Category Archives: driver benefits

Port delays driving dray drivers away, RoadOne says

Port delays driving dray drivers away, RoadOne says
William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Oct 13, 2014 JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

The shortage of truck drivers on U.S. highways is affecting drayage operations at port terminals and inland railheads, too. Frustrated by port congestion and chassis shortages, drayage drivers increasingly are looking for other jobs both in and out of trucking.

That “outward migration” of drayage drivers and trucks threatens to slow shipper supply chains to a crawl as container chassis shortages, port congestion and drayage delay times get worse, Ken Kellaway, president and CEO of RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, told JOC.com.

“So many significant changes in the intermodal supply chain have negatively impacted freight flow that the owner – operators and drivers are taking a hit,” said Kellaway, whose company is one of the largest international and domestic intermodal container haulers in the U.S.

With more than 1,000 drayage drivers operating from 40 U.S. locations, RoadOne is struggling with a rising driver turnover rate. The No. 1 reason drivers cite for leaving drayage, Kellaway said, is frustration with waiting times at rail ramps and at ports.

“It’s getting to the point where we could have a backlash,” he said. “The global supply chain is a $7 trillion sector, but it depends on the $10 billion drayage sector in the U.S. If we can’t get the freight from the ports to distribution centers, the entire model starts to collapse.”

For a glimpse of just such a catastrophe, look no further than the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, he said. The largest U.S. port complex is reeling from terminal congestion caused by strong cargo volumes, a severe chassis shortage and poor intermodal rail service.

The neighboring ports have struggled with chassis shortages, rail service delays and unusually long truck turn times for much of the year. In the early fourth quarter, the congestion continues to get worse, and port officials largely blame chassis “dislocations.”

“The root cause is chassis,” Jon Slangerup, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, told JOC.com last week. That complaint is echoed at ports across the U.S. Where shipping lines no longer provide chassis, locating chassis has become time-consuming and chaotic.

“The whole chassis conundrum has put extensive pressure on the drayage community,” Kellaway said. “The chassis pool has been put off-site, and that requires additional moves and waiting time. We’ve got to go get the chassis, wherever it’s located, and bring it back.”

That’s like going to a supermarket and being told you have to go to another store to get a shopping cart, Kellaway said. And offering chassis in separate, non-swappable pools is like being required to get one cart for the produce section, and another for the deli, he said.

Two major chassis-leasing companies, DLCI and TRAC Intermodal- will add 3,000 chassis over the next few weeks at the Port of Long Beach as part of a short-term relief effort. But in the long run, the ports need a “gray” pool of interchangeable chassis, Kellaway said. “It needs to become one gray pool so whatever chassis we grab, we can use it,” he said. In addition, Los Angeles and
Long Beach “have to figure out what to do with these larger vessels coming in, and they’ve got to a get a labor agreement finished” with longshore workers.

Kellaway also says port terminals need to get better at moving drivers, and containers, through their gates. “A lot of terminals, whether they’re going through a technology change, are low on staffing, or are handling larger vessels, they’ve got longer wait times,” he said.

The shift from picking up pre-mounted containers on chassis at port terminals to “live lift” operations once an unloaded chassis from a pool arrives at the terminal adds hours to the time it takes to get a container from a port to a customer and return the chassis, he said.

“The result is fewer turn times per drivers, which means a dramatic reduction in revenue for the drivers, and no one wants to step up and take responsibility for that,” Kellaway said.

“There are multiple stakeholders, and we all need to take responsibility for the parts we affect.”

Some terminals only measure drayage driver wait times from their gates, which is like “a coffee shop saying there’s no line before you arrive at the register,” he said. If a driver can’t get through the entire process in two hours, “then he should get delay time,” he said.

“Trucker dissatisfaction with marine terminals is not a local phenomenon,” Bruce of the PierPass extended-gates program at Los Angeles-Long Beach, said during a drayage panel at the JOC’s 2014 TPM Conference in March. “It’s a symptom of the real problem, which is the traditional delivery process most terminals have in place today.”

Transportation consultant Tioga Group estimates that drayage delays add $348 million a year in unnecessary costs to the supply chain including 15 million hours of lost work time and 9 million gallons of diesel fuel. Unfortunately, progress toward a better process is slow.

At the end of the day, “Somebody has to pay the drivers,” Kellaway said. “We need to get these guys justly compensated so they can make a decent living. At least we have to make it more attractive for those who are interest ed in being in the blue collar sector.”

Otherwise, those owner-operators hauling containers will take their trucks and go to the energy business, or over -the-road trucking companies that desperately need drivers.

New England Motor Freight, a regional less-than-truckload carrier with waterfront headquarters at the Port of Elizabeth, New Jersey, gets plenty of “walk-in” driver applicants from drayage operations, President Tom Connery said in an interview. “We have no problem recruiting in places like Elizabeth where there’s a lot of heavy truck traffic,” he said.

Those truck drivers can get LTL delivery or line-haul jobs where they’ll be home every day, or truckload jobs or even drayage jobs at NEMF, which has its own fleet of chassis.

