New Articles

Carousel Logistics Teams up with Varamis Rail to Electrify Cargo Route between England and Scotland


Carousel Logistics Teams up with Varamis Rail to Electrify Cargo Route between England and Scotland

Carousel Logistics has joined forces with the UK’s first electric-only high-speed rail freight operator to develop a zero-emission cargo route between Birmingham and Glasgow.

In-night delivery specialist Carousel Logistics has joined forces with Varamis Rail to develop a fully electric rail cargo route between Birmingham and Glasgow.

The partnership was formed in February of this year, and now, following a successful trial, the electric route has officially become part of Carousel Logistics’ pan-European delivery operations.

Varamis Rail, the UK’s first electric-only express rail freight operator, is utilizing former passenger trains and converted them to carry cargo at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour between the Midlands and Scotland.

The game-changing train is powered by Network Rail’s overhead line infrastructure, with all electricity generated from environmentally friendly sources. 

Carousel Logistics is now running freight out of Birmingham on Varamis Rail’s midnight service that departs just two miles away from the airport and pulls into Mossend rail hub terminal at around 4am.

Varamis Rail says the electric route will save 1,350 tons of carbon dioxide each year under the current schedule of a return journey between the cities five nights a week.

This schedule was carefully designed by both teams to not only reduce emissions, but to also bring about operational improvements for Carousel Logistics’ in-night deliveries.

The service, which connects the cities in around four hours, is currently running Monday to Friday.

Carousel Logistics’ introduction of the electric train follows its recent investment in Electron, a battery-run electric aircraft that will enable zero emission, point-to-point air freight deliveries across Europe.

intermodal cargo shipping container import logistics chain port containers

Fluent Cargo Makes Route Planning Easy

The company’s launch reflects strong demand from shipment planners in the global logistics industry.

Fluent Cargo, an Australian technology company specializing in international shipment planning and research, announces the launch of its multi-modal routing engine and platform. 

The solution helps logistics professionals find the best ways to get any shipment to and from any location in the world using available modes of transport. 

Users simply input an origin and destination country, city, port or address, and the system will immediately provide multiple shipping options.

Whether the shipment requires air freight, ocean freight, trucking, or other services, Fluent Cargo displays multiple route options, single or multiple combinations of modes of transport along with transit times, carrier information, and detailed specifics including the type of plane or ship used, capacity and more from thousands of service providers.

Fluent Cargo aims to democratize the planning and scheduling of the movements of international shipments and make the process as easy as planning a holiday.


The Fluent Cargo platform is now live at, and is accepting new registrations from the worldwide logistics industry — logistics service providers, and shipping professionals at businesses with both domestic and international shipments. 


Fluent Cargo is currently free of charge for users and will always have a free plan. Additional premium features are currently in development and will be rolled out in the coming months to create additional value for business and enterprise users beyond the free version’s capabilities.


The Fluent Cargo platform’s advanced technology sources gigabytes of data from a multitude of partners, incorporating live tracking information of every aircraft and ocean vessel updated frequently. 

Additionally, Fluent Cargo compiles schedule data from hundreds of airlines (passenger and cargo) and ocean carriers, via both aggregators and direct integrations. 

This extensive data, which encompasses city, airport, seaport, road network, and shipping lane information, is integrated into a “comprehensive digitized global shipping network.” 

Using proprietary algorithms, the platform rapidly parses this data to generate tailored search results for users based on their unique requirements. With a minimum input of origin and destination, users can further customize their search with preferences such as carriers, locations to avoid or route via, and even specific cargo requirements like size, volume, and type.

About Fluent Cargo

Fluent Cargo is an independent, mission-driven company with a vision to provide our clients with instant access to all of the information they need in order to better plan their shipments. We’re constantly thinking about schedules, port features, carrier information, port congestion, and other factors that influence shipment planning, be it on a plane, ship, or truck.

air freight

Air Freight Market Update

Many freight forwarders are showing a continued growth trajectory for air freight shipping. Perhaps it is a sign of the times, as shippers are continuing to use different strategies to work around persistent and significant supply chain disruption. To keep high-priority shipments moving, shippers have, at times, been choosing air over ocean in recent years.

