MODE TransportationAnnounces Appointment of Lance Malesh as President & Chief Executive Officer and Jim Damman as Chairman

DALLAS, TX November 4, 2020 — MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”), a leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics provider, announced today that Lance Malesh has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Jim Damman, who has led the Company as President & CEO for over 15 years, has been appointed Chairman of the company.

These actions are the result of a carefully planned leadership succession process undertaken by Damman and the Board to ensure the continued success of MODE for years to come.  Damman and Malesh will be working closely together to execute a comprehensive transition plan. Following the transition, Damman will continue to work with Malesh and the Board to drive the strategic agenda for the business. 

Jim Damman was named President of MODE in 2004. “On behalf of the entire MODE organization, we want to thank Jim for his leadership and dedication to MODE’s agent, customer and carrier partners over the last 16 years,” said Daniel Gluck, Managing Director at York Capital. “During his tenure, the Company consistently expanded its agent and customer relationships, more than tripling revenues to over $2 billion. We are excited to welcome Lance to the company and look forward to him perpetuating MODE’s strong growth and leadership in the transportation and logistics industry.”

Lance Malesh is an accomplished senior executive with 20 years of experience in technology, operations, sales, and marketing. Combining his extensive experience, along with a hands-on management style, he has helped companies implement new technologies and business strategies that have driven growth and profitability. Malesh most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer for BDP International and previously was President / CEO of BridgeNet Solutions.

“I am pleased to announce Lance’s appointment to the President & CEO role following a comprehensive search,” said Jim Damman, “It was important to me to find a strong successor to lead the great people at MODE Transportation into the future, and I am confident that Lance will accomplish great things at MODE. I look forward to working with him and the Board in my new role.”  Lance Malesh said,“Jim and the MODE organization have a rich history, and I look forward to working with the team and partners to help build upon the strong foundation that is in place.”

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MODE Transportationand SunteckTTS have Combined, Creating a Leading Multimodal Logistics Provider with over $2 Billion of Revenue

DALLAS, TX December 10, 2019 — MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of SunteckTTS Inc. (“SunteckTTS”).  The two companies are leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics providers that combined will facilitate more than 1.5 million annual customer shipments and generate over $2 billion of revenue.

The combined Company will offer a broad range of capabilities across all major modes of transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight. The Company will leverage its increased scale and resources to continue investing in technology and innovation for the benefit of its agent, shipper, and carrier communities.

“MODE and SunteckTTS together will create one of the strongest and most customer-focused multimodal 3PLs in the industry,” said Jim Damman, CEO of MODE Transportation.  “We are excited to leverage our combined talent and expertise to bring an enhanced suite of capabilities and creative solutions to our customers, agents and carriers.”

“Since the announcement of the combination of MODE and SunteckTTS, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our employees, agents, carrier partners and shippers. We are excited about our new team and capabilities and look forward to integrating our platforms and gaining the benefits of this industry changing transaction,” said Ken Forster, President and COO of MODE Transportation (formerly CEO of SunteckTTS).

MODE is a privately held portfolio company of funds affiliated with York Capital Management. MODE received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. SunteckTTS is a portfolio company of funds affiliated with Comvest Partners, who will continue to own an interest in the company following the completion of the transaction. SunteckTTS was advised by Piper Jaffray and McDermott Will & Emery.  

About MODE Transportation

Founded in 1989, MODE Transportation is a leading North American third-party transportation and logistics company. MODE serves more than 3,500 customers across a diverse set of end markets and modes of transportation. MODE has relationships with over 35,000 carriers and operates from over 100 offices throughout North America. The Company is headquartered in Dallas, TX.

About York Capital

York Capital Management is a global private investment firm that was established in 1991.  The firm manages approximately $18 billion in assets across public and private investment strategies, including its private equity platform, the York Special Opportunities Fund.  York Capital employs approximately 60 investment professionals and 200 total employees globally, primarily in New York, London and Hong Kong.

About Comvest Partners

Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across North America. Since its founding in 2000, Comvest has invested over $4.7 billion. Today, Comvest’s funds have over $3.7 billion of assets under management. Through our extensive capital resources and broad network of industry relationships, we offer our companies financial sponsorship, critical strategic and operational support, and business development assistance.

For more information about MODE Transportation, visit www.modetransportation.com

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LTL 101:Cubic Capacity

Do you know how Cubic Capacity can affect your shipments?