In the past 10 years, port drayage has grown from a negligible business for NEMF to represent 8 to 10 percent of the company’s revenue, Connery said. “There were such delays in getting chassis that we bought our own, and that’s worked out very well,” he said.

 

RoadOne Driver Appreciation Event Fosters Driver Community Entrepreneurship and Strengthens RoadOne’s Driver Network

$15,000 Grand Prize Announced — 1 Full Year of Truck Payments

RANDOLPH, MA–(Marketwired – Oct 6, 2014) – RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, a leading single source intermodal, distribution, and logistics services company, announces today that Idilio Tavares is the winner of its $15,000 grand prize, one full year of truck payments. During National Driver Appreciation Week, September 15-19, RoadOne held a two day Driver Appreciation Open House at its headquarters in Randolph, Massachusetts. The aim of this event was to show gratitude to its drivers for their hard work and dedication, expand RoadOne’s driver team and promote owner-operator incentive programs to help drivers start their own business.

RoadOne guarantees tractor financing for its drivers with 3rd party leasing company, ENG Financial Leasing, who provides financial support. Drivers are not required to have credit or a down payment. In addition, Massport attended the Open House to help drivers apply for a $25,000 Green Truck Grant which is directly applied to their vehicle purchase.

The Open House was immensely successful for attracting drivers from the northeast. The event resulted in 13 new RoadOne owner-operator drivers signing up. Through an ongoing commitment to driver incentive programs, RoadOne will expand its driver network to meet intermodal trucking demand. Additional driver recruitment events will be held throughout the U.S. in the coming year.

“Today, it’s critically important to provide the support necessary to recruit and retain intermodal drivers. RoadOne strongly believes in assisting owner-operators in their goal of establishing sole proprietorship businesses,” said David McLaughlin, RoadOne’s COO.

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics’ 2-day Open House welcomed drivers with a BBQ lunch and an array prizes including: Gas grills, truck tires, $100 gift card, air hoses and the grand prize of 1 year of free truck payments.

Video explaining RoadOne IntermodaLogistics’ Owner-Operator Perk Program.

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, based in Boston, was launched January 2013 by industry veterans Ken Kellaway and David McLaughlin. The Kellaway-McLaughlin leadership team was established in 1993 when they joined forces to run Kellaway Intermodal & Distribution Systems.

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics

RoadOne delivers comprehensive single source logistics solutions to customers by providing high quality, reliable port and rail container drayage, terminal operations, dedicated truckload solutions, transloading, warehousing and distribution solutions nationwide. RoadOne operates in over 40 locations with 1,000 drayage tractors throughout key intermodal locations across North America.

RoadOne is committed to serving the changing logistics and transportation service needs of customers throughout North America. This vision of consistently offering diversified service offerings means that RoadOne will grow and innovate to help customers meet not only their business requirements but also increase the satisfaction of their customers. For additional information: www.roadone.com

RoadOne Establishes Lease to Buy Program for its Owner-Operator Drivers

RoadOne Establishes Lease to Buy Program for its Owner-Operator Drivers

Supports driver community entrepreneurship, introduces environmentally friendly equipment, and strengthens its driver network –

Randolph, Massachusetts, January 21, 2014 – RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, a leading single source intermodal, distribution, and logistics services company, announces today a new initiative with GreenFleet Ventures that allows RoadOne’s owner-operators in North America to lease 2010 and newer vehicles, and more environmentally friendly tractors to help them establish and maintain their own businesses. This program commenced October 1st with RoadOne making a total of 20 tractors available to its owner-operators. Financing is guaranteed by RoadOne through the GreenFleet program.
RoadOne is committed to programs that provide ongoing support of its driver community. In 2013, RoadOne worked with Massport to set-up grants for drivers to help them purchase new tractors. This is just one example of how RoadOne is helping drivers improve their equipment quality.
“We are pleased to work closely with our RoadOne owner-operators to assist them in acquiring more modern tractors with lower carbon footprints, and support their sole proprietorship business. Over the next 3 years, we will expand our capacity by an additional 400 tractors for this leasing initiative,” said David McLaughlin, RoadOne’s COO.

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics, based in Boston, was launched January 2013 by industry veterans Ken Kellaway and David McLaughlin. The Kellaway – McLaughlin leadership team was established in 1993 when they joined forces to run Kellaway Intermodal & Distribution Systems. This strong management partnership continues today with the recent launch of RoadOne IntermodaLogistics.

RoadOne IntermodaLogistics

RoadOne delivers comprehensive single source logistics solutions to customers by providing high quality, reliable port and rail container drayage, terminal operations, dedicated truckload solutions, transloading, warehousing and distribution solutions nationwide. RoadOne operates in over 40 locations with 1,000 drayage tractors throughout key intermodal locations across North America.
RoadOne is committed to serving the changing logistics and transportation service needs of customers throughout North America. This vision of consistently offering diversified service offerings means that RoadOne will grow and innovate to help customers meet not only their business requirements but also increase the satisfaction of their customers. www.roadone.com