Freightquote Promotes Long-time associate to Culture and Community Relations Manager

Freightquote has promoted Cle Ross to culture and community relations manager. Ross, who has been with the company for 10 years, is very active in the community and leads organizations including Kansas City Kansas Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (KCK RBI), whose opening day is May 16 and is sponsored by Freightquote.

The creation of this position is part of Freightquote’s new strategic vision for the company. One of its strategic pillars, “People Matter,” focuses on encouraging company and civic involvement among associates as well as increasing engagement in the community.

“Our goal is to be the best employer in Kansas City. Part of that obligation is to impact our community in positive ways,” said Tyler Ellison, Freightquote chief executive officer. “Cle has been a model for what we continually aspire to be as a corporate citizen and this appointment will accelerate our commitment to our community.”

In his new role, Ross will ensure Freightquote associates not only have a plethora of internal activities to participate in, but also can easily give back to the multitude of charitable organizations around Kansas City.

Besides the new title, Ross is the first recipient and namesake on Freightquote’s inaugural Cle Ross Community Impact Award. The annual award, which will be given out at the President’s Club meeting in March, honors a Freightquote associate who lives and promotes Freightquote’s “People Matter” mindset.

“It’s hard not to be inspired by Cle’s story and his ambition to make our community better,” said Julie Schaller, Freightquote’s vice president of human resources. “We are proud to have him on our team and know he will turn Freightquote into one of the best places to work in Kansas City with the activities he initiates here and in the community.”

Since 2007, Ross has founded Success Achieved in Future Environments (S.A.F.E.) a nonprofit organization that offers programs which include S.T.I.C.K.S. (Support Towards Inner City Kids Sports), KCK RBI and Dirt Dandies Elite Showcase, all aimed at improving the lives of area youth.

Freightquote has been a long-time supporter of Ross’ work with KCK RBI, which uses baseball as a vehicle to teach Kansas City youth about the importance of education. Under Ross’ leadership, the program has swelled to nearly 1,000 kids. This organization is a natural fit for Freightquote, which regularly sponsors and contributes to organizations focused on education and improving the lives of children.

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Freightquote looks to fill 400 sales positions in 2014

Freightquote announced plans to hire up to 400 freight brokers during 2014. This comes as a response to the company’s continual growth and will help Freightquote maintain its position atop the freight industry.

“Freightquote is growing at a great pace and we are looking for good people to help us maintain and elevate this growth,” said Tyler Ellison, Freightquote’s chief executive officer. “We are not looking for just anyone to fill all these spots. We are looking for people who are tenacious, hardworking, competitive and like to sell.”

The freight broker position is responsible for ensuring all aspects of Freightquote’s freight processes are operating at maximum potential. This role is responsible for managing and developing customer and carrier relationships, service and product planning, implementation, and delivery. In addition, freight brokers function as account managers handling truckload coverage, price negotiation, troubleshooting and dispatch capacities.

Freightquote offers a competitive base salary with uncapped commissions. In addition, full-time employees receive competitive benefits packages and have the option to set their own work schedules. Beyond the monetary benefits, Freightquote employees are encouraged to partake in the company’s philanthropic initiatives, which revolve around improving education for children here and across the country.

Freightquote moved into its new state-of-the-art, 200,000-square-foot headquarters off State Line Road last July. The building, which currently houses 1,000 employees, was built for growth and can accommodate up to 900 more employees.

Interested applicants should apply at FQJobs.com. As part of the application process, all candidates are asked to take a 25-minute online test. This test helps Freightquote determine if the applicants have the drive and personality to produce and grow the company’s bottom line.

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Why a 3PL is best for Distribution Center Logistics

3plFor the thousands of distribution centers in the United States, effective management of inbound and outbound logistics is the key to success. As millions of goods are warehoused, sorted and distributed each shipment in or out is crucial in keeping the supply chain moving. For those managing distribution centers, as well as those that ship to and from these centers, a third-party logistics provider (3PL), like Freightquote, offers benefits over going with carriers directly that can help streamline operations.

The best carrier for each lane inbound and outbound

When working with carriers directly, your options in a given lane are often fixed. On the other hand, a 3PL can connect you with multiple options in a given lane. This gives you the flexibility to pick the best price, service level and delivery times to meet the objectives and standards of the distribution center.  Additionally, many distribution centers have a preferred or exclusive list of carriers. A 3PL can accommodate a distribution center’s preferred carriers to avoid delays and/or additional fees.  If the distribution center’s processes and carriers aren’t utilized it can create delays for vendors to get their products to sale.

Preferred freight mode solution

Working with carriers directly can limit which modes your freight can move in. Depending on what part of the country you’re moving to and from, and the distance your products are traveling, it might make sense to use different modes. A 3PL broker can offer you all your LTL, truckload, partial truckload and intermodal options at once so you can easily make the mode decision that gets your freight to or from the distribution center when you need it.

