Driving Relationships with the Trucking Industry 

Great Truckers

About the Author

Bruce Johnson — Vice President of Capacity Development- C.H. Robinson

For the past 23 years, Bruce has served as an employee of C.H. Robinson. Currently Bruce is the vice president of Capacity Development. In his role he leads relationships with almost 76,000 motor carriers of all sizes and works closely with customers.

Excellence in Freight Transportation: Our 2018 Contract Carriers of the Year

Last week, we at C.H. Robinson had the great pleasure of hosting our 2018 Contract Carrier of the Year Award ceremony in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2018 Carrier of the Year Award Winners after the awards ceremony at C.H. Robinson

The Carrier of the Year Awards honor some of the most innovative and productive North American truckload carriers in our network. The event recognizes contract carriers who have provided outstanding service; this year’s winners are also leaders in technology use and collaboration with the C.H. Robinson team. It was a true privilege to welcome the awardees to our corporate headquarters, show them around our campus, and host a fun evening celebrating their many accomplishments.

C.H. Robinson’s 2018 Contract Carriers of the Year

We awarded twelve contract carriers—out of our network of over 76,000—in ten different categories. This year’s winners include:

  • Truck owner-operator: Jose Sanchez—Maywood, CA
  • Truck owner-operator: StanTranz—Walkertown, NC
  • 2–10 trucks: Avalon National, LLC—Cassadaga, NY
  • 2–10 trucks: Jeffrey D. Leyk—Burtrum, MN
  • 11–50 trucks: Jack Rust—Rogersville, MO
  • 51–100 trucks: Pope Trucking, Inc.—Pearson, GA
  • 101–299 trucks: A.N. Webber, Inc.—Chebanse, IL
  • 300–999 trucks: Nussbaum Transportation—Hudson, IL
  • 1,000+ trucks: Covenant Transport, Inc.—Chattanooga, TN
  • Flatbed: Cheetah Transportation Systems—Houston, TX
  • Temperature Controlled: Orbitz Trans, Inc.—Riverside, CA
  • Rookie of the Year: DJP Trucking, LLC—Trevor, WI

Celebrating our freight transportation relationships

C.H. Robinson teams and carriers shared many personal stories of working together to go the extra mile during the three-day event. The occasion also offered a chance to step back from the busy day-to-day world of freight transportation and reflect on the essential carrier/provider relationships that make C.H. Robinson’s services so powerful.

“The close relationships we have with our contract carriers are fundamental to the reliable quality that make up our diverse truckload shipping capacity network; these awardees represent many of the most exceptional out there,” said Mac Pinkerton, president of North America surface transportation, who emceed the presentation ceremony.

“We’re delighted to be able to celebrate these carriers that make freight shipping more efficient and more productive for all, and I’m excited to see how we continue to grow together,” he added.

Highlighting first-class freight management all year long

Though our annual ceremony is a special occasion, we’re proud to acknowledge our extraordinary contract carriers every day through our Carrier Advantage™ Program. We created this program to provide carriers with benefits that keep their business moving. The benefits of the Carrier Advantage Program include:

  • A dedicated account manager
  • Contractual freight opportunities
  • Early access to freight
  • Reduced QuickPay program fees
  • Web-offer capabilities

All our Contract Carriers of the Year have obtained Key status, the highest recognition tier within the program. Our Carrier Advantage Program is just one way we at C.H. Robinson keep our relationships central to connect trucks and freight in situations when no one else can.

Please join me in congratulating our 2018 Contract Carriers of the Year!

We’re already looking forward to the stories we’ll hear and the connections we’ll create at next year’s ceremony.

How to Use Mobile Apps to Improve Driver Experiences and Grow Your Business

Because 2018 was a strong year for carriers in the United States, it fueled an ongoing need for more drivers. In fact, The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index identified 2018 as having the “strongest truckload pricing achieved since deregulation.” This strong demand for truckload capacity, coupled with not enough carriers to meet that demand, led many carriers to seek new solutions and technology—like mobile apps—to help grow their business.

Carrier using Navisphere technology to grow his business

It’s difficult to know what’s on the horizon. Forecasts for 2019 are still hazy. Analysts aren’t sure if the difference between supply and demand will persist throughout the year, which can make planning for your business a challenge. I expect the most successful carriers in 2019 and the years beyond will begin to focus on creating quality driver experiences. Here’s why.

A new focus on driver quality of life

Until recently, focusing on a driver’s quality of life wasn’t often a high priority for carriers or shippers. Now it’s a sign of a quality company poised to succeed.

Historically in this industry, trucks and profit margins have led transportation and supply chain planning. Issues specifically affecting drivers, such as electronic logging devices, shifted some attention toward driver retention, but now, driver frustrations like detention and dwell times—and the lack of respect for truck drivers—are taking center stage.

Instead of putting up with these frustrating issues, smart carriers are collaborating closely with shippers and third party logistics providers (3PLs) to quickly resolve these challenges. I expect this to really change the way carriers and the rest of the industry will operate in the coming years.

Many shippers and 3PLs are already getting on board with this shift. For example, here at C.H. Robinson, we have ongoing efforts to help carriers and drivers reduce routing waste, get respect from shippers, and plan more effectively at a strategic level.

We’re powering these initiatives through data—we collect and analyze information on 120,000 shippers to match premier carriers with collaborative shippers. Together, this combination of data and experience improves carrier efficiency and profitability.

Mobile apps are changing the business

Another change to the marketplace that improves driver experiences has been the rise of mobile freight apps. These apps make it simple for carriers to find and book loads, which makes it easier for drivers to know where they will be—and more importantly, when they’ll be home.

However, because moving freight is so complex, standalone digital freight brokers’ capabilities are still relatively limited in today’s trucking market. Developing freight matching applications that drive profits while keeping costs low requires data, scale, and a deep understanding of the intricacies of freight transport—something only well-established organizations can accomplish.

