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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

How To Protect Yourself From Cybercrime

Just because you weren’t affected by last week’s ransomware attack doesn’t mean your safe. Please make sure to take the following precautions to ensure your safety.

  • Don’t click links, or open any attachments, you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. The links may lead to malicious websites, and any attachments could be infected with malware.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they’re available. Whether you’re updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Install anti-virus software on your computer and mobile devices, and keep it updated. Bear in mind ransomware can often be picked up by visiting disreputable websites including illegal movie streaming websites and some adult sites.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device you back up to isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
  • Don’t pay extortion demands as this only feeds into criminals’ hands, and there’s no guarantee that access to your files will be restored if you do pay.
Tips provided in partnership with the NationalCrimeAgency

 

Whole Foods stock rockets 28% on $13.7 billion Amazon takeover deal

Shares of Whole Foods Market rocketed 28 percent on Friday after Amazon said it plans to acquire the grocery store chain for $42 a share, in a deal valued at $13.7 billion.

Amazon’s offer represents a 27 percent premium to Whole Foods’ closing price on Thursday. With Whole Foods shares trading around Amazon’s offer price, investors appear to be speculating that another suitor could make a play for the grocery chain.

Whole Foods has been under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners and money manager Neuberger Berman, which have called on Whole Foods to sell itself. The investors have criticized Whole Foods for its poor performance, and have suggested the chain could be merged with another grocer.

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” John Mackey, Whole Foods’ CEO, said in a statement.

Mackey will remain CEO of the grocery store chain after the deal closes, and the store will continue to operate under the Whole Foods brand.

Amazon has long been pushing to expand its online grocery business, seeing it as an emerging opportunity. Currently, very few people purchase their groceries online even as more shoppers switch to buying other goods that way.

Some analysts had seen Wal-Mart being best positioned to compete in the next phase of growth in online shopping because it was going to be able to use its vast footprint of stores to help distribute products ordered online. Also, Wal-Mart has been successful with its so-called click-and-collect model, where shoppers order online but stop by the store to pickup their orders.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods has been seen as a laggard in the online shift. Their stores tend to be in urban markets where there was an overlap with Amazon Fresh and Prime Now.

News that the e-commerce giants buying grocery store Whole Foods sent grocery stocks reeling on Friday.

Kroger sank nearly 16 percent before the bell. Supervalu dropped 11.5 percent while Costco dropped 6.5 percent. Sprouts Farmers sank 9.2 percent.

“This is an earthquake rattling through the grocery sector as well as the retail world,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, told CNBC in an email. “We can only imagine the technological innovation that Amazon will bring to the purchasing experience for the consumer. Now, we can see in hindsight that its recent dithering around the brick-and-mortar experience, as an experiment, was only a rumbling of the seismic event in the offing.”

Shares of Amazon were up about 3 percent following the news. The deal is expected to close in the second half year.

Jana Partners did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Story by Sarah Whitten at Cnbc.com

Ample supplies expected for July 4th

Talk of freezes in the East and blustery rain in the West will be well in the past as volumes kick into gear for the Fourth of July.

Avocado prices remain high, and will likely remain so through July 4th, but supplies will remain healthy from California and Peru, even as Mexico’s season winds down, marketers say.

“Just kind of looking forward with what we expect supplies to be, it’s going to be fairly steady but not an overwhelming amount of fruit available,” said Robb Bertels, vice president of marketing with Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce Inc.

Volume across the U.S. will continue to trend in the low- to mid-40 million-pound a week range, Bertels said.

“I don’t see any big peaks coming,” he said. “Demand will pick up and supply doesn’t have horsepower to keep up. Expect prices to strengthen as we get closer to the Fourth.”

Avocado prices have remained “relatively high,” and likely will stay so through the holiday, said Phil Henry, president of Escondido, Calif.-based Henry Avocado Corp.

“It doesn’t seem like there will be any major changes,” he said.

Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing with Santa Paula, Calif.-based avocado gower-shipper Calavo Growers Inc., said prices could rise as the holiday approaches.

“We could see a relaxation in next couple of weeks, but as we get closer to Fourth of July, we’ll see some minor strengthening of prices, which is pretty normal,” he said.

Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals is seeing increased volumes of Florida avocados, said Bill Brindle, vice president of sales.

“This year’s crop Is sizing up heavier than the last two years,” he said.

Berry supplies look strong

July 4th arrives just as New Jersey’s blueberry season is peaking, so supplies should be no problem, said Bob Von Rohr, marketing and customer relations manager at Glassboro, N.J.-based Sunny Valley International Inc.

“It will be a peak week,  no problem with quantity, Von Rohr said. “It’s one of our bigger weeks for promoting blueberries, with retailers looking for red, white and blue (for displays).”

A plentiful supply of strawberries will be available to cover the “red” part, said Cindy Jewell, marketing director with Watsonville, Calif.-based berry grower-shipper California Giant Inc.

“You can expect plenty of fruit. It’s one of those years that everything’s going to be in alignment with weather, quality and flavor,” she said.

Cal Giant’s blueberry, raspberry and blackberry crops should be ready for the Fourth, as well, she said.

