Category Archives - Press Releases

A New Team: The Bipedal Robot Redefining Logistic Automation

Move over, Iron Man, because there’s a new superhero in town: Digit, a bipedal robot from Agility Robotics! The logistics and transportation industry is already witnessing the transformative power of automation and autonomy, with autonomous trucks leading the charge. In fact, we’ve covered a handful of these advancements on our blog this year. Once again, we’re thrilled to discuss another area experiencing an onslaught of innovation – bipedal robots and their impact on logistics and supply chain management. ProMat 2023 This week logistic pros and enthusiasts will attend ProMat 2023, the biannual trade show and exhibition taking place in Chicago, IL. This event showcases the latest manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain solutions and technologies. Industry professionals from manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and transportation gather to learn about cutting-edge trends and innovations. Among the many impressive exhibits appearing, one particularly exciting attraction that has caught the attention of many is Agility Robotics and their unique bipedal robots. Agility Robotics Agility Robotics was founded by Dr. Jonathan Hurst and Dr. Damion Shelton a duo based out of Albany, Oregon. The company has already made waves based on their unique take on specializing in designing and building advanced robots for various commercial applications. The twist? They have legs. Their flagship product, the Cassie robot, is designed to operate autonomously and navigate complex environments with ease. Agility Robotics has attracted significant attention and investment from diverse industries, such as logistics, e-commerce, and healthcare, due to their groundbreaking technology and the potential to transform various parts of the industry from warehouse work to delivering packages. Taking the Stage This year’s ProMat is slated to be one for the books as it will finally showcase Agility Robotics’ latest bot, Digit. Digit is the team’s latest rendition of a bipedal robot and it is quickly becoming the go-to solution for numerous arms of our industry. At this week’s event, Digit will demonstrate its logistic capabilities in a replica warehouse. This is expected to be a very interesting and inspiring display of technology since unlike other robots we’ve become used to, Agility Robotics’ creations aren’t designed to simply mimic human movements. Instead, they’re built to work alongside humans, complementing human labor rather than striving to replace it entirely. Meet Digit While we wait for the full display later this week, let’s discuss what we already know about Digit. For starters, Digit is compact, strong, and versatile, capable of carrying up to 16kg (35lbs) and working for up to 16 hours in a 24-hour period. Even more impressive robot can autonomously connect to its docking station to recharge, eliminating the need for costly retrofitting. It’s just like a Roomba! As for walking capabilities, it’s actually able to move in any direction, traverse unstructured terrain, and detect and navigate around obstacles, including people. This is a game changer because it opens a door for true collaboration between human workers and their automated counterparts. Especially since Digit can pick up and put down objects of varying sizes and weights, making it an even more valuable asset in logistics and transportation. With its wide range of capabilities, it’s no surprise that Digit is rapidly becoming the robot of choice for many industries. As we continue to explore advancements in automation and autonomy, it’s evident that Agility Robotics is worth keeping your eye on as they seem to be spearheading a new movement and mindset in innovation within logistics and transportation. Live Stream Update: For those interested, a livestream of the Digit Demo at ProMat 2023 will be streamed on YouTube later today. Be sure to check it out! That’s All For Now As automation and autonomy continue to revolutionize these sectors, bipedal robots like Digit have the potential to play an increasingly important role in supply chain management. With its unique design, versatility, and ability to work alongside humans, Digit represents a new era of automation that complements human labor rather than replacing it. We hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup of important trucker news! As always, we want to hear your thoughts and opinions on these stories, so be sure to leave your opinion in the comments below. Together we can stay informed and engaged . Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of our weekly trucker news roundup. If you made it to this part of the article, we’d just like to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to read it. Be safe out there and as always, If you’re in search of CDL A, B, or warehouse positions, check out our open positions. And if you need staffing solutions for commercial driving or industrial positions, be sure to explore our offerings.

