Harriet Mills

Recent Posts

Putting the Brakes on Cargo Theft This Thanksgiving

Posted by Harriet Mills on Nov 19, 2021 1:40:09 PM

As the news continues to be saturated with images of overflowing containers and clogged ports, the public is getting used to hearing that the world’s supply chains are a hot mess – but the situation this fall has become more alarming than ever. Delayed and missed deliveries have become the reality for many Americans, and prior expectations have slipped, even for next-day delivery junkies. As the world’s consummate consumers, we are becoming surprisingly tolerant of what seems like a long-term state of affairs.

What happens, though, when a shipment is not just delayed, but it never arrives? The last thing a shipper wants to believe is that their freight has gone missing and possibly has been stolen. Unfortunately, it can and does happen.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two times of the year when cargo theft happens most often. The holidays are a time when people are preoccupied with having time off and are anxious to get home to their families. In other words, they are often off their game, which means letting their guard down and creating a perfect opportunity for freight crooks to do what they do best.

The graphic below is based on CargoNet's past 5 years of data. CargoNet is a unique solutions provider that helps its members collectively share information between law enforcement, victims of theft, and shippers and receivers to recover and prevent stolen freight.

Source: CargoNet

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Tags: 3PL News, Freight claims, cargo theft

Keeping Cold Freight COLD With Changing Weather Conditions

Posted by Harriet Mills on Oct 29, 2021 3:49:55 PM

This is the time of year when temperatures across the country widely vary. Higher elevations are already snow-covered while areas of the East Coast can still be in the eighty-degree range like they were just a week ago.

For any given cross-country shipment, the ambient temperature outside the trailer during the spring and fall months can go through multiple changes along the route. If the reefer unit has not been regularly serviced or the trailer is in disrepair with leaks or holes, the safety of the cargo may be in jeopardy. 

It is during these months of unpredictable weather swings that shippers with temperature-controlled freight need to pay close attention to best practices and use extra vigilance in maintaining their cold chain.  

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Tags: Shipper News, refrigerated freight services, frozen freight shipping

How to Explain Soaring Freight Costs to Your Boss

Posted by Harriet Mills on Sep 30, 2021 4:24:10 PM

It is hard to believe it has been almost two years since the onset of the pandemic. We still don't fully understand the extent of the disruption that has overwhelmed the global supply chain, nor do we know what to expect in the coming year. It is uncharted, unfamiliar territory. 

From short supplies and depleted inventories to delayed shipments and order backlogs, the movement of goods has never been so unpredictable and stress inducing. But the biggest issue for shipping managers, and dare I say, the elephant in the room,  is not so much the daily struggles that come with tight capacity, employment woes, and lack of raw materials, but the result of it all, which is soaring freight rates. 

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Tags: Truck Rates, truckload freight shipping, 3PL News

Drayage Woes Tied to Port Congestion

Posted by Harriet Mills on Sep 10, 2021 11:18:16 AM

Never before has the American consumer needed so much of everything, and needed it so immediately. Partially caused by the shortages at the beginning of the pandemic, and also driven by people working from home and shopping online, consumer behavior has changed drastically over the past year. 

News coverage of the massive congestion at U.S. ports has made its way from niche industry publications to mainstream news media. Why? Because supply chains hold the strings to what we eat, drink, wear, live in, and consume. In the past six months, a rapid series of disruptions have created a colossal problem for both B2B and B2C channels, especially at the ports.

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Tags: Shipper News, 3PL News, Port and Drayage Shipping

Record Heat Puts Cold Chain Shippers on Alert

Posted by Harriet Mills on Jul 16, 2021 3:16:26 PM

Shipping temperature-controlled freight can be a risky business even on the best of days, but when outside temperatures soar to record-breaking highs, (most recently putting 13 million Americans under a severe heat advisory), it is time to pay extra attention to your cold freight shipments.

The past month was the hottest June in North America on record. In recent days, California, Nevada, and Arizona all surpassed previous record temperatures. It has been so hot in the Pacific Northwest that roads are actually buckling. What does this mean for shippers and carriers?

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Tags: Cold LTL, refrigerated freight services, truckload freight shipping

Shipping Cross-Border to Canada, Eh?

Posted by Harriet Mills on Jun 17, 2021 4:37:16 PM


Cross-border freight movement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico was affected by the global pandemic just as much as the rest of the world. In 2020, overall freight was down by 13% compared with 2019. If you are looking at just truck Canadian truck freight, it declined by 10% during that same timeframe.

But in 2021, things seem to be getting back on track. The concept of reshoring and near-shoring has gained popularity after commodity shortages along with inventory deficits spurred on a sourcing frenzy to find vendors closer to home. 2020 taught us the full risks of offshoring in the supply chain, and it has many companies making changes. 

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Nursery Growers Face Challenges in 2021

Posted by Harriet Mills on Apr 28, 2021 11:15:00 AM

It is always surprising how a garden planted with the same array of annuals and perennials every year can look entirely different from one Spring to the next. It all depends on rainfall, temperatures, soil nutrients, and a multitude of other factors, but that is the beauty of it! Every growing season is uniquely it is own.

For wholesale nursery growers, their seasons can be just as temperamental, but with much larger consequences. Choptank works with hundreds of nurseries across the United States to help get their live plants to market, in good condition, and at reasonable rate

s. Since Mother's Day is coming up and nursery freight is in full swing, we thought we would check in with several of our nursery and landscape shippers in states like Alabama, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, to see how the 2021 season is shaping up so far.


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2021 Produce Shipping Season Faces Challenges

Posted by Harriet Mills on Apr 8, 2021 8:34:35 AM

Every produce shipping season is different, but 2021 has more than one extenuating circumstance that could make it one for the record books. Not only are we coming off of a volatile, high volume post-pandemic freight market, but we still are trying to recover after a week of bizarre winter weather in Texas and the deep South that devastated many winter crops.   

Melons, onions, lettuce, and broccoli were just some of the more than $600 million in damaged produce. According to Texas A&M Today, the estimated losses from weather-related storms are broken down by these categories:

  • Citrus crops, at least $230 million
  • Livestock, at least $228 million
  • Vegetable crops, at least $150 million
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Tags: Shipper News, refrigerated freight services, truckload freight shipping

Innovation During the Pandemic

Posted by Harriet Mills on Mar 12, 2021 7:32:46 AM

​For almost a decade, technology has been a primary focus for transportation and logistics companies. It had been an industry that desperately needed to replace years of disjointed and fractured practices. Now fiercely competitive, 3PLs (third-party logistics companies) are racing to streamline the supply chain through greater efficiency and real-time visibility, ditching the old paperwork-heavy processes that cost all parties too much time and money. In the supply chain, innovation is the name of the game.


When COVID-19 turned the world upside down, the way goods moved was suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Unexpected panic-buying behaviors by consumers emerged, with essentials like toilet paper and other frequently purchased staples vanishing off grocery shelves as fast as a puff of smoke on a windy day. The world of logistics could not keep up.

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Tags: Technology, Industry News, 3PL News

Freight Rates on the Rise

Posted by Harriet Mills on Feb 18, 2021 1:19:10 PM

Speculation about how much shipping costs will increase this year vary, but industry experts agree that rate hikes are inevitable, and soon.

The last year has tested the industry to its limits. Expecting the unexpected has become the norm because of COVID-19. It has stretched us like too little butter over too much bread, creating far-reaching consequences. Now that the pandemic threat may be winding down in many places, we are presented with one more thing to make us grind our teeth at night—more cost to our bottom line.

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Tags: Shipper News, refrigerated freight services, Truck Rates, truckload freight shipping, 3PL News