Dupré Logistics

3 Common Misconceptions About Chemical Logistics

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Chemical logistics represent a large part of the nation’s trucking sector.

In 2015, the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) announced the results of research they had conducted to learn about the size and impact of the tank truck industry within the US. The results highlight the importance of this industry as one of the most specialized sectors within trucking. In fact, results show that the tank truck industry is responsible for hauling more than 2.4 billion tons of freight each year, equaling more than a quarter of all truck freight.

Even with the significance of this trucking sector and the impact it has on the industry and the US economy, misconceptions still exist with regard to chemical logistics. As leaders within the chemical logistics industry for more than 35 years, we’ve worked hard to educate customers and the general public about chemical logistics; this post will focus on three common misperceptions about chemical logistics.

Misconception #1: The driver shortage doesn’t exist

Truth: The driver shortage exists, especially in the chemical logistics industry

Information abounds about the current and impending driver shortage within the trucking industry – in both chemical and non-chemical sectors. Some of you may believe that trucking companies have propagated this story to increase their margins; some of you may be keenly aware of a driver shortage that you’re experiencing right now.

The truth is that within the chemical logistics industry, the driver shortage is definitely real. The current population of qualified, chemical drivers is aging, and there’s simply not enough new drivers rising through the ranks to fill the need. According to (American Trucking Association ATA) over the next decade, the trucking industry will need to hire a total 890,000 new drivers, or an average of 89,000 per year. Replacing retiring truck drivers will be by far the largest factor, accounting for nearly half of new driver hires (45%).

In addition, drivers that transport chemicals require additional training through the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OSHA to comply with the myriad of state and federal regulations and safety requirements that (understandably) accompany chemical hauling. Drivers that transport chemical products also assume a higher level of risk, taking responsibility for safely hauling potentially life-threatening substances from one place to another.

It’s imperative that you work closely with your logistics and supply chain professionals to ensure your chemical products will continue to be transported by the highest level of driver. At Dupré, the driver turnover rate is 25% compared to 100% nationwide. Part of the reason for such a low turnover rate is our driver management strategy. Dupré drivers benefit from the extensive work we have done over the years with our partners to isolate the things that are likely to contribute to unsafe operating conditions. We work with our drivers to educate them and build work rules that allow them to maximize their productivity and income potential while at the same time improving their safety performance and job satisfaction.

Consider a dedicated carrier option to be sure your product is delivered in the safest, most cost-effective manner by a highly trained, professional driver.

Misconception #2: Lower rates will ensure lower transportation costs

Truth: To make certain you’re receiving the most cost-effective, efficient chemical logistics services, it’s critical to partner with a logistics company that has your overall business strategy in mind.

There are a number of factors that can impact the cost effectiveness of your transportation services. Efficiencies can be gained by how a product is loaded or unloaded, by utilizing a specially-built truck that reduces the number of shipments each year or by pursuing the services of a 3PL, 4PL or LLPto most efficiently transport your product.

In order to ensure that you’re receiving the best logistics services for your money, it’s essential to develop a relationship with your logistics carrier and completely assess the benefits they can bring to your organization. for example, If you typically haul 45,000 pounds of product on a regular basis, you may be able to work with your logistics provider to build a lighter trailer that allows you to haul 50,000 pounds of product each time, saving hundreds of dollars in shipments per year.

Work closely with your logistics provider to develop the most cost effective solutions to reduce overall transportation costs, and meet your business’ supply chain strategy.

Misconception #3: All chemical logistics providers are created equal

Truth: Chemical logistics providers are not created equal, and it’s critical for your business to work closely with your transportation provider to develop solutions that best meet your chemical logistics needs.

Here at Dupré Logistics, we approach your business with a need to understand your goals and strategy, the preferences of your customers, and the competitive advantages that you bring to your industry. Our professional engineers and supply chain experts then develop a solution that best meets your needs, insulating you from the ebb and flow of the market, the impending driver shortage and provide expert advice on chemical logistics best practices that allow you to become more profitable.

One size does not fit all when it comes to chemical logistics providers, and the same is true for chemical manufacturers. It’s essential for your chemical logistics partner to work closely with you to develop solutions that increase overall productivity, enhance business performance, reduce costs and create a safe and efficient chemical logistics solution for your business.

Supply Chain Management Analytics- What Constitutes an Efficient Supply Chain?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An efficient supply chain is critical to the success of any business, but especially to those involved in manufacturing. The ability to properly understand, collect and analyze available information that shows the efficiency of your supply chain can be a challenge; is cost per mile the best measurement? How about on-time pickup and/or delivery percentages? It’s imperative that your business determine what analytics deliver the best results that provide accurate data to measure performance.