Hauntings To Hazmat: Unforgettable Moments In The Trucking World

A Quick St. Paddy’s Day Thank You! Before we get into another wild ride in the trucking industry this week, we’d like to take a minute to wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, we celebrate our unrivaled road warriors and logistics experts who keep the world moving. Thank you for your dedication and hard work! Wishing you a day filled with good luck, fewer potholes, and smooth travels. Stay safe this weekend & cheers from The Optimum Logistic Team! Onto The News! A rising number of fatal crashes calls for action through a new Roadway Safety Action Plan that utilized data to identify crash hotspots and aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on Knoxville’s roads. Emergency crews responded to a hazardous material spill at an East Tennessee truck stop, meanwhile a highway safety advocacy group is demanding action to improve safety standards to prevent events like this from taking place. And to top it all off, for those who love a little strangeness, a truck driver’s dashcam captured a mysterious ghost-like figure on an eerie Arizona highway. Buckle up and join us as we dive into the latest news from the world of trucking! New Plan To Eradicate Fatal Crashes in Knoxville Knoxville, a picturesque East Tennessee city, has been plagued by a rising number of fatal and serious crashes. With 30% of these accidents occurring on 12 specifc roadways, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is taking action. They’ve developed a Roadway Safety Action Plan, bringing together engineers, planners, law enforcement, community members, and other organizations to make Knoxville’s streets safer for everyone. While still acknowledging that humans make mistakes, the plan aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on Knoxville’s roads by addressing the factors contributing to accidents. For example, planners are examining roadway curves and roadside conditions to prevent crashes caused by drivers losing control and veering off the road. The TPO’s plan uses a data-driven approach, identifying and ranking crash hotspots based on the number of accidents per mile. This includes high-crash areas both in and around the city, popular areas such as like downtown’s Henley Street, Broadway and Chapman Highway, as well as Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge, which lies on Knoxville’s outskirts. The next step will be securing funding to implement the plan and begin the work of making Knoxville’s streets safer. The TPO is also issuing some public through surveys to gather feedback and help achieve their zero-fatality goal. Ellen Zavisca, the TPO’s principal transportation planner, remains optimistic that they can prevent fatal and serious crashes, forever changing the lives of Knoxville’s residents for the better. Read the full story here! Highway Haunting: Truck Driver Captures A Spooky Sight on Dashcam Picture this: you’re driving alone on a desolate Arizona highway at 2:30 a.m. when you suddenly see a mysterious figure appear on the side of the road. That’s exactly what happened to truck driver William Church, whose dashcam captured a creepy, ghost-like figure on Arizona State Route 87 between Phoenix and Payson! With no other cars around, Church and the many viewers of his unique footage have been left wondering if this eerie encounter could be something supernatural… Arizona State Route 87 has a long and deadly history, with many fatal car accidents occurring on the 96-year-old road. Constructed in 1927, the highway stretches over 272 miles from the north end near Second Mesa to the south end near Picacho. Some locals have even come to believe that the road could be haunted, with Valley Chevy Dealers in Phoenix dubbing it one of Arizona’s “most dangerous roads” due to its looping turns and beeline-like route. Captured by a Nexar dashcam, which is designed to record drives for security reasons, the six-second clip reveals a translucent figure resembling a person standing in the roadway. Church pointed out that you can even see the lines through the figure’s legs, adding to its ghostly appearance. With no other cars on the road and the highway’s spooky reputation, it’s no wonder people are discussing the possibility of a supernatural occurrence. While we may never know for sure if William Church’s sighting was a ghost, it’s clear that this spine-chilling encounter will leave viewers questioning the unknown. Hazmat Leak At East Tennessee Truck Stop Emergency crews responded to a hazardous material spill at a truck stop on Watt Road in Knoxville. A semi-truck began leaking some kind of dangerous substance, prompting the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, county EMA, and fire crews to respond along with Knox County Rural Metro. The hazmat teams worked to clean up the spill and people were urged to avoid the area and take alternate routes if possible. Update: The quick response from multiple emergency crews shows just how seriously they take these kinds of incidents. Authorities have already identified the material as Peroxyacetic Acid. This multi-purpose antimicrobial agent, surface cleaner, and sanitizer is currently used across many different industries. While it is safe while stabilized, when it’s in its purest form, it can be corrosive. Two passerbys who witnessed the acid’s “vinegar-like” odor actually ended up driving themselves to the hospital to get checked out. Highway Safety Advocacy Group Calls for Crackdown on Trucking Industry From a train derailment in East Palestine to a semi-truck rollover in Tucson, Arizona, we’re seeing more and more that there is a growing issue with hazardous material spills. Scary, right? Well, the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) is demanding that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg take action. Their goal is to improve truck safety standards and prevent dangerous crashes, while simultaneously putting public safety ahead of corporate profits. Okay, sounds great, but how exactly do they plan to achieve this? The TSC has a list of recommendations for the Department of Transportation (DOT), and they’re not holding back: Requiring Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) on all commercial vehicles. Research shows AEB could eliminate over 40% of large truck rear-end collisions. The European Union has been requiring AEB on heavy trucks since 2013. Mandating…

