RFP out for establishment of new U.S. Center for Maritime Innovation

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to establish a U.S. Center for Maritime Innovation. The center will support the study, research, development, assessment, and deployment of emerging marine technologies and practices related to emerging environmental challenges faced by the maritime transportation system.

Don’t look for the new center to have any fancy buildings, labs or test facilities. According to the RFP, the center “shall be a virtual center,...


Brokers should use technology to stand out this RFP season

The current freight recession has created a market characterized by an overabundance of capacity and a stubborn lack of demand. While the market remains depressed, industry experts have noticed signs of an impending rebound in the mid-term future.

“The national Outbound Tender Reject Index (OTRI) topped 4% [in August] for the first time since early January, when it was recovering from the holiday period,” FreightWaves market expert Zach Strickland reported in late August. “While 4% is still...


Trucking could — maybe — become less volatile

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The trucking industry is known for its volatility. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, nearly 9,000...


Carriers should focus on acquiring, honoring contracts ahead of potential recession

A white truck and trailer on a highway

A freight recession is on everyone’s mind as capacity continues to loosen and spot rates remain on long steady decline for months.. As rates begin to approach pre-pandemic levels, some carriers are shifting their focus toward protecting their bottom lines. 

The logistics industry is collaborative by nature and leaning into that fact is one of the most effective ways carriers can ward against turmoil during market shifts. 

“The most important thing for carriers to focus on, regardless of how the...


All machines need maintenance: Your broker is the mechanic, not the operator

By Omar Singh, president and founder, Surge Transportation

So much of the conversation recently has been dominated by digital transformation of the supply chain that I thought it might be nice to take a moment to reflect on what got us here.

In the years before APIs, 10 years in my case, our approach was always to provide value as a strategic partner by positioning our relationship with customers in places that needed tweaking — maintenance. Maintenance in routing guides/supply chain can be short...


New RFP landscape: Building strong contracts in 2022

A truck rolls down the highway.

Shippers have long relied on Excel spreadsheets and emails to handle their freight procurement processes. When pandemic-fueled headwinds pushed historic amounts of freight into the spot market, however, many shippers found themselves running an unmanageable amount of seasonal bids to compensate for annual contract failures. 

From there, the traditional Excel spreadsheet and email system started to fall apart. 

“If you have 20 or 30 carriers, you don’t really need a robust system to run bids. You...


Shorter RFPs gain ground as market softens

A white semi-truck is traveling down a road with a blue sky in the background.

After years of soaring rates and strained capacity, shippers have been buoyed by a softening market over the past few months. As capacity loosens up and spot rates fall, shippers and carriers alike are taking a look at their contracts. While carriers are hoping to lock in new annual rates before they dip even lower, shippers may be interested in evaluating shorter-term options that allow them to take advantage of future market shifts. 

“For the first time in more than 3 years, the market is more...


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