However, overall demand for air freight dropped slightly in January this year, which may have shippers wondering – does this mean we may start to see demand and capacity levels regulate? Will air freight no longer be as necessary this year? The short answer is no, not anytime soon. In fact, demand for air freight is forecast to increase this year amidst significant capacity constraints and continued high depend for goods along with the need for inventory replenishment. While demand did drop early 2022, air freight will continue to be a key strategy for shippers.


For Many, A New and Necessary Strategy

A January 2022 C.H. Robinson customer research study confirmed that a significant number of shippers are using new strategies to manage through continued disruption, which has included a shift of more freight from ocean to air. Specifically, 52% leveraged new modes, ports, or trade lanes during the pandemic that they plan to continue using in 2022. And, over a quarter of shippers (28%) say that a top strategy was transporting freight by air that had previously been by ocean.

Interestingly, many have said shifting strategies has been a silver lining to the pandemic, with 44% of shippers reporting that one of the positive outcomes of the past year and a half is that they used new transportation strategies they hadn’t in the past, creating more choices for their business.

We continue to see interest from our customers in charter flights and ocean-to-air conversions, especially for moving high-priority freight such as we did for a customer moving emergency COVID-19 test kits when Omicron surged in January. Additionally, high tech and heavy industries such as automotive have leaned on air freight to help catch up with demand and mitigate high levels of disruption.

An Alternative to Ocean Port Congestion

Continued uncertainty in ocean shipping is likely to continue motivating ocean-to-air conversions. Port congestion is still causing significant delays, with vessels sitting at anchor for days waiting to berth. Global schedule reliability is at its lowest recorded level since 2011.

We’re advising shippers to consider the estimated average delays in vessel schedules (7-30 days depending on the port) and add them to the overall expected transit time to ensure proper planning to meet delivery schedules. In addition, long anchor times outside U.S. ports will cause vessels to be late on their return to Asia.

While the ongoing congestion at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, specifically, has resolved a bit in recent weeks, inventory is still backed up in transit from trans-Pacific routes. Additionally, trans-Pacific routes coming from China will continue to operate at a high level of variability due to stringent COVID-19 protocols, leaving shipments vulnerable to more delays.

In general, to help mitigate these issues, we’re advising shippers to move ocean freight two to three months in advance of normal timelines as opposed to the traditional 4-5 weeks. But, in cases where that isn’t possible, air freight can be a helpful alternative to keep shipments moving.

Latest Air Market Trends

As shippers consider air, it’s important to stay updated on trends that will affect capacity and pricing. While recovery times at airports remain elevated relative to pre-COVID-19 conditions, there are fewer extreme delays. However, throughout March and into Q2, global demand for air freight is expected to creep up and congestion will likely return.

Globally, the return of passenger flights has been slow and inconsistent. Surges in the COVID-19 Omicron variant continue, and markets with stricter policies are putting downward pressure on air capacity. That said, lowering of travel restrictions in some key markets may lead to capacity additions. It’s also important to consider using surface transportation when an outbreak arises, with past unforeseen shutdowns, C.H. Robinson has helped multiple companies shift their freight to another airport via truckload to keep their freight moving.

Tips for Next Steps

Overall, as shippers continue trying to navigate disruption and decide how best to move freight, here are some of the most impactful ways we’re seeing them find success:

-Seek creative solutions – Consider what different modes, trade lanes, or inland transportation strategies can keep shipments moving. It might be something new.

-Use information and technology – Find tools that provide timely market updates, visibility into shipments, and the predictability needed to know when to adjust.

-Closely communicate and collaborate with supply chain partners – Especially in this kind of market, it’s good to have a partner that can provide a range of options from global forwarding to surface transportation to customs and more. Working closely together, you and can better understand challenges coming from all sides be able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

To help stay updated on market trends and how they will impact capacity and pricing, check out the monthly updates on our Global Freight Market Insights page.

freight brokers

Three ways freight brokers can seize the endless opportunities in today’s market

If you’re a freight broker or prospective freight broker, you should be seeing green right now, recognizing a deep well of market opportunity not only in 2022, but looking out over the next 5-10 years, too. The supply and demand imbalance is abundantly evident, and shippers increasingly are leveraging brokerages and 3PLs to manage their freight and shifting away from working directly with motor carriers.

That means billions — likely hundreds of billions, even — of dollars in transportation spending moving toward freight brokerages in the coming years.

