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Courier-Messenger Inc is a local company, based in the Valencia Industrial Center, providing transportation of time sensitive shipments of all sizes from envelopes to full truckloads.

CMI provides same day, Overnight and Time definite Ltl point to point deliveries, through out the USA. Same day truck service is determined by availability at time of call.

CMI provides our customers with internet tracking, and proof of deliveries at time of completion via email.

CMI provides 24/7 Dispatch

CMI Service Map for California

C.M.I. DELIVERS TIME CRITICAL SHIPMENTS DOOR-TO-DOOR INTERSTATE OR INTRASTATE ANYWHERE IN THE USA

Road Trip Checklist

Road Trip Checklist

Inspect Your Truck or Car Before You Take a Road Trip

Road Trip Checklist

Are you getting ready to head out on a vacation or other road trip? Take a little time before you go to make sure your pickup truck is as ready to hit the road as you are.

Change the Oil and Filter

If the truck is within 500 miles or so of needing an oil change, and your trip will take you past that distance, change its oil and filter before you leave.

Check Fluid Levels

Check the truck’s fluid levels, like washer fluid, engine oil if you don’t change it, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid. If checks reveal low levels, have the truck serviced to make sure there’s not a problem.

Check Your Tires

Inspect your tires for wear. That job covers more than checking the tire pressure, but it won’t take you very long.

If you don’t already know how to change a flat tire, learn to do it before you leave. A short pre-trip exercise will help you figure out tire-changing problems before you’re stuck on the side of the road.

More Road Trip Checks

  • Install new wiper blades or blade inserts or take along a spare pair.
  • If it’s summer, check your auto’s air conditioning system.
  • If it’s winter, make sure the truck’s heater is functioning correctly. Throw in a small shovel if you’ll travel where snow is a possibility — just in case.
  • In winter, take along a few blankets in case you get caught in snow and are forced to sit in the truck for awhile.
  • Inspect belts and hoses to make sure they aren’t cracked or worn. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, take the truck to a technician.
  • Check all lights to make sure they work.
  • Slip in a jug of water in case you need it for the radiator (or for a drink).

Be sure to follow specific suggestions for safe travel to your destination. have a good trip!

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER, INC. – BIG OR SMALL WE SHIP IT ALL

Tips on Packaging Fragile Items for Worldwide Shipping

Swaddle the baby!

Wow, they bought that ancient dust-covered knick-knack from Gramma’s china chest. But (your knees are knocking in terror) they live a billion miles away. How are you going to get it to them in ONE piece?

Stop being afraid. ANYTHING can be packaged securely. It’s true. You just need the right tools. Patience. And a few tips.

I have been packaging and shipping fragile items for many years. With 100% success. And you can, too.

Think of your item as a baby. Think in terms of wrapping your item, swaddling it just as you would swaddle a baby in a blanket. Here’s how.

1) Keep the correct supplies on hand. You will need the following:

Clear packing tape (wide – NOT narrow)
Packing tape dispenser
Styrofoam peanuts (the pink NON-static ones are great but the white will do)
Sheets of bubble wrap (the smaller bubbles NOT the big ones)
Hint: Bubble wrap can be purchased on large rolls with perforations. You can pull off 12 inch X 12 inch sheets as needed just by ripping. Very convenient.
Clean white tissue paper (avoid heavier newsprint paper as it increases weight and cost)
Thin pieces of cardboard (like you’d find inside a new shirt)
Zip-Lock bags (a variety of sizes)
Good cardboard boxes (you can recycle these boxes by turning them inside out)
Mailing labels
Black felt pen

2. Examine your item carefully. Look for thin areas like arms, beaks, noses…anything which could snap in transit. Cut thin strips of tissue or bubble wrap and wrap the area (like a mummy). You are attempting to make the fragile area flush with the rest of the piece. Tape the wrap tightly in place. Do NOT put tape directly on your item. Keep the tape on your wrapping ONLY.

3. Now wrap the entire piece neatly in 2 thicknesses of clean tissue paper. Wrap snugly like swaddling a baby. Use tape to secure the tissue.

4. Now use another sheet of bubble wrap and swaddle the tissue-wrapped piece. Tape in place.

5. Choose a strong box (it must be larger all the way round than your wrapped piece). Add some styrofoam peanuts. Now place your well-wrapped fragile item on top of the peanuts. (There should be space all the way around the item for more peanuts.) Spill more peanuts around the sides and on the top.

