Unsolved AMT Mysteries: A Blog Mini-Series

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Third-Party Logistics

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For employees at A.M. Transport, one of the most frequently asked questions is “what exactly do you do there?” The easiest and most frequent explanation is that we are a third-party logistics provider along with a loose description of how we help match shippers and carriers. All of that is true of course, but that explanation fails to paint a clear picture of what we do nor does it identify the specific roles that are an integral part of the process. Further, people do not seem to be satisfied with the idea that some sort of logistical magic happens while we all just kick back and search for Pokemon all day.  In an effort to make what we do here a little more transparent (without sharing ALL of our secrets of course!) we will be presenting a series of blog articles on 3PLs and our approach at A.M. Transport. We will highlight the meaning, history and trends of 3PLs and then offer a look “behind the scenes”, featuring employees and snapshots of what a typical workday looks like for them.

So what is a 3PL anyway?

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) defines 3PL as follows:

“Outsourcing all or much of a company’s logistics operations to a specialized company…In 2008 legislation passed declaring that the legal definition of a 3PL is ‘ A person who solely receives, holds, or otherwise transports a consumer product in the ordinary course of business but who does not take title to the product.'” [1]

According to CSCMP, the term “3PL” was first used in the early 1970s. Prior to that, contracts for transportation featured two parties, the shipper and the carrier. As intermediaries began to engage in process by accepting shipments from the shippers and tendering them to carriers, they eventually became a 3rd party to contracts and subsequently came to be known as third-party logistics (3PLs). 

Check out this infographic to learn more about why 3PLs exist and how they benefit companies: [2]

benefits of 3PLs.jpg

 

Next time on Unsolved AMT Mysteries…Trends in 3PLs and AMT

 

[1]  Counsel of Supply Chain Management Terms and Glossary: Updated August 2013

[2] Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a 3PL Provider. WorldTrans http://www.worldtransinc.com

Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you’d like to see? Let us know!
Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com

 

 

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The “Amazon Effect”

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 Staying Competitive in the 3PL Industry

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3PL’s have certainly taken notice of Amazon’s expansion into the world of logistics. Many have expressed concern, which is understandable given the company’s reputation, innovation, and consistent growth.

But what does this really mean for the 3PL industry? Robert and Kristin Lieb of DC Velocity, interviewed 25 CEOs of some of the world’s largest 3PL’s to get their take on Amazon’s potential impact. According to these CEOs, the factor that has had the largest impact thus far is their high-speed delivery process.[1] As a result of these rapid delivery programs, customer-service expectations have significantly changed and although speed has always been a priority in 3PL, this is pushing it to a whole new level. Some have deemed it part of the “Amazon Effect” on the 3PL industry.

Amazon is certainly shaking things up with their logistics capabilities. Subsequently, 3PLs are being challenged to rethink their services as well as their technology. Adrian Gonzalez, president of Adelante SCM, maintains that Amazon’s move into the 3PL segment will “force traditional 3PL providers to ‘flip their model’ and effectively become IT specialists that work in the logistics business.”[2]

So how can 3PL’s prepare? As Michael McKinney of A.M. Transport put it, “You can be informed, proactive and involved or reactive and let someone else decide your fate. Either way you can’t avoid it.” Besides continuing to improve customer service, another recurring theme was the development and implementation of a solid omnichannel strategy. When 3PLs take advantage of technology and utilize it in a way that creates a seamless and pleasant experience for customers, it sets them apart and decreases the chance that they will be signficantly affected by the “Amazon Effect”.

[1] Lieb, R. & Lieb, K. (2015) Is Amazon a 3PL? Retrieved from: http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20150706-is-amazon-a-3pl/

[2] Gonzalez, A. (2016) Amazon’s 3PL encroachment to force traditional providers to overemphasize IT, consultant says. Retrieved from: http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20160630-amazons-3pl-encroachment-to-force-traditional-providers-to-overemphasize-it-consultant-says/

Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you’d like to see? Let us know!
Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com

A.M. Transport Services, Inc. Earns Best New Provider Award from Nestle Mid-Atlantic Region

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Press Release

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Olney, IL (June 22, 2016) – A.M. Transport Services, Inc., a leading provider in transportation management and 3rd party logistics, was named as a regional “Best New Provider” for the second year in a row by Nestle Waters North America.

Last year, Nestle Waters, the nation’s largest bottled water company, presented A.M. Transport Services with the Best New Provider Award for the Midwest Region.  This year, A.M. Transport’s exceptional customer service made an impact on employees in the Nestle Waters Mid-Atlantic Region who were responsible for selecting the recipient of the Best New Provider Mid-Atlantic Award, which was presented to the A.M. Transport Service team on January 13, 2016.

Christopher Bertz, Regional Transport Manager of Nestle Waters Mid-Atlantic, was impressed with A.M. Transport Service and their dedication to service and support. He thanked the team for their efforts, adding, “You guys were a unanimous choice by our group here.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Nestle Waters North America,” said Michael McKinney, President at A.M. Transport Services. “It is a testament to the hard work of our team who consistently strive to provide outstanding customer service. We value the relationship we have with Nestle Waters and look forward to exceeding their expectations in the future.”

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Where the Rubber Meets the Roadcheck

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CVSA’s Roadcheck Enforcement Campaign 2016

This year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual truck safety inspection will take place June 7-9, 2016. During this period, certified inspectors will conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeting motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety, the most common and most stringent being the North American Standard Level I Inspection. It is a 37-step process and requires examination of both driver and vehicle.

The emphasis for this year’s campaign is Tire Safety. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for a tire inspection:

AM Transport

Infographic created by AM Transport’s Amanda Williams

To learn more about roadcheck procedures or to find tire safety educational materials, visit CVSA’s website.

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The “Cult of Busy” – Adapting to the 24/7 Workplace

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Functioning in a Work-First Culture

Erin Reid coined the term “cult of busy” to describe the way our workforce has become: jobs come first in the hierarchy and constant availability is the expectation. With the increased ability to always have your work at your fingertips (e.g. email linked to your phone), the assumption of 24/7 accessibility has only intensified – and continues to do so.

Working all the time should lead to more productivity, right? Wrong-o. Harvard Business Review and The New York Times have shared studies and stories of the problems that arise from constant work – employees crying and passing out from exhaustion, high turnover rates, and lack of diversity among your workforce being among them.

So how are we coping with this ever-growing demand for the 24/7 workplace? Quite disfunctionally, as discussed by Huff Post writer Emily Peck. She talks about three ways we are “adapting” to the work-all-the-time demand.

1. Accepting
Just give in and work all the time. Give up the deep relationships, community engagement, and physical well-being for the job. Just keep plugging away until you reach the burnout stage.

2. Passing
The “fake it” strategy for coping. Technology makes it easy to be working wherever you are…and equally as easy to fake that you are working wherever you are. Talk about a large window for rampant disengagement.

3. Revealing
Some people actually ask for flex time and limits. However, this is often met with penalties and/or disappointment for not always putting work first. “Are you going to be a professional or are you going to be just an average person in your field?”

So now that we are aware that this is the culture we are currently working in, what do we do about it? Emily mentions that the only solution is through collective action – banding together to try and make collective movements toward recognizing the “always on” moments, finding bosses and co-workers that don’t work weekends, and stopping the scheduling of meetings at 5 p.m.

Read more about the effects of the 24/7 workplace: 3 Dysfunctional Ways We’ve Adapted To The Hell Of The 24/7 Workplace

Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you’d like to see? Let us know!
Email us – blog@amtransportonline.com