In order to collect and analyze data that makes sense for your business, the first question that needs answering is, what determines a healthy and efficient supply chain for your business? In most cases, a balance between high safety standards, and cost-effective processes that compliment your business strategy will produce a healthy, successful supply chain. Determining all of the moving pieces of your supply chain, ensuring the proper relationships are established and nurtured with external logistics professionals and other vendors, coupled with clear communication will ensure that safety, cost awareness and efficiency are a top priorities for your supply chain.

Analytics and metrics that assess efficiency

Defining the analytics and metrics that can demonstrate your supply chain’s efficiency vary depending on the strategic goals and needs of your business. Many times, manufacturers look strictly at the cost of transportation; while cost is important, a healthy and efficient supply chain requires more critical analysis.

Depending on your overall business strategy, and the needs of your customers, the following analytics should be considered:

  • Number of safety incidences of your transportation vendors
  • Customer service complaints and feedback
  • Claims process management
  • Environmental impact resulting from your logistics processes
  • Impact of technology on the supply chain

These are just a few of the examples of supply chain analytics that should be considered to increase the visibility into your full supply chain . Once you determine what you’d like to measure, develop benchmarks that can be used as a comparison for improvement. For example, if reduction in the time it takes between unloading and reloading a certain product needs to be reduced, include that baseline time as your metric, and then determine the optimum goal for improvement.

Once benchmarks are established, determine the improvement goals and strategies, and ensuing metrics that need to be analyzed to the results. As you move forward in creating the most cost-effective and efficient supply chain, tracking and revisiting each metric that is established will be key to measuring your success.

The bottom line? It’s important to determine what metrics should be measured based on your business’ goals; metrics are not a “one size fits all” measurement that can be used for everyone. Each manufacturer, shipper and customer has different needs based on their business, and your supply chain and logistics professionals should work to develop metrics based on the individual needs of the business. In addition, what gets measured, gets improved, and using analytics that establish a baseline for continuous improvement is essential.

3 tips to ensure success

Determining business goals and objectives, and developing baseline metrics for analysis that can accurately measure improvements is essential for enhancing the overall performance of your supply chain. In addition, it’s important to keep these three tips in mind.

1. Use common language when defining your metrics

There’s nothing more frustrating than when your physician speaks with you using “doctor-speak,” instead of using terms that appeal to the patient. The same is true in supply chain management, and reiterates why it’s so important to learn about the customer and understand their business goals and strategy.

For example, if a customer’s common cost measurement is cost per kilogram, it’s critical to develop and report on metrics that include that language. That way, whether you’re speaking with the transportation manager or the CFO, they know exactly what’s being discussed and how it relates to their business strategy.

2. Metrics are always evolving

Establishing and tracking metrics is not a straight-line process; continual tracking and measurement of metrics is fluid and constantly evolving. Regular assessment and review of metrics and their importance is critical to ensuring an efficient and cost-effective supply chain.

In addition, the ability to make near real-time changes based on possible disruptions in the supply chain is critical in the ability to keep the supply chain moving successfully. Utilizing data available through supply chain analytics can help to immediately identify when a supplier encounters issues within a given time frame as they occur, and work to make immediate corrections.

One example that we utilize at Dupré, is “web portals.” Our engineers have developed, maintain and operate these interactive platforms that allow multi-party interfacing to monitor a particular supply chain. This almost immediate “review” of supply chain efficiencies makes it possible to track and update relevant metrics as needed, increasing productivity and overall supply chain performance.

3. Efficient does not always mean productive, and vice versa.

Many times these two terms are made to mean the same thing, when in fact, they can mean very different things. It’s critical to know what your customer’s business’ objectives are to ensure that you’re accurately measuring productivity and efficiency based on their needs.

For example, a manufacturer that hauls small containers filled with liquid (called totes) to a customer may need empty containers brought back to the manufacturer to be refilled and then distributed once again. These totes take up a full trailer, leaving no room for including additional product and decreases the efficiency of the truck on the return trip. Yet, knowing this customer’s requirements, means using data that measures both volume and space, and developing a solution, and measurable metric, that is specific to the customer.

To ensure the most efficient supply chain for your business, it’s critical to work with a logistics partner that cares about your business’ goals and objectives, and then provides a supply chain solution that effectively balances safety, cost and efficiency to achieve the best results. Their knowledge and willingness to learn about your business will allow you to become more competitive and profitable and create a cost-effective, high performing and efficient supply chain.

Consider 3 Logistics Options When Making Capital Decisions

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Decisions that positively or negatively affect your manufacturing or distribution business are made every day. As the demand for your products increases, so does the need for a transportation plan that delivers to your customers, while at the same time keeping your business in the black. There’s no question that investing in transportation, whether it’s one tractor and trailer, or numerous tank trucks, is a significant capital investment; determining the risk and opportunities that exist with each option is critical to making the most cost effective decision for your company.

