Happy Holidays to our wonderful clients, carriers and partners!

December 19th, 2014

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Free RoadSign App for Seamless Transport Transactions

December 15th, 2014

When industry veterans William Billiter and Scott Naz founded MetroGistics in 2010, they knew that excellent service and cutting-edge technology would be the cornerstones of the company. Among the innovations we have introduced are a car-shipping app available through iTunes, shipping quotes available through metrogistics.com, and an SMS texting solution that provides shipping quotes and shipment statuses.

Further enhancing our reputation as a transport technology leader, MetroGistics has now introduced RoadSign, the industry’s first free app that allows customers and drivers to experience seamless transactions in real time.

Vehicle transportation is evolving right along with technology, and for the past year, the industry has been focused on the transition to ePOD, or electronic proof of delivery, and other real-time updates throughout the transport process.

RoadSign’s features and benefits include:

  • The latest up-to-date technology
  • Increased efficiency of the pickup and delivery process
  • 24/7 real-time status updates and tracking on vehicles
  • No more faxing or printing delays
  • Immediate insurance claim documentation with instant upload of vehicle images
  • Elimination of paper, meeting industry standards and “green” initiatives

We believe RoadSign is poised to be the leader in advancing technology by setting the standard to help both the carrier/driver base and original equipment manufacturers. RoadSign meets all ePOD requirements set forth by the OEMs and is now available for iOS and Android devices.

“RoadSign is the solution that will allow drivers to fill out condition reports, collect signatures and process documents electronically, eliminating the need for inefficient paperwork,” said Billiter. “RoadSign improves speed to market and increases efficiency for all users.”

“For all companies and individuals who use us to ship their vehicles, this free app will help provide peace of mind,” said Naz. “We know that it’s critical to receive your shipments on time. With RoadSign, you’ll know where your shipments are, when they arrive, and who signed for them.”

To download the RoadSign app, visit http://www.roadsignapp.com/ or search for “MetroGistics” in Google Play. If you have any questions about RoadSign or our services, please call call 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

One final thought: as the end of 2014 approaches, MetroGistics would like to thank all of you for your interest and support, and wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

Our Diverse Staff Contribute to MetroGistics’ Success

December 2nd, 2014

At MetroGistics, we are honored to have such a talented group of employees on our team.

Sonja Trupiano handles order entry and dispatch. After working with us for six months, she has no doubt that she will continue to enjoy her time with the Metro team.

Even though she calls herself a true tomboy at heart, Sonja dabbles in cooking and crafting, and loves spending her free time with her son Matthew. She says the song that best describes her is Bon Jovi’s hit “It’s My Life,” and if she could have it her way, she would like to be a kid again for a day.

John Morrow, our IT systems administrator, has always loved technology and is amazed by both old and emerging forms. In his position, he is responsible for designing, organizing, modifying and supporting our computer systems.

In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his son, playing video games, surfing the Internet, exercising or having a night out with friends. One interesting fact about John is that he once worked in the deli at Walmart. He also recently attended his first professional sporting event ever at MetroGistics’ Family Day with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rene Hurst is responsible for accounting, and loves being organized and working with numbers.

Rene has experienced the thrilling adventure of skydiving, and also has the impressive ability of being able to walk on her hands. Her main priority when she is off the clock is spending time with her husband and two daughters, Lyla and Kayla. She is also very proud of her sister who is now cancer free!

Our dedicated staff is MetroGistics’ most important asset. Without our employees’ dedication and expertise, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our business goals while providing excellent service to our clients and partners.

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Considerations for Cross-Country Shipping

November 17th, 2014

As the economy has been slowly improving, we’ve been getting a few more requests to coordinate cross-country vehicle shipments. More people are taking jobs on the opposite coast and need to ship their personal vehicles. More fleet procurers are finding good deals at auctions outside their usual purchasing region.

When shipping cross-country, factors like distance and weather definitely impact delivery dates. Alisha Bray, MetroGistics’ West Coast/Midwest dispatch coordinator, offers the following considerations to keep in mind when shipping cross-country.

