Driving The Supply Chain


Recruiting Younger Drivers to an Aging Workforce

May 14, 2015 8:30:00 AM

It’s a familiar story: the increasing driver shortage in the trucking industry is capping capacity and slowing potential growth. In a December 2014 Commercial Carrier Journal’s (CCJ) survey of 255 owners, executives and senior managers, the results were startling clear: 57.3% of for-hire carrier respondents believed that driver shortages would be their biggest concern in 2015, as it has largely been since 2011. How exactly carriers can find, train, and retain drivers remains a significant business challenge that impacts not only the trucking industry, but shipping and manufacturing as well. Most shippers rely on truckers to deliver their products, but without enough capacity to deliver products on demand, the driver crises resonates throughout the supply chain. Ultimately, there may be empty shelves in the grocery store because the industry cannot keep up with demand.

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When Will Alternative Fuel Become an Option for the Logistics and Trucking Industries?

May 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Fleet owners have a variety of motivations for acquiring hybrids, electrics, and other alternative fuel-powered vehicles, but they face a number of challenges in doing so, like cost of acquisition and infrastructure availability. The focus on fleet sustainability has been building over the past decade as alternative fuels become more prevalent and available, but whether alternative fuels are worth the cost and effort remains debateable. The Environmental Protection Agency has been advocating alternative fuel and sustainability through its SmartWay program, which champions fuels such as liquefied and compressed natural gas, propane, alcohol, Dimethyl Ether (DME) and electricity. These fuels are attractive to government agencies because of their potential to offer a clean-burning, domestically-produced alternative to imported petroleum. 

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Employment Trend: Trucking Industry Loses Jobs in March

Apr 23, 2015 8:30:00 AM

For the first time since May 2013, employment in the trucking industry has declined. The Department of Labor released March employment numbers, announcing a drop of 6,800 jobs in the for-hire trucking industry, marking the biggest decline in two years. Before March, jobs in the trucking industry had been slowly climbing to near pre-recession employment levels, with 64,600 new jobs created by more than 100,000 motor carriers since June 2013. The situation may not be as bad as it first appeared, and many in the industry remain hopeful for an employment rebound. It is worth noting that the last big employment dip in the trucking industry (March 2013 with a 10,400 jobs loss) was followed by a boom of 13,800 jobs in April 2013.

All considered, employment numbers in the trucking industry are significantly better than at the start of 2014. For example, since March 2014, for-hire trucking as an industry has added 39,300 jobs, which shows a significant improvement over the past few years. At 1.438 million, the trucking industry is 14,600 jobs shy of peak levels set in January 2007, indicating steady recovery despite minor setbacks. Hourly earnings figures are also improving, and in March, $22.91 was the average hourly wage in the transportation and warehousing sector. Predictions for the remainder of 2015 remain positive. While March’s job loss may not be a reoccurring trend in the industry, it is raising concerns over the driver shortage and already tight capacity in the trucking industry. 

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The Impact of Technology on Supply Chain Management

Mar 31, 2015 8:30:00 AM

For many in supply chain management, new technological tools are transforming daily business processes. As the supply chain becomes increasingly Lean in its operations, managers are constantly looking for ways to improve service, reduce costs, and increase return on their investments. Effective supply chains are defined by the efficiency of their processes, as well as their flexibility and reliability, and new technologies are proving valuable in achieving these goals.

Large deployments of mobile and wireless technology have already been implemented in the logistics and transportation sectors, and with good reason. The need for real time tracking and accurate delivery systems makes supply chain management ripe for technological innovation. However, keeping up with emerging technologies can be difficult for large companies who have deep investments in older technology. Although transitions may take time, leveraging new technologies is becoming of key importance in this competitive industry.

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Shell names Dupré First to Reach Top Tier on HSSE Requirements - First to Achieve Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Audit Requirements

Mar 24, 2015 8:30:00 AM

On Wednesday March 4, 2014 Dupre’ Logistics was recognized by Shell Trading (US) Company for being the First Road Transport Carrier to reach the Top Tier on the company’s HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environmental) Audit Requirements. The presentation took place at a Shell Downstream Americas Safety Forum held in Houston, Texas. Carriers from the US were present for the 2-day forum which covered several topics about safe operations.

“Dupré Logistics’ works to provide customized solutions to our business partners ensuring the best service taking into account health, safety, security and environmental concerns,” says Dupré Logistics COO and President Tom Voelkel. “With each of our different partners, HSSE compliance is important to our whole work model. We are proud to have been recognized by Shell in this way.”

Shell launched the HSSE and Social Performance (SP) framework in 2009.  Shell’s web site cites the company’s commitment and policy on HSSE and SE as including, “our aim to do no harm to people, to protect the environment and to contribute to the societies where we operate. Our mandatory standards and accompanying manuals support these goals.”

