Integrity Express Logistics is proud to be named in the top 25 of Greater Cincinnati’s Top Private Companies. Based on the previous year’s revenue, Cincinnati Business Courier releases an annual ranking of 150 companies.
In just one year, IEL moved up 11 spots, from #33 to #22. Many unexpected challenges were thrown our way in 2020. The demand for goods was at an all-time high and with the perseverance of our employees, customers, and carriers, we were able to exceed all of the industry needs with excellence!
As IEL continues its steady growth, our path to success can be attributed by our core values – Integrity, High Performance, Passion for Excellence, Sharing Ideas, and Team Effectiveness.
Embrace the grind with us: apply today!
Andrew J. Tobias | Cleveland.com July 12, 2021 1:30 PM, EDT
No EZPass? State Hopes to Bill You by Mail
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Turnpike is looking for new legal power to bill freeloading drivers as it prepares to institute no-stop, electronic toll lanes as part of a modernization plan it hopes will speed up traffic across the state.
Senate Bill 162 would allow the turnpike to issue first- and second-notice bills to drivers who drive through the planned “open road” gateless lanes without the electronic EZPass radio transponder used to automatically pay electronic tolls. Turnpike officials plan to open the new lanes, some of which drivers could zoom through at highway speeds, instead of stopping at gates like they do now, beginning in 2023.
The proposed law change, which unanimously cleared the Senate in June and now goes to the House for consideration, would set up an appeals process through which drivers could first visit the turnpike offices in Berea, and then the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, to contest having to pay.
If the law change is approved, turnpike officials would identify drivers who don’t pay through cameras that would snap a picture of the vehicle’s license plate, and use it to mail them a bill. A list of drivers with unpaid tolls would be provided to the Ohio BMV, which then would block registration renewals until they’re paid. The gateless lanes would operate alongside traditional, gated lanes manned with human toll workers, although turnpike officials say the long-term plan is to completely automate the toll-taking process.
Officials said the changes are necessary as the turnpike gears up for its modernization plan, which has been years in the making. The idea is for the road to be faster, allowing vehicles to cross the state without ever stopping, and more convenient for customers, turnpike officials said.
“This legislation will protect the commission’s ability to remain fiscally sound, by ensuring it has the ability to collect tolls, and prevent customers from abusing the new modernized system that has thus far been four years in the making,” Ferzan Ahmed, the turnpike’s top administrator, told state lawmakers at a committee hearing in June.
With the gateless lanes, the number of toll plazas on the turnpike would be reduced from 31 to 24 and entry gates would be removed. The high-speed gateless lanes would be set up for the turnpike’s western 50 miles, ending west of Toledo, and then for the eastern 30 miles, between the Streetsboro area and the Pennsylvania border. The middle part of the turnpike would have gateless lanes, but at which drivers will have to slow down to 10 miles per hour.
Eventually, the turnpike aims to set up the highway-speed, gateless lanes for the entire 241-mile toll road. Part of the reason they aren’t doing so initially is so they can adjust economically, since they expect to not be able to collect all the tolls from people who drive through the lanes without paying.
Tom Balzer, president of the Ohio Trucking Association, said the trucking industry is eager to see electronic tolling. He said the roads are busier than ever, even with some of the hiccups associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Anything we can do to improve the efficiency of our industry is something that we support,” he said.
Turnpike officials say the changes will cost up to $232 million, while saving $257 million in operating costs over 30 years, due to the reduction in plazas and phasing out of employees. The plan is for the turnpike to eventually adopt completely electronic tolling, but in the immediate future, turnpike officials say any reduction in the Turnpike’s 274 human toll collectors will happen through attrition or transfers, not layoffs.
The new system is under construction, and assuming the law change passes, expected to be open to drivers in spring of 2023, according to Ahmed.
Pennsylvania adapted all electronic tolling last year, initially during the coronavirus pandemic and now permanently.
Joe Howard – Executive Editor March 3, 2021 6:15 PM, EST
FedEx Corp. announced plans to achieve carbon–neutral operations globally by 2040, with vehicle electrification a key tenet of the strategy.
The company on March 3 said it plans to make an initial investment of more than $2 billion in the initiative, with sustainable energy and carbon sequestration joining electric vehicles as the three key areas of focus.
“We have a responsibility to take bold action in addressing climate challenges,” said FedEx CEO Fred Smith. “This goal builds on our long-standing commitment to sustainability throughout our operations, while at the same time investing in long-term, transformational solutions for FedEx and our entire industry.”
The plan calls for the entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery fleet to be zero–emission electric vehicles by 2040. The company will follow a phased approach for replacement of existing vehicles; by 2025, it says 50% of purchases for the global FedEx Express fleet will be electric vehicles, and that percentage will rise to 100% by 2030.
FedEx said it also will continue to invest in alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions. This includes building on an existing initiative that targets reductions in aircraft fuel usage. Since 2012, the company’s Fuel Sense and Aircraft Modernization programs have saved a combined 1.43 billion gallons of jet fuel and avoided more than 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, it said.
