Archive for the Fuel for Thought Category

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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It’s All Relative: On Einstein & The GPS

It's All Relative: On Einstein & The GPS

Albert Einstein once said “Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving.” Those of us in the transportation industry know that maxim well. Today, April 18th, marks the anniversary of Einstein’s death (in 1955), so I thought it fitting to honor his work, which plays a big part in how we keep freight moving each and every day. You see, Albert Einstein’s most famous work, the theory of relativity, is what makes GPS possible. It is impossible to overstate the effects GPS tracking and navigating have had on

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Truck Pranks Make for Weighty Humor

Truck Pranks Make for Weighty Humor

Did you get pranked on April Fools’ Day? Or are you one to prank others? In my travels across the internet one day, I stumbled on this video with this caption: “Trucker gets pranked with heavy load. Only in Russia.” I couldn’t find any information on this mystery video (what really happened?), but it got me to thinking….Although I can find the fun in a good, harmless prank, I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would think a joke involving a heavy moving vehicle would be a good idea. I don’t

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The Link Between Warehousing Trends and Morgan Freeman’s Voice

The Link Between Warehousing Trends and Morgan Freeman's Voice

Imagine you had a warehouse employee who could run at a speed of 5 miles per hour and effortlessly lift up to 700 pounds at a time. How would that impact the efficiency and productivity of your warehouse? Now imagine that you had an entire group of warehouse workers with these capabilities…. That’s the case at Amazon. The online retailing giant acquired Kiva, makers of warehousing robots, in 2012. Two years later, Amazon started using the orange robots in its warehouses. And it became very clear just how efficient inventory management could be with

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The Rising Price of the Penny Test

The Rising Price of the Penny Test

Ever heard of the penny test? Place a penny with Lincoln’s profile upside-down in the tread. If the tread covers the top of Lincoln’s head, you have at least 1/16 of an inch of tread, the minimum safe tread depth. If you see Lincoln’s entire profile, you’d better get new tires, pronto. And, this year, getting new tires is going to cost you a pretty penny! Oil, natural rubber, and the other raw materials used to make tires have all skyrocketed. As a result, earlier this year, tire manufacturers announced price hikes of 5-8%.

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