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Marketing…Marketing…Marketing – some pointers on data privacy

A couple of days ago we were shocked to receive notice of a pending lawsuit against TFS for sending out an unsolicited text message to a transport company promoting some of our services on www.TFSMall.com.  The number we had texted information too was listed as a business number with the FMCSA and so was available in the public domain for use by other businesses wanting to contact them.  When you sign up with the FMCSA, you sign a document called an OP1 that says that you accept that your phone number will be distributed to other organizations for them to contact you via either calls, email, or text.

Image result for data privacy

We have and will always be proud of our level of transparency that we have with both our clients, potential clients, vendors and business partners when it comes to information we utilize for in-house marketing and also what we post on our websites.  We have all the relevant disclaimers on our websites and email communications; we want you all to learn and benefit from all of our experiences.

  1. Never use your personal cellphone number for business.  You will be amazed at how many different locations your number will start appearing online and how many calls and texts you will receive.  If you are on a tight budget as a new business, there are a variety of cost effective options available to you.  Google Voice for example, will set you up with a free telephone number that will forward to your cell number.  You can even use their app to dial out from that free number, via your cellphone service.  There is no cost associated with a google voice phone number.  If you need help setting this up our team would be happy to help.
  2. If you are going to be emailing or texting potential business partners, always include in your signature an option to “unsubscribe”.  All email software has an option for setting up a signature, so you can include an unsubscribe option there so that you do not have to keep on typing it in.   Again our team can help you with this if needed.
  3. When sending out emails or texts to a large number of recipients use software that is designed to do the job.   www.constantcontact.com and www.mailchimp.com are examples of email marketing software.  www.skipio.com and www.eztexting.com are examples of text marketing software.  FYI there may be costs associated with using these applications so make sure you do  your due diligence.  If you need help please let us know.

When it comes to the crunch, as a business owner, there are always things that will come along that you will have to deal with  that you were not expecting.  Take them in your stride, take a deep breath and be sure to always work with credible, well organized companies, and build a team that you can trust and rely on!

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The Rights of Factoring Companies to Brokered Receivables

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FMCSA Eyes Young Drivers with Military Experience

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Protect your Brokerage, Shippers & Industry

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Amazon Jumps Into Freight Brokerage

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/amazon-jumps-freight-brokerage

Jim Stinson | Staff ReporterMay 16, 2019 9:30 AM, EDT

Amazon Jumps Into Freight Brokerage

Amazon

An Amazon package in a mailbox. (John Zeedick/Associated Press)

Amazon.com has jumped into the market of the third-party logistics broker, roiling the waters and raising concern that the Seattle-based e-commerce giant could disrupt the freight industry forever and indelibly.

Amazon’s new freight-hauling site — located at freight.Amazon.com — has been up and running since August 2018, but it went largely unnoticed by media until early May, when The Wall Street Journal and others reported on Amazon’s entry into the market. Reports noted Amazon was offering “beta service” full truckload hauling in dry vans. The service is available for pickups in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Amazon has been brokering freight since 2016, according to Amazon spokesperson Rena Lunak, and the freight site, which offers spot rates, finally went up last summer.

Lunak told Transport Topics that in the flurry of reporting earlier in May, some outlets compared Amazon’s spot rates with contractual rates, which she said was not “apples to apples.”

IS AMAZON A LOGISTICS COMPANY? Why it doesn’t appear in our Top 50 rankings

Amazon officials bristled at the suggestion that the retail giant was using its might to muscle into freight markets and offer discounted rates to grab market share.

“We work with many linehaul service providers in our transportation network and have long utilized them to carry loads for Amazon,” Lunak said in an e-mail statement to TT. “This service, intended to better utilize our freight network, has been around in various forms for quite some time. The analysis suggesting dramatic undercutting of pricing is false.”

As for Amazon’s entry into brokerage, it likely is part of a plan to better execute delivery, say business observers. And by providing logistics, Amazon can lower its shipping costs, one top analyst said.

