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Dec 2021

All-Risk coverage a must-have for cross-border shipping

Canadian freight brokerage overcomes challenges of shipping in and out of Mexico Cross-border shipping is a tricky business, there’s no getting around it. But with a reliable and knowledgeable partner at your side — and proper insurance protecting your products — your cross-border anxieties will greatly diminish. Mark Vickers, Reliance Partners’ executive vice president of international logistics, recently connected with Ryan Jones, president at NUAGE Logistics […]

Dec 2021

Sign-on bonuses ‘double-edged sword’ for recruiting and retention

Bonuses benefit drivers but can leave carriers spinning their wheels Is it worth jumping ship for a sign-on bonus at another company? Truckers sure think so — and with good reason. Sign-on bonuses have been getting bigger and bigger, but as carriers begin offering similar perks, at what point do cash incentives lose their luster? That’s the topic of discussion on this episode of WHAT THE […]

Oct 2021

Check and double-check blind spots

Constantly scan mirrors to keep tabs on surrounding vehicles One second the car is there, the next it’s out of sight. It’s the highway’s greatest magic trick, the ability to hide a car in plain sight. Regardless of how many times you’ve witnessed the act, blind spots can fool even the most cautious of drivers on the road. Brian Runnels, Reliance Partners’ vice president of safety, […]

Oct 2021

Reliance Partners recaps Tank Truck Week

Safety expert Brian Runnels reports from Dallas Conference season is in full swing this fall as the trucking industry welcomes the return of in-person events. All eyes were on Dallas this week as trucking leaders convened for Tank Truck Week (TTW). Hosted by the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), the conference is North America’s largest tank truck event, with a full-slate of industry-focused seminars, workshops and networking […]

Aug 2021

Brake Safety Week begins Aug. 22

Inspectors will slam the brakes on out-of-service violations Coinciding with Brake Safety Awareness Month, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has slated Brake Safety Week for Aug. 22-28, meaning drivers and carriers have just a few more days to tighten up on brake safety. Over the seven-day period, inspectors will conduct North American Standard Inspections of commercial motor vehicles with a focus on brake systems and components, removing any inspected […]

Aug 2021

Reliance Partners ‘bullish’ on Laredo, Texas-Mexico corridor

US manufacturers see potential for greater trade with Mexico There’s much to gain from the nearly $2 billion in trade flows across the U.S.-Mexico border every day. Pacific trade lanes remain stifled by west coast port congestion, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the trade war between the United States and China. These past-year developments have led many American companies with outsourced operations to set up shop much […]

Aug 2021

Brokers and carriers pursue higher margins on domestic and cross-border freight

Shipper’s interest insurance mitigates risk in hauling high-value, highly targeted shipments Today’s risk-averse transportation landscape inhibits profit maximization for many companies eager to gain an advantage. It only makes sense that shipping a high-value commodity would bring in more revenue, but the risks involved often scare away carriers and brokers from hauling these loads in places around the Mexican border, creating problems for all stakeholders […]

Jul 2021

Safety check: It’s better to be proactive than reactive

Developing a safety culture isn’t easy, but establishing one sure does make your job a lot easier down the road Developing a safety culture isn’t easy, but establishing one sure does make your job a lot easier down the road. Reliance Partners Director of Safety Robert Kaferle continues the conversation from his previous article, Safety check: No carrier thinks it’s ‘unsafe’, further explaining the importance of proactive […]

Jul 2021

Cross-border consulting helps navigate USMCA ups and downs

Where does trade agreement stand after 1 year? This July marks the first anniversary of the adoption and implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement has brought about new opportunities for cross-border trade; is your organization taking advantage of these changes? With close to $2 billion in trade flowing across the U.S.-Mexico border daily, it’s imperative that logistics service providers know what’s at stake. Reliance […]

Jul 2021

Safety check: No carrier thinks it’s ‘unsafe’

With tight deadlines and big money on the line, it’s easy to see why some carriers are led astray by service-based metrics, placing driver performance in the back seat. It’s safe to assume that the thought of endangering other motorists almost never crosses truckers’ minds when they start their day, but it’s likely that many are inadvertently rolling the dice each time they climb up […]

