3PLs offer shippers ‘untapped capacity’

3PLs offer shippers ‘untapped capacity’

As the second half of 2018 unfolds, shippers are presented with compounding challenges as the holiday season approaches. The truck driver shortage is showing no signs of loosening, lower tax rates have fueled consumer spending, and the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods are spurring manufacturers to stock up on imports in order to get ahead of the presumed price increases, all of which are driving truckload capacity constraints.

In the recent American Shipper article, “3PLs offer shippers ‘untapped capacity’”, Maggie Turner, National Account Manager at AFN, delves into the complexities of the market and shares insight on how shippers can successfully navigate this uncharted territory. Turner discusses how shippers have found new ways to make themselves a ‘shipper of choice’ and tap into available capacity by working with a trusted 3PL to gain access to smaller carriers.

Please read the article to find out more.


To learn how AFN can help you access untapped capacity, contact our supply chain professionals today.

Mastering the Complexities of the Cold Chain

Mastering the Complexities of the Cold Chain

A “new normal” for the transportation industry is here, and supply chain leaders are increasingly seeing how the retail landscape is changing- especially for the cold chain. What has caused this “new normal”? If you’ve ever ordered a frozen pizza online or a meal kit recently, you have part of the answer.

Changing consumer demands shifting weather patterns, record breaking load-to-truck ratios, and implementation of government regulations are all factors. Where does this leave retail and logistics leaders, and how must supply chains adapt to these changes? Rachal Snider of AFN and Alan Reed of Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network dive deep into the complexities of the cold chain- and shed light on how shippers can master the new normal of today’s retail landscape with the right partners.

Read Rachal and Alan’s full article in Food Logistics to get the full scoop. 


If you have any questions regarding the cold chain or current market conditions, please feel free to reach out to AFN at


5 Big Questions Facing Retail and Logistics Leaders

5 Big Questions Facing Retail and Logistics Leaders

How can I be a shipper of choice? How can my company navigate increasingly complex retail compliance requirements and mitigate the risk of noncompliance? And will this crazy transportation market ever cool off?

Throughout the first half of 2018, the transportation market has consistently seen record-setting load-to-truck ratios and spot rates- and it isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon. Evolving consumer demands and competition from online retailers are changing the landscape for brick-and-mortar retailers and the 3PLs and carriers that manage their transportation needs. In her recent article in Total Retail, Rachal Snider, AFN’s vice president of customer supply chain, shares insights and answers to the “5 Big Questions Facing Retail and Logistics Leaders.”

Time for a mini bid already?

Time for a mini bid already?

It’s more than fair to say that we are officially in the thick of another busy freight season! RFP roll-outs are now being implemented and/or executed, and carriers and brokerages alike are navigating through their resources to ensure coverage of their commitments. It’s as simple as that…right?  

Not necessarily! Eerily similar to the same period in 2017- though perhaps less a shock to the system- the disparity in the supply of drivers and trucks relative to demand for those resources continues to create hardship for shippers. While individual shipper experiences will always vary, even the most meticulously drawn-up plans may already be showing some cracks, as evidenced by poor Acceptance and Service rates.  

How can this be happening so soon? Why can’t assets and brokerages simply uphold agreements they created only one to two months ago? AFN does not aim to explain today why assets and brokerages become active contributors to these shortcomings. However, we have noticed a number of shippers have implemented an interesting solution to their procurement woes.  

In recent weeks, AFN has seen any number of shippers put out “Flex,” “Mini,” or “Gap” bids/RFPs. We don’t typically see this kind of activity this early in the year. Various reasons have been presented for these procurement events, but ultimately what has happened is that these shippers have recognized gaps early on in the life of their carrier agreements. Our team sees a number of potential benefits to shippers of conducting these off-cycle procurement exercises:

  • Rather than waiting for the absolute height of the freight market, shippers are taking advantage of a remaining- yet shrinking- window to fill gaps with somewhat normalized rate agreements.  
  • Shippers who traditionally resort to daily “Portal” or “Freight Auction” options that can be a nightmare to transportation budgets, are bolstering their networks with stronger agreements – although perhaps more expensive than expected in the original bid – to limit “spot” activity.  
  • Shippers are recognizing carrier and brokerage partners who have done a nice job early on, and deserve the opportunity to drive further partnership.  

The idea of implementing yet another RFP can be an unpleasant thought. But many shippers have decided that the payoff is there, especially if you keep the scope small and focused, include only a few key providers, and move quickly!

AFN would be more than happy to discuss potential solutions to the current challenges in the market at your convenience. Please contact our team of supply chain professionals at


How to be a shipper of choice in a carrier’s market

How to be a shipper of choice in a carrier’s market

As summer shipping volumes heat up and produce season progresses, truck capacity continues to remain tight, and it isn’t looking to loosen anytime soon. In this challenging, capacity-constrained market, if you aren’t a shipper of choice, carriers may up-charge or in extreme instances refuse to haul your product.

