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How Carriers Can Take Care of Themselves on the Road

The pandemic has created a situation where people can’t or don’t want to go to the doctor’s office. After all, that’s where the sick people are. The LA Times even ran a trend piece about it, discussing how folks are putting off medical care due to COVID concerns, including routine screenings, emergency room visits, and treatment for existing conditions. If you fall under this list, this is the perfect time to book that appointment you’ve been putting off or check in with a doctor. We can help with the latter.

Cargomatic has partnered with SASid to offer carrier members and their families two free months of telehealth coverage. At the end of the two-month period, you pay $8.99 a month to continue individual coverage or $9.99 for family coverage.

How Telehealth Works

MDLIVE is a low-cost and convenient alternative to urgent care clinic visits or waiting days for a non-emergency medical appointment. Doctors can diagnose your symptoms, recommend treatment, and prescribe or refill prescriptions for routine conditions via telephone, smartphone app, webchat, and email. 

Through SASid, you have access to MDLIVE’s board-certified doctors through phone or video 24/7 anywhere in the US, and you will be matched to a doctor that is fully licensed to practice medicine in your state. 

Telehealth visits are private and secure with $0 copays and e-prescriptions are sent to your local pharmacy for convenience.

In addition to telehealth, SASid is offering Cargomatic carriers and their families free access to its pharmacy program. This discount card offers instant savings at the pharmacy on name-brand and generic prescription medications for you and your household (including pets). Users save on average over 50% per prescription, and the savings card is accepted at more than 61,000 pharmacies across the country.

Click here to sign up for two free months of telehealth services.

This partnership with SASid is part of a long-term initiative to take care of our drivers and carriers. In December, we announced an ongoing partnership with IDShield for a discount on identity protection services. Last month, we introduced you to Lendio, a financial services technology company that is helping small fleets and other business owners gain access to PPP funding and other business loans. Be on the lookout for more partnerships in the coming months.

Is Your Home Delivery Turning Off Customers?

Manufacturers are devoted to creating the best product. But nearly 50% of the negative feedback posted to Amazon reviews has nothing to do with the product itself. Instead, it’s a negative delivery experience that can cause headaches, making it more difficult for merchants to sell products.

A satisfying delivery is so much more than getting the product from Point A to Point B. The last 12 months have seen a titanic shift in consumer expectations regarding home delivery. Today, shippers are expected to provide full transparency, offer proactive notifications, and present it with a little bit of style.

Now, companies who relied on brick and mortar business are shipping out more orders than ever. Furniture stores, which often had customers coming in to try before they buy, are now making sales to customers who have never even seen the product in person. The only customer service they’ll probably experience is with the delivery driver.

How do you ensure your customers receive a positive delivery experience? We’re here to help.

We’ve created a white paper that highlights approaches to home delivery needs that go beyond traditional parcel services and shares best practices from companies with the most challenging deliveries.

Click here to download the report.

 

Why the Supply Chain is the Industry to Work In | Careers on the Move

Last month, we launched Careers on the Move, a podcast and video series that aims to shine a spotlight on the supply chain. We hope to attract people to work in the industry by featuring people and companies who are innovating the supply chain.

We’ve already highlighted how data is a key element of the supply chain, tracing its roots to the humble barcode in Episode 1 of the podcast. We’ve also spoken to someone who’s worked his way up through the industry and serve as CEO in multiple transportation companies in this video.

Our ultimate goal is to show people why the supply chain is such a great place to work and thrive. In this infographic, we take a step back and explain why this is our goal. The supply chain is an industry that continues to grow and transform, especially as buying patterns change.

In 2020, people went out less and ordered online more. They had items delivered directly to their homes, from toilet paper to mattresses. And the supply chain has adapted to meet these needs.

Talking Logistics with Steve Rubin | Careers on the Move

Steve Rubin is a logistics industry legend, previously serving as CEO for ITS ConGlobal, Horizon Lines, and TRAC Intermodal.

He spoke to Careers on the Move host Tyler Kern about how he got started, how the industry has changed over 30 years, and the challenges that arose in the wake of COVID-19. Along the way, he talked about the amazing places he got to visit, as well as how rewarding a career in supply chain can be.