Distance

  • Normal transit times for cross-country moves (coast to coast) are usually 7-10 days from pickup during normal conditions.
  • The average transit for north-south shipments is usually 5-7 days once haulers are loaded.
  • Longer distances also increase the possibility of delays due to mechanical failure or more pickups and drop offs along the route.
  • Any delay or cancellation can affect turnaround time of the load as drivers take time to deal with customers and help resolve issues.
  • Other than that, just following normal Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for driving hours and conducting mandatory restarts will affect transit times.

Weather

  • Travel times can be affected greatly by inclement weather that occurs throughout the year. Winter is definitely the hardest time for haulers since they have to account for highway closures and dangerous driving conditions.
  • Transport through mountainous regions can cause significant delays, especially when the DOT 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. Drivers caught operating without chains when the rule is in place can be hit with steep fines.
  • Depending on how bad conditions are, an additional 2-3 days may be required for transport.

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.

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

Come See Us at NRC

October 15th, 2014

We listen.

Many people think we attend conferences and tradeshows just to talk. Talk about our latest partnerships, our technology, our service, our great staff…

We don’t come to events like the upcoming National Remarketing Conference just to talk (although we do have exciting new technology to announce very soon). We come to meet with our customers and introduce ourselves to new prospects.

We’ve got a lot to talk about, but we also like to listen.

We listen to our customers’ challenges, pain points and suggestions. We listen to industry leaders and experts who predict what’s next for the automotive industry. We listen to partners who have services and products that complement our own. Out of those conversations can come new ideas, new insights and new solutions.

We invite you to visit us in booth 207 at NRC, Nov. 12-14 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. Come chat with our co-founders and Managing Partners Bill Billiter and Scott Naz, our Director of Business Development Dustin Ruch, and Director of Strategic Accounts Adam Laura.

As extra incentive, we’re giving away Surface tablets to two lucky winners. Look for the scratch-off card in your attendee bag and bring it by the booth to see if you’re a winner.

We look forward to seeing you at the National Remarketing Conference.

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

Committed to Our Community

September 17th, 2014

Not only is MetroGistics committed to providing excellent transport service to our customers, we are also committed to helping charitable organizations in our community. 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.

Here’s a recap of our recent donations.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Julia Engert chose the Children’s Hospital NICU/CICU program as her giving back charity. Julia told us, “My nephew Jack was there quite a bit. I can’t thank them enough for all that they have done for him and the family.”

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Craig Clayton chose the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. “In March of this year, my family was rocked when our youngest son, Camden, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes,” said Craig. “There is no prevention or cure for Type 1 diabetes. JDRF has been a very supportive organization.”

Camp Casey

Elliot Myers chose Camp Casey, a nonprofit horseback riding program for children with cancer, as his Giving Back charity. Elliot told us, “I chose Camp Casey because I have known the founder for years and she is very dedicated to making kids happy even though they are going through difficult times.”

St. Clare of Assisi/St. Vincent de Paul

“SVDP helps families pay their rent, utilities, car payments, medical bills and more,” said Jesse Chilton. “The St. Clare parish, with the help of SVDP volunteers, also runs a food pantry for any and all in need. They are given vouchers to SVDP thrift stores where they can buy furniture, clothing, shoes, linens, and all types of housewares – things they would never be able to afford on their own.”

Miss Amazing

Bobby Johnson chose Miss Amazing to honor his sister, who recently won a senior Miss Amazing pageant. This nonprofit celebrates the abilities of girls and women with disabilities. “I chose this organization for my sister, Katie, who is one of the sweetest and most loving individuals on the planet,” said Bobby. “I can only hope that this donation helps Miss Amazing touch the lives of more women with cerebral palsy like my sister, because every woman deserves to feel beautiful.”

Give Kids a Smile

“I chose Give Kids a Smile because it is a national program endorsed by the American Dental Association that started right here in St. Louis,” said Michelle Burton. “I have volunteered with the bi-annual clinic and other events put on by this organization. They do a wonderful job of making dental care accessible to all children.”

Grace Hill Settlement House

Mike Dzurian chose the Grace Hill Settlement House, Patch Neighborhood Center Food Pantry. “I picked the Patch, as they are a good neighborhood charity and can use all the help they can get,” said Mike. “They are the only relief for people in this area.”

Responder Rescue

Brittany Twist told us, “Responder Rescue is a local charity out of Saint Charles, Missouri, that helps police officers, firefighters, and EMTs in need. Responder Rescue compensates for funds that the departments and insurance companies do not pay out when these individuals are injured and/or unable to work.”