To illustrate this point: Just over the past two years, the amount of truckload freight in North America moved through brokerages has jumped from about 10-12% on average annually to nearly 20% last year. That trend is here to stay, along with continually climbing freight demand, meaning the percentage equates to more and more loads.

In early February, the White House’s port envoy, John Porcari, said he sees the current freight volumes as a floor for the coming years — not a ceiling. If he’s right, the brokerage market likely will become one of the fastest growing sectors of the entire U.S. economy.

However, haste makes waste, and now’s the time for freight brokerages and 3PLs to be positioning themselves to take on new customers, build their carrier base, and figure out how to scale their operations to meet this demand and capitalize on the sea of opportunities they’re adrift in.

Without the right digital tools, particularly a robust TMS platform that can scale with your operation, integrate with your shippers’ tools, and seamlessly find capacity across freight modes, brokers will be leaving ripe profits on the table for their competitors to scoop up.

From finding customers and retaining staff in a highly competitive landscape, to offering new services, expanding modes, and maintaining a network of truckers — the modern freight broker simply can’t and won’t survive with just a rates sheet, some Excel files, and a well-worn iPhone.

Here’s why:

Meeting the demands of the modern marketplace.

In today’s brokerage market, no two days are alike, and customer needs change by the minute. Also, with the brokerage market bulging, logistics providers need the ability to add new customers efficiently and cost effectively. Technology has long been viewed as optional, not compulsory, on those fronts.

That’s no longer the case.

To acquire, support, and onboard new customers, manual procedures simply no longer work. Bringing on new customers manually can bog down operations, and it skips vital support in today’s market — properly integrating systems with shipper customers and other third-parties, like motor carriers.

Also, to adequately serve customers and compete in today’s brokerage market — but especially tomorrow’s market — the ability to scale quickly, to find capacity at a reasonable price with some level of automation, and to search across freight modes to keep shippers’ freight moving, brokers need the right tools. Those that have them will serve their shippers and attract new customers. Those that don’t will erode their own ability to compete.

Attracting and retaining the right employees.

Every business in every industry is trying to navigate the pressing issue of finding, hiring, and keeping the right people so their business can run effectively and continue to serve customers.

It’s increasingly difficult to retain employees if you’re not giving them the right tools and technology to do their jobs. For those trying to retain talent with a cumbersome, outdated, ineffective tech stack, you’re creating pressure for your employees to leave and find an organization that invests in those areas.

Also, people want to feel the rewards of the job they do, and part of that is supporting customers in a way they feel is effective and that they’re happy with. All stakeholders benefit from providing the best support and service, especially your employees.

Making scalable technology core to brokerage.

The technology access issue that’s plagued medium-sized and small brokerages has mostly vanished. As has the time it takes to set up new platforms and integrate them into your current operations.

What took months of painful and frustrating setup now takes weeks, if not days. Also, the upfront cost of platforms has become accessible to brokerages of all sizes, as has their ongoing total cost of ownership.

Adopting platforms like modern transportation management systems is no longer just about return on investment or streamlining processes. It’s not simply part of your business — it’s now core to your business.

The dollar cost is obviously an important part of this equation. But thinking of technology and digital solutions as integral, and core components of your business, you reframe the cost as a revenue opportunity. You realize what it means for your business, your personnel, and your customers to be flexible and to grow, to build new revenue opportunities, and to remain a viable competitor in this booming market.

Paul Brady is the CEO of 3Gtms.


Traxens Raises 23M€ and Acquires NEXT4 To Become the World Leader of Shipping Container Tracking

TRAXENS, the leading smart-container service provider for
the global supply chain industry, announced today a new financing round of €23 million ($25+ million) from the company’s existing shareholders. The funds will be used to fuel Traxens’ international expansion starting with the acquisition of NEXT4, a fast-growing French supplier of removable and reusable shipping container trackers.

Traxens’ Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution is based on a breakthrough technology that enables access to the most comprehensive, precise and timely data for managing assets in transit anywhere in the world. In addition to tracking container geolocation, it detects shocks and monitors temperature and humidity, as well as the open-or-closed status of container doors.

