Get to Know Our Metro Auto Express Staff Members

January 29th, 2016

For this Employee Spotlight, we’d like to highlight some members of the Metro Auto Express team, our owned-and-operated transport division. Meet Robert Hoery, Timothy Nunez and Jim Durant.

Robert Hoery, team driver, has been with Metro Auto Express for a little over a year. His role involves transporting client vehicles from one facility to another. What he enjoys most about his job is the company’s stress-free environment.

You may not know that Hoery is a published historian of Colorado history. He likes to promote and perform country music in his spare time, and, get this – he was once a bodyguard for Bob Dylan. He can also impersonate Waylon Jennings, both in his singing on stage and on CDs. Jennings also performs Hoery’s favorite song, “Never Could Tow the Mark.”  If Hoery could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, they would be Merle Haggard’s.

Timothy Nunez (AKA Tim) is another team driver. His responsibilities include ensuring a safe, efficient and professional pickup and delivery of customer vehicles. Nunez has been working with Metro Auto Express for just over a year. He enjoys interacting with and helping others, but his favorite part about his job is the driving.

Nunez loves to spend time with his family, especially outdoors while camping and fishing. An unusual previous job of his was working in California, where he collected and counted money for a company. He possesses a hidden talent of troubleshooting, and if he could, he would be Nikola Tesla for a day.

Jim Durant, transportation manager, has been with Metro Auto Express for over a year. On a daily basis, Durant directs operations and the movement of EchoPark Denver metro area vehicle transports. What he enjoys most about his job is providing excellent service to EchoPark while meeting the daily challenges it presents, along with working with the great employees on his team.

In his spare time, Durant enjoys going to the movies with his family as well as drawing to relieve daily stress. He has many hidden talents, including playing the piano, drawing, and shooting a basketball proficiently with either hand. This must be why Durant would choose to be Larry Bird for a day, playing in game seven of the finals against the Lakers.

Each staff member is a very important part of our team, and we wish to thank the Metro Auto Express employees for all they do.

IMG_0916

L – R Jim Durant, Tim Nunez, Robert Hoery

Tips for Receiving Vehicle Shipments

January 13th, 2016

Although we’ve written previously about how to prepare vehicles for shipment and how to save transportation costs and time, we’ve never addressed the other end of the process. MetroGistics would like to offer the following tips on how to prepare to receive vehicle shipments.

1. Have an allocated delivery drop area

• This will help ensure a safe unload of your vehicle(s) while maintaining the safety of the driver.

• As a rule of thumb, drivers need at least 150-175 feet of clearance (that includes the length of the truck).

2. Communicate with the transport company

• It’s always good to communicate any changes in delivery area or receiving hours to your dispatcher to avoid delays.

• You’ll also want to let your dispatcher know of any changes in infrastructure (e.g., different entry gates, low-clearance bridges, major road constructions) in your area.

• Having a point person ensures that the right vehicles are delivered to you. There are times a driver arrives at a business and can’t unload because he can’t find a person who knows about the delivery.

3. Inspect your vehicle(s)

• When your vehicle arrives, make sure to do a thorough inspection with the driver present. Drivers should perform an inspection at the time of pickup and note any existing damage, if any, on the Bill of Lading (BOL). When the origin of the shipment is an auction, any damages found are noted on the vehicle gate pass. Use the BOL to note any damages on the vehicle. The driver will keep a copy of this “condition report,” as will you. Sign the BOL only after you’ve inspected the vehicle(s).

• If your business accepts deliveries after hours, the condition report will have a Subject to Inspection (STI) stamp or signature written on it. As soon as you are able to take physical possession of the vehicle, you should still do a thorough inspection and note any and all damages.

• If you see damage, take pictures and contact the claims department at the transport company as soon as possible. Even if you do not have pictures, the sooner you report the damage to the claims department, the better.

• Signing a clean BOL will make it very difficult to file a claim.

• Also keep in mind that normal wear and tear on a pre-owned vehicle is not considered major damage.

4. Check the driver’s paperwork

• When a carrier arrives at your business, have your point person check the BOL to make sure the driver is at the correct location and verify the vehicles that are intended for your company. A carrier can have a full truckload but only one or two vehicles may be for your location.