Fortunately, there are a number of different options available that can provide value for your business. Investing in your own private fleet of assets, developing a partnership with a logistics provider on a dedicated contract basis, or utilizing the for-hire marketplace offer both risks and opportunities. A thorough assessment of your business’ logistics needs, and evaluation of the available options is essential to developing the best logistics plan.

Determine Your Needs

An important first step in evaluating how to invest your transportation dollars is to understand what your logistics needs require. Depending on your business, you may have consistent movement of product that requires on-time delivery between your production plant and customer warehouse. Seasonally-driven businesses, agriculture for example, may need a truck and driver only during specific months of each year.

The needs of your specific business can lead you to assess what investment is the most cost effective, provides the appropriate level of risk for your comfort and most importantly, gives your business the best opportunity to grow.

Evaluation Options

There are three transportation options that require proper consideration as you determine the best investment for your logistics needs.

1. Private Fleet

Investing and managing your own private fleet provides the opportunity to maintain the overall control and increased flexibility in managing your transportation and supply chain. But private fleet ownership does not come without cost:

  • Equipment costs –the cost of one tractor and tank trailer can vary between $150,000 to $250,000 each, not including maintenance. Maintenance fees can be terribly expensive, so be sure to when assessing the total cost of your equipment needs, you include regular maintenance costs.
  • Labor costs– hiring and managing a fleet of drivers is critical to the success of owning a private fleet. According to the American Transportation Research Institute(ATRI) driver wages represented the second largest share of total average marginal costs in trucking operations, second only to fuel costs. The driver shortage and cost of maintaining a safe, well-trained, crew of expert drivers must be considered.
  • Liability/Insurance costs– while safety is a top priority in transportation, accidents inevitably happen. Your business assumes increased liability risk, at an increased cost, when employing a private fleet of trucks and drivers.

2. Dedicated Fleet

A dedicated relationship with a professional logistics company can provide an option for your business, especially if you have limited capital available for investment in rolling assets.

In a dedicated relationship, you can negotiate with a logistics provider for a specific amount of delivery capacity. This relationship is contractual, but there are usually no minimums, no specific requirements and no penalties. In a dedicated capacity situation, the logistics company agrees to provide a certain amount of trucks at a certain price.

The dedicated contract carriage option is a more formal contractual relationship. In this instance, the logistics company deploys both employees (drivers) and assets (equipment) for the exclusive use of the shipper for a specific period of time. This relationship is typical when there are specialized needs or requirements of the shipper that cannot be met in the open “you call-we haul” market. In addition, the shipper must promise a certain amount for freight.

The dedicated relationship mitigates risk for your business by eliminating overhead equipment, maintenance and labor costs and reduces the liability risk for your company. Utilizing a dedicated relationship allows you to focus on your core competencies to increase revenue, gain efficiencies and enhance overall business performance.

3. Transactional Common Carrier

A transactional, common-carrier, also called a “for-hire” carrier is available to transport your businesses goods on an as needed basis. These carriers have both assets and drivers available for your transportation needs.

Shippers use for-hire carriers for a number of different reasons; some have an inconsistent need for transportation; other businesses may already have a private fleet, but experience a surge of demand on occasion that require them to hire additional carriers.

Transactional common carriers can provide you with the flexibility of a private fleet without the overhead cost, and the availability of drivers without the labor hassle. Yet, the cost of hiring a common carrier is based strictly on market value. Typically, you’ll pay more for each truckload using a for-hire carrier on an interim basis, than you will using a private or dedicated fleet over the long-term and common carriers generally provide the most generic of services which may not meet the special handling requirements of your products

How best to deploy your business’ capital is a decision that cannot be taken lightly. As you consider which transportation and logistics option best mirrors your overall strategic plan, be sure to consider all of the potential risks and opportunities that each option presents, placing high value on cost reduction and enhanced efficiency.

Outsourcing Supply Chain Management: Lead Logistics Provider Benefits

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Most industry within North America (and the world) rely on the logistics function; some manufacturers may rely on a third-party logistics (3PL) relationship to accurately manage the movement of their product. A more nuanced approach is taken on by manufacturers who enter into a relationship with a fourth-party logistics provider (4PL), which entails an almost full-service management of some aspects of the manufacturer’s supply chain.

For those manufacturers that prefer to focus on their core processes and strategies, and completely outsource the supply chain function to the experts, a lead logistics provider (LLP) is the best option. An LLP combines logistics engineers and supply chain experts who manage and execute all aspects of the supply chain function within your business. One source describes LLP’s as a business that “…takes what most companies think of as back office operations and manages them as a commercial proposition, delivering economies of scale and expertise that comes from managing multiple customers' supply chains.”

When working with an LLP, you need to understand the core goals of your business, the supply chain strategy and many times, develop a gain-share relationship to motivate the right behavior; when your LLP reduces costs and increases the efficiency of your supply chain, your business benefits, as does your LLP. This relationship encourages constant communication, a hyper-focused attention to supply chain management detail, and a common goal benefitting both manufacturer and LLP.

