Save the Environment & Your Bottom Line
"Going green" used to mean a major investment with a long-term payout, but today, going green is more affordable, more profitable, and (most importantly) the right thing to do. For OnTrac
, it goes beyond using SmartWay-compliant tractors and trailers
we're making changes that not only help the environment, but our ability to continue to offer competitive ground shipping rates.
There are a lot of great tips for businesses who want to save money by going green, and here some that have worked for OnTrac, and just might work for you, too:
- Install high-efficiency LED lighting
If you're still using incandescents, energy.gov says you could reduce your electric spending 80% by switching to LED lighting. Light-emitting diodes have no mercury and a recent Energy Department study concluded that they have a much smaller impact on the environment when compared to their incandescent counterparts. It’s an instant-on technology, so we coupled them with motion sensors for even more energy savings in our warehouses.
- Upgrade to virtual servers and cloud services
Gone are the days of rooms full of servers at the office. The topic can get technical quickly, but we've consolidated most of our servers into virtual ones, and are increasing our use of cloud services. It reduced our IT infrastructure costs, increased our redundancy and beefed-up our security. Virtualizing just 100 servers is the equivalent of planting 1,569 trees or taking 89 cars off the street, so it is definitely something worth considering.
- Donate old office furniture
- Our operations are growing, and sometimes that means relocating to larger facilities. When it comes to office furniture, we first try to repurpose it, but that doesn't always work out. We have had success with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, where we can donate gently used future to their ReStore program.
- To quote their site:
"Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world."
- Sell used pallets and packing materials
Proper packing is an important part of shipping. We use a lot of bulk packaging materials when loading our trucks and we turn to local recyclers to help us dispose them properly. They purchase the used materials, which helps us recuperate some of our costs and continue to offer our customers competitive ground shipping rates.
Add high-volume low-speed fans
- Keeping the climate under control in a warehouse can be challenging, especially in the summer months. We turned to a high-volume low-speed fan solution to help team members stay cool.
Studies by mechanical efficiency experts show that high-volume low-speed fans are the most energy efficient air circulating fans available. Delta T Corp, for example, states that airflow can make workers feel up to 10°F cooler, and according to Bill Prindle, the former Deputy Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, every one-degree change in the thermostat can reduce your energy bill by 3 percent. Adding high-volume low-speed fans helps OnTrac improve comfort and keep costs in check.
- Consider joining green organizations
- OnTrac is a SmartWay Transport Partner, but there are plenty of other state and local environmental organizations worth looking into. They will be able to keep you informed of new ways to help the environment and save money.
New advancements make it easier for businesses to work towards sustainability, but there’s still plenty that needs happen before we are all truly “green.” The good news is that getting started is easy, and the sooner you start, the more green you'll save.
Earth Day is just a few weeks away, and it's a great time to explore how OnTrac is doing its part
to reduce transportation-related carbon, energy use, and air emissions.
Trucking companies are responsible for 84% of the commercial transportation industry–about 5% of America's GDP. Truckers log about 93.5 billion highway miles per year in the US, enough to circle the globe almost 4 million times! Ground transportation is a core part of our economy and way of life, and it needs to be done responsibly. Queue SmartWay
SmartWay is a voluntary program developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gasses. Since 2004, actions taken by SmartWay Transport Partners
have saved over 120 million barrels of oil, the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road for an entire year!
"SmartWay offers shippers and their carriers a win-win-win situation,"
, former Executive Vice President for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). "The reason is very simple. It reduces transportation costs, it increases supply chain efficiency, and it reduces the environmental footprint." SmartWay Transport Partners
More than 3,000 shippers and carriers including OnTrac are active SmartWay Transport Partners, and have contributed to lowering CO2 emissions
by 51.6 million metric tons. That's the same as the amount of CO2 emitted from burning 276,000 railcars full of coal.