• Many times a carrier is transporting two or three of the same type of vehicle. Always verify that the VIN number on the BOL matches the VIN plate on the vehicle.

Following these steps will ensure a smooth delivery process, and you don’t have to wait until your next order to notify your dispatcher of any changes.

Our dispatchers are available seven days a week. If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Wrapping Up a Great Year for MetroGistics

December 15th, 2015

As 2015 winds down, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the happenings at MetroGistics in what has been our best year yet.

In addition to finalizing our merger with McNutt Automotive Logistics, we experienced growth in many areas of the company. Following is a brief recap.

Sales

Our sales team added three new OEM clients, which means we are now doing business with all new car manufacturers in the United States. We also added more than 100 new auto dealerships as customers.

Growing Staff

In 2015, our operations team added four new dispatchers and two order entry professionals. On the sales side, we added three new sales reps.

Our management team was bolstered with the addition of Dave Larson as executive vice president of business development, and Bob Brinson as vice president of finance. William Billiter, co-founder and managing partner, recently commented that Bob’s hire “rounds out our impressive management team.”

Carrier Network

Even with a very strict onboarding process to maintain high standards, our carrier compliance team added 1,054 new carriers to our network this year.

Technology

As pioneers in using technology to optimize the transport experience, we always have an eye on innovations that improve service. In 2015, our technology team developed an in-house transportation management system for some of our larger clients, and upgraded and launched new customer sites and portals.

Community Involvement

MetroGistics is committed to being a good corporate citizen and giving back to our community. In addition to our annual Monster Mash fundraising event and Metro Giving Back program (which provides a monthly donation to charities selected by our employees), we were a Gold Sponsor of the 11th Annual A Cause for Paws Masquerade Ball benefitting Helping Strays, and a Bronze Sponsor of the 23rd Annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. We also donated toys and funds to the First Annual Arch City Riders Toy Drop.

During this holiday season, we wish to express our gratitude to our employees, partners and customers. We send you our good wishes for safe celebrations and a prosperous 2016.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Good Employees = A Great Company

December 2nd, 2015

At MetroGistics, we feel honored to have dedicated, collaborative and talented employees on staff. We would like to recognize three highly valued team members this quarter: Gabriela Hernandez, Demetrius Perry and Melissa Organ.

Gabriela Hernandez, accounting assistant, has been with MetroGistics for almost eight months. Her role involves processing carrier paperwork and payments from customers, issuing checks, and sending invoices. What she enjoys most about her profession is working with amazing, hard-working team members.

Hernandez is Venezuelan and enjoys horseback riding and going on walks or to the park with her son. She is very inspired by Shakira, the successful Latin-American pop artist, for her strong influence in the Latin community and efforts in helping underprivileged communities.

Demetrius Perry is a dispatch coordinator for MetroGistics as well as the regional account manager for the Midwest Region. His responsibilities are dispatching vehicles to carriers, updating customers with shipment statuses, and vehicle tracking.

Perry just reached his one-year mark with the company this month. His favorite thing about working here is the friendly environment – everyone is both professional and down-to-earth. In his free time, Perry enjoys writing short stories and poems, playing video games, and reading up on neuroscience.

Melissa Organ, dispatch coordinator, has been with MetroGistics for over a year. Her daily duties include placing orders, updating order statuses, and price moves. She says her favorite thing about her job is the people she works with.

When she is not busy at work, Organ really enjoys reading. She also has an investigative side to her, having almost falling into the profession crime scene cleaning. According to Organ, the song that best describes her is “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack.

As our staff continues to grow, we look forward to continually spotlighting our wonderful employees. Gabriela, Demetrius and Melissa, we’re glad you’re part of the MetroGistics team.

2015_12_02_16_23_38_gabby_Windows_Photo_Viewer2015_12_02_16_24_05_demo_Windows_Photo_Viewer2015_12_02_16_23_10_melissa_o_Windows_Photo_Viewer

 

 

 

Considerations for Winter Vehicle Transport

November 12th, 2015

Winter_driving (1)

According to the Winter 2015-2016 outlook, this year’s El Niño is forecasted to become one of the strongest on record. Winter is definitely the hardest time for car haulers since they have to account for highway closures and dangerous driving conditions. Following is some information to help you plan and be prepared for the winter shipping season.