Jun 2021

Accepting constructive criticism first step in mitigating risk

Willingness to make improvements one of the smartest traits a trucker or motor carrier can possess Most people don’t like to be told that they’re doing things wrong — but don’t want to be caught messing up either. Constructive criticism is not always easy to hear, but just like applying hydrogen peroxide to a wound, the pain is for the best. The same applies to […]

Jun 2021

Safety expert reflects on emotional toll of truck accident

‘It changed a lot about the way I drove and my thoughts on distracted driving’ One mistake behind the wheel can lead to devastating consequences to you and those around you. Semi truck accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence on our nation’s highways. Many drivers won’t admit it, but it’s easy for those who have managed to evade these harrowing events to lull themselves into […]

May 2021

Stay Alert and Slow Down Through Work Zones

Tired drivers and intoxicated drivers cause equally disastrous accidents Excerpt: Reliance Partners’ Brian Runnels and Mark Barlar speak from their driver and State Patrol experience on the dangers that speed, distractions and fatigue present in construction zones. Large trucks are involved in one-third of all fatal crashes in work zones, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The agency issued a press release […]

Apr 2021

Check lights and logs before next week’s safety blitz

Don’t let a dead light bulb or preventable logbook violation ruin your day With the International Roadcheck just a week away, now’s your last chance to dot your i’s and cross your t’s in and around your truck and trailer. Most vehicle violations are easily preventable — if proper precautions are routinely taken. Reliance Partners Director of Safety Brian Runnels provides a few simple tips to ensure […]

Mar 2021

Spring cleaning: Time to tidy up your truck

Remember that slips, trips and falls aren’t just outside dangers Let’s face it, your truck probably needs a deep clean. Perhaps it was one of your New Year’s resolutions, but after a long and relentless winter, a truck caked in grimy layers of salt and dirt may not be the only mess on your hands. A victim of cabin fever, you’ve come to the realization […]

Mar 2021

Stay alert for signs of sex trafficking at truck stops

Modern-day slavery often goes undetected in plain sight Though perpetuated in the shadows of society, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry worldwide. Truck stops offer rest and amenities to truckers and general motorists after a long day’s drive, but they can also be hubs for sex traffickers and their victims. As teenagers and boys and girls are transported from city to city, truck stops serve as […]

Feb 2021

Don’t skate past safety precautions on icy roads

Icy roads can overpower even the most experienced drivers It can happen in an instant — you’ve hit a patch of ice and lose control of your vehicle. As you instinctively press the brakes to no avail, the sudden loss of traction leaves you feeling helpless. Hopefully no one’s in your path as you careen down the highway. Frigid weather can precipitate precarious situations like […]

Feb 2021

Insurance basics: Becoming an owner-operator

Owner-operators on the hook for most insurance expenses It takes a great deal of confidence and a little bit of know-how to become an owner-operator. Ditching the fleet life for a sweet life on your own can be liberating for drivers possessing an autonomous mindset. But traversing the freight landscape solo has its own set of challenges, too. In fact, being at the helm of […]

Jan 2021

Don’t slip up on these safety basics

As the driving workforce ages, minor injuries suddenly become major risk factors If drivers were to break down their day by individual events, in how many instances would they think they’re at risk of injury? Behind-the-wheel safety is important, as it’s where the majority of headline injuries occur, but what about the less conspicuous aspects of a trucker’s job? Tasks that require lifting, climbing and […]

Jan 2021

Annual Clearinghouse queries are easier than you think

Newly hired drivers should sign a limited query consent form as part of orientation process Jan. 5 — the deadline for conducting annual Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse queries on all existing drivers — has come and gone. Did you get the forms in on time? The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse requires motor carriers to keep tabs on drivers, involving a bit of paperwork and inquiry […]

Jan 2021

CDL fraud could rise under relaxed requirements

Rule change may net more drivers for the industry but will the propensity for fraud increase as well? Tractor trailers and automobiles may share the roadways, but not everybody has the right to drive in the proverbial truck lane. Obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a rite of passage for any driver eager to traverse the wide world of logistics. However, this rite isn’t […]

