Joel MacKay to moderate Delta Nu Alpha Transportation Network event on October 19th, 2017

Joel MacKay will moderate a Delta Nu Alpha Transportation Network Event on October 19th, 2017 dealing with Emerging Technology in Canadian Transportation Industry. To get more details on the event, click on the image below to download the event information PDF file.


No Freight Broker is an Island

Freight Broker IslandWe have recently added the groups and associations to our website so I thought it would be a great time to outline why we are part of these groups in this blog.

The non-transportation groups that we’re suppliers to and member of include; United Grocers Inc. (UGI), Independent Pool Group of Canada (IPG) and the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). These groups are all leaders in their field and we’re honoured to work with both them and the member companies. We find it is a great way to network and learn more the current trends in our customers’ industries.

Transportation Intermediaries Association

In the 3PL industry we are a member of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) .With over 1400 members the TIA is the largest association for Freight Brokers in North America. On their website the TIA explains they provide 3PL’s with the “resources, education, information, advocacy and connections to establish, maintain and expand ethical, profitable and growing businesses in service to their customers.”

I’ve been very impressed with this group so far especially with their code of ethics that all broker members must adhere to. I also like their thorough screening process. They made sure we had the required licenses/surety bond to broker loads and they also ran a credit check on Mactrans. I’m proud to say Mactrans is one of only 50 Canadian freight brokers that are part of the group. They are the most expensive of all the associations we belong to but I believe it’s worth the price because when a carrier sees that a broker is a TIA member they know they have passed all of their strict standards. They have amazing content on their website and I’m also looking forward to attending my first TIA conference in San Antonio in April 2016.

National Transportation Brokers Association

We have also recently become a member of the National Transportation Brokers Association (NTBA) The NTBA is similar to the TIA but with a Canadian focus. They have some of Canada’s oldest and well established freight brokerage companies as members and on their board. It’s great to hear that over the last couple of years the NTBA only started allowing brokers who have their MC # and carry a $75,000 surety bond to join the group. I’m only a couple months into this group and looking forward to learning more about the association.

Toronto Transportation Club

For a good time call the Toronto Transportation Club (TTC) This group is mostly social in nature and probably the best club for networking in the GTA. They are also one of the oldest in Canada dating back to 1913. They put on some very entertaining events including golf tournaments, skiing days and a night at the races. Their best event of the year is the annual dinner at the Royal York Hotel. It’s the one time of year you can relax and have a drink with some of your biggest competitors in the trucking industry.

Delta Nu Alpha

Last but not least is the Delta Nu Alpha (DNA) It is both an educational and social club and they put on intimate events once a month in Mississauga. I’ve got to give a shout out to their hard working board. Like the other non-profits listed above the board gives up so much of their time for their members. I’ve had the opportunity to take part in two of their panels. The first one was last year as a panelist on Power Brokers: the Next Generation and most recently as the moderator on a panel about Changes in Technology in the Canadian 3PL Industry.

These are just some of the associations in our industry. There are a number of other great ones like the OTA and TTA that a geared more for asset based trucking companies. If you are new to the industry or just looking to expand your network check out to one of these industry events or clubs. If it’s the TTC annual dinner make sure to get your ticket early. I waited too long and the tickets sold out quickly this year. I’ll get on it earlier next time.

Transportation Tips for Trade Show Exhibits

trade_shows_exhibitsYou’ve invested an important amount on an exhibit, your team has developed a major marketing campaign and you’ve spent thousands of dollars to secure floor space at an upcoming tradeshow. You are flying in with your team, and will incur important travelling expenditures. You get to the show, excited about the quality people you will meet over the next few days. Unfortunately, the delivery of your booth missed the receiving deadline at the marshalling yard.

Your floor space has a lovely carpet, which you also paid for, however your booth didn’t make it on time and the show must go on…

Exhibitors need to understand the vital role that logistics plays in getting their exhibit and events material to and from a tradeshow venue. We’ve listed a few general rules of thumb to help mitigate the risks involved in not delivering – or recovering – your exhibit material on time.

  • When time permits, ship early. Most carriers won’t charge storage to hold your freight locally until the move-in date. You can also ship to the advance warehouse for the show. This ensures you are on time for the move-in, however the show’s handling costs will be greater.
  • Use a transportation provider who is familiar with tradeshow deliveries and available to reach 24 /7. Ensure you communicate the marshalling yard location, your assigned check-in time and be prepared to pay for waiting time.
  • Include all pertinent information on the bill of lading: name of the show, booth number, exhibitor name, on-site contact, telephone number and any other important detail.
  • Attaching your business card to every item is a good safety measure to ensure any items that get separated from the shipment make it back to you after the show.
  • Label each shipping unit with as much information as possible, including the number of pieces.
  • Use a coloured stretch wrap to help your team locate the pallet(s) easily at the show’s receiving dock if need be.
  • Do not stack any crates or pallets in the delivery truck, you will otherwise incur additional handling fees to have the exhibit offloaded (more or less 25% greater)

Once the show is over, there are important guidelines to follow to avoid penalties and resulting costs for not getting your shipment recovered on time:

  • Before leaving the show, confirm outbound shipping arrangements with your carrier and the show’s service desk. As with the move-in, your carrier needs to know his assigned check-in time and the marshalling yard’s precise location where to proceed.
  • Affix new labels to each shipping detailing the outbound information. Remove old labels and attach copies of the return bill of lading to your shipment. Specify the name of your transportation provider as well as their 24/7 telephone number and contact name.
  • Once your shipment is packed and ready, turn in the bill of lading AND the material handling form (MHA) to the show’s general service contractor. The material handling form authorizes them to move the freight from your booth location to the designated carrier. Both of these forms need to be turned in to avoid your shipment being ‘forced’.
  • Ensure the name of your carrier is included in the designated area of the material handling form.
  • Confirm that all payment arrangements have been made with the show organizer. Your exhibit could otherwise not be released and loaded onto your carrier’s truck.

When a shipment remains on the show floor after the scheduled move out deadline, it gets forced. This means that your exhibit will be shipped from the tradeshow facility via the show’s designated carrier. Unless that carrier happens to be the one you booked for the return, you will be liable for exorbitant fees to recover your shipment once it has been forced. Understanding the importance of effective transportation to/from your next tradeshow will help you choose the right transportation provider. The day-to-day carrier you use to deliver  on-critical shipments may offer competitive pricing, however they may not have the knowledge and experience in tradeshow logistics you need to help you reach your tradeshow objectives. Whichever carrier you are planning to hire to transport your booth, ask for references from other satisfied clients who swear by them when it comes to events and tradeshow deliveries.