That’s why we’ve invested in our carrier and driver mobile apps for years and will continue to do so in 2019.

Navisphere® Carrier provides everything owner operators and small carriers need to manage their business while on the road. With this app, carriers can easily find the freight they want, when they want it. And we designed Navisphere® Driver specifically for the needs of fleet drivers, providing automatic status updates throughout the life of a load. Both apps let users upload documents from the road and issue invoices automatically, facilitating perhaps the most important feature of the apps: faster payment processing.

I’ve heard consistently from both carriers and drivers that these kinds of apps are helping them easily and flexibly find, book, and report loads. In 2019, I expect increased emphasis on these types of apps as an easy way to accelerate business growth because they help automate carriers’ and drivers’ most time-consuming tasks.

Technology’s role will only increase

No one can say for sure what 2019 might hold, but as the industry continues to change, I’ll continue to be thinking about the tools carriers and drivers need to streamline and grow their businesses.

As quality driver experiences becoming more and more central, I’m excited to see how technology will continue to improve the industry. Reach out to your C.H. Robinson carrier representative to start that conversation today.

Learn more about our carrier technologies or download Navisphere Carrier from the app store today.

7 Reasons We Love Truck Drivers and Why You Should Too

I’m always glad when Truck Driver Appreciation Week rolls around every September. It’s one short week each year when we try our best to thank the drivers across the country who make our world possible.

In honor of Truck Driver Appreciation Week, I’ve come up with seven reasons why you should thank truck drivers.

1. They keep a tradition that spans generations alive with semi-truck air horn honks

Today, tablets, phones, and other electronics dominate the backseat and often keep kids focused on a screen rather than looking out the window during road trips. Truck Driver Appreciation Week truck driver image with sun shining through the windshield

But what’s one thing that consistently gets kids to pay attention to the world around them? Looking for and asking truck drivers to blow their air horns. Like so many truckers over the years, today’s truck drivers still watch for the familiar arm pump action and indulge their unspoken wish whenever it’s safe and possible to do so.

Thank a truck driver for continuing a tradition that thrills kids (and parents too).

2. Truck drivers draw from their experiences to garner success

Driving a truck across the country is bound to lead to a unique view of our world and life in general. Plenty of truck drivers have used their experiences to reach their goals outside of the industry. Can you guess which of the following actors drove trucks before they were famous?

  • Charles Bronson
  • James Cameron
  • Chevy Chase
  • Sean Connery
  • Rock Hudson
  • Richard Pryor
  • Richard Pryor
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Liam Neeson
  • Elvis Presley

If you guessed all of them, you’re right! I think that says something about the type of people who work as truck drivers. To me, it says they’re willing to chase their dreams and are capable of achieving them—whether it’s to successfully run a business or become a movie star.

Thank a truck driver for being brave enough to pursue their dreams.

3. Drivers help place three million wreaths on veteran graves every year

It’s true, without truck drivers Wreaths Across America wouldn’t be possible. Every year, truck drivers deliver wreaths so thousands of volunteers can remember fallen U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on graves in over 1,200 participating locations across the country. And that’s just one of the many ways truck drivers give back to the causes they care about.

Thank a truck driver for supporting charities all across the country.

4. Truck drivers see us through the toughest storms

From hurricanes and snowstorms to wildfires and floods, all of these natural disasters have one thing in common: they need relief efforts. Without truck drivers to deliver much needed supplies to devastated areas, bad situations would be much worse. From coast to coast, they’ve seen us through Katrina, Irma, Harvey, Snowmageddon, and so much more.

Thank a truck driver for seeing us through the toughest storms.

5. They’re on the road 14 hours a day for weeks at a time

Those of us with office jobs work between 8-12 hours a day on average. I know the days I have to work 14 hours are rare—not to mention completely exhausting. I can’t imagine putting in 14-hour days on a regular basis. It’s no wonder that both the CDC and OSHA report higher rates of injury and illness for truck drivers than other industries. But it’s their dedication that delivers the products we need every day.

Thank a truck driver for the long hours and the time away from home.

6. Truck drivers invest in safety day in and day out

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, from 1980 through 2014, the number of large truck-involved fatal crash rate per 100 million miles dropped a remarkable 74%. In fact, trucks have an overall crash rate 28% lower than that of other vehicles.

That’s in large part to the extensive driver safety training that all drivers must go through. And on a daily basis, their willingness to plan—for fuel stops, weigh stations, road construction, and weather—all make a big difference in saving lives on our roads.

Thank a truck driver for focusing on safety day in and day out.

7. They move 10.5 billion tons of freight annually

Our country’s truck drivers truly keep our world moving—after all, nearly 71% of all freight moved in the U.S goes on trucks. Thinking of just about any product I use on a daily basis—from my toothbrush to my supper—they all rely on truck drivers. A world without truck drivers is a truly scary place.

Thank a truck driver for delivering the products that keep our world moving.

Truck drivers are the real heroes in today’s world

While the top box office hits feature heroes with superpowers and capes, in my mind truck drivers are the true stars. They deserve to be recognized during Truck Driver Appreciation Week and every week of the year.

Thank a truck driver for the miles they give the rest of us.

C.H. Robinson Foundation Contract Carrier Scholarship: Apply Now


For the sixth year in a row, the C.H. Robinson Foundation Scholarship Program for Truckload Contract Carriers will award up to ten $2,500 undergraduate college scholarships. The program is open to employees of eligible C.H. Robinson contract carriers—those who have been a C.H. Robinson contract carrier for a minimum of one year as of the application deadline, and to children of eligible C.H. Robinson contract carrier employees.
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- Vice President of Capacity Development- C.H. Robinson