackingCyber-threats are a fact of life in the modern digital era. Significant targets include the banking, retail, and healthcare industries. While attacks on the manufacturing sector aren’t as commonplace, the industry isn’t safe by any means. In fact, manufacturing industry hacking incidents are on the rise.

More Hackers Targeting Manufacturing Companies

Obviously, Machine Transport isn’t in the cybersecurity business, but we have coordinated with many manufacturers over the years. Many have reported increased IT measures in the wake of concerns over ransomware and other malware attacks. Even the linehaul shipper and carriers we work with are increasing IT security.

Often, manufacturers and suppliers aren’t a hacker’s ultimate target. Rather, cyber-criminals use the industry as a point of entry to access the more lucrative targets. In this case, they exploit manufacturers to gain entry to retailers that receive their inventory from the suppliers. Continue Reading →

Freight Shipping Seasons—When Is Freight Transportation at Its Peak?

freight shipping seasonWith the holiday season here, you may think that this is the busiest time of year for the freight industry. This actually isn’t so. We’ll break down the freight shipping seasons by industry. Knowing when shipping is at its peak will help you plan shipments accordingly.

Shipping Breakdown by Season

Winter: January through March

This is the slowest freight shipping season of the year. We like to think of this as a hangover for the industry. Carriers were extremely busy during the holiday season. With that out of the way, the trucking sector sees a drastic decline in shipment placements.

For the customer, this is also when carriers and linehaul shippers have flexible availability dates. Rates are also lowest during this time.

Spring/Early Summer: April through July

This is when businesses begin picking back up. This is also harvest season for many types of produce, so agricultural shipment is high. Continue Reading →

Parcel and LTL Shipping: What’s the Difference?

parcel and LTL shippingA parcel refers to any small package. How small does a package have to be to classify as a parcel? At what size does a package require LTL shipping? We’ll go over the difference between parcel and LTL shipping.

When to Choose Parcel Shipping

Every carrier has its own classification for defining a parcel. Typically, the package cannot exceed 150 pounds, though some services cap that weight at 70 pounds. Dimensional limits apply as well. The parcel must also be small enough for a single person to haul it by hand.

For parcels, you can make shipping arrangements with nationally recognized carriers, such as UPS and FedEx. These companies also offer overnight and weekend delivery. LTL shipment usually doesn’t offer expedited services since your freight is one of many in the truck. Continue Reading →

Preparation Tips for Heavy Haul Freight

heavy haul freightIn the transportation industry, the term “heavy haul freight” refers to an exceptionally large and wide load. Machinery, warehouse vehicles, and manufacturing equipment fall under this category. Due to the freight’s extraordinary size, weight, and dimensions, special preparations are in order.

Arrange the Appropriate Carrier

LTL is likely insufficient for transporting heavy haul freight. Depending on the nature of the freight, the cargo may require a certain type of trailer with a flatbed. In some instances, the carrier may classify the heavy haul freight as a “super load.” The definition of a super load differs depending on the region. In any case, you will need to acquire a state oversize permit. Visit this site for specific definitions of a super load by state. Continue Reading →

Warehouse Slot Optimization 101

Slot OptimizationDoes your warehouse adhere to any sort of slot optimization practice? Slot optimization refers to the strategic placement of inventory to minimize loading times. Remember, time is money; more time in the loading dock means more overhead spending and, possibly, surplus fees from the carrier. We’ll go over some best practices for placing inventory in your warehouse.

Why Slot Optimization Matters

Here are some eye-opening statistics: staff spend 55% of their time traversing the warehouse. They waste another 15% searching for items. These are fairly large percentages that can be drastically reduced with slot optimization. Strategic slotting comes into play regardless of the carrier or line haul shipper you use. Continue Reading →

3 Tips for Shipping Perishable Goods in Warm Weather

Warm Weather ShippingTransporting perishable goods often require reefer shipping, which we discussed in a previous post. Regardless, transporting perishable goods in warm weather requires more diligent packaging on your end. With summer in full swing, we’ll go over some tips on how to properly pack your temperature-sensitive goods when temperatures are through the roof.

1. Be Mindful of Shipping Time

Arrange for a shipping time later in the day, preferably late afternoon or early evening. This way, the starting temperature is lower once the freight is in transit. You should also arrange for a shipping date earlier in the week to reduce the likelihood of the freight sitting idle in a warehouse over the weekend. This is especially the case with LTL shipping. Continue Reading →

Correct Pallet Preparation for Transportation

A carrier’s job is to transport freight; prepping the freight for safe shipment is your job. If it becomes the carrier’s job due to poor preparation, then expect surplus charges. Correct pallet preparation procedure is the same whether you’re arranging for an LTL or dedicated truck transport. We’ll go over the steps to palletize your freight for shipping.

Pallet Preparation 101

Fortify Individual Boxes

Individual boxes on the pallet should be full. Fill excess space with packaging peanuts, bubble wrap, or air pillows.

Stack Boxes Evenly

Boxes should be perfectly aligned and not extend beyond the pallet’s edge. Keep heavier boxes at the bottom and lighter ones on top. Solidify loose boxes by placing a flat cardboard piece every other row. Do the same for the very top row. Be sure any boxes with labels face outward. Finally, we recommend the use of cardboard corner beads to keep boxes from protruding beyond the pallet.

Don’t Be Conservative with the Shrink Wrap

Shrink wrap isn’t expensive, so don’t be stingy with it. Wrapping the pallet once or twice isn’t enough. You should wrap over the pallet three times at a minimum, though we prefer four to five times. As you wrap, twist the wrap every now and then to increase its strength.

Secure the Freight with Nylon Strap

This is optional, but you can secure the freight to the pallet by using sturdy nylon strap. If not, then at least use shrink wrap the top part of the pallet.

Ready to Transport Your Freight?

Once your freight is ready, give Machine Transport a call to arrange for a carrier or line haul shipper to haul your goods. Preparing your pallet the right way not only saves time but ensures your freight remains safe during its lengthy transportation.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Freight Brokers for Manufacturers and Suppliers

Serving Manufacturing Industries Throughout North America