“Strawberries coming into peak the last two weeks in June and will stay that way through mid-July, but you’ve also got blackberries and raspberries coming in, with blueberries and cherries coming in around July 4,” she said.

Watermelon crop shapes up

Quality and quantity won’t be a problem in the watermelon market for the Fourth of July, said Mark Arney, executive director of the Winter Springs, Fla.-based National Watermelon Promotion Board.

“I’d say if you called me a month ago, I’d be a little more concerned because there had been some cold weather in central Florida to further north and colder into Georgia, and some guys there had to replant,” he said. “But it doesn’t appear now that it’s as bad as people thought. I was in a field last Friday in Lakeland, Fla., and things were looking really good. We tested some, and the brix was great.”

Volume should be adequate as the holiday approaches, Arney said.

“Of course, we just don’t know; weather is always a wild card,” he said.

Sweet corn supplies build

Sweet corn growers said they’d be ready for the holiday.

“Should be standard issue, with good supplies out of Georgia,” said Jason Bedsole, sales manager with Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. in Wellington, Fla.

Calvert Cullen, owner of Cheriton, Va.-based Northampton Growers Produce Sales, said his crews will be harvesting sweet corn in Moultrie, Ga., until around July 4 and was getting set to start in North Carolina.

“We expect good supplies, as long as the weather doesn’t (interfere),” he said.

Northampton also was harvesting squash, cabbage and green beans in Moultrie, as well as bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant in North Carolina.

Gilroy, Calif.-based Uesugi Farms is expecting promotable volumes of sweet corn in time for the July 4th holiday, said Pete Aiello, general manager.

“It’s a little far out there to anticipate what kind of markets we’re going to see, but the Fourth is always a popular pull for sweet corn, obviously, so the demand will be there and we will definitely have supply,” he said.

The crop was looking good June 1, he said.

“A couple of early plantings got a little messed up due to our (wet) weather in late winter and early spring, but we did need it. Certainly, by the Fourth we’re going to have some nice fields and good harvests.”

Oak Grove, Va.-based Parker Farms will actively promote its sweet corn coming out of Georgia for the holiday and will have enough of its Virginia crop to help supplement supplies, said Sean McFadden, business development director there.

“We have a lot of corn in Georgia that we will be supporting ads with,” he said.

Story by Jim Offner

Exactly What Does Congestion Cost The Trucking Industry

Arlington, VA – Traffic congestion on the U.S. National Highway System (NHS) added over $63.4 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2015, according to research released today by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).  Utilizing a variety of data sources including its unique truck GPS database, ATRI calculated delay on the NHS totaling more than 996 million hours of lost productivity, which equates to 362,243 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for a working year.

ATRI’s analysis also documented the states, metropolitan areas, and counties that were most impacted by these delays and subsequent cost increases.  The top 10 states experienced costs of over $2 billion each, with Florida and Texas leading with over $5 billion each.

As expected, traffic congestion tended to be most severe in urban areas, with 88 percent of the congestion costs concentrated on only 17 percent of the network mileage, and 91 percent of the total congestion cost occurring in metropolitan areas.  This concentration of congestion has been well-documented in ongoing work by ATRI which annually identifies the worst truck bottlenecks in the U.S.

The analysis also demonstrates the impact of congestion costs on a per-truck basis, with an average increased cost of $22,676 for trucks that travel 100,000 miles annually.

As part of this analysis, ATRI has updated its congestion cost database with 2015 data to provide granular cost information to transportation planning officials on the hours of delay and associated cost by major jurisdiction type and road level.

“Congestion-related costs continue to rise and impact our supply chains. A five minute delay for each UPS vehicle, every day, costs UPS $105 million annually in additional operating costs. ATRI’s report quantifies this drain on the economy which must be addressed through targeted infrastructure investments,” said Rich McArdle, President of UPS Freight.

Click here to request the full report.

Image result for congestion trucking

Article By ATRI a non for profit Research Organization

McDonald’s Launches Unbranded Campaign

McDonald’s has launched a US campaign fronted by actress Mindy Kaling omitting any mention of its brand name. Instead, Kaling encourages viewers to simply do a Google search of “that place where Coke tastes so good”.

The fast food chain has created a new YouTube page to launch the ads titled ‘That place where Coke tastes so good’.The page has absolutely no reference to the brand either.

Mindy Kaling, who donned a yellow dress and stood in front of a red backdrop in the ad to embody the brand’s colours, posted a cryptic tweet to celebrate the launch of the campaign

McDonald’s previously dabbled in unbranded advertising with an Instagram campaign featuring closeups of its products sans logos.

It is the first time the brand leveraged Google to push its products.

It come less than a week after rival Burger King triggered Google Homes throughout America by prompting the device to describe the Whopper Burger. The ad forced Google to reprogram the devices, which have now been reactivated to respond to the prompt.

It also follows the controversial Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner which was saturated with brand references and logos before being axed.

McDonald’s recently used Snapchat to recruit the youth of Australia in a long stream of digital innovations.

The campaign was developed by Omnicom.

Check out the ad here:

Story By Adnews