ReedTMS January 2018 Employees of the Month!

Congratulations to Amy Thomas & Adam Rauwerdink, ReedTMS Logistics’ Employees of the month for January. Amy and Adam have been incredible assets to our company and are regarded by their peers as some of the most helpful employees in the entire office.

Some of the comments as to why they were nominated are as follow:

“Amy has really stepped up to help solve issues that were occurring in another department over the last month.”

“Amy set aside time from her usual duties to not only listen, but also found a way to get the final result we were trying to achieve.”

“She is a trooper in the purest since. Amy was looking out for the company when it would have been much easier to tell me she had no idea and send me away with my issue”

“Adam is the lead mechanic in Cedar Grove. He handles most of the after hours breakdown calls. He also runs the shop when the Manager is gone and more importantly he is always eager to help with emergency deliveries anywhere in the state.”

“Adam bailed us out of multiple important loads that we had no way to deliver.”

“Adam is always there when you need him. He takes his role helping to keep our fleet of trucks up and running seriously. Not only does he take care of getting his job completed he will also run loads for us anytime we have an issue with another driver or load”

Thanks for all you do Amy & Adam, keep up the good work!

Freight Brokers Moved 16% More Loads in 2017

Revenue rose steadily throughout 2017 for freight brokers in the DAT Keypoint benchmark project. The benchmark report draws data from 100 companies whose average annual revenue of $19.5 million grew 26% compared to 2016.

The revenue increase was fueled by 16% increases in both the number of loads and the total revenue per load. Rates rose rapidly during the year, contributing to the revenue increase. However, gross margins for the group dropped to an average of 13.7% from 14.8% in 2016, as costs increased faster than billings.

Total profit for the year also declined 11% compared to 2016, due largely to a few challenging months when expenses rose faster than revenues. Also, brokers tended to postpone profits from December to January, to take advantage of this year’s more favorable tax laws. That made December seem less profitable for the group, which had a big impact on quarterly results.

A Challenging but Successful Year, in Graphs

The selection of graphs below tell the story of a challenging but successful year. Brokers moved more loads in 2017, with higher revenue per load and higher revenue per employee. Costs rose faster than revenues, however, reducing profitability in some months and paring down gross margins for the year. The cost increase was associated primarily with rising spot market rates. Labor costs also grew throughout 2017.

Labor costs rose to 66% of net revenue in Q4 2016 and stayed in the 65% to 67% range for all of 2017. During the same period, non-labor expense declined from 29% to 22% as a portion of net revenue. The combination of the two put a squeeze on net operating profits, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016, until profitability rebounded for the group in the second half of 2017.

 

Costs began to climb in Q4 2016, with labor expense leading non-labor expense, as brokerage companies in the group prepared to handle the revenue growth to come.

 

Revenue per employee held steady from Q4 2016 through Q2 2017, but average profit declined on a per-employee basis. The brokerages increased headcount during that period, to position their companies for additional growth.

 

Load counts increased 16% in 2017, including a 22% increase in the fourth quarter, compared to 2016. Steady, quarter-over-quarter growth in load counts began in Q1 2016 and accelerated in Q2 2017.

 

Revenue per load increased steadily in 2017, on both a year-over-year and a quarter-over-quarter basis, rising from an average of $1,226 per load in Q1 to $1,549 in Q4. Profits lagged during the period from Q4 2016 through Q2 2017, however, due to increased costs. From a $4.63 profit per load in Q1, the group’s average results improved to $22.42 per load in Q4. Profitability would likely have been higher in Q4, but many brokers moved profits to the new tax year. 

 

Rapid increases in spot market freight rates led to margin compression for many freight brokers in 2017. Gross margins fell to 11% in January, due to extreme weather, then declined again to 13% from May through June, as rates began to rise sharply.

The DAT Broker Benchmark project analyzes revenues, expenses and profits, based on more than 25 key performance indicators available in DAT Keypoint, the transportation management system developed exclusively for freight brokers.

Story by Steve Blair at dat.com

Del Monte to purchase Mann Packing

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce has agreed to purchase Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing for $361 million.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, according to a news release.

“Mann Packing’s strength in the vegetable category, one of the fastest-growing fresh food segments, will provide us with synergies, enhancing our ability to better serve our combined customers and address consumers’ needs for healthier products,” Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Del Monte chairman and CEO, said in the release. “This acquisition is a significant step toward our goal to be the world’s leading supplier of healthful, wholesome and nutritious fresh and prepared food and beverages for consumers.”