West County YMCA

Dustin Ruch chose this organization because YMCA programs build self-confidence, teach leadership skills and reinforce positive values. He said, “The YMCA Strong Community Program helps children who could otherwise not afford to play team sports. Participating in team sports builds a sense of community and promotes a healthy lifestyle that will hopefully follow them throughout their lives.”

While we’re on the topic of charity, we’d like to mention that MetroGistics will be hosting the 3rd Annual Monster Mash on Saturday, October 25. This popular event benefits the Humane Society of Monroe County, Illinois, and Humane Society of St. Clair County, Michigan, both 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. Watch for more details coming soon!

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

Dedicated and Diverse Staff Energize Our Company

September 12th, 2014

Our MetroGistics team is made up of a diverse group of talented professionals, each of whom is excited to use his or her skills to serve our organization and its clients.

Bobby Johnson, our web developer and designer, is passionate about problem solving. “I love the thrill of getting thrown into something new and coding my way out,” he said.

Johnson has enjoyed working with computers since high school. He soon realized that what was a hobby could turn into a rewarding career. In his spare time, Johnson loves to play games and garden. He says that he would like the opportunity to meet Bill Gates to gain insights about business and humanitarianism.

Alycia LaMartina, strategic accounts dispatch, is passionate about customer service.

“I am a true believer in customer service, and with being a dispatcher, I must fulfill these needs on both our customer and carrier end,” said LaMartina. “I work on developing and maintaining strong relationships with both parties.”

LaMartina says that her strong work ethic and energetic team motivate her to do great work for MetroGistics. When she’s not working, she spends time being out on the water with family and friends.

As a dispatch coordinator, Elliot Myers makes sure vehicles are picked up and delivered on time. He works closely with the sales team to make sure customer expectations are met.

An almost two-year veteran of MetroGistics, Myers enjoys all things sports and was even a top-ranked diver in high school.

These three are just a handful of the talented professionals working at MetroGistics. Our company would not be where it is today without our staff’s hard work and support.



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Training Elevates Knowledge and Service

August 15th, 2014

In our marketing materials, we often describe MetroGistics as a “full-service vehicle transportation company.” While much of the external emphasis is on the transportation aspect of that description, our internal emphasis is on service.

In order to provide excellent service to our customers, MetroGistics is committed to the continuous development of our greatest asset: our people. It starts with hiring the right individuals. All of our teams are comprised of talented professionals, each of whom brings unique skills, perspectives, and work and life experiences.

Our training begins from day one with a custom five-day program developed to familiarize the new employee with company policies, procedures and departmental processes. And that’s just the beginning.

Each employee has the opportunity to participate in on-demand online courses that focus on customer service skills, technical skills, and management/leadership skills. Employees can also participate in offsite seminars in addition to online classes.

MetroGistics’ training goes beyond the classroom. Employees participate in cross-functional training that facilitates immediate coverage when the need arises. No task is too small or too big for a colleague to step in and assist with.

We encourage the sharing of industry articles focused on customer service, industry trends, government regulations and work-life balance. The combination of work experience and new knowledge allows our employees to better advise and serve our customers as well as assisting and communicating with our network of drivers and suppliers.

Our staff members attend, and occasionally present at, automotive and logistics conferences across the country.

Good ideas can come from anywhere. We encourage the development of new ideas and process improvements to help us continue to refine our service offerings and customers’ vehicle shipping experiences. We pride ourselves on developing cutting-edge technology, and are always looking for ways to leverage tech to improve service.

Likewise, if you have a suggestion or idea on how we can better serve you, please let us know.

Contact MetroGistics by calling 877-571-6235, live chatting via our home page, or emailing info@metrogistics.com.

Mid-Year Observations on the Auto Transport Industry

July 15th, 2014

At the halfway mark for 2014, we’ve seen some interesting developments in the vehicle transport industry so far. Here’s a quick breakdown from both the haulaway (truck) and rail perspectives.

Truck Driver Safety

In industry language, a “haulaway” is a truck designed for the transportation of automobiles. As safety is of primary importance at MetroGistics, we regularly monitor trends and legislation affecting trucking and driver hours.

