Archive for the Fuel for Thought Category

From Harvey to Irma: Appreciating Truck Drivers

From Harvey to Irma: Appreciating Truck Drivers

  This week, September 10-16th, is Truck Driver Appreciation Week, an event we celebrate annually. The work of truck drivers has been featured in the news recently as deadly hurricanes batter the coasts and wildfires rage in the West. In the affected areas, folks are reminded of what truckers do for us, as shelves go bare weeks before a weather event. (This photo was taken in Texas where the grocery store shelves were bare – except for the soy meat!) We’ve all lived through preparation for bad weather, and it seems like the trucks can’t come fast enough. Water,

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You Never Sausage a Place!

You Never Sausage a Place!

For the third and final installment of our Signs of Summer series (you can read the first and second on our blog), we’re featuring a piece of roadside Americana that’s legendary here in the deep South. If you’ve never made the drive down I-95, crossing from North Carolina into South Carolina, you may not be familiar with the strange billboards lining the highway. Some of them encourage bad behavior from the passengers in the backseat – “KEEP YELLING, KIDS – THEY’LL STOP!” Some rely on silly puns – like the enormous roadside salami with the phrase

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Highways DOT-ted with Laughter

Highways DOT-ted with Laughter

In my last post, I talked about blue highway exit signs. This week’s addition to our Signs of Summer series is about a more hi-tech evolution in road signs – the electronic DOT (Department of Transportation) marquees. Typically, these signs are used to communicate traffic information, emergencies, or road conditions. When not in use for immediate updates or warnings, the signs often display safety reminders or local weather information. But, when two of the cleverest comedy minds in Iowa happened to find themselves behind desks at the Department of Transportation, they used their powers to get drivers laughing. Willy Sorenson

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Signs of Summer

Signs of Summer

This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, chauffeuring my daughters to and from summer camps. My time on the open highway inspired me to devote the next few posts to the Signs of the Summer. We’ll look at some of the classic signs of the highway and answer a few questions. First, let’s look at the blue highway exit signs. Called interstate logo signs or specific service signs, we often think of them as the signs for gas, food and lodging. But did you know that they also promote other

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Surviving the Charger Wars

Surviving the Charger Wars

Does your household know about the Charger Wars? No, it’s not the next big summer blockbuster movie franchise – the Charger Wars are the ongoing battles at my house over cell phone chargers. It might be the same in your household – each person has the charger that came with their phone, a travel charger, an extra charger for vacation, the replacement charger that was purchased when they forgot the travel charger on vacation…and yet, somehow, no one can every find a charger when they need one! The wars part comes in when a

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Bikers Versus Drivers and the Biggest Job in 29 States

Bikers Versus Drivers and the Biggest Job in 29 States

We’ve talked before about the potential rise of self-driving trucks. Are they safe? Do they work? But the biggest question about the rise of the self-driving truck is literally big – truck drivers are one of the largest contingents of workers in the US. The trucking and logistics industry employs 7.9 million people in the United States – with 3.5 million Americans listing their job as professional truck driver. To put that statistic in perspective, take a look at this map, courtesy of NPR: That’s right – ‘truck driver’ is the most common job

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Dispatches from Summer Camp

Dispatches from Summer Camp

Camp. It’s a rite of passage for many youth, and this year, my eldest daughter, Emily, will be going to two sleep-away ‘camps’ for the first time ever. I’ve written before about her love of singing and musical theater. This summer, Emily will have the opportunity to participate in two programs – one at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem; the other, Broadway Artists Alliance in New York City. She’ll be at the first program in Winston-Salem for a few weeks, rooming with her best friend in a campus

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The Best Summertime Diet

The Best Summertime Diet

Tomorrow marks the first of June, which means that summertime is on the horizon. And this summer, I’ve decided to go on a diet. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not about to put down my hot dogs, hamburgers, or potato salad! Instead, I’m going to try what the experts call “a social media diet” for a more stress-free summer. Social media can be a great place to find pet videos, funny jokes, or opinions about the week’s biggest television drama, but there’s also a lot of junk. And just like with real food,

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The Superhero of Savings

The Superhero of Savings

If you’re a regular reader of my bi-weekly missives, you know that the Matchmaker Logistics team calls itself ‘The Superheroes of Shipping.’ Truth is, we’re not just the Superheroes of Shipping, we’re also The Superheroes of Savings. Take an example that happened this Spring: In March 2017, one of our clients reached out to us, inquiring about a drayage rate from Norfolk, VA to Bensenville, IL. She told us her regular drayage company was unable to assist with the four containers arriving the following week, and she needed a solution. We asked our client

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Way Funnier Than Face Time

Way Funnier Than Face Time

Remember the days when you had to actually be in an office to have a meeting? Today, between conference calls, email chains, and video chat apps, we can meet with clients and vendors all over the world without ever leaving our desks. Well, that is as long as everyone is actually paying attention… I won’t lie – I love the freedom and flexibility of being able to get work done while I’m on the go. But like any new technology, the benefits also present new challenges. If you’ve ever tried to join a conference

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