Competitive Advantages/Benefits of an Lead Logistics Provider

Assessing your business’ level of maturity is key when deciding whether the partnership between you and a lead logistics provider will provide the best return for your business. Thoroughly assessing your logistics outsourcing needs – has your supply chain grown beyond your knowledge and expertise? Are there financial and/or personnel restrictions that prevent you from expanding your internal supply chain management function? - will help you determine if you’re ready to partner with an LLP.

Utilizing the services of an LLP presents a number of competitive advantages for businesses who are ready to enter into this partnership.

1. Economies of scale

As the manager of the logistics and supply chain within your organization, the cost that accompanies the transportation and storage of your product can be significant. When working with an LLP, their ability to negotiate and leverage their influence with suppliers and vendors can have a significant impact on your business’ bottom line. This is especially true for SME’s who simply don’t have the budget to match what large corporations are doing.

An LLP can bring economies of scale to you; if your logistics spend is $1 million, for example, and your partner LLP is managing $400 million, their leveraging power can give you access to the best supply chain partners, at a cost that your business can handle. This creates a competitive advantage for your business by reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of your supply chain.

2. Preferred supply chain system technology

Technology is advancing at lighting speed, and upgrades within the supply chain management sector are no exception. When you partner with a lead logistics provider, they typically have the most updated systems already in place to effectively manage the full supply chain. Warehouse management systems, outbound/inbound freight management, and invoicing and payment management are a few of the areas where your LLP partner should be providing the latest technology resources for your business.

The use of this technology helps to appropriately manage your supply chain data, and in turn allows you to use that data standardize and assess possible issues or exceptions within the supply chain. This again allows for increased efficiencies and saves your business from the capital investment required to install these systems internally.

3. Full visibility into the supply chain

The most significant advantage that an LLP offers is the ability to provide full visibility and management of your company’s supply chain; from raw material to the time the product leaves the production floor, through to its final delivery destination. LLP’s can effectively manage multiple locations, assets, and other 3PL’s or 4PL’s who work for you, creating a seamless, efficient supply chain process.

The LLP is able to proactively address potential supply chain problems, eliminate redundancies and increase communication to both stakeholders and customers. Increased visibility into the overall supply chain, provided by your partner LLP, can create opportunities for increased cost savings and control over your logistics function, while enhancing communication and feedback on supply chain efficiencies.

Utilizing the services of a lead logistics provider can give your business the competitive advantage that is needed, by increasing supply chain optimization and reducing overall company costs. Determine what fits best with your business, research the relationship and ensure that company culture and values merge, and then work to develop the supply chain management plan and attached systems that work best for your business. Review the above benefits of an LLP and pick your LLP partner based on their quality, capability, cultural fit and then price, to ensure you are receiving the best benefit and return from working with a lead logistics provider.

3PL, 4PL, LLP…What's What & Which Is Better for You

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Many options exist for supply chain management professionals as they determine what logistics services their business needs, and which logistics partner is the best fit for their organization. Determining the right fit for your organization means navigating through the (sometimes) complex language and structure of logistics providers and then determining what they truly can and cannot offer.

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to enhanced logistics services. Through complete understanding of the options available, you’ll be able to determine which system creates the most cost-effective, efficient supply chain for your business.

Defining 3PL, 4PL and LLP

The first step in determining the best option for your business is to understand exactly what’s out there. You’ve most likely heard of a 3PL or 4PL provider, but what exactly do these acronyms mean, and is there a difference between them?

3PL– this stands for third-party logistics. A 3PL provider makes available the resources to execute some part, or function within the supply chain. It can be as simple as,a common carrier picking up freight to a hazardous materials carrier moving potential dangerous product. They are the service provider, making sure product is transported appropriately to its destination. Third party is just as it implies; someone other than you executing the service.

4PL– this stands for fourth-party logistics. A 4PL takes logistics services one step further in the supply chain by arranging logistics services on behalf of the client. A 4PL can provide full oversight as needed, from freight procurement, to invoice processing, to claims process management, depending on the needs of your business. This option provides an effective way for your business to focus time and energy on core business production, without the infrastructure and investment into logistics and transportation.

LLP– this stands for lead logistics provider. An LLP presents a deeper relationship between you and your logistics provider. LLP’s typically provide full end-to-end logistics management, handling all of the links in the supply chain. The goal of this relationship is to be mutually beneficial. The LLP is responsible for full management and visibility into the supply chain, and in turn you benefit from increased sales and efficient cost management.

By thoroughly investigating which option might best meet your needs, you’ll have a better understanding of the options and possible benefits available from the various logistics providers.

