The UNT Capstone students did not fail to impress NT Logistics with their innovative solutions this semester. In the past three years, NT Logistics has worked closely with Professor Brian Sauser and his UNT Capstone Logistics course in order to provide students with a realistic problem to stretch their problem-solving abilities and apply their acquired learnings to real-life supply chain scenarios. In the past, UNT students have been given similar projects with information provided by NT Logistics and are required to work in groups and come up with creative conclusions that provide the hypothetical company least landed cost while considering great delivery service to the end customer. There is not a simple correct answer, rather, the idea behind the project is for students to work together to consider various outcomes and discover the ultimate cost- effective resolution while considering the service requirements. Professor Brian Sauser states this about the Capstone course project “In order for our students to differentiate themselves in the employment market, they have to gain applied experiences in logistics. With the dedicated support of Lynn Gravley and NT Logistics, our students gain not only applied experience, but sharpen key soft skills so they can stand tall in the market.” The projects are designed to provide students with real world situations in order to better prepare them for a career in logistics.
The UNT Students exceeded the expectation for the Capstone Case Study Project once again this semester! As NT Logistics has done for the past two years, we provided the senior class with a project that resembled a realistic Supply Chain problem, which allowed them to fuse together textbook knowledge with critical and creative thinking to provide various solutions. One student from this past semester told us, “This project and all the research involved has really helped me understand what a future logistics problem could look like and how to work in a group in order to achieve a common goal.” These projects, including this past one, do not have “right” or “wrong” answers per say, but they do require the students to do substantial spreadsheet analysis and to think through and identify the most efficient and cost-effective solutions. In other words, these projects are challenging, but they are designed to better prepare students when they are faced with a real life Supply Chain problem once they land their dream job!
Jan Pope, Vice President and General Manager, Brokerage Division
Jan just recently returned from a carrier meeting in which she was asked to share details around a safety initiative. She did such an awesome job and her topic was so well received I asked if she would elaborate and publish her thoughts for our March Blog. LG
Happy New Year! 2017 is officially here and we are ALREADY nearing the end of January! Nonetheless, we are still at the beginning of 2017 and there is much anticipation and preparation for the changes this New Year will bring. 2016 was an interesting year to say the least. We witnessed several significant events, including the unveiling of our new president, Hours of Service updates, and the most anticipated change, the new ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate. In short, 2016 introduced several changes that will take place this year. In one of my previous blogs, I talked about the value of change and the important role it plays toward progression. The only caveat with change is it is never received with the same level of enthusiasm, which is to be expected; optimism and pragmatism have a tug of war, but in the end, both points of view are valuable. We do expect to see more changes in the future under the Trump administration, but we remain optimistic that they will all lead to the benefit of our industry, and most certainly our great Country.
For the past few years we have worked with the UNT Logistics and Supply Chain Program to invest in our future logisticians. I have to admit though, as a UNT alum myself, I have a certain bias towards this University and all its students. Every semester, we provide senior level students with a case study describing a scenario that could very well happen in real life. As someone who has been in the industry for over 30 years, these case studies are based on real life scenarios that I have witnessed throughout my career. These case studies allow the students to take all the knowledge they have absorbed from a textbook and apply it to a realistic situation.
Wow! How quickly time flies! It is hard to believe we are already nearing the beginning of 2017. It seems like only yesterday was January 1st, 2016. I guess the popular saying is right – “Time flies when you’re having fun.” This past year brought many new changes and opportunities, not just for NT but for our industry and for our country. Nonetheless, 2016 has been an incredible year. As Thanksgiving just ended, I find it only appropriate to express huge appreciation and thanks to everyone who played a valuable role in making this year a successful one for NT Logistics. Without the loyalty, service, and dedication of our great customers, carriers, and NT Logistics team, we would not be where we are today.
Recently, a friend of mine asked me how the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate will affect his private fleet of 140 trucks. Although I knew about the new ELDs from a high level perspective, I did not know the complete functionality of this new technology. His question prompted me to learn more about these tracking devices as they will impact many more Supply Chain constituents than just drivers.
In our last blog, Detaining Detention: The Source of Chronic Delays, we discussed the issue of chronic delays and detention at the shipper’s loading dock and how it is causing great frustration for carriers and impacting reputations for shippers. With the much publicized capacity shortage soon to come, compounded by the stricter federal regulations, carriers cannot afford to send their drivers to a shipper who will routinely detain them for extensive lengths of time. Chronic delays and detention is many times rooted in a shipper’s lack of respect for the driver’s time. When shippers recognize everyone’s time is valuable and should be respected, they are becoming a Preferred Shipper and therefore a part of the solution for our industry.
It is no secret that delays at both shippers and consignees is a huge issue, not only for carriers, but for shippers as well. Initially, carriers seem to be the only ones who experience the abrupt consequences of delayed loading and unloading. When their drivers must wait well over reasonable time frames at either end, only to receive insufficient compensation in comparison to the load they missed due to their delay, their frustrations continue to mount. However, shippers and consignees also experience consequences from the detention epidemic in the form of financial penalties and poor reputation. For the purpose of our article this month, let’s discuss delays on the shipping end. When there is constant delay and congestion as well as a lack of communication at a shipper’s facility, many times a reputation develops that quickly spreads. Invariably, this leads to Carriers’ hesitancy towards sending their valuable drivers to a shipper who will not respect their time or well-being. In the midst of an ever increasing capacity shortage, the availability of trucks is quickly dissipating; shippers who do not actively concern themselves with timely loading will eventually find it difficult to secure trucks for their products. It is a fact that delayed loading and detention are cultivating a lot of stress in our industry. Many times a premium is contained in rates for shippers and consignees that fail to timely load or unload trucks. Considering we are facing a massive capacity crunch, due to Hours of Service and ELD implementation, it is critical that shippers take an active role in resolving the chronic delays at their docks.
The transportation industry has experienced many significant changes in the past 20 years. With tighter federal regulations and the increasing driver shortage, the need for efficiency, profitability, and capacity is at its peak! How can we meet this need? The circulating solution is for shippers to adjust operations to become a Preferred Shipper.
What does it mean to be a “preferred shipper” and why is it important? Is there a benefit to being a preferred shipper? What would that look like? These are all valid questions that are relevant in today’s transportation industry.