The acquisition, confirmed today, will allow Traxens to streamline and merge NEXT4’s offering into its suite of solutions, providing customers with the best of both solutions — including shipments scheduling, collaborative risk management, and analysis reports. The newly consolidated company is now the market frontrunner in providing overseas cargo visibility and offers Traxens’ customers a technological edge in container tracking solutions.

“Integrating NEXT4 into our company dramatically increases our ability to serve the growing needs of our customers as they digitalize their business processes, while adding freight visibility, cargo security and goods integrity,” said Traxens CEO David Marchand.

Founded in Toulouse in 2018, NEXT4 provides trackers that can be attached to containers from point of origin to the final destination. This provides freight forwarders with a premium tracking solution and gives customers 24/7, real-time data on the status and location of their goods via sensors inside the containers.

Tens of thousands of NEXT4 trackers have been adopted by leading freight forwarders such as Bolloré Logistics and DB Schenker. Airlines have also approved the latest version of its trackers, a smaller and more versatile device, that allows them to be adapted to the needs of the air freight industry.

The €23 million round of financing follows a Series C funding round of approximately €20M ($22.7M) raised in 2019. This new acquisition will enable the consolidated French company to continue deploying its smart-containers worldwide, while building new relationships with major players in the supply chain, including companies focused on container leasing, insurance and
transport management systems.

As it moves into new markets in the U.S., South America and Asia, Traxens will also use the funding to further expand its portfolio of solutions to address the increasing needs of freight forwarders and beneficial cargo owners (BCO) for supply chain transparency.

“Joining the Traxens group enables us to market our innovative solution on an internationalNEXT4 will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Traxens with offices in Toulouse. In addition
to remaining as CEO of NEXT4, Rosemont will serve as Traxens’ chief marketing officer. scale and to jointly develop new products and solutions with their team,” said NEXT4 CEO and founder Cédric Rosemont. “Our highly complementary solutions will meet the current and future challenges of shippers and their logistics providers. This means NEXT4’s customers also can benefit from Traxens’ solutions, which are now being widely deployed by container owners.”

NEXT4 will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Traxens with offices in Toulouse. In addition to remaining as CEO of NEXT4, Rosemont will serve as Traxens’ chief marketing officer.

Both CEOs will be available for interviews about this strategic merger at the TPMTECH (Feb.24-25) and TPM22 (Feb. 27-March 2) trade shows in Long Beach, Calif.


Things to Do Before Starting Your Next Long-Haul Trucking Trip

As a long-haul trucker, you know the level of dedication and hard work needed to get the job done properly. You know what it means to spend most of your time on the road and travel long distances, often all through the night. Thus, you also know how important preparation and safety are.

Long-haul trucking trips won’t allow you to bring the comforts of your home with you, but at least you can make your trip easier and more convenient by preparing for it. If you prepare a day or two – or more – before your trip, you’ll feel safer staying on the road for hours without having to worry about the nearest emergency road assistance available.

Spending more time on the road than off it may also test your patience, self-sufficiency, and confidence. There will always be the possibility of road hazards and other obstacles, and if you are not prepared for such situations, you can put yourself in grave danger.

While patience, self-sufficiency, and confidence result from good training and years of experience in long-haul trucking, having a checklist that you can tap into to prepare for any trip is still vital.

What follows is a list of what you need to do or have before jumping into the driver’s seat for your next long-haul trucking adventure.

Checklist for Your Next Long-Haul Trucking Trip

1. Do you have your itinerary ready?

If you work for a company, they will probably provide you with your trip details. Nevertheless, having a list that you can check from time to time will help you map out your trip to avoid road hazards, know when and where to make a pit stop, and avoid stressful situations.

Using Google Maps is okay, but it’s always better (and safer) if you know the specifics of your trip (and route) before going out on the road. Planning is always a good option.

It will also help if you know how to use your truck’s GPS device.

2. Prepare your truck.

It is standard procedure to check your vehicle before any trip, and it’s even more important to do so when traveling long distances. Here is a list of what you need to do to prepare your long-haul truck for your next trip:

Ensure that there are no liquid leaks anywhere, specifically oil leaks, which can lead to serious problems if left unattended.

Make sure that your headlights are working perfectly well, as low visibility night drives can be dangerous for both and approaching vehicles.

Your brakes should be in 100% working condition; check it several times to ensure that it is not underperforming.