Operational support team

When it comes to backing you beyond booking your shipment, 3PLs such as Freightquote offer the most support team coverage for your business. If you need assistance in confirming dock hours or scheduling appointments at a distribution center, a full-service 3PL will have dedicated teams in place to help you manage the logistics details. 3PLs have experts available to be a liaison between the carrier and the distribution center.  They can set delivery appointments, hire lumpers and update delivery status.  Working with carriers directly may not provide the vendor with complete visibility to their load.

Delivery flexibility and options

Some distribution centers, especially retail-based centers, have adopted overnight delivery hours. Working with a 3PL gives you access to all of the carriers for that distribution center that can meet these hours and can advise you of the pitfalls of delivering too early or too late. 3PLs can leverage their knowledge of specific distribution centers to help you meet the requirements specific to that operation. Each distribution center has its own set of regulations and working with a 3PL experience in moving in and out of that center can ensure a seamless freight transfer.

A single invoice

Whether moving freight to or from a distribution center, multiple invoices, contact points and billing centers can interfere with a streamlined workflow. When working with a 3PL, no matter which carriers or modes you have used to keep your supply chain moving, you’ll have just one invoice. When you can see all of your freight spend in one view, you and your department can make the best decision for your bottom line  and department objectives.

As you and your freight department are looking to improve your operations to and from distribution centers, look to a 3PL like Freightquote to help you make simple, but important decisions to streamline your supply chain. We know you’re constantly evaluating your network, looking for any efficiency you can find and Freightquote is here to help you make the smartest decisions for your freight.

Freightquote manages logistics for hundreds of customers moving in and out of the nation’s biggest distribution centers. Our expertise comes with a deep understanding of how to make your freight move seamlessly into the center and on to its final destination.  Contact your freight broker today at 800.323.5441 to see how we can help with your distribution center logistics and all your other freight needs.

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Getting on Board with Intermodal Freight Shipping

rr_editIntermodal shipments have been growing steadily over the past few years. According to truckinginfo.com, domestic intermodal traffic was up 9% in Q2 2013. This growth is fueled by a constantly expanding network for rail, shippers seeking more cost-effective fuel solutions and improved service offerings from providers. As Intermodal options expand, it may be time to consider moving your freight on the rail.

Does Intermodal work for my freight?

Domestic intermodal transport typically consists of an intermodal container being moved by a truck to the rail, then a truck again to the final destination. Regular or recurring shipments are particularly well suited for intermodal because it can provide a consistent supply chain solution. Intermodal is a good fit for a range of freight and products. However, the shipments that are best suited for Intermodal are typically longer haul lanes moving to or from 200-300 miles of a major metro. 

Why chose intermodal?

Rail is the most fuel efficient mode of transport available today, so intermodal freight shipping can provide significant fuel cost savings over road-based transport. This fuel efficiency also translates into a greener, more environmentally friendly way to move cargo, which many shippers are looking for.  Additionally, intermodal is safe and secure for your freight, providing a dependable alternative to the truckload spot market, especially in lanes of tight capacity. Many freight commodities are insured up to $250,000 while on the rail, providing even more security for your cargo.

On top of all this, rail is still expanding its footprint in North America. More logistics centers and miles of rail line are being put into place, increasing destination options and service level for intermodal shipments.

How do I get started with intermodal?

Freightquote is a certified IMC (Intermodal Marketing Carrier), buying intermodal capacity at wholesale from the best rail lines. This means we can pass the savings and selection on to our customers. Getting an intermodal shipment set up can take a little more coordination than a truckload shipment, but Freightquote has a team of dedicated intermodal expects to help guide your shipment. Contact Freightquote at 800.323.5441 or  visit Freightquote.com to start shipping intermodal now.

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What’s the difference between liability and insurance?

Handle with Care

In the unfortunate situation that your shipment is lost or damaged, it’s important to know what is covered by liability and what is covered by insurance.

Every booked freight shipment comes with limited liability coverage. The amount of coverage is determined by the carrier and based upon the commodity type. It covers a certain dollar amount per pound of freight.  In some situations, the included liability coverage may be less than the value of the shipped goods.

To make a liability claim, the carrier must be at fault for the damaged or lost freight. However, if the damage is from inadequate packaging, loading errors or weather-related causes, the carrier is not at fault. Additionally, if the damage is not noted on the delivery receipt, many carriers will deny any liability.

In some cases, your freight shipment might have a higher value than what is covered under the included liability.  Freightquote offers additional insurance that can be purchased to cover the full value of the shipped goods. This extra insurance covers the shipped items and the cost of freight shipping. It is redeemable under all types of loss with no proof of fault required. Unlike the limited liability coverage, with added insurance, there are no exclusions for packaging errors or severe weather.

How do these two types of insurances differ in the claims process?