Dec 2020

How to chain your tires

See Video » ’Tis the season for snow and ice. Winter is a lovely time of year to admire tranquil snowfalls and to cozy up next to the fireplace. For truckers, however, this time of year is far from magical. Whiteout conditions bring about white-knuckled driving for those darting across the nation’s frigid roadways. To safely trek in winter weather, truckers regularly depend on tire […]

Dec 2020

Prolonged uptick in truck and trailer orders ‘cause for concern’

Reliance Partners CFO Thom Albrecht warns that the bullish parts of freight cycles for carriers are getting shorter in duration on the upside and nastier and longer on the downside. He notes that a shift could be abrupt and felt significantly by carriers when a lot of new equipment is delivered to the market. Such deliveries may occur at a time when consumers resume spending on […]

Dec 2020

Drivers too are culpable for industry turnover

A relationship is defined as the way in which two or more people are connected. In terms of trucking, you’d be hard-pressed to find one more important than the relationship between a driver and motor carrier. That is why driver turnover is always of great concern for the trucking industry. For whatever reason, whether it be in search of better pay or shorter hauls, a […]

Nov 2020

It’s better to be safe than sorry with cargo tank leaks

One look at the bill of lading is all you need to understand why fuel hauling can often be a white-knucke experience. Referred to as “rolling bombs” in the past, cargo tank trailers can be deadly if handled improperly. Hauling flammable liquids is no easy task. That is why Mark Barlar, Reliance Partners’ director of risk services, urges hazmat truckers to continue sharpening their safety skills […]

Nov 2020

Knowing post-accident protocols can save you a bundle

It’s that time of year again — the time when frigid temperatures and icy conditions can compromise the roadways. Jackknives, rollovers, braking issues and other truck-related accidents are prevalent during winter weather, so it’s best to take extra precautions heading into the colder months. However, semi-truck accidents happen at any time of year for any number of reasons, so it’s wise to drive safely and […]

Nov 2020

Despite drop in violations, fleets shouldn’t stray from safety

One could argue that the COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently made the roads safer as driver violations have decreased this year. However, as the hardworking men and women of the logistics industry continue to make sacrifices, safety shouldn’t be on the chopping block. The good news: During its annual Safe Driver Week in July, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) enforcement officials issued warnings and citations to just 71,343 […]

Nov 2020

Conquering mountains is a downhill battle

For truckers, conquering mountains and steep terrain is a downhill battle. And yes, things can go downhill very fast when an 80,000-pound loaded truck experiences brake failure, or worse, when a driver makes a serious error. Drivers who find themselves at the mercy of momentum quite literally receive a crash course in the laws of physics as their speed becomes uncontrollable. Thankfully, some of the […]

Oct 2020

Reliance Partners acquires fellow Volunteer State insurance company

Fast-growing Reliance Partners is growing with the acquisition of another Tennessee-based insurance carrier focused on transportation, Capacity Southeast Agency. Reliance made the announcement Thursday. Reliance is in Chattanooga; Capacity Southeast is in Nashville. Debra Brake, the president of Capacity Southeast, will join Reliance, as will its senior vice president, Jessie Merritt. Brake will be senior vice president of sales. Meritt will be vice president of […]

Oct 2020

Don’t get wrapped up in drug test confusion

Substance abuse is a serious issue in the trucking industry, but tracking and reporting it is equally challenging. While motor carriers, medical review officers (MROs), substance abuse professionals (SAPs) and consortium/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) do their best to crack down on the use of illegal substances, all parties must understand how to conduct proper testing and recordkeeping. Marijuana takes the heat for contributing heavily to the […]

Oct 2020

K9 co-pilots: What to consider before before hitting the road with Fido

Dogs have long held the title of “man’s best friend” as they’ve accompanied workers for centuries. This is true for generations of truckers who’ve relied on K9 companionship. While some consider pets messy and even view them as safety liabilities, the industry as a whole has generally become more pet-friendly. Brian Runnels, director of safety at Reliance Partners, suggests driving with pets shouldn’t be an issue as […]

