Super Bowl XLIX: Get Into the Game with These Super Stats

It’s almost time for the biggest football game of the year! This Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks will face the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, and we’re pretty excited to see who will come out on top. From playmakers Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman to super duo Tom Brady and Bill Belichick - this showdown has everyone abuzz.

But have you ever wondered which NFL team has emerged victorious with the most Super Bowl wins, or just how many avocados Americans consume on Super Bowl Sunday?  Wonder no more! We’ve got you covered on these super stats to get your head in the game.

Check out the infographic below for some notable facts about Super Bowl XLIX!

Are you rooting for Seattle or New England on February 1st? 


The Path to Preferred Shipper Status

With capacity tightening and shippers finding it increasingly harder to secure freight, many are looking for ways to become a preferred shipper. In the past, shippers have had more leverage due to an abundance of capacity being available in the market, and carriers had to compromise – doing anything to get loads. But now, due to factors such as changes to industry regulations and the lack of available drivers causing a tightening of capacity, carriers are being more selective and strategic about what shippers they work with – even going so far as to giving shippers a scorecard. According to Ben Cubitt, senior vice president of engineering and consulting for Transplace, carriers are scoring shippers on a number of factors including:

  • Financial attractiveness
  • Fair accessorials
  • Profile of freight
  • Shipper treatment of carrier
  • Increased opportunities

In order to be a preferred shipper to carriers, shippers need to understand what drives carrier efficiency, what’s going to make the driver more efficient and ultimately, what’s going to make the network more efficient. Adds Ben, “There’s a shared responsibility to make the supply chain network more efficient and you can’t ignore the carrier.”

Check out the video below to hear what best practices Ben had to share on how to reach preferred shipper status.

Want to learn more? Take a peek at our infographic on the 4 key areas of focus for attaining preferred shipper status here or read about the 12 steps to become a shipper of choice here.

Freight Accessorials for CPG Companies: Augmenting Revenue While Covering Costs…And Then Some!

The challenge of adapting to the constantly-changing needs of consumers and retailers is compounded by the push for CPG companies to become lean and cut costs within their own operations. The effect of this can be noticed in numerous areas, but three major shifts have greatly impacted CPG companies and the way they operate. 

  1. More Private Label and Store Brands: As a way to save money, consumers are looking for cheaper alternatives to the products and brands they’ve historically purchased. While not always true, private label and store brands are often viewed as being less expensive, increasing their appeal to today’s money-conscious shoppers. In order to meet changes in demand, some retailers have gradually increased inventory levels of private and house brands compared with many of the larger, more recognizable CPG brands.
     
  2. Growth of the Dollar Channel and Online Retail: In addition to changes in the brands consumers are buying, there has been a shift in where they choose to purchase these products. Historically, the majority of consumers would shop at big-box retailers and purchase everything needed for that week, or longer. However, due to reduced spending and more staggered purchases, the dollar channel has grown tremendously as consumers settle for purchasing fewer items at once and taking more frequent trips to the store. In addition, online retailers are taking some of that market share, which means a different sourcing strategy for manufacturers as well as the need to be quicker to market. CPG companies are clearly wrestling with this and reacting as quickly as possible with network changes and updated strategies.
     
  3. Increased Margin Compression: Companies are looking at their entire organization to find ways to cut costs, and many are identifying the supply chain as a significant opportunity for savings. Organizations are closely evaluating their current operations to identify opportunities to streamline processes, eliminate waste and ultimately, reduce supply chain costs, while maintaining high service levels for their retail customers.

These recent shifts increase the complexity of the supply chain for CPG companies, and forward-thinking organizations are putting processes in place to address these trends and create more efficient, cost-effective supply chains.  

One of the major ways that companies can increase their cost-effectiveness is through benchmarking their freight accessorials. These benchmarks are used by shippers to change carrier behavior, or by carriers to make sure they’re properly compensated for all the extra service they are providing to the shipper. Common examples include detention and stop-off charges, both of which contribute to and affect a shipper’s costs. Benchmarking against the market can put CPG companies in a better position to control accessorial costs - in fact, getting the right action plan in place can help uncover up to 12% savings of a company’s total freight spend. 

In short, CPG companies are looking to reduce operational costs while also adapting to shifts in consumer behavior and retailer requirements, and those companies that invest in the right processes are in a position to successfully navigate current and potential future challenges.

Want to know more about benchmarking freight accessorials? Check out our blog post on the topic, or the Transplace Accessorial Benchmarking survey results!

What are some other ways that CPG companies can adapt to current retail trends while keeping costs down?

2014: Our Year in Review

As 2014 comes to a close and we prepare for the New Year, we take a moment to look back fondly over these last 12 months. 2014 has been a year filled with significant key moments for our company. What were our favorite highlights of the year? Keep on reading to find out just what made this year so special and what our proudest accomplishments were in 2014:

Our success couldn’t have been possible this year without our valued employees, customers and partners. Thank you for making 2014 great, and here’s to a terrific 2015 for you all! Happy Holidays!

Tracking Trucking Rates – What You Need to Know

With capacity declining and truck rates forecasted to increase 8-10%, shippers are realizing 2015 just might be the year of powerful partnerships.

Why is this happening? Check out our latest infographic to read up on the factors impacting truck rates, capacity and what you need to do to prepare for it.

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION SOURCES: Kilcarr, Sean. "Big Rate Boost Projected for Trucking." Fleet Owner. N.p., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. Solomon, Mark B. "Shippers Show Grudging Acceptance of Truck Rate Hikes." DC Velocity. N.p., 3 Nov. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION

SOURCES:
Kilcarr, Sean. "Big Rate Boost Projected for Trucking." Fleet Owner. N.p., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
Solomon, Mark B. "Shippers Show Grudging Acceptance of Truck Rate Hikes." DC Velocity. N.p., 3 Nov. 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

How do you plan to buffer against rising truckload rates in the coming year?