Almost every carrier we utilize through our LTL platforms has a cubic capacity rule in their rules tariff that may affect any of your shipments. LTL carriers impose minimum cubic capacity rules to effectively counter very light, fluffy shipments that take up more than their fair share of a trailer.  In most cases, LTL carriers state that if a shipment consumes 750 cubic ft. of space     or more, AND the shipment has a density of less than 6 pounds per cubic foot (pcf), it’s not paying its fair share.  While the rule varies dramatically amongst carriers, most artificially adjust the weight to a minimum of 6 pcf, AND apply a class of 125 or 150 to the commodities being shipped with their associated tariff rates.  Most carriers use the 750 cubic feet as the threshold, but not all.

This week we wanted to clarify what to watch for with Cubic Capacity by providing an example from XPO:

XPO is now enforcing their standard cubic capacity rules on all tariffs. What this means is that shipments requiring 350 cubic ft. or more of the trailer with an average density of less than 3 pcf will have the weight calculated differently then what the actual weight is. Yes that is correct, the actual weight will not matter!

350 cubic ft. of the trailer equates to approximately 5.46 linear ft. of the trailer so you can see that we are severely limited on the amount of skids of LTL we can ship when the density is below 3 pcf.

As an example, for two pallets of LTL, cubic capacity would be calculated as follows.  Please note that the carrier uses the actual height (96”) of the trailer when they look at the cubic capacity of the shipment, not the actual height that the shipment might be:

One skid = (40” x 43” x 96”) / 1726 cubic inches per cubic ft. = 95.67 cubic ft. x two skids = 193.34 cubic ft.

You can see that this falls way under the 350 cubic ft. rule so we are safe to ship this with XPO.

However, if you want to ship 4 skids, the cube of the shipment is now double at 386.68 cubic ft. which is outside of the cubic capacity limit. The only way you could ship this as an LTL shipment is if the density of the shipment was greater than 3 pcf.

Four skids with a total weight of 500 lbs., the density would be the 500 lbs. / 386.68 cubic ft. = 1.3 pcf. 

If we shipped this LTL, we would be hit with the cubic capacity rule and our cost would skyrocket.

Four skids would have to have a total weight of 1161 lbs. or greater for us to be able to ship them as a standard LTL shipment with no problems. 1161 lbs./386.68 = 3.0 pcf.

Below is the actual excerpt from the XPO rules tariff:

rules tarriff
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LTL 101:Volume vs Standard LTL Moves

We have great rate engines in place to obtain quotes on standard LTL moves, but do you know when not to use a rate engine?  LTL carriers will impose limits within their tariffs (that vary with every carrier) to limit moving shipments that are too large for their network. Some carriers structure their operations to carry volume LTL shipments while others do not. Volume quotes, also known as Spot quotes, should be obtained based on the below in order for you to get the most economical rate.

Single shipments with standard size pallets (48x40x48) that are stackable:

  • 1 – 8 pallets is best for standard LTL quotes (unless the weight exceeds 8,000 lbs., then pursue a volume LTL quote)
  • 9 – 10 pallets pursue a volume LTL quote or a partial TL quote
  • 11+ pallets pursue a volume LTL, partial TL, or even a TL quote

LTL carriers will rate any single shipment up to 19,999 lbs. as LTL but it will be costly:

  • 8,000 – 10,000 lbs. shipments could be considered as partial TL’s and quoted accordingly
  • Excess of 10,000 lbs. shipments should always be quoted with volume LTL, partial TL, and TL to obtain the most economical rate

Odd size or non-stackable pallets:

  • 1 – 4 pallets is best for LTL (unless the weight exceeds 8,000 lbs., then pursue a volume LTL quote)
  • 5 – 10 pallets, pursue a volume LTL or a partial TL quote
  • 11+ pallets should always be quoted with volume LTL, partial TL, and TL to obtain the most economical rate
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LTL 101:Limited Access Charges

Limited access charges were created to compensate LTL carriers for additional time spent at your shipment’s pick up or delivery locations and constraints that can result from these specific locations. Limited access is defined as meeting any of the following conditions:

  • Not open to the walk-in public during normal business hours
  • Not having personnel readily available to assist with the delivery or pickup function
  • Not having access to loading dock or platform
  • Sites where carriers are delayed with security related inspections and processes prior to freight tender

Did you know: Some of these high security locations will ask for a driver’s license and drivers have the right to refuse to do so? This causes the carrier to find a driver who is willing to do so, which in turn causes a domino effect or constraint on the daily operations of that particular terminal.