(If you are concerned about the strength of your box…simply shore it up by either adding sheets of bubble wrap or thin cardboard around the sides. This is usually not necessary if you are using a good box.)

(Very VERY fragile pieces shipping overseas should be packed in TWO boxes. Pack the first box as described above and then pack the packed box into a second box with styrofoam peanuts all the way around…bottom, top and sides. This is very secure. I have shipped vintage porcelain all over the world this way with complete success.)

6. Remember to enclose your paperwork at this time (eBay purchase records, etc.). Be sure NOT to place these across the top of the box as they will get cut by anyone using a box cutter to open the box. Slip the papers down one edge instead.

7. If customs must see your paperwork, you must enclose the paperwork in an envelope on the outside of the box but this is not usually necessary for small-time shippers.

8. Close the box flaps and do this test…push down on the flaps. Do they easily push in? If so, you have not put in enough styrofoam peants. Open the box and add more. When pushed down, the flaps should remain solid but not bulging. Once the flaps are flat and solid, begin sealing your box with the packing tape. (HINT: Make certain your box is not bulging…keep it square…remove some packing if your box is not sitting square. A square box ships better inside a rectangular truck.)

9. TAPE it up. This is not a time to save money. Tape in one direction making sure that one tape end always meets on top of another tape end because tape sticks well to tape, not cardboard. Now, tape in the other direction making a neat intersection of tape.

10. HINT: If you are shipping to areas like the Southern United States, do your buyer a favor and put your item into a sealed ZipLock bag after wrapping it like a mummy and before putting it into the box. If the box gets wet, the item will stay dry. Do the same with your enclosed paperwork. Your buyer residing in hurricane county will appreciate that.

11. Have you used a recycled box? Be sure to remove any old UPC codes, addresses, phone number, etc. I use a wide nib black felt pen to obliterate anything I don’t want a shipper to see.

12. Label clearly with a large well-printed white label. Hand printing or computer printing is fine as long as the words are large and legible. Apply the label to your box and then take your packing tape and securely cover the label. If your package runs into a rain shower, your label will be wearing its packing tape raincoat.

13. Keep one area in your office or home for packing. Keep it all set up with your tools and supplies. You will find your packing will go very quickly when you are all set up to go.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #5

TaxiMagic

Never hail another cab again after downloading TaxiMagic. This app for iOS and Android lets you quickly book a nearby taxi or schedule a ride for later. The app works with 85 taxi fleets in 45 American cities.

TaxiMagic also estimates the cost of your trip, whereupon you can pay directly from your phone. If you’re using the service for a scheduled ride and have particularly complicated directions, use the app to message the driver directly to avoid confusion.

TaxiMagic is a free app available on both iOS and Android devices.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Aviation Industry Guide by SBA

Aviation Industry

  • Accident Plans
    Outlines requirements for U.S. and foreign air carriers to develop and submit to the National Transportation Safety Board a plan to address the needs of families of passengers and other victims involved in any aircraft accident involving an aircraft of the air carrier and resulting in a major loss of life. The requirement applies to both passenger and all-cargo carriers. All-cargo carriers are included in this requirement to cover cargo attendants, non-revenue passengers, and persons on the ground that could be affected by an accident.
  • Aircraft Certifications
    Lists certifications granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Aircraft Manuals and Handbooks
    Provides aircraft operations and maintenance manuals.
  • Alien Flight Student Program
    Contains application for non-U.S. citizens seeking to train at FAA-regulated flight schools. Candidates are required to complete this application prior to beginning flight training.
  • Aviation Manuals and Handbooks
    Offers aviation operations handbooks, safety manuals, and pilots guides.
  • Canadian Air Taxi Operators
    Covers how Canadian operators of small aircraft (fewer than 60 seats) that want to operate trans-border services between the U.S. and Canada must register with the Department of Transportation (DOT), and provide evidence of insurance coverage for their operations.
  • Emission Standards: Aircraft
    Provides information about air pollutant emissions from commercial aviation, including regulations, guidance, and other information related to aircraft.
  • FAA Licenses and Certificates
    Gives forms and certificates granted by the FAA.
  • FAA Recent and Upcoming Compliance Dates
    Provides a calendar of upcoming deadlines concerning FAA’s various requirements.
  • FAA Regulatory and Guidance Databases
    Explains the Regulatory & Guidance Library (RGL), a set of searchable databases which contain regulatory, guidance and aviation product information.
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAQs
    Lists frequently asked questions about FAA licenses, certificates and regulations affecting the airline industry.
  • Flight Standard Service
    Offers information on standards for certification and oversight of airmen, air operators, air agencies and designees.
  • How to Become a Certified Air Carrier
    Supplies information regarding the analysis and evaluation of all applications for new economic authority to determine whether the airline applicant is ‘fit, willing and able ‘ to conduct commercial airline operations, and that the applicants are U.S. citizens as defined by the transportation statue.
  • Mechanic Licenses and Training Requirements
    Provides a list of regulations, policies, license and certifications for aircraft mechanics.
  • OSHA eTool: Baggage Handling Ergonomics
    Offers an e-Tool describing many of the common hazards associated with the baggage handling process as well as providing possible solutions that are ranked according to their feasibility to the operations.
  • Pilot Licenses and Training Requirements
    Provides a list of regulations, policies, license and certifications for airline pilots.
  • Public Charter Flights Agreements
    Explains that all persons who wish to arrange public charter flights must first submit a charter prospectus to the DOT which contains information about the proposed charter program.
  • TSA Funeral Home Partners
    Details a program that allows funeral homes to partner with TSA to accommodate air travelers with crematory remains.

Hazardous Materials Transportation

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Artificial Intelligence and the Courier Industry

Artificial intelligence… just the words sound other-worldly, as though they come from a future that we can only see a tiny glimpse of; the future of the Jetsons, or of Doctor Who. Perhaps even Back To The Future (we’ve got the hoverboards and the moving picture frames after all).

Yet AI is already all around us. We don’t have to wait for the future; it’s here, right now. And more and more people are becoming increasingly comfortable letting AI into their lives in some way. Most don’t even think about it. Those automated phone lines used to book cinema tickets or to give a gas meter reading are AI, but tell that to someone who’s using that technology and they might look at you aghast; that’s not the AI they envision, the robots and the ‘Big Brother’ cameras. That’s just… it’s just how things work. And so it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less a form of artificial intelligence for all that.

Then there are tools and gadgets such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. How many people have happily – more than happily, try eagerly – welcomed these things into their homes? How many ‘talk’ to them on a daily basis? How many households are now, slowly but surely, becoming dependent on AI to carry out basic tasks?

This, by the way, is not a bad thing. This is exciting, and what’s around the corner, whatever that may be, will be thrilling to say the least.

AI And The Courier Industry

So AI came and it wasn’t so scary and we’re using it more and more. We’re using it in the courier industry too – in fact, our industry was one of the first to really take AI to heart and realise that it could be not only useful but integral to the smooth running of a user-friendly, well-renowned courier company. The massive social and economic changes that AI has brought about, turning everyone into a consumer and a happy one at that, making our world smaller and producing more and more goods that need to be sent to every corner of the globe are positive for the courier industry. More business is being created and it could be said that the recent boom in AI technology has helped along with that.

There is an issue with AI though. Not for the end users, the customers and clients who are using it to order goods and arrange deliveries, of course; for them AI can do no wrong. For the couriers, it creates a culture of high expectation and bigger demands with more pressure and tighter deadlines all the time. When something is ordered, the buyer expects to have it the next day, perhaps even the same day. And if they don’t get it, that causes a ripple that goes far beyond the customer and their supplier; it catches the courier company too and can sink it if those in charge are not careful.

We’re living on a knife-edge of supply and demand with one forming the other and vice versa so that those courier companies who can’t keep up can easily fall by the wayside, trampled by the AI that they were so keen to be using in the first place.

It doesn’t have to be like that, of course. Contingency plans and forward thinking can ensure that there is always a way to deliver what needs to be delivered when it needs to be delivered. That’s business. That’s the courier business. AI only strengthens those companies who have the ability to be in it for the long haul. So, objectively speaking, it is most certainly a good thing.

Will The Bubble Burst?