Check your truck’s tires, specifically the traction and treads. You wouldn’t want to drive a truck that’s difficult to navigate and control, right? If you’re driving in the wintertime, be sure to use the right tires.

Ensure that your truck’s driver’s seat is well-adjusted to your preferences. You must be able to conveniently reach the controls and pedals, among others. Comfort is essential in long-haul truck driving.

Your truck’s windshields and mirrors should be clean to ensure 100% visibility. Driving long distances with poor visibility will put you and oncoming vehicles in danger.

Lastly, make sure that you have a complete truck toolkit on board.

3. Prepare your basic needs.

Aside from preparing and protecting your truck, you should also prepare yourself. Here’s a list of the items that you will need:

-Comfortable clothes – include a jacket or anything to keep you warm in the cold months

-Warm gloves

-Wool cap for the winter season

-Blanket – an electric blanket if the weather is freezing

-Work gloves

-Sunglasses (polarized, if possible, to help prevent or limit headaches and eyestrain)

-Personal first aid kit (keep it updated and replace)

-Change of clothes

-Bathroom essentials, including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and shampoo, mouthwash, deodorant, and shaving cream & razor

-Comfortable, sensible, and sturdy footwear and socks – be sure to bring several pairs

-Emergency items such as heavy-duty or rechargeable flashlights, extra batteries, map, compass, and road atlas

-Truck essentials such as extra motor oil, windshield washer, and emergency triangles

-Medication or regular prescriptions (if it applies)

-A small or personal refrigerator where you can keep bottles of water and soda and food (such as leftovers)

-Easy to prepare and easy to eat food

You should be able to rest and sleep inside your truck as comfortably and safely as possible. Having enough sleep is essential if you want to stay active and alert throughout your trip – and stay away from accidents and similar problems.

4. Bring some entertainment.

If you have a portable TV, get it into your truck. If you like watching YouTube videos while relaxing, ensure that your mobile phone or tablet has an internet connection. Bring playing cards, books, magazines, or a camera if you consider them your sources of entertainment.

5. Familiarize and understand road signs

Since you will be traveling for hours and driving to different destinations, it is important to know and understand road signs. Knowing what the different road signs you encounter means is your key to staying safe throughout your trip. Make it a habit to check road signs, especially in unfamiliar territory.

Check out online sources if you want to verify your road signs knowledge.

Follow the suggestions and tips above if you want to ensure that your next long-haul trucking trip is safe, comfortable, productive, and memorable.

global trade

How to Prepare for Global Logistics in 2022

2021 was a difficult year in global logistics due to ongoing volatility. We worked alongside customers navigating the Suez Canal block, hurricanes and cyclones, port and terminal closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks, customs and trade changes, labor shortages and more.

I’ve been in the industry since 1997 and I have never seen this level of continual disruption across the entire supply chain for this length of time. However, with this year’s volatility, I was also given a front-row seat to a new level of hyper collaboration –  including individuals going out of their way to help each other, more strategy sessions between shippers and forwarders, and continually leaning into historical data and current market insights to find smarter solutions.

As we approach another potentially volatile year, I wanted to provide key strategies for global shippers to consider.

Seek creative solutions across the entire supply chain

At year-end, we typically see a jump in demand as shippers meet quarter-end quotas and prepare for the upcoming Lunar New Year, during which many factories in China shut down. However, in early 2022, shippers will also be juggling potential delays from the Winter Olympics which will be hosted in Beijing throughout February. All of this is amid a strained supply chain market, which will take time to ease.

As you prepare for 2022, consider what different modes, trade lanes, or inland transportation strategies you can implement in your supply chain. For example, while it may not be feasible to transport 100% of your freight via air, air freight continues to be the fastest way to replenish inventory, so prioritizing specific freight can help keep cargo moving. In fact, C.H. Robinson is running on average 15-17 air charters a week globally for customers looking to avoid the congested ocean ports, and we don’t expect that number to decrease at the start of the new year.

Additionally, as demand and rates will likely continue to stay elevated through the beginning of next year, less-than-container load (LCL) shipping is a strategy to consider. Typically, space for LCL shipments is easier to find especially in a constrained capacity market, since you are only looking for some container space versus an entire empty container. We also continue to see large cost savings with expedited LCL services compared to today’s airfreight environment.