Careers on the Move is a podcast and video series that highlights people and companies transforming the supply chain industry, produced by MarketScale and Cargomatic.

Subscribe to Careers on the Move on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Introducing Careers on the Move

We believe that there is a tremendous talent gap across the supply chain, one that extends far beyond the driver shortage. There are several reasons as to why this might be. 

  • Graduating college seniors don’t know about the career potential that comes with roles in supply chain management and leadership. Maybe they see trucks on the road, but in general, very few young adults see those trucks and realize “I can have a profound impact on the bottom line for a company, a positive effect on the environment, and can dramatically improve the lives of individuals.” While many engineering students may be a fan of Iron Man, very few of them realize that they could be designing exoskeletons that keep docks workers safe. In short, we as logistics professionals need to paint our industry in a more positive light. 
  • This is particularly true as funding rounds across the supply chain explode, with some of the best-known firms (Sequoia, A16Z, Softbank, Warburg Pincus, etc.) pumping money into the space. As more companies launch, there will be even greater demand for talented developers, data scientists, and engineers. 
  • Furthermore, we’re seeing a movement whereby logistics roles are gaining entrance into the C-Suite. Enterprise shippers are hiring Chief Supply Chain Officers, who are being tasked with responsibilities that combine efficiency and cost savings with corporate social responsibility. It’s no longer just about getting coffee from one place to another as cheaply as possible; it’s imperative to ensure that the coffee comes from farms that treat their workers well. Data science, and yes, blockchain, are gaining acceptance across the supply chain world, and these types of initiatives are attracting the eyes of leaders and board members from many of the biggest companies in the world. 

Today, we’re thrilled to launch our sponsored new series, called Careers on the Move, which is a web video series, podcast, and blog that spotlight individuals and companies doing interesting and cool things across the supply chain. Careers on the Move has three content pillars. Our weekly blog will spotlight a cool startup, as a way to highlight new and interesting tech and approaches. Our podcast will connect with industry experts, discussing their day to day challenges and the work that they’re doing. We think this will help to paint a more realistic picture of what a career in supply chain might look like. Finally, we’re creating a video series that spotlights experienced supply chain professionals… think of it like NPR’s “How I Built This” for careers in logistics. 

Careers on the Move has one very specific goal: in 2021 we want to attract 1,000 new entrants into supply chain roles. 1,000 newcomers won’t eliminate the talent gap we see, but they will start to usher in a new era of importance for the global supply chain. 

Our first guest is Melanie Nuce, who is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for GS1, a standards organization that was behind the UPC code we all know (and those of us who are older, might remember collecting from cereal boxes to send in for some sort of toy). 

Listen to the first episode of Careers on the Move below:

 

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. 

We hope you enjoy the shows.  

Connecting Trucking Companies With PPP Loans

For many small businesses, the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was difficult — less than 6% of the small business owners who applied for a loan received one. Applications for the second round of PPP loans are now open, allowing businesses of all sizes to secure loans that ensure operations remain intact.

What is the PPP?

The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to help small businesses maintain payroll and continue making payroll-related payments. This includes rent, utilities, healthcare, and interest accrued on other debt obligations.

The Small Business Administration expanded the program for this second round of funding. PPP loans are now available to more types of businesses, with greater flexibility for seasonal employees. They can also cover a wider range of expenses.

How Lendio Can Help

In order to help our marketplace trucking companies, we’ve begun working with a financial services technology company named Lendio. We believe Lendio can be a tremendous resource in understanding whether your business is qualified for this program, as well as in helping you actually apply and receive a PPP loan.

During the first round, business owners accessed more than $8 billion in PPP loans through the Lendio marketplace in just 2 months. We hope to see even better results through this second round.

Last month, we rolled out our discounted ID Theft Protection services for drivers. Our agreement with Lendio is simply another way that we’re trying to become more of a resource to the companies that rely on us to keep their wheels turning. 

You can learn more about our program by clicking here.

How Cargomatic Helps Drivers Protect Their Identity

Identity theft is so much more than someone skimming your credit card at a gas station and making some purchases. Identity thieves can open new accounts without your knowledge, accrue debt under your name, steal your driver’s license number, and so much more. 