It’s more important than ever for shippers to make their freight appealing to carriers. In this recent American Shipper article, AFN National Account Manager, Maggie Turner, discusses how to become a shipper of choice in a carrier’s market:

“The increasing strain on capacity and resulting burden on shippers’ bottom lines is here to stay. 3PLs are using creative tactics to ease the stress on shippers, like advising on how to be a shipper of choice in a carrier’s market, sourcing key information like capacity trends, and providing OTIF/retail compliance support.”

Learn more by reading Maggie’s feature in the full article.


Take the first step towards becoming a shipper of choice.

Contact our team of supply chain professionals

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ELD Mandate: More Changes for Shippers Than Carriers

Carriers Will Choose Freight That Permits Profitability Without Risking Violations

“Much has been written regarding the anticipated impact of the forthcoming electronic logging device (ELD) mandate on truckload capacity. However, comparatively little has been said about the actions shippers can take to mitigate the potential negative effects of the mandate on their supply chains. As the implementation passed earlier this week, shippers should look beyond the perceived compliance rate of their existing carrier base and focus on removing other supply chain inefficiencies, thereby, naturally reducing ELD-related costs and risks. Taking a holistic, long-term approach—often with the help of an experienced 3PL provider—can address the challenges posed by the ELD mandate, and beyond.”

Daniel Broderick, AFN’s General Counsel, weighs the ELD mandate’s impact on shippers and carriers in his latest Global Trade Magazine piece. 

Please reach out to AFN’s team of supply chain experts with any questions regarding the ELD mandate at To learn more about AFN, please visit or call 877-562-3236.


3PLs Up The Ante

A good third-party logistics provider can be your ace in the hole to keep supply chain operations running straight and your bottom line flush.

Thirty years ago, the value-add many third party logistics (3PLs) providers offered included simple warehousing and freight transportation services. Even from as recently as the 1990s, most shippers expected 3PLs to move their goods from Point A to Point B. Their main concerns were competitive prices, available capacity, and good service. The process wasn’t integrated to any system. “Logistics was an afterthought,” says Brian Winshall, executive vice president of business development with AFN, a logistics firm based in Niles, Ill.

Learn more about the evolution and integration of 3PLs in Inbound Logistics latest feature story: 3PLs Up the Ante, including contributions from our very own Brian Winshall.

AFN at CSCMP 2016 Annual Conference

AFN Delivers People-Powered Logistics

We’re big enough to deliver real results.
We’re agile and flexible enough to care about your challenges.

We’re excited to announce that we will be attending the CSCMP 2016 Annual Conference AND hosting a booth…Booth #120, to be exact. We hope you will stop by September 25-28 and learn how AFN can put our team of passionate logistics professionals to work on your toughest supply chain challenges.

Click here to learn a little more about AFN directly from the headlines. Did you know AFN just acquired LTL Company HA Advantage? Check out this article announcing our major growth.

Not sure if you should attend this year’s conference? Click here for more information.

AFN Named Ocean Spray 2015 “Partner of the Year”

Partner of the Year

AFN, a service-focused third-party logistics provider and freight brokerage, was honored recently by Ocean Spray as “Partner of the Year,” as judged on a quantitative scale in four key areas, including tangible evidence of success; sustainable achievement over time; performance over and above expectation and the accepted norms; and ambition, innovation, and originality. AFN was recognized for “delivering value and (an) industry-leading solution,” according to the award announcement letter.

AFN named @OceanSprayInc 2015 Partner of the Year #PeoplePoweredLogistics Click To Tweet

“AFN’s team, led by Executive Vice President Tim Crow, took a collaborative approach to some of our most challenging lanes, and in spite of the difficulties, achieved a 98.9% acceptance rate while maintaining 95% on-time delivery,” said Chris Domey, Senior Logistics Manager at Ocean Spray. “AFN achieved these KPI’s while taking on one of Ocean Spray’s most challenging receivers,” continued Mr. Domey.

“AFN has been a proud Ocean Spray solutions provider since 2011, and we are committed to continuing to exceed their expectations and helping them grow their business through optimizing their supply chain,” said Ryan Daube, AFN’s Founder and CEO.

The 2015 Partner of the Year award was bestowed at the recent Ocean Spray Carrier Summit, an annual event focused on driving increased visibility, dynamic solutions, and improved strategy in support of the Ocean Spray supply chain.

“AFN’s vision is to support the continued success of our customers through a continual focus on learning and innovation. We deeply appreciate Ocean Spray’s continued support, and their recognition of the value the AFN team delivers,” commented Tim Crow of AFN.


About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. Formed in 1930, Ocean Spray is now the world’s leading producer of cranberry juices, juice drinks and dried cranberries and is the best-selling brand in the North American bottled juice category. The cooperative’s cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 100 countries worldwide. With more than 2,200 employees and nearly 20 cranberry receiving and processing facilities, Ocean Spray is committed to managing our business in a way that respects our communities, employees and the environment. For more information visit or