“It’s all about concentrating buying power,” Armstrong & Associates President Evan Armstrong told TT. “By offering services to shippers, they will increase their purchased transportation spend with providers and be able to garner more trucking capacity at better rates.”

Evan Armstrong

To other analysts, it is part of Amazon’s modus operandi: It’s not personal with freight, it’s just another service Amazon learned along the way. And when Amazon learns something, it begins to sell it. It’s a play Amazon has executed before, said Jeremy Bowman, a writer and analyst with The Motley Fool.

“I think with logistics/freight, they’re following a similar playbook to what they did with Amazon Web Services, fulfillment and other businesses that have become highly profitable for them: Develop a new business/infrastructure to serve the needs of its own massive e-commerce business and from there, once it’s ironed out the kinks, begin selling to whoever’s interested,” Bowman said in an e-mail to TT.

The comparison of Amazon Freight with Amazon Web Services is made often. Amazon started AWS in 2002 to accommodate Amazon’s web business. Eventually, the cloud-computing service was offered outside of house, to other businesses. At the end of 2018, AWS made $25.7 billion in revenue, earning $7.3 billion in net income, according to Amazon’s 2018 financial filings. The company also boasted of new businesses AWS attracted in 2018, with Korean Air and Santander’s Openbank going “all in” with AWS for cloud-computing.

Thus, one analyst wrote it is not that surprising that Amazon now offers freight hauling.

“Twenty years in, Amazon’s modus operandi is clear,” Freightos CEO Zvi Schreiber wrote on his blog. “They build internal tools and then offer them as a service, just like Amazon warehouses were first used for their inventory and then opened up for fulfillment by Amazon [FBA] sellers, trucking will go the same way.”

Amazon

Schreiber wrote that “[Amazon’s] snowball of success has relied on expanding from one market to the next, leveraging market dominance to penetrate new markets.”

Schreiber later told TT that with 60% of American households signed up for Amazon Prime memberships, “I think they have an unfair advantage that needs to be watched carefully.”

Amazon does things very well, and it wants to control the whole supply chain, from China to the ports to fulfillment centers to home delivery, Schreiber said. And to make money along the entire route, he added.

Bowman told TT that Amazon’s motives may be in-house before they are related to seeing market opportunity in freight, much like AWS. Bowman said past problems with insufficient capacity and speed during holidays likely has led Amazon to want to handle as much in-house freight and delivery as it can.

Amazon

“And it doesn’t hurt that logistics is a huge industry/opportunity,” Bowman said.

Amazon’s new final-mile standard of one-day delivery means every season is like Christmas, and that means Amazon has to examine its own logistics better.

“To me, with their recent announcement of one-day delivery for Prime members, the company very clearly envisions a huge ramping up in its own need and demand for delivery,” Bowman said. “In order to make sure that goes right, they want to handle as much of it as possible themselves and build that logistics business from there.”

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Supplemental Comments – Agency ANRPM for RIN 2126-AC10

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Women in Transportation

This is a topic that the team at TFS is reviewing and researching. We hope to have some recorded interviews and/or podcasts soon. If you are a women and work in the industry, please contact us…we want to hear from you!

https://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/more-women-getting-behind-the-wheel-for-trucking-jobs

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TFS on BBB.org – People are looking at our profile there!

The Better Business Bureau is a great organization and has help Transport Financial Services, LLC to grow and support the transportation and logistics industry and the professionals that work in it.

The industry is on the up and up, and you can see by the amount of people that visit our profile on the BBB page. Here is a link to our dashboard that shows the amount of visitors to our profile year on year and a link to our profile.

https://nwfl.app.bbb.org/ab-dashboard/141/3009506/90020678

https://www.bbb.org/us/fl/pensacola/profile/transportation-consultants/transport-financial-services-llc-0683-90020678

Use the link above to check out our A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau!

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FMCSA reminds truckers drug, alcohol clearinghouse coming soon

https://www.thetrucker.com/fmcsa-reminds-truckers-drug-alcohol-clearinghouse-coming-soon/

The clearinghouse will be a professional truck driver database that will serve as a centralized record of all failed drug or alcohol tests, whether from pre-employment screenings, post-crash tests or random. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

Remember two years ago, when it seemed like the entire trucking industry was counting down the days to the ELD deadline?