Keep in mind, LCL shipments are not going to bypass congestion at the ports, so inland strategies need to be considered. Currently, many ocean carriers are looking to move more IPI (interior point intermodal) cargo versus focusing on port-to-port. We were able to help increase the flow of cargo inland for our customers by sending more 53-foot containers so cargo on the smaller 40-foot ocean containers can be efficiently consolidated in the larger ones and loaded onto trucks or trains to be taken to inland destinations more quickly. Overall, this increased our container capacity by 25% in Southern California.

As you can see, looking at only one portion of the supply chain or one mode can only get you so far. It’s important to consider all areas to keep your cargo moving.

Utilize data and technology

Although this past year has rendered a lot of unique situations and 2022 may do the same, historical data can still help us find solutions. Finding common trends and themes in your cyclical data can give you an information advantage to make smarter decisions for your supply chain.

Additionally, the right technology tools can give you the visibility and predictability you need to adjust. For example, with the ongoing port congestion and delays, C.H. Robinson enhanced the vessel routing and tracking features within our transportation management system, Navisphere®, to increase the efficiency and accuracy of port ETAs and automatically send updates if changes were discovered. This is important because ocean shipping is only one piece of the equation. Having visibility to changes in real-time gives our team and customers a chance to react and adjust other tactics down the road.

Look to global trade opportunities

While congestion and shortages continue across transportation modes, one area where you may find opportunities for savings is in your global trade strategy. Since each country’s trade policies are unique and can change, it’s important to have regular meetings with your trade advisor to break through the complexity of your total landed costs, including understanding your costs to import, identifying duty recovery possibilities, and reducing your duty exposure via trade agreements.

For example, our team has helped shippers identify thousands to millions of dollars in tariff refunds alone. If you import into the U.S., you can easily check for potential savings and refunds with our online Tariff Search Tool. And, if you’re sourcing from other countries, our team can create a customized sourcing report sharing potential cost savings or avoidance opportunities.

Final Thoughts

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the above options provide shippers with strategies to help mitigate delays and identify potential savings as we enter another potentially unpredictable year.

Shippers have had to become increasingly nimble and informed over the past year, and going into 2022 it’s critical to remain agile, be open to alternative solutions, and stay informed on the latest market insights.


6 Tips On How To Properly Manage Your Commercial Freight

Freight transportation is crucial to the success and growth of many businesses. In fact, it can be said that without it, many companies simply would not exist. But with all of the advantages freight has to offer, there are often many reasons why businesses fail to use this valuable resource. Here are some tips on properly managing your commercial freight business to attract more customers and increase your revenue.

The Role Of Freight In World Economies

Freight is the transportation of goods and materials from one location to another. It involves logistics, which is the management of products in a supply chain. Freight also includes customs and border crossings when items are exchanged between countries. Without freight, countries would not be able to trade with each other. However, the fact remains that even on a regional basis, freight is necessary to maintain a smooth economy and satisfy the ever-increasing demand of consumers. With the rapid expansion of online commerce over the past five years, freight has become increasingly important in all of its forms. So what are some things that you can do to ensure that you are getting your share of the business?

Maintain Your Vehicles Properly

The importance of keeping delivery vehicles in good condition cannot be understated. They are arguably one of your most significant initial expenses, and by neglecting their maintenance, you could end up with substantial repair bills and lost income due to immobile trucks. This will ensure the safety of the drivers and passengers, as well as the cargo. Furthermore, it will reduce the cost of your truck repairs and maintenance to an acceptable level. It’s a well-known fact that the best way to avoid problems is to confront them before they happen. This is true with vehicle maintenance, as well.

Utilizing a proactive approach can help you avoid expensive and time-consuming repairs that may be necessary after the damage has already been done. To that end, it could be worthwhile setting up a garage in your depot staffed with mechanics capable of performing the relevant repair as quickly as possible to ensure little downtime. A great option is to teach your drivers to perform basic checks before setting out in your vehicles. The training should be done with a combination of videos and demonstrations. Videos would show the driver how to check all required items, while demonstrations would show them what to look for and how to do it.