Mann Packing sales in 2017 were $535 million.

“Everyone at Mann is excited with this development,” Lorri Koster, chairman and CEO of Mann Packing, said in the release. “We share Del Monte’s values and commitment of providing fresh, high-quality produce based foods that are nutritious and delicious. Both our companies have been successful in their own right with their superior quality, service and value to our customers and consumers in all channels throughout North America. This will only be enhanced by combining the business expertise and skills of two of the industry’s premiere organizations.”

Story by Ashley Nickle at Thepacker.com

Walmart could give online shoppers final OK on produce

A system patented by Walmart aims to address one of the top drawbacks for would-be online shoppers: the desire to pick their own produce.

The “Fresh Online Experience,” a process Walmart outlined in a patent published Dec. 28, would allow consumers to remotely approve or reject specific produce items prepared for online orders. The service could be used for other fresh items as well.

When placing an order, consumers could select which items to confirm. Once two-dimensional or three-dimensional photos of the produce have been sent, the consumer has a set amount of time to approve or reject the items.

Walmart explained its rationale for the system — for which fulfillment could be manual or automated — in the background section of patent.

“A customer when visiting a retail store can inspect and choose produce that seems to look like the highest quality,” the company stated in the document. “However, a customer who orders the same item from a retail store website for grocery pickup and/or delivery has to rely on the store associate to choose the actual item to be delivered. They may be dissatisfied with the result.

“It is desirable for the customer to be able to request images of the item in the retail store, so that the customer can be satisfied with their online purchase,” Walmart stated.

The company has patented numerous other ideas over the years that have not been deployed. E-commerce, however, has been a major area of growth for Walmart, and inability to inspect produce and other fresh item is one of the most cited reasons people give for not grocery shopping online.

Story by Ashley Nickle at Thepacker.com

ReedTMS Logistics scheduled to attend USF all career fair

USF Career Services presents Spring 2018 Career Fair Week! Be sure to stop by and talk to employees of the official transportation provider of your USF Bulls athletics,  ReedTMS Logistics! Each fair is a great way to network face-to-face with local and national employers interested in hiring USF students and graduates for full-time, co-op and internship positions.

Career Fair Week is sponsored in cooperation with the USF Alumni Association.  Career Fair Week events are exclusively for USF students, with valid student ID, and alumni (please bring a current resume that includes your USF degree information).

WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND

  • Meet in person with representatives from top organizations from around the country
  • Discuss employment openings with employers.
  • Distribute your resume so be sure to bring lots of copies!
  • Share your qualifications, skills, and academic background.
  • Network as you obtain company information and business cards of the organizations that interest you.

EVENT INFORMATION

Professional dress and resume are required for entry into all fairs.

Fall 2018 Career Fair Week Dates   

All Majors Fair
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Marshall Student Center Ballroom

BEFORE YOU ATTEND

  • Log-in to and complete your profile within Handshake.
  • Update your resume and make sure it’s uploaded into Handshake.
  • Have your resume critiqued by an employer before the fair at a resume critique event.
  • Research the websites of employers who will be attending.
  • Prepare and rehearse a one-minute introduction or “elevator speech.”
  • Practice answering possible interview questions.
  • Make sure your professional attire is ready to go.  Need professional attire?  Borrow it for free at Suit-A-Bull.

Please stop by the ReedTMS booth and ask us what we can do for you! We look forward to seeing all of you and wish you good luck!

Freight rates hit record in December

Responding to big demand, monthly average truck rates for refrigerated freight climbed again in December to reach an all-time high, according to the DAT Freight Index.

The monthly national averages for both dry and refrigerated (“reefer”) van rates were the highest of 2017, according to the index.

Spot truckload van rates averaged $2.11 per mile nationally, up 4 cents compared to November and the highest monthly average since DAT started tracking freight rates in 2010, according to the release.

The average reefer rate for December was $2.46 per mile, 3 cents higher than the November average and another all-time high, according to the release.

The availability of truckload freight in December was bolstered by retail shipments, demand for fresh and frozen foods, and e-commerce fulfillment, according to the release. Available truckload freight was 25% higher than in December 2016.

However, overall freight volume in December fell 3% compared to a strong November, according to the release. Some of the factors in that decline were inclement weather in parts of the U.S and the Dec. 18 electronic logging device mandate. That combination of strains on equipment and drivers meant that shippers and freight brokers paid premiums for available trucks, according to the release.

Story by Tom Kurst at Thepacker.com