Companies use reporting tools developed by the EPA to archive their environmental efficiency, and adopt new and SmartWay-approved technologies and practices to save money and the environment. When it comes to Ground shipping, OnTrac and other carriers have added some of these great features to their fleets:
- Newer tractors with lower emissions and better fuel economy. Tractor models are 2007 or newer, and their engines are designated to meet U.S. EPA NOx/PM emission requirements.
- Low Rolling Resistant (LRR) tires. Rolling resistance is the force a tire needs to keep moving down the road; the lower the resistance, the greater the fuel economy. LRR tires can improve fuel economy by 3% when properly maintained.
- Aerodynamics. Tractors and trailers have fairing, or panels, that reduce drag on the fuel tank, cab roof, and below the trailer. Mirrors and bumpers also have aerodynamic designs.
- Idling Controls. Tractors have sources of auxiliary power, such as a generator or battery, to operate heating, cooling and electronic equipment. No need to keep the engine running.
The Fleet of Tomorrow, Today
Equipment performance guidelines are only a part of what OnTrac and other SmartWay carriers are doing to improve sustainability. Technology continues to play a big role in the supply chain as carriers use things like GPS-enabled trailers and route optimization software to reduce empty and partial miles, making every line haul count.
Responsible shipping is important, and SmartWay Transport Partners like OnTrac recognize that sustainability impacts more than just the environment. Newer equipment means fast and reliable ground delivery. Greater efficiencies directly impact our ability to offer more affordable ground shipping rates. And affordable shipping rates allow companies to give you the best deal possible. Now that's a win-win-win situation.
OnTrac is a longtime supporter of the Customized Logistics and Delivery Association (CLDA). As an organization, we support the CLDA and have had an employee as a board member for almost 10 years, Chief Administrative Officer, Rick Chase.
As well as having a board member, OnTrac is also a proud sponsor of the CLDA’s Annual Meeting & Exposition. The Annual Meeting consists of a CLDA Board of Directors Meeting early in the week and a CLDA Convention and Exposition that follows. The Convention and Exposition is a venue for OnTrac and other companies to exhibit their goods and services to over 400 attendees from the customized logistics and delivery industry. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida from May 6-9.
OnTrac CAO - Rick Chase
The CLDA is the voice of the customized logistics and delivery industry, representing those who keep the wheels of commerce rolling in North America. CLDA is the largest trade association in the industry providing time-critical and last-mile deliveries. Since 1987, the association has promoted and advanced the professionalism of the customized logistics and delivery industry through networking, education and advocacy.
Mark Magill, VP of Business Development, spoke at the American Supply Chain and Logistics Summit on December 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX.
This show concentrated on high-level logistic professionals looking to network and learn more about the industry from thought leaders in the transportation field.
Magill's presentation was titled "Regional Parcel Carriers of the US."
The presentation focused on giving the audience alternative package delivery solutions to the national carrier duopoly in the major metropolitan areas of the US.
This topic is of particular interest due to the new FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight policy, which has been called, "the mother of all rate increases."
OnTrac is proud to support St. Vincent de Paul and KNIX in the Million Can Crusade for the fourth year in a row.
“OnTrac is very passionate about community involvement,” Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Laura Peterson said. “We have the opportunity to help a great cause, and a lot of people, right here in Arizona. That’s important to us.”
At the KNIX Kickoff party, which took place on November 3, 2014, OnTrac donated $1,500.00, the equivalent of 15,000 cans, in support of the campaign’s quest to collect one million cans. Additionally, OnTrac collected more than 2500 cans at its Corporate Headquarters in Chandler, Arizona to assist St. Vincent de Paul in their efforts this holiday season.
The 7th annual Million Can Crusade will benefit more than 80 parish-based food pantries in the community. Food boxes will be delivered to hungry families. Last year, volunteers delivered nearly 400,000 food boxes.
For more information on the Million Can Crusade, or to support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, visit https://www.stvincentdepaul.net.
How many longest drive contests have you participated in?
I’ve been doing Long Drive competitions since 2008 and participate in 4-8 events a year. It has been a great hobby for me.