Hire The Best Drivers

In order to be successful in the freight business, you need to find and hire the best drivers. This is because they are the people that will get your goods from one place to another safely and on time while also complying with all state and federal regulations. One of the factors that you will need to consider when hiring a driver is their past driving history. When you do this, you can better understand how they may perform on your trucking routes. A driver who has experience on routes near yours is much more likely to succeed than one who has no experience in your area. Another critical factor is the amount of time they have been driving for companies like yours. In addition, veteran drivers are likely to be much more skilled than those new to the industry, but you can also expect to pay more.

Invest In Technology

Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to make the freight industry more efficient. It has allowed for the automation of many processes and will continue to do so in the future. Freight companies need to keep track of their inventories and customers’ orders. This means they need a comprehensive yet straightforward system. A freight management software can manage all the inventory and shipment data. It will be able to show companies where their inventory is and what quantity is needed for future orders. The customer-facing website can provide information about returned merchandise, shipping status, and tracking numbers. It will also handle the process for initiating exchanges or returns and providing downloadable packing slips and invoices.

Ensure You Are In Compliance With All Applicable Laws

Compliance with laws and regulations is one of the most critical factors when operating a freight business. It ensures that the business is not in violation of any safety, environmental, or other regulations. A freight company needs to be compliant with the law to maintain its license and stay in business. You should make a conscious effort to stay up to date with any changes in regulation that might occur.

Cover Your Business With The Right Insurance

One of the most important aspects of running a successful freight business is getting the right insurance. Without it, your business can suffer, and you may not recover from the financial repercussions. Your freight company needs to get insurance for its trucks that operate on public roads. You also need commercial automobile coverage for your business use of the truck’s cargo space and liability coverage for any problems that may arise. Plus, if you are shipping hazardous materials, you’ll need additional protection in case of an accident. It’s essential to get all levels of insurance because, without them, your company could be in serious trouble should accidents happen or something goes wrong while transporting cargo.

Manage Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is an essential factor when it comes to running a profitable fleet. Fuel efficiency can be decreased by driving too fast, using the wrong type of fuel, and driving with worn-out tires. Plus, if they are not adequately maintained, vehicles will lose their fuel efficiency. Most of this will ultimately come down to driver training and informing them of how you expect them to drive. Some other tips you can follow to decrease consumption include:

-Use a fuel management system

-If your drivers can save more, reward them

-Check the tachograph for speeding infractions

-Optimize routes to make them as efficient as possible

If you want to maximize your ROI, it is imperative that you know how to manage your commercial freight business properly. This can involve ensuring that your fleet is constantly maintained and that your drivers are fully trained, among other things.


Intradco Global and Chapman Freeborn Collaborate to Transport 18 Giraffes from South Africa to Brazil

Intradco Global and parent company, Chapman Freeborn, have worked together on a charter flight to transport 18 giraffes from O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Río de Janeiro Galeão Airport (GIG).

Averaging 4.3-5.7 meters when fully grown, the animals were transported whilst still young to ensure they had the legally required head clearance in the 2.95 meter-high crates, which were made of metal and plywood to make them both sturdy and leak-proof.

When animals are transported by air, it is of utmost importance that their safety and happiness are at the forefront of the operation. As such, Intradco Global and Chapman Freeborn ensured the giraffes’ speedy loading to reduce the time spent on the ground at the airport. Two attendants traveled with them during their 10-hour direct flight, one of whom was a breeder who has known the giraffes their whole lives, continually monitoring their well-being and providing them with fresh food and water as required.

After arriving in Rio de Janeiro, cranes were used to efficiently offload the 6 crates, each containing 3 giraffes, from the 747F aircraft. The animals then entered a mandatory 30-day quarantine, which they will finish on 11th December to then be transported to their new home.

Image: Chapman Freeborn

Alexander Kraynov from Intradco Global said, “This charter was in collaboration with the Chapman Freeborn South Africa team. Cargo Charter Manager, Gerhard Coetzee, was on the ground in Johannesburg communicating with the handling company and customs agents, and ensuring the loading went quickly and smoothly. Together we completed a successful operation that saw 18 exotic animals travel over 7,000 in safety and comfort.”