Advantages and disadvantages with 3PL, 4PL and LLP services

Determining what logistics services best suit your business requires full knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages that each provider option offers. Your decision is also based on your business’ focus and overall strategy:

  • Do I have the personnel resources to manage my logistics needs internally?
  • Do I have the financial resources to outsource my logistics management?
  • How involved do I want to be in my logistics and/or supply chain management system?
  • Is my time and capital better spent focused on my core business, or logistics execution?

The answers that come from these important questions, and reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each will help you determine which logistics option will best serve your business.

3PL– The third party logistics provider relationship is very straightforward and fairly transactional. In this relationship, a key logistics person handles a link in the supply chain. The transportation of product for example, but does not become involved with production schedules or warehouse availability. They move product, but do not manage overall logistics or supply chain functions.

4PL– The fourth party logistics provider is more contractual in nature and requires a deeper commitment from both you and your logistics provider. The “price” may be higher than a 3PL, but you also have an expert in supply chain management overseeing your production process, managing pick-ups and delivery and handling invoicing with customers. The additional value created must offset any cost increases in order for this relationship to be viable.

LLP– The lead logistics provider relationship allows you to fully focus on your core business, and reduces your involvement in supply chain execution. You’re able to focus on overall business strategy, working closely with supply chain experts to improve business efficiency and drive cost savings. This relationship does require a long-term agreement, which can be seen as a disadvantage for some businesses; yet the additional time and energy invested from both parties typically results in increased efficiency and product value.

By determining your business’ resources, focus and intended outcomes, and through the careful assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each logistics provider and their services, you’ll have a better sense of what option best fits your business needs.

What’s best for you

The relationship you have with your logistics and supply chain team is supremely important to the success of your business. Entering into this relationship – whether a 3PL, 4PL or LLP or something else entirely – is critical and requires a thorough assessment of your company’s strategic goals and desired outcomes. In addition, determine your business’ maturity level; are you ready to outsource your logistics function just yet, or is this something to consider in the next 1-3 years? Are you an SME that has realized the increasing complexity of supply chain management, and need a partner to more effectively manage this system? Are personnel and/or financial resources affecting your decision?

If you’ve determined that outsourcing logistics is a viable next step for your business, consider carefully your logistics partner. Look for the relationship that exists beyond the transactional to determine if your business philosophies match-up, if their service standards and results are at the same high level that you expect, and if you have similar or shared culture and values as a company.

Understanding the options, determining what will best meet your logistics needs, and then finding and selecting the best partner to meet those needs is key to creating the most cost-effective and efficient supply chain management system for your business’ success.

Truck Safety Coalition Announces Reggie Dupré is Recipient of Truck Safety Leadership Award

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Last week the Truck Safety Coalition (http://trucksafety.org/)(TSC) announced that Dupré Logistics CEO Reggie Dupré is the recipient of the 2016 Truck Safety Leadership Award (http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2016/05/truck-safety-coalition-honors-industry-leaders-for-safety-commitment.aspx). The Award will be given to Mr. Dupré and Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO of Maverick USA Inc. fr ..

Asset, Non-Asset and Blended Services – putting the right solution together for you

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The supply chain management system is faced with constant change, resulting in challenges for both the logistics provider and manufacturer. A slow-growing economy, the shortage of quality drivers and simple supply and demand are the major reasons that require manufacturers to remain flexible and fluid in their supply chain management.

In order to stay competitive and keep up with demand, today’s shippers need to work with a logistics provider that offers options, including the flexibility to keep product moving when and where customers need it, in a timely and efficient manner. Depending on the needs of your business, asset, non-asset or blended services can provide the best results. What logistics solution will work best within your supply chain, and bring the most efficient and cost-effective results for your business?

Asset Services

These services employ a logistics provider’s trucks, trailers and drivers to move product, eliminating the need for shippers to retain a fleet of trucks. Many times, shippers can’t afford to retain their own fleet and/or they don’t have the personnel to manage this highly complex logistics system – their expertise is found in the manufacturing of product, not logistics management.

When you establish a relationship with an expert logistics provider who brings their asset utilization service to your business, the result is effective capacity management and consistency with equipment and drivers. Logistics providers commit a certain level of assets and ensure they are busy at all times, preventing additional expense. Manufacturers can concentrate on creating the best product, and not how it will be moved from point A to point B.

Non-Asset Services

The non-asset services provided to a shipper are those hired from the open market. In cases where a shipper’s capacity changes over time or demand for product has peaks and valleys, shippers hire trucks and drivers on an as-needed basis.

Many times, shippers develop a comfort zone where their assets are being utilized consistently, for example, at 60% capacity; if at any time the shipper goes above that capacity, the open market, non-asset service is utilized to accommodate capacity outside the norm. The non-asset option creates a cost effective solution for shippers with fluctuating logistics needs.

