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How can shippers can have more success on their freight bids?

Jarrod Marinello, Executive Vice President/Owner: First, decide how many providers to use, then reward business to each one of the providers. You may want to use some more than others, but use each at least five percent.

Don’t award the lanes based on the provider being the lowest cost. Instead, mix it up. This strategy allows the particular provider to average out on its margin, keeps the provider committed on lanes losing margin, counteracts any changes in market, and sustains from provider needing price increases. In return, shippers hold more leverage over their transportation providers, and build up loyalty and sustain locked in pricing year round.

We’re nearly halfway through the Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge, and we’re already seeing the results of our hard work.

The team in the lead at this point in the challenge is Weapons of Mass Reduction with  5,120 minutes of activity and a group weight loss of .55 percent. Each team member earned a pedometer for their efforts.

For individual tracking, Ralph Blank and Ashley Jankowski are tied for most weight lost at 1.7 percent, and Joe Kier has logged the most activity at 2,050 minutes.

Since 2002, Live Healthy Iowa has helped people lose weight and be more active through its 10 Week Wellness Challenge. This year, BAT Logistics decided to help the organization with its goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.

“We spend a lot of time taking care of others, taking care of business, taking care of things, and so often neglect taking care of ‘me,'” said Jankowski, BAT’s General Manager.  “This wellness challenge is encouraging our staff to do just that- take care of themselves.  If we can be the best and feel the best, we will give our best.”

Weapons of Mass Reduction

Weapons of Mass Reduction

 

Jon Ellsworth

Ellsworth

Jon Ellsworth is the BAT Logistics’ Top Dog for January! He was selected by his peers and management for his consistent hard work throughout the month.

Team members noted his efforts to give special attention to a customer over a weekend, as well as his initiative to handle issues.

“It’s an extreme honor to be given the award for the first time that it was handed out,” Ellsworth said. “But, this was just me doing my job and everyone in this company is solid. So, it could have been any of us that got it and I just happened to be lucky this time.”

His award included a $50 gift card. He has been working at BAT since January 2014.

 

16 jan top dog

On-Highway_Diesel_Fuel_Prices (1)This week, the average diesel price is $2.031 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. This is four cents less than a week ago, and 80 cents less than prices this week a year ago.

Regular gasoline prices have been below the $2 mark for a few weeks, and it looks like the average diesel price will be there very soon. In fact, the Lower Atlantic, Midwest, Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions are already seeing diesel prices below $2.

To read the full report, visit the EIA’s website.

At some point, you’ve probably been told to think outside the box. Well, a Boston company thought about reusing the box in an innovative way.

Freight Farms is turning shipping containers into mobile farms.

Learn more about the farms from KRQE’s report.

On Tuesday, we had about four inches of snow. While some may have had a fairly easy commute, it certainly was a mess for BAT Account Manager Katy Wilson:

katie-snowdriveThe city knew it was coming but the snow plows weren’t as prepared. In the morning, a commute that normally takes 20 minutes ended up taking an hour. On the way into work, I saw an SUV drive straight off the interstate into a ditch!

While at work, the snow started falling heavily. At one point, there was an alert that police officers would stop responding to accidents unless someone was critically injured.

At 4:30 p.m., it came time for me to leave. On the way home, the interstate was completely snow covered. You couldn’t even see the lanes, so people were just guessing on where to drive.

When I got off on Q Street, there was traffic backed up for a mile. I was stuck and couldn’t take another route home. An ambulance came up behind me and no one could move because we were packed like sardines! That is when I knew it was going to be a while.

When I finally got to the hill on 120th and Q , I saw the culprit of the delay. It was a Grand Prix facing the opposite direction of oncoming traffic. They had completely spun out.

Then a few feet down, a van had side-swiped a smaller vehicle and pushed it completely into the fence of someone’s back yard. People were getting stuck trying to go up the hill and it was a mess.

katie-snowdrive2

After passing four cop cars trying to block off the accident I was in the clear. I made it safely home at 5:50 p.m. which put my total commute at 1 hr and 20 minutes. I white knuckled it the whole way! Let’s just say it was an icy treacherous day in the life!

The President gave his State of the Union, and, yesterday, the secretary of transportation, Anthony Foxx, published his state of transportation. while it did not appear President Obama said much about transportation in his speech, Foxx showed where it fit in.

He said transportation has provided opportunities and innovation, and will continue to.

To read his full blog, visit Transportation.gov.

On-Highway_Diesel_Fuel_PricesAs the new year began, diesel prices continued the downward trend that started in November, but prices are no longer a dollar less than last year’s prices.

According to the Energy Information Administration, this week’s average price per gallon was $2.211, which is 2.4 cents less than last week’s prices and 92.6 cents less than last year’s prices this week.

For more information, visit the EIA’s website.

Last week, we had our Ugly Sweater Contest. We had some interesting entries, and some were even paired with headgear!

The sweaters were so awesome, we ended up with a tie! Rebecca McLean’s tinsel-embellished sweater and Vern Hayes’ bow tie included sweater were the winners.

15 ugly sweater

joedaMany of the quotes from the trailers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, speak to the fans about how we feel, or hope to feel about the movie. It’s calling to us.  It knows our eyes. Hope is not lost. We were raised to watch this movie. We are fulfilling our destiny.

There’s been an awakening of sharing Star Wars knowledge, or lack thereof. And, at BAT last week, there was even a discussion about whether it was too early to talk about Star Wars.

We still ended up discussing our favorite scenes and quotes from the previous trilogies. Joe Kier’s favorite part is the now controversial scene from A New Hope when, as he says, Greedo shoots first in the cantina.

Jon Ellsworth’s favorite part is the end of Empire Strikes Back, when the Millennium Falcon is flying off into space. His second favorite is when Yoda is training Luke, and these lines are said:

fear

Which, of course, since fear is on the path to the Darkside, lead into a discussion of whether or not Luke is evil.

While a few agreed with Jon’s selection, Anthony Harder took a somewhat unique position by selecting parts from the prequels as his favorite. He said he really loves Anakin’s transition from good to evil through Episodes II and III, and his favorite scene was when he murders all the Tusken Raiders in revenge for his mother’s kidnapping and death. Then, he said his favorite fight scene was when Obi Wan was fighting General Grevious.

Meanwhile, some recalled their favorite Star Wars moments from other movies. Steve Coenen liked a Pizza the Hut scene from Spaceballs. Mike Wadja liked when Batman steals the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive in The Lego Movie.

And then, there was Katy Wilson and Steve Barnes who had never seen a Star Wars movie.