Inclement Weather Affects Travel Time

  • Transport through mountainous regions can cause significant delays, especially when the Department of Transportation mandates tire-chain requirements during snowy conditions.
  • Drivers can usually only run about 20-30 miles per hour when the chain rule is in effect, and those caught operating without chains can be hit with steep fines.
  • Depending on how bad conditions are, an additional two to three days may be required for transport.
  • Time spent sitting in traffic is also counted towards hours of service and drivers must adhere to rules governing consecutive driving hours and appropriate rest periods.
  • Clear your load/unload area of snow and ice to allow for safe handling of vehicles.
  • If possible, extend your delivery hours or allow for weekend delivery times.
  • Communicate with our dispatchers to make them aware of any changes in hours of delivery and/or load/unload areas at your location.

Maximize Your Loads

By maximizing loads, you can reduce transportation costs and avoid the risk of winter storms delaying your overall inventory replenishment.

  • Passenger cars average eight to nine per load, depending on the size of the sedan.
  • For midsize vehicles such as minivans, the average load factor is seven.
  • For mixed loads of eight, the makeup can consist of:
    • four midsize vehicles and four cars, or
    • five SUVs and three cars
  • If you call for a quote on a full truckload and then exceed the number of vehicles that can fit on that truck, the single car or cars left over will have a much higher cost of transportation on a per-unit basis.

Combined Purchasing Efforts

  • When possible, combine purchasing efforts in an area to save time and money. A driver would rather have a few stops in one day than have to drive empty miles between stops over a number of days.
  • With the increasing amount of auto operations, look for opportunities to partner with other nearby companies to share the load and reduce your transit time.

MetroGistics’ dispatchers work closely with customers to apprise them of all options and do their best to provide accurate ETAs and help ensure safe delivery. We do this by:

  • Promoting safe driving practices and strict adherence to all DOT regulations. We will not tolerate cutting corners or utilize drivers who break the rules.
  • Staying up to date on weather conditions across the country and advising our customers of possible transit delays.
  • Staying in constant contact with our carriers and providing nightly shipment status updates to our customers.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Monster Mash Fundraiser Nets Nearly $15.5K

October 13th, 2015

Print

Sure, we love our work, but we also love having fun and raising money for worthwhile charities.

On October 3, MetroGistics hosted the 4th Annual Monster Mash Halloween costume party fundraiser at the historic Soulard Preservation Hall in Saint Louis. More than 100 revelers enjoyed food, drink, music, prizes and a few surprises. All attendees also received special Monster Mash t-shirts to commemorate the occasion.

The event raised nearly $15,500 for two outstanding charities: the Humane Society of St. Clair County, Michigan, and Helping Strays, the Humane Society of Monroe County, Illinois. Each organization will receive about $7,700 each.

Major sponsors for the event were Backup Parachute Software, McCarthy, Leonard & Kaemmerer and Twist Integrated Marketing, thus allowing 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales to go directly to the charities.

“This annual fundraiser has outgrown our office, so we had to move it offsite,” said Managing Partner William Billiter. “We appreciate all of the sponsors and participants who supported this event, and we’re already looking to see how we can top ourselves next year.”

The Humane Society of Monroe County, Illinois, and The Humane Society of St. Clair County, Michigan, are nonprofit organizations that take in rescues and owner surrenders. The animals are updated on all vaccinations, tested for heartworms, and spayed/neutered, making them available and ready for their forever homes. If you would like to join us in supporting either nonprofit organization, please click on the links above to be taken directly to their websites.

guests candy costume contest

Out and About at Industry Tradeshows

September 16th, 2015

To keep up to date on industry happenings and broaden our network of partners, clients and vendors, MetroGistics staff make it a point to attend several national and international tradeshows every year. Here’s a preview of some of the upcoming events we will be attending in September.

National Auto Auction Association Annual Meeting

Sept. 22-24

Bonnet Creek, Florida (near Orlando)

The NAAA provides a unified voice for the auto auction industry, protects and promotes the interests of its members, and leads with the highest ethical standards.

This popular event practically sells out every year. Director of Business Development Dustin Ruch and Executive Vice President, Business Development Dave Larson will be in Booth #106 to share the latest news and offerings from MetroGistics.