Self-Driving Layoffs? Embarking On A New Journey

Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Logistics Industry According to the latest reports, the logistics industry is witnessing a significant drop in employment as consumer spending shifts away from goods and towards services, causing a drop in e-commerce growth and a slowdown in freight demand. Trucking, warehousing, and parcel-delivery companies have cut jobs in response to the slowdown, causing many logistics companies to begin massive pullbacks on hiring. Beyond trucks, we saw the warehouse sector come face to face with one of the largest monthly drops in the past decade. It’s important to note that the majority of the job losses are in industries that thrived during the pandemic. Amazon, for instance, has already initiated a cost-cutting review, implementing targeted cuts to bring down costs. Other tech giants such as Facebook, Lyft, HP, and Salesforce have also announced layoffs to counteract the overgrowth that occurred during the pandemic. This raises an important question, is employment in these booming industries sustainable? Noble Beginnings Embark, one of the big names in self-driving big rig’s, was founded back in 2016 and has since raised over $115 million in funding. Beyond that, they began the process of making good on their promises. The company previously achieved successful public road tests and even partnered with major shipping companies such as HP and AB InBev to conduct pilot programs. Their main goal as a company has always been working to make commercial trucking safer, more efficient, and less expensive by enabling trucks to operate safely and efficiently without a driver on the highway. By taking out the human element, they believed that they could make the industry much safer and more efficient. This was echoed by Srikanth Saripalli, director at Texas A&M’s Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems, who described their main aim as automating the, “…dull, dirty, dangerous…,” tasks, leaving humans to focus on more complex and creative work! The House Automation Built If you remember way back to 2017, you’ll recall that the Texas Legislature passed laws allowing autonomous vehicles to operate on Texas roads. This exciting legislature began instantly attracting driverless car companies to the state. Embark, along with some other big names in the game, have been utilizing autonomous trucking technology being developed at Texas A&M University ever since. As they’ve gone on to explore this groundbreaking new tech, lots of new ideas have prospered and it really seemed as though the sky was the limit. At one point, there was even talk of expanding into Texas’ infrastructure and launching a first of its kind self-driving trucking lane between Houston and San Antonio! The Memo Nobody Wanted Sadly, despite the team’s hard work, undeniable accomplishments and high hopes, Embark CEO, Alex Rodrigues, acknowledged in a company-wide letter that can really be summed up by one line, “success was not guaranteed.” He expressed his disappointment having to lay off approximately 70% of the company. The remaining 30% of the company will turn their focus on an orderly wind-down of its operations, supporting its laid-off employees, and evaluating its options, including selling assets, restructuring, or shutting down completely. The laid-off employees have been reassured that they will receive severance, benefits, equity, and career support from Embark. Despite the closure, Alex believes that the work of the company has made a difference in pushing the autonomous trucking industry forward. In addition to the layoffs, the company also closed its offices in Southern California and Houston. Only time will tell the true impact of these setbacks on the industry as a whole. Greener Pastures Despite the recent economic challenges, there is still optimism in the logistics industry, as some top trucking company executives predict that freight demand will improve in the second half of the year due to an increase in orders from retailers. However, the Logistics Managers’ Index report for February showed that transportation prices contracted at the fastest rate in the index’s 6½-year history.  This highlights the importance for companies to remain vigilant and ready to adapt to the changing economic climate, and emphasizes the importance of considering just how sustainable astronomical growth is especially when that growth is based on something that’s not permanent such as a pandemic. Only the future can tell what impacts these setbacks will have on the automated trucking industry and logistics as a whole. If you made it to this part of the article, we’d just like to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to read it. Be safe out there and as always, If you’re in search of CDL A, B, or warehouse positions, check out our open positions. And if you need staffing solutions for commercial driving or industrial positions, be sure to explore our offerings.

