CHARLESTON / TLC EVENT I’d like to give a shout out to the Transportation & Logistics Council. Their Annual Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, March 18-21 was great.

The 44th edition held up its reputation as a compelling learning forum. It covered a broad range of both practical and technical aspects of freight safety and risk management.

I really enjoyed reconnecting with Bob Voltman, President and CEO at Transportation Intermediaries Association. Bob is a tireless advocate and educator for freight intermediaries in the D.C. swamp.

Overall, the conference attracts attendees that include skilled transportation attorneys, insurance executives, underwriters, adjusters, freight security specialists, including law enforcement officials, freight brokers, and motor carriers.

Sound boring? Mix in the procurement teams from dozens of diverse buyers and sellers of freight, and it will keep you going all day. Along with myself, AAGEX was represented by James Bagwell, our senior vice-president sales.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that it was in the beautiful city of Charleston. Here are a couple of highlights from the conference:

Overreaching (contract) terms can sink your ship.”

  • It is clear that the experts, mostly attorneys and insurance adjusters, place significant importance on what the transportation and/or insurance contracts actually say regarding a loss event.
    • My take is contract matter and reasonable contract terms allocating appropriate risks should be the goal. Overreaching terms can sink your ship.
  • SensiGuard’s Supply Chain Intelligence Center reports that recorded cargo thefts in the U.S. dropped 15% in 2017 versus 2016.
    • I think the statistic makes sense. Freight distribution has become more regionalized, meaning the carrier is in possession of the freight for shorter periods of time and distance.
  • The Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 and the FDA Food Modernization Act of 2011 are well intended, but carry potentially onerous compliance burdens for brokers.
    • I believe carriers need to step up their game and increase training for their drivers and quality of equipment. Or we’re all in trouble.

CHOPPER / BRAMLETT – How many of you saw my motorcycle picture last week?

We re-posted the 2016 pic in honor of our own Jon Bramlett, vice-president of operations. The chopper actually belongs to him, an avid rider.

My picture represents the only safe way I know how to ride. A couple of weeks ago, Jon laid the chopper down on A1A headed to bike week in Daytona.

Thank God Jon’s injuries were not life-threatening. Big Jon has vowed to get back on and ride again – after his broken leg and ribs heal. In case you missed it, here it is again:

 

RESULTS MATTER – We started AAGEX in mid-2016 with ambitious goals.

As some of you know from your own experiences, starting a new business is a tough climb. It’s even tougher doing it in the highly competitive U.S. freight transportation and logistics markets.

We finished 2017 up 167% over our start-up year. For 2018, our preliminary first-quarter results are up 102% versus last year.  

AAGEX is definitely headed in the right direction as we move forward in our second full year.

Here’s how we’re doing it:

  • We transitioned to a new cloud-based TMS application and development partner.
  • AAGEX refinanced our capital structure, adding financial depth to ensure access to future needs.
  • We added strong sales and operations specialists to our network, representing truckload, less than truckload, expedited, dedicated, and managed yard services.

We expect 2018 to be a solid growth story at AAGEX and hope you see the same for your business, whatever segment it may be. If you’d like to learn more about our company, please contact us with your questions and comments. 

NETWORKING – I don’t know about you, but networking is a tough forum. I’m just not very good at it. Its fight or flight for me.

On March 29, I fought the good fight. I attended the TCJax Membership Drive event at TopGolf in Jacksonville. Pretty good turn out.

It’s always good to see a few familiar faces, like Linda Carrion from Jax Global Cargo, Bill Dorazio from Grimes Companies and Lisa Diaz from JaxPort, while meeting new people. As for the golf itself, I finished dead last in the one game I played, oh well, there’s always next time.

THE CROSSBAR AWARD GOES TO… Wait a second, “the crossbar award?”

AAGEX will announce its first crossbar award recipient for 2018 in June. The AAGEX crossbar award is given to the individual who has best exemplified a commitment to the AAGEX team and brand by his or her performance.

In our business model, corporate priorities and network priorities will occasionally send cross signals, forgetting that we’re all on the same team.

The crossbar of the letter “A“ ensures upright stability and strength. The recipient of this recognition will have demonstrated a deep understanding of service excellence and a team mentality.

Mike Williams, President

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