Blended Services

As the name implies, blended services provides an effective combination of both asset and non-asset services to customers. This service typically utilizes one logistics provider, Dupré for example, that manages the full supply chain for customers. Depending on customer needs, and the established relationship between logistics partner and shipper, assets cover a previously agreed upon committed level of capacity; if additional trucks and drivers are needed, the same logistics partner utilizes non-asset services.

The blended services model is easier to manage. Manufacturers work with one point of contact and any issues or changes that come up with capacity needs are managed by the logistics partner. This creates a more cost effective, efficient supply chain for the manufacturer.

Influential Factors

Determining which solution best meets the needs of your business requires consideration of a number of factors that influence whether you use asset, non-asset or a blended form of logistics or supply chain services. Manufacturers need to balance their shipping needs based on cost and the potential risks involved in transportation.

  1. Capacity needs and volume– What is the normal ebb and flow of capacity within your business? Depending on your needs, and the volume of product you produce, will determine which services are most efficient. A continual supply of product may mean a steady, consistent use of assets; if there is not enough volume and activity, a non-asset or blended service is more cost effective.
  1. Safety and efficiency– Does your business manufacture a product that is high value or high risk? Partnering with a logistics company that provides assets and expertise in this area can take away expense and potential risk for your business. In addition, your logistics partner provides an effective supply chain system at a reasonable cost; resulting in less expense versus your capital investment in this service.
  1. Specific equipment or handling needs– Are there materials produced in your facility that require special handling or specialized equipment for transporting? Utilizing the assets ofa logistics company that specializes in chemical and/or hazardous materials transportationcan mitigate risk, and provide the specialized trucks and equipment, as well as expert drivers to move your product efficiently and cost-effectively.

As you decide what ways to best utilize the services provided by an expert logistics partner, it’s critical to assess your asset or non-asset needs, or a blend of these services. In addition, capacity, safety, equipment and cost also need to be factored in to determine the most efficient and cost-effective supply chain that will deliver the best results for your business.

A Success Story

Here at Dupré, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of businesses to determine the best logistics solution. When we started working with a large chemical distribution company, they were concerned with inefficiencies of their private fleet. Management recognized that replacing or supplementing their existing fleet with an outsourced dedicated fleet would reduce the administrative burden associated with operating their own fleet and allow the reallocation of capital resources to their core business.

To be considered as a potential provider, Dupré Logistics would be required to include the movement of hazardous materials waste product within the network as part of the operational solution. Dupré Logistics’ experience in safely transporting hazardous materials and waste was quickly recognized, placing the company in a leadership position to develop an all-inclusive, dedicated model.

Dupré’s supply chain experts developed a solution that included the ability to manage the distribution from regional hubs into the customer’s local branches; and the reverse logistics involved in safely collecting and transporting hazardous waste from branch facilities back to regional hubs for disposal.

The distribution pattern also provided backhaul opportunities, which created gain share revenue for the customer to offset empty miles where applicable. Management positioned at the customer’s primary distribution operation would oversee the daily activity and drive efficiency into the multi-state supply chain.

The overall impact resulted in a cost-neutral conversion for the customer while eliminating the administrative task involved in managing a private fleet. The elimination of responsibility for managing a driver base including recruiting, fuel, maintenance and exposure to liability allowed the customer to reallocate capital resources to their core operating business which focuses on growth. Since inception, the transition has been seamless and the customer’s ability to focus on their core business has driven growth at an annualized rate of 15%.

To stay competitive in today’s global economy, it’s imperative that manufacturers accurately assess their logistics and supply chain management needs. Utilizing the asset, non-asset or blended services provided by an expert logistics company can result in cost savings and a more efficient supply chain management solution.

For 2nd Consecutive Year, National Safety Council Recognizes Dupré Logistics for Excellence in Safety

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Recently, the South Louisiana Chapter of the National Safety Council (NSC) (http://metrosafety.org/) presented Dupré Logistics, LLC., with three awards recognizing the company for performance in fleet and occupational safety. “Our commitment to safety extends into everything we do,” said Dupré Logistics Director of Safety and Training Al LaCombe. “Our drivers deserve this recognition for their ..

Update on Transportation Regulations and their Impact on the Trucking Industry

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Regulations within any industry, but especially the trucking industry, are complex and ongoing. Between government officials, trade organizations, drivers, shippers and carriers, there are many people and organizations impacted by regulation.

It’s important for logistics professionals to stay updated and involved in the latest information and legislation regarding trucking industry regulation. When you actively participate in your industry association, the American Trucking Association (ATA) and the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) for example, your logistics expertise can be utilized to develop a solution that can benefit everyone through safer, more cost effective and efficient supply chain management.

One of the biggest challenges at the moment is staying abreast of the latest regulatory issues, their challenges and how they may impact your business. Following are a list of the top four regulations to monitor.

Hours of Service (HOS) Regulation

The amount of time a driver spends on the road is critical to the safety of the driver and neighboring motorists, but the time it takes for a driver to pick-up and deliver the product as expected by supplier and customer is imperative to the overall supply chain management function.

