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JOC Guide to Trucking, August 2018

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August 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 19 2018 JOC Guide to Trucking # IMC Companies is the largest container drayage provider in the United States. With our national scope, regional expertise, and 36 years of experience, we're uniquely equipped to scale logistics solutions to your needs. So if you're ready for a partner that will put you first, visit us at FIRST IN MARINE DRAYAGE grew and thrived for four decades under economic regulation, and then adapted to deregulation. Like the Wards, many current or former executives at the event had roots in the industry going back to the 1930s and even earlier, and several companies were repre- sented by father-and-son teams: Earl E. and of the truck," said Bill G. Ward, former CEO of Ward Transport, founded by his father William W. Ward in 1931. His son, the current CEO, Bill T. Ward, was also in attendance, as was Bill Ward Jr., director of process improvement. "We still have the fi rst customer we ever had." Keeping those customers close as e-commerce reshapes transportation will be the key to success for that next generation of LTL carriers and leaders. "One challenge is fi nding drivers, and the other is managing costs," said Jindel, who organized the event, which was funded by Chuck Hammel, CEO and president of Pitt Ohio Group, a Pittsburgh-based carrier. In particular, LTL carriers in general need to make a leap to the next stage of the digital age, which means dragging some reluctant customers with them, Jindel said. In an era when goods can be ordered through Amazon's Alexa and other devices using voice commands, many shippers are still using fax machines to send handwritten bills of lading to carriers. "In LTL, 30 percent of shipments are tendered electronically, while in parcel, that number is 98 percent," Jindel said. "The LTL carriers should set a target of say 50 to 60 percent electronic bills of lading in three years," he said. "That's not too lofty a goal, and it will bring huge improvements. The carriers need to get shippers to help them leverage technology." Many LTL carriers that do business with shippers electronically use electronic data interchange (EDI), receiving bills of lading and other documents in batches. The time constraints of e-commerce mean even those carriers and their shippers need to upgrade to more advanced EDI systems or real-time application program- ming interface software apps. The Amazon era may reshape LTL trucking, but it won't be the fi rst time the industry has reinvented itself. The busi- ness's roots go back to the 1920s, when plucky trucking operators took what had been less-than-carload business away from the railroads and made it LTL. They David Congdon of Old Dominion Freight Line, W.T. and Tobin Cassels of Southeast- ern Freight Lines, Mack and Reid Dove at AAA Cooper Transport. They weren't there just to relive past glories, however. The current LTL freight market is becoming a legend in its own right. "This market is unprecedented," said "This is a year-round Christmas, and it's going to last two or three years."

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