In order to avoid unexpected charges, it is best practice to ask the consignee if they have a dock or way to unload the freight and ask them if they need a liftgate for delivery. Liftgates are commonly associated with limited access and if the consignee advises they don’t need a liftgate, let them know that if the driver offers a liftgate and it is used OR signed for even without being used, there will be an additional fee that will be charged to them.

Limited access fees can be assessed on both commercial and non-commercial delivery sites. Charges and what constitutes as a limited access will vary based on carrier, but here are some of the most common examples:

  • Camps, Carnivals, Fairs
  • Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, Temples
  • Schools (not including colleges and universities)
  • Colleges and Universities without a dock
  • Medical/Urgent care sites without a dock
  • Prisons
  • Individual / Mini Storage Units
  • Mines, Quarries, Natural Gas or Oil Fields
  • Golf Courses, Country Clubs
  • Nuclear Power Plants
  • Military Bases/Installations
  • Parks, Farms and Rural locations
  • Courthouses
  • Daycares
  • Hotels, Motels, Retirement/Nursing Homes
  • Restaurants
  • Cemeteries
  • Convents
  • Amusement Parks
  • Construction Sites
  • Outdoor Flea Markets
Camps, Carnivals, FairsChurches, Mosques, Synagogues, TemplesSchools (not including colleges and universities)Colleges and Universities without a dockMedical/Urgent care sites without a dockPrisonsIndividual / Mini Storage UnitsMines, Quarries, Natural Gas or Oil FieldsGolf Courses, Country ClubsNuclear Power PlantsMilitary Bases/InstallationsParks, Farms and Rural locationsCourthousesDaycaresHotels, Motels, Retirement/Nursing HomesRestaurantsCemeteriesConventsAmusement ParksConstruction SitesOutdoor Flea Markets

Google Maps is a great tool that can be used to help explain whether or not a location has limited access. However, please keep in mind that even though the location is easy to get in and out of, and they may have the necessary equipment to unload, they may still be considered limited access. Some great examples of this are as follows:

  • Farms: While they are easy to get to and have equipment, they usually take the driver off his/her usual route which causes delays for the other shipments on the trailer
  • Mini Storage Units: The driver will have to use a smaller trailer with or without a liftgate and thus make fewer deliveries that day because of the space available on the trailer, so the charges are there to compensate
    • Carriers normally have fewer trailers with liftgates which makes this even more difficult when the volume of limited access or liftgate shipments goes up

Keep in mind: Commercial buildings with docks are normally clustered in the same area, a carrier can easily make multiple pickups or deliveries in a business park in the same time it may take to make one limited access delivery.

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Training Tuesday:Being a Confirmer

Being a successful salesperson requires a lot of practice, being able to envision making a sales call that results in sales success. Confirming the sale requires a lot of confidence and belief that you can make the sale and help the customer. The confidence you demonstrate when talking with a customer about our ability to deliver the service they need has the effect of transferring that confidence to them.

In the transportation industry, a lot of credit is given to a salesperson who is a proven closer. That has always been my reputation – a guy who always asks for the sale and expects the customer to say “YES.” Being known as a “Closer” is a big compliment. The only downside is the negative connotation of being a “closer,” when it is more accurate to call it “confirming the sale.”

Whatever you decide to call it – there’s no magic to confirming the sale. Right from the initial approach to the very end of your presentation, bit by bit, you should be confirming the sale. It’s when you find out if you did your job properly, but by following your instincts and confirming the sale throughout the process then the customer will let you know when it’s time to close the sale.

Closing or confirming the sale should be the most natural thing about selling. It’s the only reason for your job and it should become automatic. Don’t hesitate to ask a shipper for his or her business. The only time you shouldn’t be outwardly confirming the sale is when you’re on the fact-finding call, and even then, there will be a series of opportunities for minor closes that prepare your prospect for your next sales call.

You must have complete confidence in your ability to close the sale, if not, the prospect becomes consumed with doubt. The prospect can sense when it’s time for you to confirm the sale, and it’s up to you to ask for the order. They knew you were a salesperson when they agreed to see you, and if you lack confidence to ask for his business, they’re going to lack confidence in making a decision.

