MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Large carriers don’t have a monopoly on the secrets of success. Just ask the managers of smaller operations like Sutco Transportation Specialists, Paul Quail Transport, and Liberty Linehaul, who participated in a panel discussion at the recent Surface Transportation Summit. “Just because we’re a smaller carrier doesn’t mean we can’t come up with a solution that works for us,” observed Leanne Quail of Paul Quail Transport.
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Wowing your drivers is the key to keeping them, according to industry human resources experts.
Tim Hindes, CEO for Stay Metrics, and Tracy Clayson, managing partner for In Transit Personnel, spoke to an audience looking for clues to relieving tight labor conditions at the Surface Transportation Summit, Wednesday.
Clayson emphasized that companies looking to recruit the best drivers and retain them should start trying to keep them from the very first meeting.
How we hire drivers, how we give them orientation, how we explain the company’s processes is really key, she said.
Hindes agreed saying that folding employees into the company culture shouldn’t be left to chance, managers should actively socialize employees starting with their hire.
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Maximizing profitability in an industry where margins can be thin comes down to just one thing: time.
Panelists at the Surface Transportation Summit had differing views about where fleets could make the best use of their time to convert it into dollars and cents, but both agreed that the old adage is true: time is money.
“Time in trucking is a perishable commodity,” said Brian Abel, a freight network engineer for KSM Transport Advisors.
Abel and fellow panelist Mike Buck, president of MCB Management Consulting, spoke about different ways fleets could save time by being proactive and rooting out waste.
Buck presented ways fleets could capitalize on being proactive about maintenance, creating a schedule that would mean less downtime, would control costs, and would maximize the efficiency of equipment.
MISSISSAUGA, ON – The coming year appears to hold the promise of a growing economy, tighter capacity, and ultimately higher rates for those who haul freight.
“When you have the economy doing reasonably well, transportation tends to be generally picking up,” said Carlos Gomes, senior economist – Scotiabank, in a presentation during the Surface Transportation Summit in Mississauga, Ontario. He projects economic growth of about 2% in 2018, compared to the 3% seen in 2017.
“The Canadian economy recently has been very strong,” agreed Walter Spracklin, equity research analyst – transportation sector at RBC Capital Markets.
But where railways have enjoyed higher volumes against the backdrop of recent growth, trucks didn’t fare quite as well. Railway volumes surged in part because of the demand for fracking sand, feeding into the 6.5% boost in overall freight that moved over iron highways, he said. Intermodal freight volumes are growing as well, although grain volumes are likely to drop when compared to the strong crops of 2016. Of the Canadian railways, CN is seeing capacity tighten, leading to congestion challenges and a projected boost in capital spending.
TORONTO, ON – Telematics are increasingly being used to control costs, but shippers and carriers who spoke at the recent Surface Transportation Summit are recognizing that more challenges are on the horizon – especially when it comes to pending mandates for Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs).