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Latest Blogs from AVAAL

eManifests

Everything to Know About eManifests

  • 03 July, 2020

If you are moving cross-border freight one important aspect you’ll have to brush up on is eManifests. Freight moved between the U.S. and Canada is heavily regulated, and these days border officials rely on digital documents to make the customs process smoother. All carriers moving between the U.S. and Canada have to submit electronic manifests, so here is everything you need to know about them!

US Canada Cross Border Freight

U.S-Canada Cross-Border Freight on the Rise

  • 26 June, 2020

Great news for U.S. and Canadian trucking companies: Cross-border freight between the two countries is on the rise. The number of trucks crossing the U.S.-Canada border dipped during COVID-19, but now those numbers are surging.


Cross-border freight has been picking up, especially for trucks arriving from the U.S. The number of trucks crossing the Canadian border from the U.S. rose by 14% last week compared to the previous week, according to Canada Border Services Agency. The jump in traffic is due to Canada and the U.S. reopening their economies. The resumption of auto manufacturing in both countries is also likely helping.

Top Freight Management Software

Benefits of Freight Management Software with Integrated Accounting

  • 19 June, 2020

There are lots of aspects that go into running a successful trucking business, but a key one is accounting. From invoicing clients to paying employees, accounting is vital to any company. AVAAL’s Freight Management Software includes an accounting system that was specifically developed to meet the needs of trucking companies and is fully integrated as part of our software. Using freight management software with an integrated accounting system provides a number of advantages for trucking companies. These are some of the biggest benefits!

Top Freight Management Software

Issues Impacting the Transporation Industry Right Now

  • 12 June, 2020

The transportation industry has faced a lot of hurdles in recent years, but 2020 has been especially rough. The industry is resilient and will continue to succeed no matter what is thrown it's way. However, trucking companies should be aware of some of the latest issues impacting the industry. Here are a few issues that could impact your businesses right now.

Top Freight Management Software

AVAAL Freight Management Named One of the Top Logistics Software Products of 2020!

  • 08 June, 2020

AVAAL is proud to announce that Crozdesk has named us one of the Top Logistics Software Products of 2020!

Crozdesk is a web-based service that connects buyers and sellers of business software. Entrepreneur Nicholas Hopper launched the company in 2015, and the company continues to grow today. The company uses its own algorithm to assign each software a score, called Crozscore, which is used to rank each product. These scores are then used to compile the top 20 lists, with each product vetted for relevancy to ensure it ranks in the proper category.

Trucking Authorities Permit Types

Types of Trucking Authorities Permits

  • 28 May, 2020

The trucking industry can be challenging to navigate for those new to the business. There are a number of trucking authorities and permits required to transport goods across the U.S. and Canada. Our consulting services can help your business obtain all of the necessary documents, but what types of trucking authorities and permits are there? Here is a useful guide to all of the authorities and permits we can help your transportation business get.

New Truck Driver HOS Rules

U.S. Announces Final Driver Hours-of-Service (HOS) Rules

  • 20 May, 2020

The trucking industry has been unhappy with the strict hours-of-service (HOS) regulations since they were put in place. While all in the industry understand the need to address issues such as driver fatigue, most believe the current rules are far too strict. The most common criticism of the HOS rules in the U.S. is that they are not flexible enough to account for real-world delays such as traffic, weather, or long load times.


The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been reviewing proposed changes for months now and they have finally issued its long-awaited final rule on changes to the driver hours-of-service HOS regulations.

What to look for in Trucking Dispatch Software

What to Look for in a Trucking Dispatch Software Solution

  • 11 May, 2020

Technology plays an increasingly large role in the transportation industry these days, and having the right software is vital to running an efficient business. Trucking dispatch software makes it easy to manage your fleet from one easy to use platform. But how do you know if the trucking dispatch software you’re looking at is the right one for your business? Here are a few things you should look for.

Trucking dispatcher duties

Trucking Dispatcher Duties & Responsibilities

  • 01 May, 2020

The transportation industry relies on truck drivers to move freight, but they’re not the only ones responsible for getting goods safely from one point to another. Trucking dispatchers play a vital role in the trucking industry and are in high demand. If you’re interested in joining the trucking industry as a dispatcher, here are what some of your duties and responsibilities would be.

What is a Freight Broker?

What is a Freight Broker?

  • 24 April, 2020

The transportation and logistics industry is complex, with many moving parts working together to move freight across the world. Freight brokerages play an important role in connecting shippers and carriers. Many trucking companies find the services they provide extremely valuable, but what exactly is a freight broker?

Essential Workers in the Trucking Industry during COVID-19

List of Essential Workers During COVID-19 in the Trucking Industry

  • 17 April, 2020

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend a number of industries. The transportation industry plays a vital role in keeping the economy going and supply chains running. The U.S and Canadian governments have deemed the services provided by the transportation industry as essential, but when it comes to trucking in particular, which employees are required to keep working?

Benefits of Freight Brokerage Software

4 Benefits of Freight Brokerage Software

  • 09 April, 2020

Technology is more important than ever before in the trucking industry. Whether you’re a single truck owner or a major trucking company, Freight Brokerage Software allows you to efficiently manage your business from one easy platform. Here are just a few of the amazing benefits this software can provide your business.

Protect Your Trucking Business during a Pandemic

How to Protect Your Trucking Business During a Pandemic

  • 27 March, 2020

COVID-19 is officially a global pandemic. Countries across the globe are forcing or encouraging businesses to close or move operations to home. This pandemic has put a strain on the global supply chain, and now more than ever trucking companies are essential in keeping countries running. So how can trucking companies keep their employees safe and their business running?

Top Reasons to Invest in Trucking Dispatch Sfotware

5 Reasons to Invest in Trucking Dispatch Software

  • 20 March, 2020

The trucking industry is going through a technological revolution. More than ever before it’s important for transportation companies to utilize the latest technologies and software. Trucking dispatch software is one of the best types of software for trucking companies to invest in these days. Here are a few reasons why.

News

3 Ways the Coronavirus is Impacting the Transportation Industry

  • 13 March, 2020

Only a week ago it was looking as if the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, was slowing down. That is no longer the case. The virus originated in China, and cases within the country began to slow down, but now the virus is quickly spreading around the globe. The epidemic has started to impact several sectors, including the transportation industry.

News

Everything to Know About CTPAT Certification

  • 06 March, 2020

The transportation industry is heavily regulated, but with the right certifications, your trucking business can more easily navigate this complex industry leading to higher profits. Having CTPAT certification will allow your business to more easily transport goods into the US and throughout the country. Here is everything you should know about this type of certification.

News

A Guide to the Classes of Dangerous Goods

  • 28 Feb, 2020

The transportation of dangerous goods is one of the most lucrative fields in the transportation industry. It’s also one of the most regulated. There are federal and local regulations on how dangerous goods must be transported, and trucking companies need to know the different classes of dangerous goods.

News

A Breakdown of Trucking Shipping Seasons

  • 21 Feb, 2020

When it comes to the trucking industry, it’s very easy to break down the year into key seasons. There are roughly four key seasons for the industry that those looking to work in the trucking industry should be aware of. Here is a breakdown of when those seasons are and what they entail.

News

4 Reasons to Invest in Freight Management Software

  • 07 Feb, 2020

Over the past few years, the trucking industry has slowly been adopting the latest technologies. Gone are the days where companies operated on a paper system. Today, in order for a trucking business to survive they need to invest in software and technology. Freight management software is one that is imperative for trucking companies. Here are a few benefits you get by investing in this software!

News

Everything to Know About Canadian Hours of Service Rules

  • 27 Jan, 2020

The trucking industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the country. The Canadian government has developed rules and regulations to protect industry workers and keep our roads safe. Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are some of the most important ones and are designed to reduce the number and severity of trucking collisions by addressing driver fatigue. Every transportation company is required to comply with HOS regulations, which is why it is important to fully understand what is laid out in it.

News

3 Ways the USMCA Deal Will Impact Trucking

  • 20 Jan, 2020

The trucking industry can start the New Year by celebrating the U.S. Senate finally approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This new trade deal is set to replace NAFTA, and will now be sent to President Trump to sign, which is expected to happen in the coming days. The USMCA was signed by all three countries back in 2018 but has been stalled for months by the U.S. government. Now that it has been approved though, the trucking industry is finally getting some clarity on how this new trade deal will impact the industry.

News

How to Grow a Successful Trucking Business in 2020

  • 10 Jan, 2020

As the New Year starts rolling, you might be looking at ways to better yourself and your trucking business. The trucking industry struggled as a whole in 2019, with many companies declaring bankruptcy or shutting down. However, these were more due to internal company issues rather than a reflection of the industry, and as trucking companies move into 2020 they should reflect on last year’s missteps in order to grow this year.

News

What is Trucking Authority?

  • 03 Jan, 2020

The trucking industry is complex and can be challenging to navigate for new businesses. There are tons of permits and authorities needed to transport goods from coast to coast. An authority is key for any trucking business that wants to legally transport goods and make decent money. So what exactly is a trucking authority?

News

The Differences Between the U.S & Canada's ELD Mandates

  • 27 Dec, 2019

The trucking industry has been undergoing a technological redesign lately. One of the largest technological shifts has been the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). Cross-border fleets are expected to comply with both the U.S. and Canada’s ELD mandates, and while these regulations are similar there are a few key differences trucking companies should be aware of.

News

What is a Customs Bond?

  • 20 Dec, 2019

A customs bond, also known as carrier bonds, is an important document that allows imported commercial goods to be transported into the U.S. and Canada. It is essentially a guarantee to the Canadian or U.S. government that any fees, taxes, and duties owed will be paid when asked.

News

3 Benefits of Customs Self Assessment (CSA) Certification

  • 13 Dec, 2019

There are many of benefits that come along with CSA certification, from streamlining customs paperwork to having access to the FAST program. Here are a few of the best advantages of obtaining a Customs Self Assessment certification.

News

4 Reasons to Take Our Trucking Dispatch Specialist Course

  • 7 Dec, 2019

Despite fears of a slowing economy, the trucking industry continues to grow. If you’re looking to join the transportation industry, it’s important to understand the ins and outs. These are the top 4 reasons to take our Trucking Dispatch Specialist Course.

News

Trucking AMA: What is freight factoring? Should I use it?

  • 4 Nov, 2019

Want to know the pros and cons of using factoring to get paid fast? Our experts weigh in.

News

How to spot good loads in bad markets

  • 28 August, 2019
  • Chad Boblett

I have been a spot market pirate for almost nine years. As a pirate, you want to get in and get the good stuff. This means I use lots of tools to know where the most demand is for the trailer I pull.

If you look at entire Lower 48 states as a whole, then you will find that most of the time the market is not flooded with more loads than trucks, but you will find that there is always a good market somewhere. And it's always changing.

News

How to negotiate the best truckload rates

  • 31 July, 2019
  • Allie Lewis

Here's something that might surprise you: Spot market truckload volumes were 7% higher in the first six months of 2019 than they were in the first half of 2018, according to the DAT Truckload Volume Index.

For one, there's been a lot more trucks available this year, so load posts on the DAT Load Board are down in 2019 compared to 2018.

News

How to negotiate the best truckload rates

  • 24 July, 2019
  • Allie Lewis

Worried that you aren't getting the best price when negotiating a rate on a load? DAT TruckersEdge has multiple tools to help ease the process.

With your load board subscription, you can see what other carriers have gotten paid on that same lane, plus you can see where your truck is in high demand and where you might have trouble finding freight.

News

How much do hot shot loads pay?

  • 11 July, 2019
  • Allie Lewis

Running hot shots is one of the easier ways to start your own trucking company. A lot of owner-operators get into the business this way because of the lower cost of equipment. Instead of investing in a big rig, hot shot truckers use sprinter vans, straight trucks, 4x4 pickups with goosenecks, and other smaller vehicles to haul lighter loads.

Seeking out small-truck loads or LTL (less than truckload) loads has a lot of pros and cons, but one of the most confusing things about the business is figuring out what rate you should charge.

News

Secrets to trucking success: Find a need and fill it

  • 12 June, 2019
  • Chad Boblett

Author Earl Nightingale once said that to get rich, you just have to find a need and fill it. In the eight years I've been an independent owner-operator, that's how I've tried to run my business.

Other than being able to drive a truck, that's been my best skill when operating my business.

News

What are Trucking Freight Futures?

  • 22 May, 2019
  • Matt Sullivan

Trucking is undergoing a transformation, as new technologies, e-commerce, ELDs, and economic growth reshape the supply chain landscape and add volatility to the mix.

Launched in March, the exchange was created by DAT, FreightWaves, and Nodal, as a way for transportation companies and shippers to hedge against rising and falling truckload rates, providing a financial market to offset higher expenses or lost revenue.

News

Brokers improve net profits despite lower revenue

  • 14 May, 2019
  • Peggy Dorf

The first quarter was one of those "good news, bad news" stories for freight brokers. The good news was a big increase in gross margins, which rebounded to 16% from 13% in Q1 of 2018. The reason for this improvement was a sharp drop in spot market rates, which is what the brokers pay to hire a truck. When that cost of "purchased transportation" declined, the brokers got to keep more of the money that their shipper customers paid them for the service.

News

5 simple ways brokers can improve their credit score

  • 14 May, 2019
  • Pat Pitz

When a carrier searches for a load on DAT load boards, they'll often get dozens of results, especially on popular lanes. So how can a broker make that load post stand out from the pack? Posting an attractive rate will help, but beyond that, carriers want to work with brokers they can trust. And an important gauge of that trust is the broker's credit score and days to pay, which carriers see right next to the posting. That's why it's critical that brokers maintain good scores. But how do they do that?

News

Trucking scams: How brokers and carriers can protect themselves

  • 15 April, 2019

Working with a broker or carrier for the first time can lead to a successful and profitable relationship that will last for years.

"One of the most common ways thieves pull off scams today is to pose as a legitimate carrier or broker," said DAT Compliance Manager Tami Hart.

News

New ELD deadline: Will it trigger a capacity crisis?

  • 20 Mar, 2019
  • Donald Broughton

Freight markets were upended by the capacity crunch that followed the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in December 2017. The next phase of the mandate begins in December 2019, and it may end up being just as disruptive.

The new milestone expands the regulation in two dramatic ways.

News

Pros and cons: Brokered vs. direct shipper freight

  • 08 Mar, 2019
  • Chad Boblett

The kind of freight you choose to haul, whether it's through a broker or direct from a shipper, is an individual decision that is determined by a person's wants, needs and goals.

Every month I compare my average loaded rate per mile with the national average contract rate.

News

Driver shortage or truck surplus?

  • Feb 27, 2019
  • Mark Montague

You've likely heard reports that there's a shortage of drivers in the trucking industry. There have also been reports that a record number of heavy-duty truck orders from last year is creating a capacity surplus.

So, which is it? How can we have a surplus of trucks and a shortage of drivers? It can't be both, can it?

News

Winter storms bring rapid changes to freight markets

  • Feb 05, 2019
  • Peggy Dorf

Last week's Arctic weather stalled freight movement in and out of key markets in the Midwest. But the storm passed in just a couple of days, so it didn't have a big impact on national rate trends for the week as a whole.

Take Chicago, for example. It's a major freight hub for trucking and railroads. Snow is not exactly rare in the winter, but last week's sub-zero temperatures were a bit extreme, even for hardy Midwesterners.

News

How the best shippers manage capacity challenges

  • Jan 31, 2019
  • Pat Pitz

What can shippers do to make their freight attractive to carriers? Three shippers answered that question during a panel discussion at the 2018 DAT User Conference in Portland, OR. Here's what they had to say.

Based in Pittsburgh, Armada manages supply chains for some of the nation's largest restaurant chains, with a focus on refrigerated and frozen foods.

News

Trucking wins business back from railroad

  • Jan 16, 2019
  • Donald Broughton

Last year rail intermodel took away loads from over-the-road trucking, but now the pendulum is swinging back the other direction.

Diesel prices are dropping, which makes dry van transportation more attractive and reduces the cost advantage of rail intermodal for domestic freight.

News

5 regulations to watch in 2019

  • Jan 15, 2019
  • Pat Pitz

The ELD mandate transformed the trucking industry last year. The dust has finally started to settle, but more changes could be on the horizon.

While there likely won't be any new regulations that are as transformative as the ELD mandate, transportation professionals should keep an eye on these five regulations that could have big impacts on trucking in 2019.

News

Top 10 markets for freight in 2018

  • Jan 07, 2019
  • Matt Sullivan

What do you get when you combine an economy that's growing like gangbusters and a truck shortage? That'd be 2018.

The surge in truckload demand led to record-high rates last year, as freight brokers and shippers routinely had trouble securing capacity. For comparison, there were 161 million loads posted on the DAT Load Board in 2017. Last year, there were 260 million loads posted.

News

6 rules for making money in the slow season

  • Dec 31, 2018
  • Chad Boblett

The spot market will likely be the same as it is every year around this time: From January to about the end of March, it will most likely be slow. There won't be the volatility that we saw at the beginning of 2018, because that was a result of the ELD mandate. Don't expect to see as many loads as we did in early 2018.

Just because there are fewer loads doesn't mean the world is coming to an end, though. It's just that time of year.

News

6 ways truckers can lower their 2018 tax bill

  • Dec 17, 2018
  • Sean Bryant

The year is coming to an end, so the clock is ticking on a few things you can do to take advantage of the new tax laws and pay less in 2018.

There are several ways carriers and owner-operators can lower the amount they owe to Uncle Sam, but below are the six things you can get started today.

News

Truckload spot and contract rates tell different stories

  • Nov 20, 2018
  • Mark Montague

There are really two truckload rate stories this year. For one, spot market rates have declined sharply this fall. In the second story, contract rates have mostly held up, and in some cases may still have room to climb higher. Those two stories from 2018 lead to two different rate forecasts for the first half of 2019.

News

Contract rates will rise more slowly in 2019

  • Nov 15, 2018
  • Donald Broughton

Capacity is becoming more available, as small fleets have mostly adjusted to electronic logging device (ELD) and strict enforcement of the Hours of Service rules.

At the same time, new trucks are everywhere, which has caused the average age of trucks in service to decline.

News

The high cost of free shipping

  • Nov 15, 2018
  • Peggy Dorf

I'm doing my holiday shopping early this year.

That may seem overly cautious, considering that everybody and his brother is suddenly offering free shipping. Order before December 22, and shipping is free. Some retailers have even guaranteed free, two-day shipping until that date, with no minimum purchase requirements.

News

Regulatory changes brokers can't ignore

  • Oct 16, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

In a year where capacity has been historically tight, building out carrier networks has been particularly difficult for freight brokers.

Making sure you have access to the capacity needed to serve your shipper customers also means your brokerage needs to be able to adapt to changing regulatory climates.

News

5 steps to get 'pre-booked' for loads

  • Oct 8, 2018
  • Chad Boblett

When demand for trucks slows down, like it does every year during this time, the trend among many owner-operators is to pre-book loads to stay employed until the really good stuff comes out in later in the year. If it's a broker's market, then I try to spend less time getting a really great one-time rate and more time finding value in multiple loads.

News

5 ways to avoid driver fatigue

  • Oct 04, 2018
  • American Association of Owner Operators

Having trouble shaking off the cobwebs when starting your day? Trucking can take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health, and a lot of truck drivers fight that sluggish feeling almost daily.

There a variety of causes for driver fatigue, but you can put yourself in the best position to feel awake and alert by focusing on these 5 areas.

News

4 lessons I learned on the road with my trucker husband

  • Oct 04, 2018
  • Rebecca Cervantes-Kling

When I married my husband Will in 2002, I thought we'd be an active duty military family for at least 20 years, but that didn't happen. Life had other plans for us. After four years of being a navy wife, we moved our family back to my home state and settled back in as best as we could to civilian life.

News

Expect rates to rise as Hurricane Florence relief begins

  • Sep 18, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

While the winds of Hurricane Florence have subsided, the effects of the hurricane will be felt for weeks and months to come. More than 30 people have died in storm-related incidents and several towns remain flooded. Some rivers have not yet crested, which could bring more damage. In North Carolina alone, more than 1,000 roads are closed and the city of Wilmington—a port town—remains cut off with no road access in or out of the city.

News

What to do when shipper demands "Where's my load?"