In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced changes to the way drivers tracked their hours while on duty. The big changes included:

  • Drivers have to include two 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. time intervals within the required 34-hour restart period.
  • Drivers can only restart once per week (168 hours.)
  • Drivers are required to take one 30-minute break during every eight hours of driving.

This regulation significantly impacts drivers as well as overall supply chain management. An already limited amount of drivers loses time and money by not being able to operate at night; and suppliers and carriers are challenged with revamping their supply chain to accommodate the regulations, impacting overall capacity management. Both results from regulation can increase costs and financial risks for carriers.

This regulation was altered in 2014 through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, suspending the enforcement of requirement for use of the 34-hour restart. According to the FMCSA web site, this will remain suspended until the CMV Driver Restart Study is provided to Congress.

Logistics professionals must stay compliant with the current HOS regulation, and continue to monitor its movement through the legislature.Effective supply chain management with particular attention being paid to HOS compliance will keep drivers and carriers on track, and ensure a seamless transition into possible HOS regulatory changes, thereby keeping financial risks to a minimum and effectively managing capacity.

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) Initiative

The FMCSA developed the CSA safety and compliance initiative to help identify large trucking companies that aren’t complying with safety rules, with the hopes of investigating and taking unsafe carriers off the roads.

The program rates carriers in the following areas and then weights them against their peers. The Safety Measurement System (SMS) process assigns points for deficiencies in seven areas, known as Behaviors Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs).

  • Unsafe driving
  • Crash indicator
  • Hours-of-service compliance
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Controlled substances and alcohol
  • Hazardous materials compliance
  • Driver fitness

While this system does provide information on how a particular carrier’s safety record compares to that of its peers, there are concerns about the details of the program.

First, not all carriers are included in the database, meaning highly effective and ineffective carriers are not available for shippers to access. In addition, the fairness of the rating, especially with regard to accidents isn’t absolute. Typically, truck drivers are not at fault in car-truck accidents; according to the ATA, only one-quarter of crashes are the fault of the truck driver. Yet, through the CSA system, drivers and carriers are penalized, resulting in a lower overall CSA rating.

Logistic professionals need to continue to maintain rigorous safety standards to ensure the safe transportation of product for suppliers and drivers. Suppliers should use the CSA standards as a guideline along with other carrier qualification measures to assess a carrier’s ability to meet transportation needs.

Safety is critical, and when not properly managed, can be very costly. It’s important to make certain that your safety standards meet and exceed customer expectations, ensuring effective supply chain management and a cost-efficient solution.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Implementation

Under current regulations, trucking companies are mandated to test for drugs and alcohol during the driver pre-hire process and after a driver has been involved in an accident. In an effort to centralize driver information based on their drug and alcohol tests, FMCSA has proposed the development of a drug and alcohol clearinghouse that would monitor all commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders throughout the country.

Proponents of this regulation believe that this will prevent potentially unsafe drivers from “falling through the cracks” when changing carrier employment from state to state. Opponents believe that the rule only covers part of the issue, and claims that the clearinghouse does not work to prevent distracted or drowsy driving.

Drug and alcohol abuse is an obvious concern for carriers as they manage their ever-shrinking driver pool. It’s imperative to follow current regulations and once a clearinghouse is established, use that as a supplemental guide to ensure safe, sober drivers.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Mandate

The federal government’s mandate of the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) in all trucks on the nation’s highways, required to be implemented in 2017, will have a significant impact on carriers and drivers.

In the past, drivers would manage all of their hours of service, loads carried and miles traveled on paper, taking time to record their day’s work; all within the expectation that written hours were actual hours. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case. Drivers were manipulating written hours to gain additional paid time, increasing driver fatigue-related crashes.

Smart logistics companies have already started using electronic logging technology to track drivers, number of legal hours and the amount of deliveries completed daily. While initial usage results are positive, saving driver time and money in completing paperwork and decreasing total crash rates, this regulation exacerbates the driver shortage and creates capacity challenges.

While all of the above regulations impact the logistics industry, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse implementation and the ELD usage mandate will create the greatest ripple once they are put in place. These two regulations in particular exacerbate the driver shortage already having an effect on suppliers and carriers alike. Current capacity is tight, and the driver shortage along with the improving economy will significantly challenge the logistics industry.

As you continue to monitor regulation movement and change within the trucking industry, work closely with your logistics partner to effectively manage current and potential updates. Through this partnership, your business can manage expenses, reduce risk, improve compliance and develop a cost-effective supply chain that delivers results.

4 Reasons Your Fuel Doesn’t Get to the Station On Time

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Managing the logistics and supply chain for the gasoline industry is no small feat.