Oct 2020

Time is of the essence after ransomware attack

Logistics companies have done what they can to protect their employees from COVID-19, but has this shifted focus away from safeguarding other areas of operation? With many workforces continuing to work away from the office, company data may be at a higher risk of a ransomware attack. If you’re unfamiliar with ransomware, consider yourself lucky. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. Attackers […]

Oct 2020

Crack down on cargo theft with situational awareness

Commercial truck drivers look forward to good meals, warm showers and rest at truck stops after arduous days on the road. But this much-needed period of relaxation can quickly turn stressful for victims of cargo theft. Driver downtime far too often results in downtime for truck and trailer security too. It only takes a few minutes away from your trailer to become a victim of […]

Oct 2020

Take advantage of HOS exception flexibility

The rules of the road altered slightly this Tuesday as long-awaited changes to driver hours-of-service (HOS) regulations finally took effect. In an effort to provide added flexibility to carriers and drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rolled out changes to four provisions of the HOS regulations that day aimed at expanding driver exceptions and modifying break requirements. Changes are now in effect for the following […]

Sep 2020

Final-mile adapts to e-commerce surge and rise in employment

The COVID-19 pandemic may have caused lengthy slowdowns early on across the logistics landscape, but it hasn’t prevented courier and final-mile delivery companies from darting across cities. In fact, the sector has adapted quite nicely and looks to remain busy as online retail sales and employment within the sector continue an upward trend. The addition of 8,000 courier and messenger jobs nationwide in August raised […]

Sep 2020

Thinking about expanding your fleet?

The blistering summer heat is starting to taper off as we approach the start of fall. But while temperatures have started to decrease, freight rates in the trucking sector continue to heat up. According to analytics, the average national rates for dry van and reefer truckloads have steadily risen since May, reaching the highest levels since 2018. Similarly, SONAR’s U.S. Outbound Tender Rejection Index illustrates the […]

Sep 2020

Squelch high CSA scores to broaden your insurance options

Sometimes it’s best not to be in the upper percentile. That is certainly the case for Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) BASICs scores. Not only do the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and curious shippers regularly view this information, but these scores also play a major role in determining whether or not a motor carrier or owner-operator will be classified as a high risk to […]

Aug 2020

For new trucking ventures, honesty is the best insurance policy

So you’ve just established a trucking company and are eager to score your first load. You’ve bought a truck and obtained CDL, MC and USDOT numbers. It’s time to start hiring drivers, right? Almost. But don’t forget to hit the road without proper insurance. The rules of the road apply to all commercial drivers; not a single carrier can outrun the consequences that follow an […]

Aug 2020

Protect against employment-related lawsuits now

In recent years, lawsuits against motor carriers have not only increased in frequency but also in bite. This should come as no surprise as headlines blaring multi-million dollar settlements have become newsflashes almost weekly. Research by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently shed light on lawsuits resulting from “nuclear verdicts.” It reported that from 2012 to 2019, there were 265 cases with verdicts over $1 […]

Aug 2020

Is the towing sector too risky to insure?

Whether it’s a couple of loose wheel bearings, a blown engine, or worse, a serious accident, truckers often feel helpless when their big rig forces them out of the fast lane and onto the side of the road. Thankfully, drivers aren’t stranded for long as fleets of tow truck operators stand by to assist day and night. Many jurisdictions consider tow trucks to be emergency […]

Jul 2020

Prioritize the health and well-being of your drivers

Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to operate remotely. The sudden change in work-life balance has been challenging but has also provided peace of mind for concerned workforces. In addition to avoiding rush hour traffic and the 9-5 grind, working remotely has become an attractive alternative for those looking to spare themselves from infection. However, not everyone is afforded this luxury. Truck […]

Jul 2020

How a $1.25 million insurance liability hike may affect owner-operators

Proposed rate increase in Congress would be “huge financial obstacle” for small-fleet truckers, says insurance expert A push by lawmakers to raise truck liability insurance for the first time in 40 years has advanced further than ever in Congress and the resulting rate increases would hit small trucking companies the hardest, according to an insurance expert. The provision included in the Moving Forward Act, which the […]