If your shipment is only covered by liability:

  • Your claim must be filed within 9 months of delivery, or within a reasonable time frame if lost
  • If the deliver receipt is not noted as damaged some carriers require immediate notification
  • You must provide proof of value and proof of loss
  • The carrier has 30 days to acknowledge a claim and must respond within 120 days
  • You must prove carrier negligence
  • This means the freight was picked up in good order, packaged properly but delivered in a damaged condition

If your shipment is covered by additional insurance:

  • You will be required to provide proof of value and proof of loss
  • Claims are typically paid within 30 days
  • You are not required to prove carrier negligence

Freightquote’s expert team of Brokers can help you decide what is best for each of your shipments and provide cost-effective additional insurance.  Contact Freightquote at 800.323.5441 to speak with a Freight Broker to ensure each of your shipments is booked to meet the needs and value of your freight.

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Halfway there: Freightquote’s new HQ is making progress

We are still on pace for the new building to be completed by June 2013. The new 200,000 square foot, Freightquote Headquarters, will be located in Kansas City, MO off I-435 and Stateline. We are excited to share the progression of our new site!  See below for pictures of the progress that has been made thus far.

Freightquote-New-Building-Progress

Photo taken: October 19, 2012

Freightquote-New-Building-Progress_2Photo taken: January 11, 2013

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Just what makes special deliveries so special?

The phrase special delivery often creates a sense of excitement that someone is about to get something really great. Well, if one considers extra fees a prize, they’re in luck!

It’s more likely, though, someone is not expecting to pay extra for a delivery to a location considered special, which are more commonly called Limited Access or Non-Commercial destinations. Over the years, we’ve found these names to be deceptive for customers, who often incorrectly assume they will not receive an extra charge if they’re picking up and delivering to business locations or commercially zoned areas.

A helpful way to describe what a carrier will consider a Limited Access or Non-Commercial location is to consider the location from the driver’s perspective. If the driver has to go out of their normal route area, cannot pull up to a loading dock and load or unload within 10-15 minutes, the location will be considered either Limited Access or Non-Commercial and additional fees will apply. This means gated areas a driver must check into, commercial establishments not open to the walk-in public or destinations where an employee is not available to assist with loading or unloading.

Below is a list of specific destinations considered Limited Access. Since some locations are at the discretion of the carrier, this is not an all-inclusive list, but instead the most common places where additional charges will apply.

  • Camps
  • Carnivals
  • Churches
  • Colleges
  • Construction Sites
  • Fairs
  • Individual/Mini storage units
  • Military Bases
  • Mine Sites
  • Mosques
  • Prisons
  • Schools
  • Synagogues
  • Temples
  • Universities

As you can see, many of these locations could be easily be mistaken as normal pick up or delivery sites. If you want to make sure you’re not surprised by the extra fees associated with a special delivery location give us a call at 800.323.5441or visit www.freightquote.com/howtoship/avoiding-adjustments.aspx.

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Tis’ the Season of Limited Transit Days

Snowman

Below are transportation industry observed holidays and will not be counted as transit days.

  • Monday, December 24th
  • Tuesday, December 25th
  • Monday, December 31st
  • Tuesday, January 1st
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KVC Adopt an Angel Program

Adopt and AngelThank you to the generous Freightquote employees who donated hundreds of toys, clothes and other “wish list” items to the 2012 KVC Adopt an Angel program. Through the kindness of these employees, 200 foster children in the Kansas City area will now have a brighter Christmas!

KVC is a private, not-for-profit organization providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services and education to children and families in the Kansas City area.

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Freight Demand

Freight demand has been lower than expected. We demanded to know why.

Freight demand was lower than expected in late September and early October. Traditionally, this has been a peak shipping point in the season due to retailers stocking up merchandise to accommodate for holiday shopping. However, this peak has been less prevalent in recent years, and especially appears to be down in 2012. We used our industry knowledge and insights to uncover two fundamental reasons why:

1. Shift in inventory models

It’s difficult to prove this concretely, but there are those who theorize that many firms decided to shift further away from traditional inventory models (where retailers stock up their shelves during strong economies) and move closer to the concept of a Just-In-Time inventory model.

The Just-In-Time inventory model has merchandisers minimally stocking their shelves during September/October and only ordering more product when needed. This way, they avoid over spending up front and not having the sales to match the large cost of their inventory. The prior thinking was to fully stock your shelves in September/October and bank on a strong holiday season.

2. Slow or stagnant economy

Even with the shift in inventory models, 2012 demand seems to be well below average for this time of year. This could be an indicator that growth for the 3rd and 4th quarter may be slower than originally predicted – most industry forecasters called for gross domestic product (GDP) to grow between 2-3% over this period. A slow economy and an underperforming GDP are a good recipe for reduced freight demand.

What does this mean for shippers?

Regardless of why demand is down, or what this indicates, the fact remains that there is less freight moving in the market. This translates, at a macro level, to generally lower pricing and more available capacity. As of right now we are anticipating the softer demand will last through the remainder of 2012 and into early 2013. The next significant demand surge will likely occur in February/March of 2013, but a lot could change between now and then. We believe shippers would be wise to take advantage of this lull in freight demand and the potential pricing benefits it brings.

Find out if rates have lowered in the lanes you ship in by visiting www.freightquote.com.

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