The $2 billion initial investment includes a pledge of $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, which will be studying methods of carbon sequestration. An initial focus will be on helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions. Researchers will develop methods that build on natural carbon storage systems, including biological ecosystems and the geological carbon cycle to improve — where possible — how quickly carbon can be absorbed, how much can be contained and how long it can be stored. Through these efforts, Yale scientists aim to create a portfolio of carbon removal strategies that have impacts on a global scale, FedEx said.
The center will publish and share its findings to provide businesses, industries and governments information that can accelerate adoption and implementation of natural carbon capture strategies globally, FedEx said.
“Addressing climate change is a complex challenge that demands urgent action, and natural carbon capture strategies will be one key part of that action,” said Ingrid “Indy” Burke, the Carl W. Knobloch Jr. Dean of the Yale School of the Environment.
FedEx also has pledged to work with customers to offer end-to-end sustainability for supply chains through carbon–neutral shipping and sustainable packaging options.
The plan also calls for FedEx to continue efforts to improve sustainability at its more than 5,000 sites worldwide through investments in efficient facilities, renewable energy and other energy management programs.
FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.
According to the company, since 2009 its sustainability efforts have contributed to a reduction of approximately 40% in CO2 emissions intensity across its entire enterprise, all during a span in which package volume increased 99%.
“While we’ve made great strides in reducing our environmental impact, we have to do more,” said FedEx Chief Sustainability Officer Mitch Jackson. “The long-term health of our industry is directly linked to the health of the planet, but this effort is about more than the bottom line — it’s the right thing to do.”
He added, “The steps we are taking today will contribute a positive impact for generations to come.”
www.ttnews.com, Eugene Mulero, February 10, 2020, 5:15 pm
Fiscal 2021 Budget Proposal Offers Increase for Two FMCSA Programs
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Programs managed by federal trucking regulators would see a funding boost under a $4.8 trillion fiscal 2021 budget request the Trump administration sent to Congress on Feb. 10.
Two key aspects of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s budget would increase by nearly 4% from the previous year under the request.
Motor Carrier Safety Grants would receive $403 million, and Motor Carrier Safety Operations and Programs would receive $299 million, according to the administration.
The grants are meant to provide funding to “eligible states to conduct compliance reviews, identify and apprehend traffic violators, conduct roadside inspections and support safety audits on new entrant carriers,” according to background from the administration. The Operations and Programs account backs consumer enforcement efforts, as well as the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.
The administration also pointed to a Large Truck Crash Causation Study FMCSA intends to undertake with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Overall, the U.S. Department of Transportation in fiscal 2021 would receive $21.6 billion in discretionary spending, which would amount to a 13% decrease from the 2020 enacted level. For mandatory contract authority and obligation limitations, the budget would provide $66.2 billion, an 8% increase from the 2020 enacted level. Programs for infrastructure and freight grants would each receive $1 billion, according to the administration.
Within DOT, the request includes $50.7 billion for the Federal Highway Administration, $17.5 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, $13.2 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, $2 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, $964.5 million for NHTSA, $793.7 million for the Maritime Administration, $276.2 million for the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and $98.2 million for the Office of Inspector General.
The administration pointed to ongoing directives designed to reduce the environmental permitting process, while calling for a 26% decrease in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget.
Additionally, a proposal for an $810 billion, 10-year reauthorization of highway programs accompanied the request. A source of funding to back such a reauthorization was absent in the budget documents. On the matter of the Highway Trust Fund, which assists states with construction and maintenance, the administration stated, “Additional details on this account will be provided in the proposed surface transportation reauthorization proposal.”
Under the administration’s reauthorization, traffic and motor carrier safety provisions would receive $20 billion.
“Our proposal continues the foundation and the funding path begun in the FAST Act, while also providing states and other entities with dependable and predictable resources for an entire decade,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told reporters Feb. 10.
The FAST Act, a five-year Obama-era highway law, expires in September. In the following months, officials plan to present Congress with a comprehensive reauthorization proposal. Analysts estimate the trust fund will be insolvent in less than two years.
Additionally, an infrastructure policy component proposed $190 billion for water programs and broadband.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after the budget’s release, “We have the highway bill that we need to address this year.”
No timeline for doing so was provided. Senate committees that oversee the Highway Trust Fund, public transit and commercial transportation have yet to offer input for a highway reauthorization.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats in the majority in the House shot down the president’s request. Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), chairman of the transportation funding committee, said, “The steep cuts to affordable housing and transportation are particularly heinous.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described it as an “insult to the hopes and dreams and aspirations of America’s working families.”
Reactions about the budget varied in transportation policy circles. Romina Boccia with The Heritage Foundation argued several policies that were outlined amounted to missed opportunities. As she put it, “The administration must stay the course and not fall prey to using the budget as a vehicle for problematic policy initiatives, including misguided infrastructure funding from Washington and a federal encroachment in education policy.”
In an analysis of the budget request highlighting the absence of a direct source of funding for highway projects, the leadership at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association sought optimism. “While presidents from both parties find many of their budget requests unfulfilled at the end of the process, the budget is still important because it lays out their priorities for the coming years,” ARTBA indicated. “We still have a long way to go in an election-shortened legislative session, but having the White House, House and Senate all pushing in the same direction is a welcome development.”