When did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf when I was 13 and was immediately hooked to the game.
How did you get involved in longest drive contests?
Around Christmas in 2007 my sister and I watched the Re/Max World Long Drive on ESPN. As I laughed at the guys yelling at their golf balls I told her it looked easy. My sister, being the motivator and supporter she is, signed me up that following spring. I soon realized it wasn’t that easy to not yell at your golf ball.
Can you talk a little bit about your number 2 ranking at the 2011 Re/Max World Long Drive Championship?
2011 was a very successful year for me. My confidence was built up from finishing in top 5 for 5 of the 6 events I did prior to the World Finals. As the 2011 World Finals came and went, I ended up just short of my goal of being #1 in the world. My longest ball during the World Finals was 437 yards. Although I’ve still been unsuccessful of winning the Super Bowl of Long Drive, I’m happy my ranking hasn’t fallen out of the top 10.
What other tournaments/contests have you participated in?
I don’t really golf as much as I did before so outside of Long Drive my participation is minimal.
There have been a few opportunities to use your skills to give back – can you talk a little bit about that?
The golf course is a great place to host charity events. I’ve been able to participate in a few. I’m normally on the tee box of a par 5 or long par 4 and anyone that has golfed before knows distance makes the game that much more difficult. My job is to be the golfer’s therapist and ease the stress by making what was a long par 4 into a putt for eagle.
Ben Tua’one, is an Operations Manager for OnTrac in Salt Lake City, UT.
One of the biggest opportunities in the Apparel Industry is its ability to reach a multitude of consumers.
A company’s website might drive traffic to the store where clothes can be tried on and accessories can be matched up. Now that they have a sense of what the items look and feel like, they will be likely to return to the website for a future purchase.
The ability to see, touch and try products is one of the reasons the apparel industry is growing so quickly.
According to eTail Insights, the apparel industry is predicted to make $86 billion in revenue by 2018 and have a 16% growth from 2013 to 2014.
With those numbers in mind, this holiday shipping season is sure to get busy.
For that reason, it is imperative to start making plans for your holiday shipping strategy now.
Your shipping portfolio should give you a variety of options, and your best bet it to multi-source your products. Don’t get stuck relying on a single carrier to get all your items delivered by the holidays.
Consider incorporating a regional carrier-if you haven’t yet, take advantage of their ability to offer the same level of service and provide a time in transit advantage.
During the holiday season, regional carrier’s ability to offer later pickup times enables you to increase productivity and process more packages per day, all at Ground Rates.
Online shoppers abandon their carts for a host of reasons.
Sometimes they may get pulled away, but a recent comscore study shows that a bigger reason is because shipping costs make their total purchase more than expected.
That’s right, 55 percent of those surveyed abandon their cart due to shipping costs. What’s more, 40 percent said they had cancelled a purchase as the shipping and handling costs were listed too late.
More and more online shoppers are adding items to their carts to qualify for free shipping. For that reason, it has become critical for online retailers to clearly indicate the level of spend required for free shipping.
At checkout, 73 percent said they wanted to see free shipping options and nearly 60 percent of respondents said an estimated or guaranteed delivery date was important.
That’s where regional carriers can come into play. Companies like OnTrac are able to offer you flexibility, cost reduction, faster Ground delivery and increased productivity.
Because we’re able to provide you all the reliability you expect from the National Carriers, without the hassle of big volume commitments, your company will be able to gain the competitive advantage, grow revenue and improve shareholder value.
Research shows that online shoppers have a range of delivery time they are willing to wait for the delivery of their orders.
Offering a range of delivery time options could help retailers appeal to a wider range of customers.
The report found that 48% of customers are not willing to wait more than five days for most of their purchases.
But with OnTrac, you don’t have to succumb to the longer wait periods. Get it delivered faster, at less cost to you.
Incorporating a regional carrier into your existing shipping workflow is a great way to reduce your overall net shipping expenses.