Quarter-Million Creme Egg Heist? Tax Repeal + New Rules

Wild Stories You Won’t Want To Miss Get ready for a wild ride in the trucking industry this week! From a daring theft of 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs to a call-out of a speeding trucker on Twitter, the headlines are packed with unexpected events. But that’s not all, as new bills take aim at outdated taxes and regulations, while rest stops in Missouri are getting a makeover to provide safer parking for commercial vehicles. Buckle up and join us as we dive into the latest news from the world of trucking. New Bill Takes On Outdated Trucker Taxes Senators Ben Cardin and Todd Young have introduced the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2023 to repeal the outdated federal excise tax (FET) on heavy trucks and trailers. The bipartisan bill has garnered support from industry groups such as the American Trucking Associations, American Truck Dealers, and Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA). The FET, established over 100 years ago to support World War I efforts, is now the highest percentage excise tax on any product and acts as a barrier to investment in cleaner and safer trucks and trailers. Repealing the tax will promote growth, competitiveness, and cleaner technology, while creating jobs and reducing emissions. Over 90% of truck drivers are men. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, over 95% of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and 84% of delivery truck drivers were men. FMCSA Wants To Ensure Drivers Get Paid On Time The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the comment period for its proposed rules to regulate broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility. The NPRM, which covers areas such as immediate suspension of operating authority and surety or trust responsibilities in cases of financial failure, was set to expire on March 5th, but has been extended until April 6th to allow for a public listening session. The session will be held on March 31st in Louisville, KY, and will run concurrently with the Mid America Trucking Show. The FMCSA hopes that this extension will encourage public input on the proposed rules. Missouri Closes 2 Rest Stops for Safer Truck Parking The Missouri Department of Transportation will be closing two rest areas, the southbound Platte County Interstate 29 and Clinton County Interstate 35, to all motorists next week as work begins to convert them into commercial vehicle parking. The $3.8 million project, expected to be completed by the end of October 2023, aims to meet the needs of commercial vehicles, which make up an estimated 35% of the annual daily traffic on Missouri’s interstates. By converting traditional rest areas, MoDOT hopes to decrease the costs of upkeep while ensuring safer parking for commercial vehicles. U.K. Man Steals 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs A man has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs worth an estimated £40,000. Using a metal grinder to break into an industrial unit in Telford, the 32-year-old from West Yorkshire used a stolen cab to drive off with the chocolate goods. He was stopped by police and will be sentenced on March 14. The prosecutor described the crime as requiring some “significant planning” since the defendant was the leader in the offense, including using a stolen tractor unit. All the stolen items have been recovered in good condition. Nebraska State Patrol Calls Out Speeding Trucker on Twitter A trooper from Nebraska State Patrol called out a “Peterbuilt” driver on Twitter for traveling at 101 mph. The post asks if a Peterbilt can actually reach that speed and encourages drivers to slow down, as speed is a factor in many crashes and their severity. The post doesn’t note the highway the driver was caught on, but a photo shows the truck running bobtail. You’re All Caught Up! We hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup of important trucker news! We definitely won’t be forgetting about the theft of 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs any time soon! From the proposed financial responsibility rules all the way to the introduction of a new bills and closing rest areas, there’s always something happening in the world of trucking! We want to hear your thoughts and opinions on these stories, so be sure to leave your opinion in the comments below. Together we can stay informed and engaged . Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of our weekly trucker news roundup. If you made it to this part of the article, we’d just like to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to read it. Be safe out there and as always, If you’re in search of CDL A, B, or warehouse positions, check out our open positions. And if you need staffing solutions for commercial driving or industrial positions, be sure to explore our offerings.

One Call Away From Having Your Hiring Problems Solved

Are you tired of sitting there, sifting through endless resumes and conducting countless interviews all in hopes of discovering perfect fit for your company? What if we told you there was a phone call you can make that can lift the burden and allow you to get on with the things you’re truly passionate about. Unbelievable? Guess Again! We’ve got you covered! At Optimum, our range of staffing services, including industrial staffing, temp-to-perm, and direct hire, are designed to make your life easier and streamline your hiring process. With nearly 50 years of experience, 24/7 support coast to coast support, and a team of transportation and logistic industry experts utilizing our screening and assessment processes, we guarantee to connect you with the right talent. Industrial Staffing We understand the importance of not only providing qualified personnel, but going the extra mile and ensuring their compliance with industry regulations. We offer comprehensive staffing solutions including the recruiting and selection of administrators, fulfillment pickers and packers, forklift operators, janitorial staff, and lumpers. Our industry leading screening process includes a comprehensive package including criminal background checks, drug and alcohol testing, and verification of prior employment all to ensure you have complete peace of mind in the personnel we place. In addition, our team knows the industry and are well-versed in DOT & OSHA training and documentation requirements, we can meet your needs anytime they arise. Our services also include electronic file maintenance, payroll and wage administration, employee benefits management, and much more giving us the ability to meet your unique needs in just the right way. Temp-to-Perm Whether you need a warehouse staff member, a supply chain expert, a dispatcher, a commercial driver, or internal staff, we’ve got you covered. Our experts have one focus: simplifying your hiring process and connecting you with the right people. Our temp-to-perm division offers smooth and efficient solutions that allow us to locate the perfect fit for your needs. With a dedicated team of professionals available anywhere and anytime. Finally, take the weight off your shoulders and focus on what really matters and align with a team of experts eager to help you reach your goals. Direct Hire From start to finish, our direct hire division is effective and will find you the perfect match for your company. We have a deep pool of top talent that is constantly growing and are ready to adapt and transition into any role seamlessly, saving you valuable time and resources. With a 1:1 client to specialist ratio, we are able to uniquely offer a personalized small business feel while offering the same services of our bigger competitors. You can trust Optimum to give you the personalized attention you deserve. With our thorough background checks, complete motor vehicle records, drug screens, and physicals, as well as customized requirements to meet your specific needs, our team of specialists is available 24/7 to provide expert support, solutions and guidance. Don’t Settle Today, we know that there are plenty of options out there when it comes to filling your positions. Our advice? Choose the one that stands out and aligns with your unique goals. With nearly 50 years of experience, 24/7 support, and a team of experts dedicated to providing top-notch services, we guarantee our ability to streamline your hiring process and connect you with the right talent and goes above and beyond to provide complete solutions and compliance support – Don’t hesitate! Get in touch today and start simplifying your journey to success! Stay safe and drive on! – The Optimum Logistics Team



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