Ensure your independent drivers are covered as well

Debilitating injuries from tractor-trailer wrecks are sadly commonplace for motor carriers nationwide. Despite the best efforts to improve driver safety through rigorous training, the adoption of improved regulations and the implementation of new technologies, accidents still abound. To make matters worse, payouts for “nuclear verdicts” and other high-dollar lawsuits stemming from commercial truck-related accidents have sharply risen in recent years. New research by the American Transportation Research […]

Jul 2020

Hurricane season heats up – responding to a big one

Believe it or not, hurricane season is well underway, which means it’s time to keep a close eye on the weather. The Atlantic hurricane season started in June and continues through the end of November; this roughly six-month timeframe presents many opportunities for a storm to wreak havoc on economies and entire infrastructures of coastal communities large and small. Motor carriers and independent drivers operating […]

Jun 2020

Ensuring a non-owned trailer becomes a non-issue

A truckload of goods will often exchange hands multiple times between its origin and destination. In fact, it’s pretty common for a trailer to be hauled by one driver between points A and B only to be handed off to another to continue the journey to point C and so on. For instance, a truckload originating in Jacksonville bound for Los Angeles may find itself […]

Jun 2020

To keep or not to keep: What to consider when engine problems arise

Truckers often develop a sentimental attachment to their vehicles. Through long night hauls and truck stop naps, rush hour traffic and lonely stretches of road, a driver’s attachment to a truck can be compared to a cowboy’s love for his steed. That is why it can be extremely difficult for a driver to part ways with a years-old truck with engine problems. But truck owners […]

Jun 2020

Analyzing the response to COVID-19 and the importance of contingency planning

Entering 2020, the possibility of a pandemic seemed unfathomable. If companies thought about such a crisis at all, it was a “what-if” scenario. But “what-if” quickly became “what now?” There’s no shame in a company admitting it was blindsided by COVID-19; in fact, most probably found themselves unprepared. However, as the pandemic approaches the six-month mark, trucking companies and logistics providers should reflect on their […]

Jun 2020

The identity crisis of a non-rated motor carrier

Motor carrier safety ratings are a big deal, and they should be. Safety has become the industry’s top concern as compensatory payments and increased insurance premiums stemming from accidents have increased annually. With that being said, it’s understandable for a shipper to preferably contract with the highest-rated carriers. Safety ratings, however, don’t often paint an accurate picture of the current performance of a company. Worse, […]

May 2020

In the market for a used truck or trailer?

Those in the market to buy their own truck or trailer often face a binary choice – new or used. It’s a question as old as the highways itself and one that permeates the minds of forward-thinking truckers. Purchasing a truck fresh off the assembly line has its perks but can be expensive. On the other hand, used trucks lack certain elements of performance and […]

May 2020

Albrecht joins Reliance Partners as CFO and CRO

Reliance Partners, the Chattanooga-based insurance agency serving the commercial transportation and trucking industries, announced Monday that Thom Albrecht has joined the company as chief financial officer and chief revenue officer. Prior to joining Reliance Partners, Albrecht was a transportation equities analyst and investment banker for nearly 30 years at several banks, including BB&T and Stephens. In October 2017, he joined Celadon Group to help Paul […]

May 2020

Prioritize mitigating credit risk, especially during economic uncertainty

Freight brokers and commercial fleets process hundreds if not thousands of shipments daily. In an industry characterized by a huge amount of transactions, risk must consistently be weighed against reward. While most transportation companies diligently assess the profitability of each load before inking the deal, even the most thorough risk management practices cannot mitigate each and every risk. Many companies fall victim to the ever-present […]

Oct 2019

Reliance Partners Named on 2020 FreightTech 100 List.

FreightWaves, the industry-leading provider of 24/7 news, data and analytics for the global freight and logistics markets, announced Reliance Partners as one of the winners of the 2020 FreightTech 100 Awards.

Mar 2019

Reliance Partners, Proud Sponsor of the FreightTech Innovation Challenge

Chattanooga, Tenn., March 28, 2019 Reliance Partners is proud to a be an esteemed sponsor of the FreightTech Innovation Challenge, along with FreightWaves, Co.Lab and US Xpress. It is set to be a driving force of youth and innovation in the logistics industry, attracting young and diverse talent from the nation’s top schools to innovate on some of the most challenging industry issues. The FreightTech […]