Posts Tagged “bill of lading”

Eclipse Dist: Takes Pride in Arranging LTL Produce Loads

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Good brokers are known for sticking up for the men and women behind the wheel of the big rigs delivering perishable fresh fruits and vegetables.  That can mean rattling the cage of a shipper or receiver who are making a tough job even tougher for long haul truckers.


Darrell Miller, Mark Martin, Robin Bicksler, Brent Schmit and Tristan Schmit.


Brent Schmit is president of Eclipse Dist., Inc. located about an hour’s drive west of Chicago in Elburn, Il.  One of the most common complaints he hears from drivers relate to the attitudes of people.

For example, Brent points out a driver arrives at shipping point in California to make a pick up.  “The lady behind the desk tells the driver to hang on for a second.  She is on the phone talking to her girl friend or someone else and won’t give the driver the bill of lading,” Brent states.  “The driver is already loaded.  Then the driver gets the bill of lading and it states he was loaded out an hour earlier.”

Then upon arriving at destination late, the receiver looks at the bill of lading and says the driver left the loading dock at shipping point earlier than the driver claims to have left.  But in reality that is not true.

“A little more cooperation with the drivers would help,” laments Brent.  “If you miss an appointment out there at shipping point, they will push you off until the next day, or sometimes give you a later appointment (that day), if you are lucky.”

Brent adds if the trucker arrives at shipping at a certain time, then has to wait five hours, what is the shipper’s responsibility? he asks.  Additionally, if the receiver is claiming they needed the truck earlier, and if the truck had been loaded five hours earlier, the load would have been delivered when needed.

“I think the way the economy has been, it has affected business,  and over all it has been a slower year,” Brent states.  “I understand all of that, but they (shippers and receivers) put the pressure on everyone.  The drivers aren’t happy, because they are not making as much.  The customers aren’t happy because they are paying more for freight, and they aren’t selling as much.”

Eclipse, which arranges about 3,000 loads a year, handles a lot of less-than-truckload.

“There’s not a lot of people that want to handle the LTL,” Brent says.  Everybody wants the one pick up, one drop.  There are fewer headaches.  It takes a certan finess to get and LTL done.  Not only are you up all night with the driver, making sure he gets loaded, they you are trying to get deliveries arranged so the produce is taken off the truck.”

About 90 percent of Eclipse’s loads are with produce with the remainder being out bound loads from the Chicago area involving dry freight.  The truck brokerage has produce loads from all over the country delivered to Chicago area receivers.

Brent and his staff take pride in the job accomplished with the challenging LTL deliveries.  He notes Chicago is one of the largest distribution hubs in the USA.

“This is where we shop, where we eat, where we go to restaurants — everything.  It is an enjoyment for us because we brought all this produce in from California and elswhere,” Brent concludes.



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Eastern Apple Shipments will be down This Season

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There will be fewer apples for hauling in two of four of the leading eastern states this fall.  New York got hit the hardest by frost related weather earlier this year, but there also will be fewer loads available for produce haulers in North Carolina.  Pennsylvania and Virginia will be up in volume only slightly.

New York state’s Western and Central apple shipping areas were hit the hardest, with less frost damage occuring in the eastern part of the state, home of the Hudson Valley.  Still, New York’s volume will be down 52 percent from last apple season ( 590 million pounds compared to 1.2 billion pound a year ago). 

In Pennsylvania, apples are forecast to be at 481 million pounds.  It shipped 458 million pounds last year. 

North Carolina took a beating.  This year it expects to load 40 million pounds of apples compared to 140 million pounds in 2011.

The leading apple shipper in the mid-west, Michigan will ship 85 percent fewer apples this season.

Ironically, Washington state, which normally ships about half of the nation’s apples every year, is expected to account for 77 percent of the nation’s apple loads for 2012-13.  This is despite suffering some hail damage.  The state was on track for historic volume, until the fowl weather hit.  Still, Washington state is expected to have its second largest amount of apple shipments on record.

One difference produce haulers can expect out of the Northwest this season is for Washington shippers to be packing more apples than normal in the smaller, consumer bags.  This is because Michigan normally is heavy with bagged apples, and Washington packers will be looking to help fill this void.

Produce truckers should always watch what is being loaded, not only for proper count, but for quality and appearance of the product being loaded.  This is especially true if you are hauling apples from most shipping areas this season.  Expect shippers to be loading some fruit with pits or hail damage marks on it.  Just make sure whom you are hauling for is aware of this situation to help reduce changes of claims or rejected loads.   Also, be sure and note it on the bill of lading.

Washington state apples grossing – about $5600 to New York City.

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