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently voted in favor of an amendment proposed by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to suspend the hours of service ruling for one year while the Department of Transportation conducts a deeper study of the rule’s impact on safety.

The rule was introduced by the Federal Motor Safety Administration (part of the DOT) and was designed to improve safety on the roads by reducing truck driver fatigue. The rule would have limited the average work week for truckers to 70 hours. Suspension of the rule reinstates the maximum driver work week to 82 hours. Additional rules govern consecutive driving days and appropriate rest periods.

The vote to suspend the rule needs to be passed by the full Senate and then reconciled with the bill in the House of Representatives.

MetroGistics requires all of its contractors to comply with state and federal regulations, including whatever hours of service limits are currently in force. Our proprietary Safer Ship product monitors our carrier base 24/7 via a connection to the DOT/FMCSA to ensure that all our carriers have current and proper levels of insurance and are authorized by the DOT to haul vehicles. Our software checks and monitors compliance nightly.

Rail Transport

A very harsh winter disrupted the rail network in both the United States and Canada. As such, a short railcar supply caused a nationwide backlog across the industry of more than double the average number of vehicles awaiting transport.  The delays caused many vehicles to be stored at various offsite facilities, thus adding to the total transport cost.

While OEM’s traditionally use rail for distances of 200-300 miles or more, the short railcar supply has caused them to look at other vehicle distribution options (such as short-sea shipping from Mexico to the United States)  and found that trucking can even be cost competitive for a radius of 700 miles.

The railroads are projecting a relief in the backlog during the traditional summer auto plant shutdowns.

MetroGistics understands that rail will remain a critical component of the finished vehicle distribution network, and advises our customers accordingly depending on their needs and time frames.

To learn more about these and other vehicle transport trends, or to contact a MetroGistics dispatcher about your specific transport needs, call 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Considerations for Personal Vehicle Transport

June 13th, 2014

There are many reasons why an individual or family might need to have a car transported across the country. New college graduates may need to move their car after landing a job far away. Military personnel get reassigned to different bases constantly. (By the way, MetroGistics offers a 10 percent discount to active and retired military personnel.) Families relocate for career or lifestyle changes, or to be closer to other family members. The list goes on and on.

Likewise, there are many options for auto transport, and each has its advantages and limitations. Following are some considerations for different modes of personal vehicle transport.

Having a friend or family member drive the car

  • This option is free or relatively cheap if you offer some form of reimbursement.
  • Adds miles and road wear to your vehicle.
  • Potentially subject to accidents or theft.
  • Is he or she a good driver? Have they been involved in accidents in the past?
  • Are they insured for liability?

Hiring a professional driver

  • Adds miles and road wear.
  • Still a slight possibility of accident or theft.
  • This option may be best for short distances.
  • The driver should have sufficient liability insurance.
  • Should provide a detailed contract of services rendered.

Transporting by rail

  • Railcar transport is covered and will be less expensive than an enclosed car hauler going distances farther than 750 miles.
  • Most environmentally friendly. Rail transport reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.
  • Transit times will be longer.
  • Railcars take eight to twelve vehicles. Since it’s up to the shipper to fill up the railcar before it ships, it can take longer to fill, thus increasing overall transit time.
  • You may need to arrange for truck-to-terminal and terminal-to-door delivery of your vehicle.
  • Some terminals do not allow for personal pickup of vehicles.

Using a car hauler (truck)

  • Can ship a single vehicle or multiple family vehicles. Drivers in our network can either haul a single vehicle, or build a full load with multiple cars heading to the same general destination.
  • Can ship door to door nationwide.
  • Will have shorter transit times vs. railcar.
  • Provides the option of open or enclosed transportation. Enclosed car haulers are the most expensive form of auto transport and are used most often for shipping luxury or classic cars.
  • Through a reliable transport provider like MetroGistics, you can easily get quotes, track and trace your shipment, and get automatic verification of a hauler’s insurance.

Which option works best for you? It depends on your priorities, concerns and time constraints. The good news is that MetroGistics’ professional dispatchers can provide no-obligation consultation to you seven days a week. Our dispatchers will gladly explain the vehicle shipment process and help you decide what makes the most sense for your personal auto transport needs.

We have a nationwide network that can provide safe and reliable shipment of your vehicle.

To contact a MetroGistics dispatcher, call 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.