Between manufacturers, logistics suppliers, gas stations and ultimately the consumer, there are many variables that can impact how and when fuel is delivered to its final destination.

The tank truck industry is a critical piece to this supply chain, hauling commodities that are necessary to the livelihood of our economy. This specialized group of logistics professionals require additional safety equipment and training to be sure that their loads are moved safely from the supplier to the station in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible.

According to the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) in 2013, the tank truck industry hauled 2.48 billion tons of freight, which equaled 25.6% of all truck freight; the largest commodity in that group was petroleum products, representing 49.2% of all tank truck tonnage.

With this large amount of tank trucks on the road, the possibility of deliveries being late to the gas station is virtually inevitable. What are the reasons for delays, and how can logistics professionals effectively manage delays, improving the overall supply chain?

Causes of Delays

Delays are always a possibility, directly affecting the way in which businesses successfully manage their supply chain. There is a myriad of reasons for delays when delivering petroleum products and the following highlights some of the most common.

1. Traffic congestion

We’ve all experienced traffic congestion; it’s frustrating and can lead to a number of negative consequences. This is a common delay for tank truck carriers. With more drivers on the road, there is simply more opportunity for bumper-to-bumper traffic. In addition, tank trucks may contribute to the congestion, having to go slower through a construction site, for example, because of the nature of the product they’re carrying.

2. Weather

Logistics professionals plan and account for less-than-perfect weather conditions on a regular basis, but mother nature is ultimately in charge. Snow, ice, and a hard rain can impede the progress of tank trucks, making it a challenge for drivers to stay on time for delivery.

3. Supply issues

The complex way in which the actual product gets to and is manufactured by the supplier can impact transportation. Refineries rely on barges or pipes to gather product, and depending on how the supply chain is managed, product may not be available when the tank truck is ready for pickup.

In addition, delays happen as a result of miscommunication of what and how much product is to be moved. For example, information about the load could be omitted or left off of the load instructions, resulting in the driver planning to pick up super unleaded gasoline from the supplier, yet regular unleaded gas is what’s available. Supplier delays result in reduced efficiencies and cost increases, not to mention added stress and uncertainty on the driver.

4. Mechanical breakdowns

When you work with highly specialized equipment, mechanical breakdowns are inevitable. Tires can blow out or an inoperable blending arm can cause serious delays in the transportation process.

These delays can reduce the efficiency of operations, resulting in lost productivity and increased costs for both the supplier and logistics professional.

Solutions that prevent delays

To efficiently manage the supply chain process, including the logistics function, it’s critical to partner with a logistics company that can ensure the correct infrastructure is in place to mitigate delays and in turn, appropriately trouble-shoot delays if they do happen, resulting in cost-effective supply chain management.

The following solutions adopted by Dupre's Energy Services Group can help:

1. Onboard Technology

The communication technology available for drivers is essential in reducing the impact of delays. Tank trucks have onboard computers that can quickly communicate with dispatch regarding supplier delays, traffic concerns or the availability of additional drivers within range that can help in case of a breakdown.

These tools aid the driver to ensure their safety and proper product delivery, and enhance communication with dispatch and the customer.Clear customer communication given in real-time is imperative to an efficient supply chain operation and assists in completing deliveries on-time.

2. 24/7 Dispatch

To effectively reduce delays for your customers, ensure that your logistics partner has a full 24/7 dispatch team available with direct access for drivers. Through this immediate availability, changes in product, routes, delivery or pick-up times and even inventory control can be accessed by the driver and/or customer whenever the need arises.

Special circumstances like winter storms or pipeline switches can be effectively managed with instant accessibility to a logistics professional; updates can be given to drivers each hour or even more quickly if the situation requires.

Through this system, risks to the delivery of product can be appropriately handled, resulting in and enhanced supply chain operation and on-time delivery.

3. Proactive supplier relationship

Ensuring on-time delivery for your customer means knowing your supplier. An effective logistics partner understands, ask questions and provides an enhanced supply chain solution that increases the efficiency of the logistics function, mitigates the chance of delays in delivery and produces a cost-effective result. Does your supplier have the technology needed to effectively communicate changes or delays with product? Do they require additional phone calls to ensure on-time pickup and in turn, on time delivery?

Take a proactive approach in developing supplier relationships; that way if delays arise, you can effectively partner together to maintain efficiencies and keep costs at a minimum.

4. Responsive mechanical backup

When mechanical breakdowns threaten your on-time delivery, it’s critical to have a logistics partner that is responsive and can provide expertise to fix the problem. The availability of on-call services, partnerships with other transportation vendors and/or a mechanical shop on-site are just a few of the services available to reduce the possibility of delays.

Managing the many variables that impact your ability to deliver fuel to the station on time is possible. Assessing the likely causes for delays and working closely with your logistics partner to provide resources and infrastructure that reduces the potential for delay will create an efficient, cost-effective supply chain solution.

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