Our faster, more cost-effective delivery is a sustainable competitive advantage that will allow you to increase customer lifetime value. Plus, better pricing with a regional carrier will improve expense management and ensure profits are not lost in shipping.
As part of its
community involvement initiative, OnTrac is proud to support The Ronan Thompson Foundation and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September.
The Ronan Thompson Foundation, in honor of Ronan Thompson, who was just 3 years old when he passed away from Neuroblastoma, was organized by his mother Maya and is located in the Phoenix-area.
Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that develops from nerve tissue. It usually occurs in infants and children. His mother Maya made a promise to him that she would carry on his name and fight to find a cure. She started a blog while Ronan was going through treatment and from there began to publicize awareness for the disease. Even after Ronan passed away she still writes on her blog and remains unyielding in her beliefs, that there will be a cure found for this disease.
To read all about Ronan’s story, please visit theronanthompsonfoundation.com
To visit Maya Thompson’s blog, visit rockstarronan.com/
About the Ronan Thompson Foundation
The Ronan Thompson Foundation is a non-profit 501 organization dedicated to finding a cure for neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer. We are currently fundraising to create a world-class neuroblastoma research and care center dedicated to funding both traditional and non-traditional treatments to reduce the number of children affected by this disease and increase survival rates.
OnTrac International’s long time vendor, announced some very positive changes to some of their signature services this year. While Canada Post may not be the largest postal system in the world, or even in the top 10, they are listed among the top 5 best postal services. In July of 2014, Canada Post announced a reduction in requirements for their Machineable Mail Service, or as they call it “Re-engineering.”
Their strategy is to simplify customer experience and add value. Machineable Mail is a service that allows business customers to inject mail at a discounted “pre-sort” rate with no pre-sort required. They have reduced the number of key Machineable requirements for a mail piece to qualify from 30 down to 11. In addition, they lowered the minimum required volume from 1000 down to 500 pieces and removed the “read rate” surcharges allowing more mail to qualify for this Machineable Mail Service without penalty.
Effective August 18, they have rolled out improved delivery standards set to reduce mail transit by 1-4 days for not only the Machineable Mail service, but also Publication, Addressed Admail and Unaddressed Admail services, all of which OnTrac International utilizes in our daily operation. This will provide customers with delivery predictability and consistency to better meet their in-home targets.
During this re-engineering, they have also opted to eliminate some lesser used services such as Machineable Presort and National Distribution Guide (NDG), allowing their postal employees to focus on their signature products. Coming January of 2015, they will be moving to a simplified pricing structure. This will eliminate the need to run a customer’s mail file prior to determining the actual postage amount.
Canada Post plans to continue with these improvements in the coming years by taking a close look at each service one at a time and evaluating specific requirements to determine if they are still necessary or can be eliminated. They tell us the main reason they are able to make these significant changes is due to updated state-of-the-art postal equipment that they started rolling out in 2012. At this time, most or all of their Receipt Verification Unit (RVU) facilities now have this updated equipment in-house.
What does all this mean for OnTrac International?
With more than 60% of our overall volume going directly into Canada Post, this was some of the best news in recent years. Every business looks for ways to reduce unnecessary labor, increase productivity and run more efficiently. This change to the Machineable Mail product has allowed us to move a higher volume of mail in less time and redirect our labor on other products. This also allows for faster deposits into the post, which in turn will better transit times for the customer.
Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal state that the use of mail, particularly advertisement mail, is on the decline. Postal customers are frustrated with rising costs and the restrictions to qualify for discounted services due to an overwhelming number of mailing requirements. Canada Post is listening to the customers and doing their part to keep mail volumes up by changing the way they handle mail within their network. OnTrac International is taking advantage of these changes by keeping up with the industry and offering a wide variety of services to meet every customer’s mailing needs.
In an electronic world where everything is at your fingertips, be it by computer, pad or phone, the printed word still exists and thrives today. There is just something about pulling out that publication from your mail box, bringing it inside to your favorite chair and cracking open those fresh pages of print to reveal the bold, vibrant color page after page