Corporate News

Long Beach Port Update
Jul 01, 2014

The current contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers is due to expire tomorrow, July 1, but nearly all observers are expecting talks to continue. The contract actually expires at 5:00 p.m.,  but observers say they don’t expect a deal will be reached until the middle of July and that ports will continue to operate while the labor negotiations continue.

Diesel Rises to $3.951; Price Is Highest Since September
Feb 04, 2014

Diesel rose for a second straight week, gaining 4.7 cents to $3.951 a gallon, led by big spikes in the Northeast, the Department of Energy reported.

The national increase, which followed a 3.1-cent upturn last week, left trucking’s main fuel at its highest level since September. The gain also was the biggest since then.

Oil prices topped $98 last week, the highest level this year.

Study: New rest-time rules may drive up trucking costs
Jan 12, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Nearly three out of five companies responding to a survey by the University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Institute think new federal regulations mandating rest time for truckers could lead to greater transportation costs.
The new hours-of-service rules from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which went into place July 1, are designed to improve driver safety by reducing truck driver fatigue.
The rules, which reduce the maximum number of weekly driving hours to 70 from 82 and mandate a 30-minute rest break prior to the eighth hour on duty, also could slow the transportation of products or force companies to add more truckers to the road, the researchers said.
The study surveyed 417 companies and found that 58% of expected an increase in their carrier rates. They anticipated passing on the costs to their customers in the long term.
This is not a realistic solution, said Mary Holcomb, an associate professor and the study’s author.
“In this economy, companies won’t want to damage the relationships with their customers by raising prices,” Holcomb said. “Carriers may be unable to absorb these increased costs, so companies will have to improve their operations in order to minimize their impact.”
Holcomb is the Niedert Supply Chain Fellow in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, which is based in the College of Business Administration.
Holcomb’s study identifies ways companies could mitigate those costs. She noted that some of those businesses are incorporating new initiatives.
“Many of them also will be a doubling down on efforts already underway,” she said.
Efforts to transport products more efficiently and control costs include the following:
* Extending lead time for some customers.
* Increasing customer delivery windows.
* Improving shipment consolidation.
* Increasing the use of “drop and hook,” which involves dropping a loaded trailer at a customer’s facility and hooking up and leaving with another loaded trailer.
The research also uncovered actions that many companies have yet to consider. Fewer than 5% of the polled companies planned to reduce costs by consolidating shipments with other companies.
“The logistics of coordinating shipping across companies is often too complex to sustain,” said Dean Vavalides, logistics analyst for Pilot Flying J who collaborated on the study. “It just requires too much synchronization.”
Holcomb added she was surprised to discover that so few companies plan on shifting transportation methods from truck to rail although research showed that long-haul moves have been the most impacted by the hours-of-service rule change.
Switching the long-haul moves from truck to rail could reduce the arrival time, she said.
The university’s Global Supply Chain Institute will conduct a follow-up study in mid-2014 on the long-term impact of the hours-of-service rules.
Holcomb’s concerns about the new regulations were shared by Duane Long, chairman of the Raleigh, N.C.-based Longistics.
Long called on Congress to support the TRUE Safety Act, a bill introduced by Reps. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y.; Tom Rice, R-S.C.; and Michael Michaud, D-Maine; to stay the new rules until an independent review can be completed.
“Drivers, motor carriers and researchers have identified and documented a clear and wide disparity from FMCSA’s rhetoric and trucking’s new, more costly operating reality,” Long said.
“Congress should postpone the effective date of these new provisions until the Government Accountability Office can objectively evaluate the data and methodology used by FMCSA,” he said.

E-log mandate, driver database rules expected in January 2014, per DOT report
Jan 10, 2014

A proposed rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices is expected to be published in the Federal Register Jan. 29, according to a monthly Department of Transportation report, which says the rule is projected to clear the White House’s Office of Management and Budget Jan. 17.
The report also says the rule will have a 60-day comment period that will last until April 1.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule is also set to clear the OMB Jan. 17, and the DOT report projects that the rule will be published in the Federal Register Jan. 31.
The rule will establish a database of drivers who have failed or refused drug or alcohol tests, and carriers will be required to submit failed or refused tests to the database. Carriers also will be required to query the database when hiring drivers.
The electronic logging device (formerly known as electronic onboard recorders) rule will not only mandate the use of e-logs but will set device standards and address driver harassment relative to e-log use.
In its monthly update in December, FMCSA projected the rule would be published Dec. 23.
Also in the report was an update on the agency’s Safety Fitness Determination rule, which is now projected to be published Aug. 4, with a projected OMB clearance of July 24.
The rule would change the data set and methodology FMCSA uses to produce an overall safety score for a carrier. Now, it uses only data from compliance reviews, whereas the rule would allow the agency to use data from its BASIC scores in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability system; roadside inspections; and crash data.
A rule complementing the e-log mandate — designed to prevent the coercion of drivers to drive in violation of safety rules by carriers, shippers, receivers or other intermediaries — is projected to clear the OMB April 14 and be published in the Federal Register on April 23.

Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Aug 05, 2013

Paul Martins has been in the transportation industry for the past 28 years and joined the PLC team in August of this year.

Paul’s career includes 16 years with UPS holding several senior level positions including Director of UPS Air Cargo, Director of UPS Airlines and Director of International Business Development.   In 2003 Paul joined Mercury Air Cargo as President and COO overseeing their worldwide handling and logistics companies as well as their subsidiary airline sales company, Hermes Aviation.  Since 2008 until joining PLC, Paul was Senior Vice President for the logistics and expedited shipping services company, Towne Air Freight and President of their wholly owned subsidiary, Towne Network Solutions.    During his tenure with Towne, Paul helped to oversee their growth from 31 terminals to 67 terminals in North America as well as their revenue growth which doubled during the past 5 years

Paul is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston and the Executive Leadership Programs at Bellarmine University in Louisville and Emory University in Atlanta. An avid golfer, he currently resides in Redondo Beach, with his wife Rona. 

Vice President of Operations
Jul 15, 2013

Walter E. Gaines is a highly skilled Senior Enterprising Executive with 25+ years of experience in General and Yield Management, Sales and Operations. His wealth of experience and expertise comes from leading asset and non-asset Warehouse & Distribution – Transportation and Logistics companies. He is a Skilled Architect in start-ups and has acted as a change agent in turn-around situations. This has involved migrating entrepreneurial companies to process driven entities, strengthening the infrastructure enabling sustained growth.

Read More…

House delays bill that could have undone hours rule
Jul 10, 2013

The House has pulled a transportation bill that could have potentially reversed the new hours of service rule that went into effect this month.

The House reportedly may consider bringing the bill back to the floor after its August recess.

Read More…

WIN Sales Conference in Madrid Spain
May 03, 2013

PLC Sales Managers and Executives will be attending the upcoming WIN Sales Conference in Madrid Spain, May 22-24, 2013. The conference is intended to help further international Sales development and cooperation between all member companies and countries. The Worldwide Independent Network – WIN – is comprised of 71 independent forwarding and logistics companies from all continents fully committed to freight management and the provision of worldwide total supply chain solutions.

New Hours of Service Rule Released
Mar 01, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released its final hours-of-service (HOS) rule. Below you will find a brief summary that describes the main provisions of the new HOS rule.

11 Hours Driving Limit Kept:

The rule holds truck drivers’ daily driving limit at 11 hours, instead of the 10 hours that was proposed in FMCSA’s original rule proposal that was released in 2010. FMCSA concluded that adequate and reasonable grounds under the Administrative Procedure Act for adopting a new regulation on this issue do not exist and that the current driving limit should therefore be allowed to stand.

60/70 Limits:

Like the 11 Hour Driving limits, the 60 and 70-hour limits were left unchanged by FMCSA.

34-Hour Restart Changes:

FMCSA did retain the portion of the proposed rulemaking that restricts the use of the 34-hour restart provision to one time a week. But it adjusted the parameters from the proposed rulemaking somewhat. The proposed rulemaking required truckers to include two consecutive 12 midnight to 6 a.m. rest periods. The final rule narrows the rest window by two hours, requiring the two nights include 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods.


The new rule also states that truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at lest 30 minutes. Drives can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.

Compliance Dates:

The on-duty rule changes took effect on February 27, 2012. On July 1, 2013, the 34-hour restart change and the rest break rule will come into effect.

Posted Claims Ratio
Feb 20, 2013

PLC’s Claims Ratio for 2012 was .011% which is just over 1/10 of one-percent. These stellar numbers are a direct result of our efforts to insulate our client’s freight within an enclosed network as much as possible. PLC limits the number of touches and runs most shipments on a D-D basis. Strict regimens are in place and are part of base protocol in order to limit shortages and damages.