Well, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants drivers to be aware of another countdown happening right now, although with much less hoopla than the Great ELD Panic of ’17.

At the recent Mid-America Trucking Show, Joe DeLorenzo, FMCSA director of enforcement and compliance, gave a presentation to raise awareness about the soon-to-be launched federal CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

Mandated as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21, in 2012, the same piece of legislation that bore the ELD mandate, the drug and alcohol clearinghouse is scheduled to launch January 6, 2020.

The clearinghouse will be a professional truck driver database that will serve as a centralized record of all failed drug or alcohol tests, whether from pre-employment screenings, post-crash tests or random. All refusals to take a drug or alcohol test will also be recorded.

“I came here with a bit of a mission on the drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule,” DeLorenzo said to the MATS audience. It has come to the agency’s attention the clearinghouse has been flying under the radar, a bit, and not enough drivers seem to know about it or they haven’t gotten a full explanation of what the clearinghouse will contain and what it will be used for.

DeLorenzo said drivers have said to him, “Well, I don’t do drugs, so I don’t have to worry about this.”

“Actually, that’s not the case,” DeLorenzo said. “Everybody needs to know about this and get going on it.”

Starting in January, carriers will be required to query the database as part of the new-driver hiring process to ensure that the candidate does not have any failed tests or refusals in the previous three years. Carriers can only gain access to a driver’s record and make the mandatory query with the consent of the driver, and the only way a driver can give that consent is to be registered in the clearinghouse.

So, technically, drivers are not going to be required to register in the clearinghouse, DeLorenzo said. However, if you ever want to get hired anywhere again you’ll have to be registered in the clearinghouse.

“If you’re just kind of staying where you’re at, no intention of leaving, or if you are working for yourself, or if you are nearing retirement, you may decide not to register,” he said. “But in an industry with 100%-plus turnover, I know people are always looking for a new job, a different job, a better job. Any driver who’s going to apply for a new job after this rule goes into effect is going to have to have an account and is going to have to be able to go in.”

DeLorenzo explained why the clearinghouse has been set up this way. Today, when someone applies for a job, they get tested as part of the process. They fail the test and the carrier doesn’t hire them. Three months later, they stay clean just long enough, the apply somewhere else and that company hires them, not knowing about the prior failure.

Starting January 6, carriers will be required to upload notices into the clearinghouse of all failed drug tests by drivers and driving applicants, as well as all refusals to test, as they occur.

The database is designed to go back three years. At first, employers will have to conduct both electronic queries within the clearinghouse and manual inquiries with previous employers to cover the preceding three years to meet the mandated hiring requirement. As of January 6, 2023, they will only need to check the clearinghouse.

Drivers’ records will only contain positive tests and refusals. When a prospective employer makes a query, they will be told if the record is clean. If there are entries, they will be able to get more details.

If a driver has a failed test, the database will also record whether that driver has completed the return-to-duty process.

Drivers will also be able to review their own records, DeLorenzo said, which is another incentive to register. If a driver finds an entry they wish to dispute, they can file a DataQ request to have it corrected.

The clearinghouse website is already up and running. Drivers can go to Clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov to read about the clearinghouse and to register their email addresses for any updates. Actual registration is scheduled to begin in October.

DeLorenzo said he is hoping to raise more awareness about the clearinghouse now so they start registering in October instead of finding out the hard way come February when they try to apply for a job.

“What I’m trying to avoid, actually, is human nature, which is to wait until the very last minute.”

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ANPRM Submission

Subject: Comment- Agency ANPRM for RIN 2126-AC10 Broker and Freight Forwarder Financial Responsibility

Download document here or visit the downloads page in the TFS Transportation Directory https://www.tfsmall.com/tfsdownloads/

https://www.tfsmall.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/AMPRM-Submissions.pdf


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