Congress’ annual appropriations process traditionally determines funding levels for federal agencies. Revenue from the fuel tax backs the Highway Trust Fund. In 1993, Congress set the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax and 24.4 cents-per-gallon diesel tax.
Scout, Amazon’s Self-Driving Delivery Robot, Heads to California
Amazon’s self-driving robots will be roaming the streets of another neighborhood.
The online shopping giant said Aug. 6 that the six-wheeled robots, about the size of a smaller cooler, will begin delivering packages to customers in Irvine, Calif. It comes after Amazon began testing them in a suburb of Seattle at the beginning of the year.
Amazon said the robots, which are light blue and have the Amazon smile logo stamped on its sides, are able to avoid crashing into trash cans or pedestrians. Still, a worker will accompany the robots at first.
Other companies have been testing similar delivery robots on college campuses, delivering burgers or soda to students.
Amazon said its robots, which it calls Scout, will be delivering orders to doorsteps Monday to Friday and only during the day.
www.freshplaza.com, Jan Marc Schulz, March 7, 2019
White grape sales are currently running smoothly. “There is even insufficient supply on the market. The supply from Chile, as well as India, actually goes out as soon as it arrives,” says Jan Marc Schulz of SFI Rotterdam.
The bottleneck lies with red grapes. “In recent weeks, we have had to deal with a surplus from Peru on the market. Fortunately, the market for red grapes is slowing drawing to a close. That spells hope for the late season.”
“Peru sold very little to the US around the New Year. They, therefore, sent almost their entire volume to Europe. This means that there is a lot of old stock on the market. In contrast, the sales of red Chilean grapes has not even started,” explains Jan Marc.
“I wonder if large volumes will come our way from Chile. Considering the real-time market situation, they will probably focus on the United States and Asia. However, here at SFI, we will be able to fulfill our programs.”
SFI received the first Chilean grapes in week 6 already. Stone fruit from that country has also already been underway for a while. “The weather conditions were very good. This resulted in good quality plums and nectarines.
“The large-sized nectarines, in particular, have quickly been sold. The sales of the smaller sizes are slightly more difficult. There are, therefore, certainly some nice promotions that can be arranged,” continues the importer.
SFI will still receive blueberries from Chile for the entire month of March. “There is some supply from Spain and Morocco on the market. However, they started with high prices and barely have any volumes to offer.”
“The Chilean berries’ prices were very low in weeks 7 and 8. Since then, we are back on an acceptable level. We are, however, a long way off a good level,” concludes Jan Marc.
https://www.ttnews.com, February 18, 2019.
With a vast increase in the data generated and available for use in fleet management applications, information overload is likely to be a significant industry challenge in the next few years.
In fact, the T&L industry risks data paralysis, where so much information is available that organizations have no idea how to utilize it fully. Against this backdrop, how can they leverage and optimize data for their own benefit and that of their customers?
Location intelligence can play a critical role in unlocking the value of this data. For example, in the T&L industry it can improve driver safety. It does this by adding context to big data and creating actionable insights that can help differentiate a business from the rest of the market.
As driver shortages across the transportation industry are expected to remain a challenge for several years, retention of safe and experienced drivers will continue to be of paramount importance.
As such, fleet managers that want to remain competitive will need to focus closely on delivering high levels of driver safety and satisfaction.
In addition, those organizations keen to limit potential liabilities and cost of operations are likely to consider driver behavior monitoring, coaching and measurement of road use regulation compliance as critical to their futures. As transportation companies are liable for their trucks on the road, fleet managers are highly motivated to take steps that help reduce the possibility of accidents from occurring.
Location intelligence plays two critical driver safety roles: it powers applications that monitor truck driver behavior; and it enables the analysis needed to efficiently manage and coach drivers about road safety.
Location intelligence can help improve understanding of – and compliance with – posted speed limit data; it can also help to understand what the appropriate driver action is when taking elements such as traffic, weather conditions and other road legal and physical restrictions into account.
Rich, real-time location data can mean the difference between a costly and life-threatening accident and a driver empowered with vital knowledge who can maintain a brand’s trustworthiness through safe and efficient driving.
By enabling fleet applications to create driver safety and analysis features, location intelligence plays a critical role in helping to analyze driver behavior in real time. It can also help fleet managers identify drivers who exceed performance requirements and who can then be incentivized to stay with the company.
Big data, big future
Big data may have been around for almost 30 years, but it’s only now we are starting to see how the wealth of information held by T&L companies can be transformed into a vital asset through the application of location intelligence.
HERE, the Open Location Platform company, enables people, enterprises and cities to harness the power of location. By making sense of the world through the lens of location, we empower our customers to achieve better outcomes – from helping a city manage its infrastructure or an enterprise optimize its assets to guiding drivers to their destination safely
Fresh Plaza (www.freshplaza.com), October 1, 2018
At the IAA 2018 fair, Ford presented the F-Vision at their stand. The F-Vision is a concept truck, and Ford didn’t release much information about the vehicle. It has an electric drive, and the F-Vision can drive autonomously. The vehicle has cameras instead of mirrors.