Confirming the sale is simply demonstrating a confidence that you’re ready to provide the prospect with the service they want and need. When the prospect feels comfortable with you in this regard, it’s time to say, “Okay, when are we going to handle your first shipment?”

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LTL 101:Density Based Rules and Price

Density is very important in selecting freight class. One carrier that rates solely on density of an item is Central Transport. Some carriers will rate based on density if the commodities’ National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is a density based item. Three carriers that do this are Midwest Motor Express, UPS, and Saia.

With these NMFC density based rating carriers the general rule is anything under 48 inches high will be calculated as 48 inches and anything over 48 inches but under 96 inches will be calculated as 96 inches for density purposes.

Please see the actual wording from one of the carrier’s rules tariff below:

So how could this affect your shipment?

Say you were shipping 1 pallet of sheet steel, or NMFC 175120, which is a density based item.
• The dimensions are 144” L x 45” W x 18” H
• The total weight is 550lbs.
• This equates to 8.1 PCF & Class 100
o In turn, sub 6 would be selected for this NMFC (175120-6)

However, if you change the dimensions based on the carrier’s rules tariff above, you now have the following:
• The dimensions are 144” L x 45” W x 48” H
• The total weight is 550lbs.
• This equates to 3.1 PCF & Class 250
o In turn, sub 3 would be selected for this NMFC (175120-3)

DUE TO THE HIGHER CLASS OF FREIGHT
THE PRICE WILL GO UP SUBSTANTIALLY!

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LTL 101:Unexpected Charges

Did you know that many customers get invoiced at a much higher rate due to their shipments being “hit” with Cubic Capacity, Exceeds Linear Feet, or Oversize Dims? All three of these things are different and very expensive so pay close attention to what your customer is shipping.

Cubic Capacity
This is when a shipment is greater than 750 cubic feet and an average density of 6 or less (some carriers are 4 or less).

  • Example of a Cubic Capacity load:
    • 6 Pallets at 2600 lbs., each pallet is 48x48x55, cubic feet is 768, and the density is only 5.91
  • This shipment would get “hit” with cubic capacity without a quote.

 

Linear Foot Rule
Each carrier has their own version of the linear foot rule. If your shipment equals more than the LTL linear foot rule for that carrier then it will get “hit” with the “exceeds linear feet” fee.

  • Example of Linear Foot load:
    • 5 pallets at 5000 lbs., each pallet is 49x49x50, and because the pallets cannot be placed side by side this shipment takes up a little more than 20’ of space

 

Oversize
Each carrier has an over dimension rule; most LTL carriers are 12′. The oversize accessorial should be applied to any shipment 12’ or more. You can find the “Linear Foot Rule” for most carriers by looking at their carrier tariff on their websites.

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Training Tuesday:Managing Stress, Part 2

Training Tuesday: More Stress Management Tips

Last week we addressed ten of our top tips for reducing stress and the negative effects that long lasting stress can have on success. Reducing stress is an important life skill involving techniques that take only minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master. Below are ten more tips on reducing stress and improving general happiness and success.

11.Figure out the source of your stress. Focus on whether or not it’s your fault and if so, whether there is anything you can do about it.

12.Talk to people who work in similar jobs – it doesn’t necessarily have to be transportation sales, but preferably someone in outside sales.

13.Talk to someone who will help you develop an objective perspective of your situation. It can be someone at work you trust, a friend, or a professional.

14.Find something that makes you laugh. Hold onto it and pull it out when you need a good laugh.

15.Spend more time with people who make you laugh. Get together with co-workers regularly to share funny stories about daily disasters with an eye towards constructive solutions.

16.Smile more. Smiling is a great way to reduce stress and improve confidence and feelings of happiness.

17.Eat healthy. When we’re under stress, our bodies use up nutrients faster and less efficiently than they ordinarily do. Give yourself a boost by opting for healthier foods, increasing intake of vitamins and proteins, and reducing fats, caffeine, and sugar.

18.Stick to a regular sleep schedule.

19.Write down what you expect to accomplish and then get it done.

20.Start your day prepared. If any one factor will relieve more stress than another, it’s preparation.

Embracing even just a few of the ideas that we’ve mentioned is a great way to work towards reduced stress, greater happiness, and improved success.

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