Dupré has been a Logistics Service Provider of hazardous materials for Shell Trading (US) Company since 2011. Utilizing a Logistics Service Provider can not only prove to be a lucrative business decision for an established company — it is a safer approach to creating a committed, cost-effective and, most importantly, safe way to transport hazardous materials. 

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3 Key Reasons Outsourcing Logistics is Expected to Grow

Mar 20, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Outsourcing logistics management has been on the rise for the past few years, and the trend is expected to continue through 2015. According to the 2015 Third Party Logistics (3PL) study by Capgemini Consulting and partners, 67% of shippers indicate that they plan to increase their use of outsourced logistics. A whopping 92% of 3PL service providers grew their client base by at least 5% last year. The numbers are clear, but why exactly are so many shippers outsourcing logistics?

The reasons are numerous. Businesses want to improve, simplify and streamline their businesses operations of course, but they face significant challenges in doing so.  According to the Inbound Logistics 10th Annual Research Report, shippers face these top three challenges: cutting transport costs, improving business processes, and improving customer service. The role of 3PL’s is to alleviate these issues. There is a significant correlation between shippers’ self reported greatest challenges, and the services that 3PL’s offer. The beneficial role that 3PL’s play is reflected in the fact that 92% of shippers report successful relationships with their 3PL partners.

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Dupré Logistics Receives US EPA SmartWay® Excellence Award -- Company named Top Tier of Carbon Efficiency for 2013

Mar 10, 2015 9:21:29 AM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a SmartWay® Excellence Award to Dupré Logistics, recognizing the company as a true industry leader in freight transportation environmental performance. Dupré was selected for ranking in the best performance range for freight carbon efficiency (grams per-ton mile for CO2).

“As an industry, we are the subject of increasing government regulation,” said Scott Allen, Dupré Logistics Director of Maintenance & Fleet Assets.

“We are proud to be recognized not only meeting but exceeding the expectations of the regulators that make our work more environmentally safe.”

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Trucking Alliance Chairman Reaffirms Group’s 2015 Safety Agenda

Mar 5, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Congress and the Obama Administration can do more to help the nation’s trucking industry serve the U.S. economy safely and efficiently. That should be the trucking industry’s message in 2015, according to Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Chairman of the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (aka Trucking Alliance) Board of Directors.

Williams recently met with Acting Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Scott Darling, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), senior staff members of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and other transportation safety stakeholder groups to share the Alliance objectives.  Joining Williams were Mark Brockinton, CEO for the Transportation and Logistics Practice of Aon Risk Solutions, a leading insurance brokerage and risk management consulting firm, and Lane Kidd, the Alliance’s Managing Director.

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Will 2015 be the year of Lean Supply Chain?

Mar 3, 2015 12:36:16 PM

Reduced crude oil prices in late 2014 have translated into lower prices at the pump, but what exactly do lower oil prices mean for supply chain strategies?  There has been much discussion about how the decreasing fuel costs in 2014  are pushing the industry toward Lean supply chain principles, like using cross functional methods to ensure faster transportation and streamlined delivery systems. The how’s and why’s of Lean in the supply chain will vary according to individual companies and their portfolios. Diesel prices dropped to a 5 year low the first week of February, with the average price of diesel gasoline at $2.831 per gallon. According to data issued by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), February’s oil prices are hovering relatively close to the low February 2010 prices, when oil was only $2.756 per gallon. Prices are expected to remain low but unpredictable for some time. However, declining fuel costs for motor carriers and other parties in logistics and supply chain management appears to be a mixed blessing.

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Increased Focus on Fleet Sustainability

Feb 13, 2015 12:27:46 PM

Sustainability has been a buzzword for many industries over the past 20 years, and with good reason. As concerns increase about climate change and our economy’s fuel dependence, many in the trucking industry are beginning to take a serious interest. Heavy-duty trucks constitute the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions within the transportation sector (with passenger cars and light trucks as the largest source), and that number is not going unnoticed.

Roughly 29% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from the combustion of transportation fuel, and that does not even include emissions from production and refining. When the entire cycle is considered, the emission figure rises to roughly 43%. Those numbers come from Projal Dutta, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's director of sustainability initiatives who was active in a 2014 Climate Leadership Conference in San Diego. The conference raised several important points about fuel emission. Denise Kearns from the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay program explained that commercial freight emissions have grown by 30%since 1990, and are expected to continue to grow 20% in 20 years. The carrier focus on sustainability is crucial.  While heavy-duty trucks account for just 4% of motor vehicles, but they create roughly 25%of the recorded carbon emissions. Many fleet managers are realizing that they have a responsibility to take mediating action, and are looking for new sustainable options. 

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