Monthly Archives: August 2017

Could apprenticeship programs bring more youngsters into trucking?

This particular thought has been bandied about the trucking industry for some time now: allowing 18 to 21 year olds, under close supervision, to drive commercial trucks.

Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) acknowledged to me at the recent TMW Systems and PeopleNet 2017 in.sight user conference and exposition that the trade group plans to push for the establishment of an apprentice program that would allow the trucking industry to “capture” 18 year old high school graduates and train them as drivers.

“We’re losing the 18 to 21 year olds to other industries,” he explained as the reason why ATA plans to make a concerted effort to get the federal government behind its apprenticeship plan.

“We’re going to need 960,000 people for our industry as drivers over the next decade,” Spear emphasized. “We need to think outside of the box; we do a disservice to our industry if we don’t.”

Spear added that when he work in the Department of Labor during the George W. Bush’s presidency, he noted that the agency provided workforce training “grants” to a variety of industries to the tune of $4 billion a year – and Spear believes just retooling some of that money to fund truck driver apprenticeships, especially in the inner cities of the U.S., could uncork a broader flow of candidates into the truck driver employment pool.

But not so fast, argue others – including John Larkin, managing director and head of transportation capital markets research for Stifel Capital Markets.

John Larkin. (Photo: Aaron Marsh/Fleet Owner)

In a recent research note, Larkin said “it could take several years” to gain Congressional and regulatory approval for such an apprenticeship program – “if the industry association can get any traction at all,” he added.

“Most insurance companies refuse to insure companies hiring drivers younger than 22 to 25 years old,” Larkin pointed out. Also “most of the higher quality high school graduates, who are not attending college, have developed other careers prior to becoming age eligible for a professional truck driving position.”

In addition, he noted that “all the talk of autonomous trucks is scaring away many young people from the industry. Why would a young person want to enter a profession that will soon be disrupted by technology?”

Yet Larkin also emphasized that widespread adoption of autonomous trucks might be several decades, or more, away – leaving the trucking industry facing yet another challenge, that of “getting that message across to young people” who might consider a career as a professional truck driver if they were not going to eventually be replaced by self-driving machines.

It’s a ticklish problem, no doubt: one of many bedeviling industry efforts to find, recruit, and retain good safety-conscious truck drivers. And it’s an effort that will need to be sustained for a long time to come.

Story by Sean Kilcarr in Trucks in Work

JobNewsUSA.com to host Lakeland Job Fair on Wednesday, August 23

JobNewsUSA.com is hosting a job fair in Lakeland on Wednesday, August 23 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. to fill hundreds of open positions.

The job fair will be held at the Lakeland Center located at 701 W. Lime Street and will feature 17 different employers from the across the bay area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Companies participating in the job fair include:

  • ReedTms Logistics
  • 1st Priority Staffing
  • Bridgestone
  • Chapters Health System
  • CyraCom, Devry University
  • GC Services
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
  • Keymark Corporation of Florida
  • Lakeland Regional Health
  • Massey Services
  • MidState Machine
  • PeopleReady
  • Advanced Disposal
  • The Mosaic Company
  • Charter Communications – Spectrum Direct
  • CareerSource Polk

You must register for the event. Click here to register.

Job seekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring resumes or work history with them to the event.

There will be free parking and admission to the job fair.

 

ReedTMS July 2017 Employee of the Month!

Congratulations to Andy Patel, ReedTMS Logistics’ Employee of the month for July. Andy has been an incredible asset to the company and is regarded by his peers as one of the most innovative employees in the entire office.

 

Some of the comments as to why he was nominated are as follow:

“Andy has taken oven the marketing department and sprinted with it. He has found a way to get employees involved in a cross-departmental way that wasn’t present before.”

“Andy always shows up with a positive attitude and has brought an innovative spirit that has helped propel success in different facets of the company”

“He has taken the lead on enhancing our brand both locally and nationally. We are doing more events than ever before and the general moral of the organization seems to be reaching a new high”

“We are starting to see high-level partnerships with different organizations form through our marketing efforts”

Thanks for all you do Andy, keep up the good work!

ReedTMS Logistics Volunteers at Feeding Tampa Bay

ReedTMS Logistics kicked off its fall philanthropic push on Saturday, August 12th by volunteering at Feeding Tampa Bay.

Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the national Feeding America network, focuses on providing food to the more than 700,000 hungry in the 10-county area of West Central Florida.

You might be surprised to learn that Florida is fourth in the nation for family hunger. Or, that 60% of the population in West Central Florida is eligible for food stamps. Many at-risk students won’t eat at all between lunch on Friday and breakfast Monday morning. Although these facts may surprise you, they are hard realities for the one in six in our region who live with daily hunger.

