The “shale revolution” refers to the growing natural gas business within the US. As the search for alternatives to fossil fuels intensifies, the trucking industry is becoming more and more attuned to developments in natural gas as a viable alternative to diesel. In March, Shell, the energy corporation, announced plans to create two new natural gas for transport corridors through North America. This indicates just how much the development of these non-imported fuels could represent an advantage for American trucking. For an in-depth look at some of the benefits of natural gas, which include vehicle performance comparable with that of fossil fuels and the ability to be produced domestically, interested readers can visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s page on the fuel source. In addition to this, lower emissions from this fuel source mean that it’s use could be beneficial for the environment and the reduction of our carbon footprint. Some concerns over the process of the fuel’s extraction, known as “fracking” have environmental groups up

Small business owners and employees in the commercial trucking business have show support for a proposed bill to create a report on industry cost analysis for sleep apnea testing, as well as official regulations for the testing as opposed to guidance. Commercial trucking financing the tests is a concern, but more importantly, the issue of driver safety is at the heart of the proposed legislation. With driver fatigue representing one of the most covered issues around the trucking industry of late, more and more regulations have gone in to preventing fatal accidents blamed on excessive hours and fatigue. The reason why trucking groups have called for formal regulation rather than simple guidelines is because of a mistrust of not adequately defined rules. If trucking companies would fail to comply with the guidelines and then an accident occurred, they could be sued for non-compliance. The possibility that non-compliance could result as an accident due to misunderstanding would be much higher without a formally defined procedure surrounding

Small business owners are in the unique position of having much more leeway when it comes to their marketing strategies, and that can mean the ability to create deep bonds with their customers, boosting their repeat and word of mouth business to new heights. One of the best ways to achieve this level of client satisfaction is through personalization of your services.  Nothing says more to a client then a product that they feel is tailor made to them. Even adding in a few choices where none existed before will make your clients feel as if they were allowed to choose exactly what they wanted. Many small business owners balk at the idea of personalization, thinking that in order for there to be touches in their service adapted for individual customers they must spend large amounts of time and effort, which they may not be able to expend. Often they view the word “personalization” as being synonymous with “more work”. This doesn’t have to be

Small business owners in all stages of business growth need to know what their client base wants, how much they are willing to pay for it, and when and where they want to go in order to buy it. Market research is not simply nice to have for business owners, it is in fact an essential part of operating a business and without it you are flying blind. For this reason, it should be clearly understood by business owners just what is meant by market research and how they are able to do their own in order to develop a clear cut plan they can use for running their business. The first thing business owners need to do before they conduct their market research is identify their desired client base. This can dramatically effect the way in which you will collect your data. for example, a business whose primary clients are in their late teens and early twenties might do well with a facebook survey,

There is no question that it is difficult for small business owners to procure loans in today’s economy. The media has been abuzz with reports on the freeze of business credit, and the aftermath of the great recession has property and other forms of collateral devalued to the point that they are no longer sufficient for securing business loans. However, the Washington Post recently put out an article positing that the decline in business lending is not an entirely new phenomenon. The Cleveland Federal Reserve has released charts indicating that small business lending from banks has been on the wane since as far back as the mid 90’s when the economy was strong. Traditional banks are cutting back the percentages of their portfolios that include business funding, and evidently have been doing so for over a decade. According to the Federal Reserve, this slow downward trend indicates that there is not likely to be a thaw in the lending practices of banks towards small business owners,

The regulations created in 2011 to restrict the work week of commercial truck drivers seem here to stay, after appeals from the major truck driver constituencies, the American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association,  failed to have the laws overturned. The primary concern of truck drivers is the loss of billable hours that they are experiencing because of the regulations, which force them to take rest periods and change the protocols surrounding the restarting of the working week. The rationale behind the new laws is that many of the accidents caused by trucks and buses on the road involved fatigued drivers whose reaction times and awareness of driving conditions were compromised by their lack of energy. The DOT estimates that up to 13% of drivers involved in serious accidents were fatigued, and that the new regulations and mandated rest periods will save 19 lives each year thanks to better rested logistics workers. It is hard to gauge the immediate economic effect of

The most visible collateral damage in trucking is the aftermath of a crash, where roads, vehicles, and their occupants can be catastrophically destroyed. However, the driving forces behind this kind of an accident account for a much more subtle and far reaching type of problem. Driver health has been an increasingly topical issue, with new regulations in place mandating more rest periods for drivers with the rationale being that chronic driver fatigue, sleep apnea and over consumption of nutritionally poor foods and caffeine are leading causes in many of the fatal crashes that occur each year. In the aftermath of these regulations, many drivers are reporting dissatisfaction with the way that their now mandated rest periods affect their schedules and the number of billable miles they can claim. In particular, driving at night, when traffic is lightest, is now much more difficult as drivers are required to get a good night’s  sleep. Aside from effecting the schedules of drivers, the new regulations in conjunction with

Small business owners in the logistics business are reporting dissatisfaction with the rates of return they are getting from their shipping, citing decreased capacities and higher costs related to operating and financing expensive equipment. According to an article on fleetowner.com, there are two ways that trucking companies will begin to see adequate rates of return on their investments. Those two ways are either an increased demand through a spike in purchasing and production of goods requiring transport, or a dip in the supply of trucks through a reduction in the number of available drivers, or governmental regulations that mandate a decreased limit on driver productivity. Due to the current market conditions, many larger fleets are wary of expanding, and instead are replacing or re-outfitting older vehicles. Unable to obtain external financing, many smaller trucking firms are being forced to downsize, and mid sized operations are trying to expand in order to prove to customers that they are large enough to be put onto a list of

Horizon Provided a Record $4.1 Million in Financing Last Month Horizon Business Funding is proud to announce that we provided over $4 million in small business financing during the month of August! Our merchant cash advance program helped dozens of small business owners get capital to help pay for operating costs, hire new employees, finance and repair equipment, and more. Business owners from a wide range of industries are putting our cash advance funding to work for them. During August, Horizon funded commercial construction firms, medical practices, dental practices, auto repair shops and more. Even as national economic data shows that small business lending continues to stagnate, Horizon Business Funding is helping entrepreneurs access more capital than ever. To learn more about how our business cash advance program works, or to apply for business financing, visit our website.

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