According to Dave, “The National Auto Auction Association represents 335 auto auctions globally, and the NAAA conference is a virtual who’s who of the entire used-car industry.”

Automotive Logistics Global Conference

Sept. 22-24

Detroit, Michigan

This is a key conference for automotive logistics professionals, providing the opportunity to share with peers and benefit from networking with key contacts in the industry. This conference will be attended by every Original Equipment Manufacturer and their service providers.

A major theme of this year’s conference is Big Data and how industry leaders can share information with each other to find solutions and optimize processes that will benefit all.

Dave is scheduled to attend both of these conferences, which will be challenging due to the fact they take place at the same time in different cities on the opposite coast from the one on which he lives.

“I guess my own logistics skills will be challenged,” says Dave with a laugh. “With meetings preset at both conferences, let the countryside traversing begin.”

To contact Dave to set up a meeting at either conference, or to connect with him even if you are not attending either one, email him at d.larson@metrogistics.com.

Metro Giving Back Program Benefits Various Charities

August 18th, 2015

MetroGistics’ founders and employees have been committed to community involvement since our founding in 2010. As part of our Metro Giving Back Program, we let one of our employees pick the charity of his or her choice for us to donate to every month. Since the inception of the program, we’ve donated over $115,000 to various worthwhile organizations.

Here’s a recap of our donations so far in 2015:

Ronald McDonald House

January 2015 – Alycia Lamartina chose the Ronald McDonald House for her Giving Back charity. Alycia said, “This charity provides comfortable living arrangements for families that are coping with the heartache of a seriously ill child. These homes help families find strength and allow them to share their stories with others that are experiencing similar situations. This program also eliminates the financial burden of housing accommodations while being close to their child. This becomes the family’s home away from home.”

Animal Protective Association of Missouri

February 2015 – Bryan Dierkes chose APA of Missouri, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education, and creating programs beneficial to the human/animal bond. Bryan told us, “Both of my dogs are rescue dogs and I believe every dog should get a second chance at a good home.”

Humane Society of Southeast Missouri

March 2015 – Heather Jett chose The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri as her Giving Back charity. Heather said, “Ever since I was a kid, I was always finding stray animals or they would find me! I felt that it was my calling to help them and would sneak them in the warm house and take care of them. Shelters rely on our donations to help all of the abused, neglected and homeless pets, and I know this donation will not save every animal but it will sure make a difference.”

Children’s Cancer Research Fund

April 2015 – Alisha Bray chose Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Alisha said, “I was at a charity event last weekend and they had given a child who was going through Chemo an iPad and it really pulled at my heartstrings. The little girl was so happy to be getting an iPad, even though I’m sure she wasn’t feeling good, had already lost all of her hair, and yet still had a glowing smile. I think that any opportunity to help fund an organization that is striving for better treatment and understanding behind what causes different kinds of cancers will be steps in the right direction.”

Ava Elizabeth Williams Family Benefit Fund

May 2015 – Adam Laura chose the Ava Elizabeth Williams Family Benefit Fund as his Giving Back charity. Adam said, “My neighbors’ brother’s daughter is three and she has some pretty serious cancer… unbelievably gut-wrenching story and a super strong girl. This is going to go on for a couple more years until, fingers crossed, she gets healthy! The parents have already racked up a half a million in medical expenses so far so I want to do whatever I can to help.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

June 2015 – Michael Walker chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Michael said, “I love everything they stand for. I have met doctors who work there, for much less than they can elsewhere, and they are truly dedicated to eliminating any suffering a child has to endure from one of the many forms of cancer, no matter their financial or cultural background. On a personal note, my favorite aunt passed away at the age of 21 of Leukemia. I have always felt that with the medical advances that were available just a decade later, she would still be with us. So the least I can do is try to honor her at every turn.” 

Clinton Animal Rescue Endeavor

July 2015 – Jamie McCoy chose the Clinton Animal Rescue Endeavor. She said this is the only animal shelter located in Clinton, Missouri, and is also a no-kill shelter. Jamie said, “I have always liked animals and would adopt them all if I could. Seeing my community and amazing volunteers who spend their own time and money caring for these animals is truly amazing! The mission of C.A.R.E. is to prevent abuse, promote adoption, and educate the public in the proper and ethical care and treatment of companion animals.” 