The risk of identity theft is higher during the holiday season, and has been higher this year due to COVID. Truck drivers are at an extra risk, as they spend most days on the road and away from home.

As we shared previously, December is National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month. To help drivers focus on their job – driving – Cargomatic is partnering with IDShield to help protect carriers on and off the road with identity theft monitoring and protection.

Drivers can get a discount on IDShield’s services, which include monitoring, alerts, and full-service restoration, with a $1 million protection policy. IDShield offers privacy and security monitoring, including high-risk accounts, social media, and credit, and alerts users if any discrepancies in their data are found. In total, ID Shield monitors more than 100 different types of your information. 

Cargomatic’s Chief Marketing Officer Chris Oliver spoke with Cassie Prinke at IDShield to talk about identity theft, why truck drivers are more susceptible to it, and how they can protect themselves while on the road. Learn more by watching this video below:

Ready to get started? Click here to sign up for IDShield at a discounted rate.

How Drivers Can Protect Their Identity on the Road

December is National Identity Theft Awareness Month. For drivers, this is a strong reminder that you’re more at risk than folks in nearly every industry, for several reasons. For OTR drivers, being away from home often makes it possible for thieves to steal mail and then start to take over an identity. For OOs, there is a real risk given the sheer number of times an OO needs to give out his or her social security number, which can be used to create new lines of credit in a person’s name. 

The examples above aren’t exactly cutting edge, with hackers (likely in hoodies) poring over the computer as they attempt to infiltrate the inner workings of a driver’s finances. Instead, they’re descriptions of common types of identity theft.  

The FTC has an amazing set of resources to help prevent ID theft and identify whether you’re at risk. There are a few early indicators, including: 

  • Something strange on your credit report– AnnualCreditReport.com is a website built to allow individuals to see their credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year. It’s advisable to stagger uses, checking Experian, Equifax and TransUnion every four months, as opposed to all of the bureaus at once, since those organizations are supposed to share information. It’s a great resource for any individual whose bank doesn’t offer free credit reporting. “Something strange” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but the gist is that most folks will be able to explain anything they find on their report. If there is something that seems amiss, it’s important to investigate further. It might be as basic as a credit check for a cell phone provider you’re not actually a customer of. As the FTC says, consider placing a credit freeze or fraud alert with a bureau if you see anything out of the ordinary. This makes it so thieves can’t open new lines of credit in another person’s name. 
  • Bills not arriving on time (or at all)– For individuals who prefer paper bills to paperless billing, it can be an early warning sign if specific bills stop arriving. With the information in a cell phone bill (phone number, physical address, etc), thieves can start to take over a person’s identity. For drivers on the road a lot, leaving their mail in the mailbox can present a tremendous risk. An obvious workaround here is to have a neighbor or friend pick up your mail while you’re hauling, but a significant percentage of ID theft and ID fraud is committed by people who know the victim. In times of crisis, like a pandemic, typically good people’s motivations can change, so switching to electronic billing is an excellent way to stay safer. 
  • Bills you don’t expect start to arrive– Perhaps the most scary indicator of ID theft is when bills start to arrive that a person doesn’t recognize. Maybe it’s something simple, like a cell phone bill or a credit card statement. It can also be bills from a doctor’s office, indicating that medical ID Theft has occurred. In this instance, a thief has used someone else’s insurance to cover their medical expenses, leaving the victim to pay whatever outstanding balance is left. If you start to see bills coming in (or you receive unexpected calls from a collections agency), it can be a sign that something is wrong. 

If any of the red flags above apply to you, we’d encourage you to visit https://www.identitytheft.gov, a website built by the FTC to help victims overcome the issues they’ll face. 

Our team ends many of our conversations with drivers with some version of “stay safe out there.” As we enter National Identity Theft Awareness Month, we mean it in more ways than one. 

Current State of the Ports of LA and Long Beach

Just ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Maersk representatives shared the company’s perspective on the current state of the neighboring ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach with the Harbor Trucking Association’s Productivity Committee.

Import volume is expected to continue through November. A slight decrease is expected in December, not due to demand but because of capacity and labor challenges. Q1 2021 is expected to continue with strong demand at least until Chinese New Year in February. Volume is expected to pick up after the holiday.