Intradco Global is the world’s leading equine, livestock and exotics transportation air charter specialist, with over 30 years of experience in providing the safest air charter logistics for animals of all shapes and sizes. Part of the Chapman Freeborn family, Intradco Global is a member of Avia Solutions Group, a leading global aerospace services group comprising more than 7,000 aviation professionals in almost 100 offices across the globe.

freight broker tai group

The Importance of Freight Broker Bonds for your Business

Opening a freight brokerage can be a great way to accelerate your earnings. Freight brokers play an important role within the transportation industry by connecting shippers with transportation companies for trucks required to deliver their goods. While some shippers have contracts with specific trucking carriers, others rely on freight brokers for added flexibility, greater speed of delivery, and lower costs.

Freight brokers are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations for licensing. There are a few different types of operating authority licenses that freight brokers need to operate within the US, depending on the type of cargo they broker. All of the different types of freight broker operating authority require brokers to meet certain requirements, including being bonded with a freight broker surety bond. Here is some information about freight broker bonds so that you can get started with your business and ensure that it successfully operates.

What Is a Freight Broker Surety Bond?

Also known as a BMC-84 bond, a freight broker surety bond is a type of guarantee issued by a surety company that the principal holder will perform the work as promised. It is not insurance since the principal broker is not protected from liability by the bond. Instead, a BMC-84 bond is required by the government before a broker can become licensed. It is meant to protect the companies that rely on the broker and contract with it for services and to ensure that the broker will comply with the applicable regulations and laws while operating.

If a freight broker fails to fulfill its contractual obligations, a claim can be filed against the bond. However, the surety company is not responsible for paying the claim. Instead, the freight broker must pay claims filed against its bond. The surety company only steps in when the freight broker fails to pay its claim. If a freight broker has unpaid claims, it could lose its surety and its ability to continue operating.

A broker that fails to pay a carrier what the carrier is owed might have a claim filed against its bond. The carrier’s claim will be in the amount the broker owes for the services the carrier provided for the shipper the broker connected the carrier to for the transportation of freight. An unpaid claim against the surety could result in the surety terminating the bond and the loss of the broker’s license. It can also make it more difficult for the broker to secure a new freight broker bond, forcing the broker out of business.

Why Are Freight Broker Bonds Necessary?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires brokers to secure operating authority licenses and to renew them annually to continue operating within the US. One of the requirements for securing and renewing an operating authority license is to secure and maintain a surety bond for freight brokers.

The governmental requirement for brokers to be bonded is meant to protect the companies that depend on them. This is why surety bonds for freight brokers protect the parties with which the brokers contract instead of the brokers themselves. If you do not secure and maintain a BMC-84 freight broker bond, you will not be able to operate your freight brokerage since you will not be able to secure or renew your operating authority.

Which Parties Are Involved in a Freight Broker Surety Bond?

The three parties that are involved in a freight broker bond include the following:

• Principal – The freight broker seeking the bond to secure or maintain its operating authority license

• Obligee – The governmental agency requiring the bond, which is the FMCSA

• Surety – The surety company issuing the surety bond

How a Freight Broker Bond Works

A freight broker must find a surety company to issue a bond so that the broker can secure an operating authority license from the FMCSA. The surety company will go through an underwriting process before agreeing to issue the bond. It will review the broker’s credit and financial history, ensure that the broker has sufficient working capital to cover the maximum bond amount and check its history for past problems.

The bond functions similarly to a person’s credit score. If a broker has a history of multiple claims or past unpaid claims, the surety company might deny the application for the BMC-84 bond. If it does agree to move forward with issuing the bond, the freight broker bond cost will be much higher than if the company had instead established a good operating record.

The principal must pay a percentage of the maximum bond amount upfront to secure the bond. This cost might range from 1% of the total bonded amount for freight brokers with good credit and reputations to 15% for those with poor credit or with marks on their records.

Freight broker bonds expire, but they can be renewed. Since a freight broker must also renew its operating authority annually with the FMCSA, it must maintain its surety bond and renew it if it is getting ready to expire. A surety company can also terminate a bond when the principal has unpaid claims and refuse to renew it.

While freight broker bonds are not insurance and do not protect your business, they are a necessary part of operating a freight brokerage in the US. You cannot secure or renew your operating authority to broker freight between shippers and carriers within the US without having a valid freight broker surety bond.

Since your history with your bond could potentially harm your business reputation and your ability to continue operating, it is critical for your company to establish a good record and to meet its obligations if any claims are filed against your surety. Establishing a good history by complying with the law and meeting your contractual obligations can help your business to be more successful.