St. Louis Area Food Bank

​August 2015 – Paul Luu chose the St. Louis Area Food Bank. About his choice, Paul said, “No one should ever be hungry – ever! However, every day people are starving, and I feel like if I can contribute, I am making a difference out there to benefit someone who really needs it. I have volunteered in the past and it was awesome – you really don’t realize how good you have it until you are here. It is eye-opening.”

MetroGistics Team Members Reveal Unique Talents and Pasts

August 3rd, 2015

MetroGistics prides itself on our extraordinary staff who deliver quality work and expertise each day. We are excited to acknowledge three valued employees this quarter: Paul Luu, Nicole Kelemen and Michael Walker.

Paul Luu, a dispatch coordinator of five months, is responsible for carrier and customer relationships, dispatching, and customer service. What he enjoys most about his profession is building relationships with carriers, customers and terminals.

Luu is secretly a fluent Cantonese speaker. In his free time, he likes to play and watch sports, catch a good movie, go bowling or to dinner outings, travel, and spend time with family and friends. Back in high school, you could catch him working in night security for Dodge Mansion on Oakland University’s campus.

Nicole Kelemen, order entry and dispatch administrator, has been with MetroGistics for six months and is pleased with the great atmosphere. Her role involves entering and importing orders, updating order information, and presenting status updates.

Kelemen, a running enthusiast, has the hidden talent of being able to recite the alphabet backwards. If that is not surprising enough, she also received her Associate’s Degree in massage therapy.

Michael Walker has worked in sales at MetroGistics for almost four months. He is in charge of obtaining new clients as well as nurturing and developing existing valued client relationships.

Walker, a sports and music fan, was an event DJ for a couple of years. You might also be surprised to know that he served in the United States Navy. If you’re interested in hearing the song that best describes Walker, check out “Got You Where I Want You” by The Flys.

Each staff member at MetroGistics is an important part of the company’s overall success. We are pleased to recognize these and other outstanding employees each quarter.

PLNKMW

 

Summertime Tips for Truck Drivers

July 23rd, 2015

MetroGistics enjoys relationship with hundreds of drivers across the country. This time of year, the summer heat can impact both drivers and their vehicles. To help ensure personal and vehicle safety during these hot summer months, Senior Dispatch Coordinator Jesse Chilton offers the following tips.

Hydration and Body Temperature

  • Drivers should carry plenty of water and/or sports drinks to rehydrate
  • Have cold/wet towels on hand
  • Sit in the cab of the truck to cool down
  • Take their time while loading and unloading to prevent heat exhaustion and blackout
  • Wear light-colored clothing to stay cool
  • Always wear a reflective vest

Pre-Load and Unload Inspections

  • Drivers tend to rush pre-load inspections when it is unbearably hot outside
  • Rushing will only increase the risk of damage, injury and heat exhaustion
  • Do your best to stay cool and hydrated, and don’t rush the inspection process

Preventive Maintenance

  • Summer months are typically when original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) slow down due to summer plant shutdowns. This is a good time to do preventive maintenance on equipment – hydraulic lines, tires, straps, ramps, etc. – before the volume picks up again.
  • Whether you own your own truck or drive a company hauler, summer is a good time for preventive maintenance.

Traffic and Weather

  • SiriusXM provides nationwide alerts from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on all of its channels and information specific to 20 major metropolitan markets on its Traffic and Weather channels (SiriusXM 132-140)
  • Park under a bridge when possible during a hailstorm to prevent damage to loaded vehicles
  • Avoid flooded roadways to prevent water damage to vehicles
  • Keep an eye out for low-hanging tree branches, especially in rain-saturated areas
  • If you know the receiving dealership is in an area that has been recently hit with heavy rains/floods, call ahead to make sure it is still receiving deliveries
  • Here is a popular iTunes app used by drivers for traffic alerts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inrix-xd-traffic-maps-routes/id324384027
  • Be aware of wildfires and seek alternate routes for areas affected by heavy smoke

Following these guidelines will help ensure you and your truck stay safe this summer.

For more information on MetroGistics, call 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.