  • Sep 18, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

If you're a freight broker and your customer calls and demands "Where's my load?" you'd better have an answer. And it better NOT be, "Let me make a few calls and get back to you."

A new feature in DAT OnTime — DAT's load tracking platform — enables brokers to send their customer a link that will show the current location of the load on a U.S. map.

News

Hurricane Florence path includes 4 port cities

  • Sep 13, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

Although the coastal towns in the path of Hurricane Florence are generally at the receiving end of the distribution chain, there are 4 port cities in the hurricane's path.

Port of Wilmington, North Carolina - This port is right in the center of the hurricane path and is expected to be the hardest hit.

News

How Hurricane Florence affects freight

  • Sep 11, 2018
  • Matt Sullivan

When disaster strikes, trucks are needed to get emergency supplies where they're needed most. But as has been the case with Hurricane Florence – which is anticipated to make landfall on the mid-Atlantic coast later this week – we're seeing how trucks are a big part of the preparation process before the storm, too.

News

Senate considering National Carrier Hiring Standard

  • Sep 06, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

Legislation intended to protect freight brokers when hiring carriers is making its way through Washington.

The so-called "National Carrier Hiring Standard" has been included as an amendment within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization funding bill and approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate is now considering its own amendments to the FAA reauthorization, which expires September 30.

News

4 ways truckers can get more time at home

  • Aug 15, 2018
  • Chad Boblett

When I first got started working with freight brokers in 2011, I was averaging more than 200 nights away from home each year. My primary strategy at that time was to go from one hot market to another hot market, chasing the highest-paying loads. At the beginning of 2015, the spot market demand for trucks slowed down and I needed to change how I use the load board.

News

Life before load boards

  • Aug 14, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

Mark Boyer has spent his whole career in the trucking and logistics industry, with a front row seat for all kinds of new technologies, including many products from DAT.

As DAT celebrates its 40th year, we reminisced with Boyer, who serves as Vice President of Brokerage for Keller Logistics in Defiance, Ohio. Keller is an asset-based brokerage with a 150-truck fleet, plus packaging and warehousing services.

News

Expect truckload market volatility to continue through the fall

  • Aug 03, 2018
  • Donald Broughton

To say that the first half of 2018 was "a period of both extreme volatility and unprecedented imbalance between capacity and demand for trucking services in North America" at first sounds like hyperbole. But if you ask anyone who lived through it, they'll probably tell you it's an understatement.

That raises two basic questions: What created the environment of extreme volatility and unprecedented imbalance?

News

What Does it Cost to Run Your Trucking Company?

  • May 30, 2018
  • Chad Boblett

I love trucking, but let's be honest: I am in this business to make money.

The only thing I like better than making money is keeping it. There are two factors that are in my control and that could destroy my business as an owner-operator: my health, and my ability to cover my expenses.

News

Get Your Carrier Authority - Ignore the Myths

  • March 19, 2018
  • Chad Boblett

This is Part Two, the follow-up to my first three myths about getting carrier authority. These myths, fears, and unknowns held me in place as a company driver for years. I wish I had gotten my authority sooner, and I hope other drivers can learn from my experience.

News

Getting Your Carrier Authority - Myth and Reality

  • March 15, 2018
  • Chad Boblett

My biggest regret about getting started in this industry was that I didn't get my authority sooner. It was the myths, fears, and the unknown that held me in place as a company driver for years. If you ever meet me at a dock or a truck stop, you might find me talking to another driver about getting their authority and working with brokers.

These are three of the myths that get discussed the most when getting started as a carrier.

News

How Did Truckers Find Loads 40 Years Ago?

  • March 13, 2018
  • Pat Pitz

Gene Schultz has been in the trucking business for nearly 60 years.

Schultz got his start in the trucking industry working for his father's produce-hauling business in Rochester, Minnesota in the 1950s. When his father died in 1959, Schultz took over the business. At that time Schultz Transit had six trucks. Schultz grew the business to 235 trucks, 242 drivers, and back-office staff of 42, including warehouse and cross-border operations staff in Laredo, Texas. He liquidated the business in 1991, and in 1997 he and two other partners started another trucking company, Hiawatha Transport, which they later sold.