According to the new Hunger in America 2014 study conducted nationally by Feeding America, you would be surprised to learn the characteristics of the 841,000 hungry people in the community served yearly by Feeding Tampa Bay.
Too often, we associate being hungry with negative stereotypes, such as being homeless or uneducated, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. The new Hunger in America data humanizes the hungry in our community by showing they’re largely families or seniors with homes. They truly are our neighbors, our friends, our fellow church members and our coworkers.

Employees at ReedTMS, helped package food into 20 different categories in order for the goods to be easily distributed throughout the community. When it was all said and done 9,823 meals were packaged for malnourished families in the Tampa Bay area on Saturday morning!

For More information about Feeding Tampa Bay and how you can get involved in the cause, please visit their website here.

Story By : Andy Patel

Amazon has filed a patent for its drone delivery systems

Amazon teased consumers with drone delivery during a 2017 Super Bowl commercial, though the ad bore a disclaimer: “Prime Air is not available in some states (or any really). Yet.”

Back in December 2016, Amazon made its first successful customer delivery in a trial area in the United Kingdom; in March 2017, the online retail giant completed a test delivery at its invite-only MARS 2017 robotics conference in Palm Springs. Now that it has filed a series of patents for drone delivery systems, Amazon seems to be following through on promises that Prime Air will eventually become a reality.

An old joke says, “You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need one if you want to skydive twice.” This logic applies to dropping packages—which could contain any number of fragile products—from the air. Amazon’s latest approved patent reveals a design that incorporates a parachute directly into a package label, according to documents obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.

Using these labels, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)—or drones—could deploy packages from the air and let them drift safely to the ground. This would reduce delivery times by eliminating the need to land and take off. Packages could even potentially be dropped without the drone stopping, which makes it possible to use multiple types of UAVs instead of just those that can hover and land.

The patent also states that “different sized parachute canopies can be used for different sized shipping container’s descent appropriately to prevent damage to the contents of the shipping container,” suggesting that Amazon would scale the technology for a wide range of package sizes and weights. The patent also describes multiple ways UAVs might carry a parachute-labeled package, including mechanical arms, a suction system, magnets, and retractable shelves.

The retailer also received recent patents for a magnet-based delivery system and a coiled spring model, so it seems likely that the company will use a combination of many technologies to get drone packages on doorsteps.

Amazon continues to wait on Federal Aviation Administration approval before it can complete more widespread Prime Air distribution testing. This process will most likely take several more years, but there is little doubt that the company plans to drop its packages from the skies as soon as it is able.

Story by Jason McDowell @ inbound logistics

Regulators Pull Plan To Test Truckers, Train Operators For Sleep Apnea

Two agencies in the Transportation Department are ending their push for a rule that would have required truck drivers and train operators to be tested for obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that’s been linked to preventable accidents.

The agencies — the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration — have withdrawn a proposed rule they published in March of 2016, when they wrote that when it goes undiagnosed or inadequately treated, obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, “can cause unintended sleep episodes and resulting deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, and memory, thus reducing the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive duties.”

While calling OSA “an on-going concern,” the regulators said the issue can be addressed through existing safety programs and rules.

According to the Associated Press, “The agencies argue that it should be up to railroads and trucking companies to decide whether to test employees. One railroad that does test, Metro-North in the New York City suburbs, found that 11.6 percent of its engineers have sleep apnea.”

The decision didn’t sit well with the National Transportation Safety Board. The agency, which has pushed for apnea screening and awareness, said it is “disappointed” by the move. The board cited its own findings that obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to 10 highway and rail accidents in the past 17 years.

“Medical fitness and fatigue, two of the NTSB’s 10 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2017 – 2018, are tied to obstructive sleep apnea,” says the agency’s media relations chief, Christopher O’Neil. He added, “The need for this rulemaking is well documented.”

Last spring, the FMCSA and FRA cited a number of cases of rail and trucking crashes that were linked to OSA in recent years, including a railway collision that took place near Red Oak, Iowa, in 2011.

That crash, which killed two crewmembers who were found to have been at risk of apnea, prompted the NTSB to urge the Federal Railroad Administration to “require railroads to medically screen employees with safety sensitive duties for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.”

The agencies’ initial proposal also cited the 2013 derailment of a Metro-North Railroad passenger train that had been approaching the Spuyten Duyvil Station in New York City. In that crash that killed four passengers and injured more than 60 people, the engineer reported feeling dazed — and was later diagnosed with severe OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea’s risk factors include being male, obese, and middle-age or older. Family history can also play a role.

Dr. Stefanos Kales of the Harvard School of Public Health, who has studied the link between sleep apnea and serious accidents, told NPR’s David Schaper last year, “Drivers with untreated obstructive sleep apnea who were noncompliant with treatment had a five-fold increase in the risk of serious preventable crashes.”

In announcing the withdrawal of the proposal, the FMCSA recommended that commercial drivers and their employers consult the North American Fatigue Management Program to boost their awareness of fatigue and its impact on performance.

Story by Bill Chappell at NPR