Shortages of Containers, Space, and Labor

Maersk pointed out issues with transporting goods from both ends of the Pacific. In Asia, there is a shortage in vessels and containers, with no containers available for lease until July. 

In LA and Long Beach, there is a shortage of skilled union labor, shortage of dock space at the terminals, and shortage of chassis. Vessels generally sit in the lineup for 2-4 days before they can be worked, and truck turns continue to rise. Depending on the terminal, 20-50% of transactions take over two hours. 

For Maersk, this may mean blank sailings in December, as the company does not want vessels sitting in the lineup for several days. Its primary focus is getting empty containers back to origin, collaborating with terminals to make it easier to return the empties, and turning vessels faster once they arrive into LA and Long Beach.

These challenges echo the larger problem with overcrowding at the ports. This past weekend, Bloomberg reported that nearly a dozen cargo vessels were anchored just south of Los Angeles as the ports were at maximum capacity for containers. Federal regulators are investigating the source of this and similar roadblocks in ports. Like Maersk’s report, the Bloomberg article cites the shortage in empty containers as a cause of delay.

On our end, we’re working with terminals to ensure we’re able to get appointments and make goods available more rapidly. However, shippers and carriers moving goods through the Ports of LA and Long Beach should plan for delays. For shippers, this may mean keeping customers informed of possible delays. For drivers, this may mean bracing for long waits at the port.

Four Takeaways from Home Delivery World

Last month, Home Delivery World took place on the internet, connecting hundreds of supply chain leaders for a series of panels, discussions, and even a few (virtual) happy hours, if you knew where to look.

Home Delivery World Logo

While the discussion covered everything from white glove delivery service to track & trace technology, our team in attendance came away with four critical themes that will shape the supply chain in 2021 and beyond.

  1. Home delivery is here to stay– It’s trite that a room full of professionals who make their living overseeing home deliveries agree that home delivery will be critical for the future of the supply chain. However, it’s also crucial to really delve into the shift we’ve seen, especially as a result of COVID-19. While companies like DoorDash and Instacart were pushing the envelope of what types of goods are supposed to be deliverable, the global pandemic has turbocharged the shift to home delivery, with everything from stand up desks to toilet paper expected as available, almost immediately.
  2. Logistics just became part of the UX– In the new “deliver everything” view, it’s critical for brands to think about the actual delivery as part of the customer experience. There was a great mention of how much negative feedback on Amazon product pages has nothing to do with the product, and everything to do with the delivery. “The driver left it on my doorstep without ringing the bell, and my package was stolen.” “The box my glass coffee pot came in looks like someone played soccer with it; big surprise, the coffee pot is shattered.” “I love the product, but the ETA changed a half dozen times, and I had to give this to my mom a week after her birthday”… the list goes on.
  3. It isn’t just pricing that’s complicating this peak season– Every peak season is different, but this year’s iteration is bringing a wide range of atypical issues. On the one hand, many truckers are canceling agreements because they can find more money for a similar load elsewhere. Others see that they might have extra room in a trailer and pick up an extra bit of freight to really fill the truck (and improve their margins). This would be fine, except when shippers pay for FTL, they don’t expect to see their goods potentially damaged by someone else’s goods. These issues have been particularly prevalent for some of the newer companies that have removed the storefront experience from their operations, such as exercise equipment companies and mattress sellers. This capacity crunch is being exacerbated in port cities by tremendous (often record-level) imports.
  4. APIs and stitching are the future, and the future is now– “In the last seven months, we’ve moved the supply chain ahead 10 years.” The idea of digital transformation has been discussed for years, but the necessity of touchless delivery, coupled with the frantic pace of change required to get goods where they were needed, has dramatically increased digitization efforts. In the coming months and years, an onslaught of connected systems and IoT infrastructure will increase the number of points generating data, meaning more systems will need to be stitched together to understand and interpret the meaning of the flood of new information.

The organization behind Home Delivery World did a tremendous job adapting a traditionally in-person show into a digital setting (their own digital transformation?) , and kudos are deserved for a wonderful set of panelists and fireside chats.

If you were at the show, what were your impressions? If not, what other shows should we hope to meet you at?