How long will this surge last? It’s all but impossible to predict. Consumers love to spend and AI allows them to do it quicker and more efficiently than ever before. However, with Deutsche Bank banning its employees from taking delivery of Amazon Prime parcels in their offices (mainly because too many couriers were coming to the building during the day which is a distraction for everyone and, for receptionists and PAs it’s time-consuming too), and with other companies sure to follow suit if they haven’t already done so, we might see a slow down in individual orders.

Might.

Or we might need to deliver later in the day to accommodate the wishes of the buyers who need or want to be at home when their goods are brought to them.

It pays to have ideas in mind before the tide starts to turn one way or the other; that way, we can be prepared no matter what direction things go in.

And business deliveries will continue to grow exponentially because, thanks to AI, it’s easier and more exciting than ever to set up a business in the first place.

What Next?

AI is not going anywhere. In fact, it’s getting bigger by the year, perhaps even by the month. That momentum is what makes it all so exciting, and it helps us in the courier industry to get behind it and make our own changes and plans.

Jeremy Thompson, owner of London’s longest serving courier company says; “In this industry, the holy grail of AI is a fully automated dispatch system. It would need to be pre-programmed with all the relevant information (a huge amount) such as which drivers are where, what they are doing, where they are going, what the traffic conditions are like, the weather, how many drops the driver has… It would need to cope with a lot. It’s a long way off yet.”

What we at Absolutely really must remember above all, though, is that although AI is exciting and although it is the future and although it is what people say they want… there is nothing quite like the human touch. That added extra, that piece of personality is what will differentiate the great from the mediocre in this industry. After all, that courier delivery might be the only point of contact with a human being that the recipient gets all day. Working alone, working from home, working long hours, a smiling face and a cheerful hello could be the difference between a good day and a bad one.

Plus a good team in the back office can soothe an anxious customer, can organise those out of the ordinary packages and go the extra mile when required. Until a machine can do all of that, the human element is always going to be integral in any transaction.

AI needs to be used in the most intelligent way possible, and without the addition of a bit of humanity, it’s just not going to work in the long term.

As for Absolutely, “Over the next year or two we will be moving to a new cloud-based back office that will have various benefits including giving clients more transparency with enhanced tracking and tracing. This next level system will have features such as accurately predicted pick-up and delivery times that will be updated in real time depending on road conditions, weather, etc.

Demand is changing due to new life styles – for example the explosion in the demand for food delivery. Companies like us that keep up to date with modern technology including AI will be the companies that survive and prosper.”

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

What Tax Write-Offs Do Truck Drivers Have?

What Tax Write-Offs Do Truck Drivers Have?

 Truck Expenses – The truck itself is an obvious place to start. Truck expenses include anything necessary to keep your truck running and operating efficiently. Any business, not just truck drivers, can claim any expense that it deems ordinary and necessary for the operation of the business. If the Internal Revenue Service ever questions an expense you made, they will look to see if the expense is reasonable and ordinary in the industry. If it is, then the tax write-off is allowable.

Travel Expenses – When you are traveling away from your home, you can deduct the additional associated expenses it costs you for being away. For instance, stopping off at a hotel or getting your laundry done qualifies as a tax write-off. The trip must take you away from your tax home for longer than an ordinary workday, and you must need to sleep or rest in order to complete your work. You must prove you took the time to rest and eat, so you will need your truck logbook and the receipts from your expenditures to substantiate them.

Meal Allowance – Meals that you eat while traveling can be deductible up to 50 percent of the actual cost or 50 percent of the standard meal allowance. Publication 463 lists the current standard meal allowance, which you should review prior to using this deduction as they are subject to change. This rule applies unless you are an interstate truck driver. According to the Internal Revenue Service, anyone traveling who is “subject to the Department of Transportation’s hours of service limits” can claim 80 percent of his meal costs; whether he uses the actual or standard methods. Interstate truck drivers are subject to these hours of service limits; local drivers are not.

Personal Equipment Expenses – Equipment expenses can include anything necessary to perform your job. For example, if you need gloves or tools to unload or work on the truck these items are deductible. Uniforms that your company or employer requires can also be a tax write-off. This includes the upkeep of the equipment as well as the actual purchases.

Where to Deduct the Expenses – If you are a self-employed truck driver working as a sole proprietor, you will generally deduct all your expenses on Form 1040 Schedule C. If your business is set up as a partnership, you will file Form 1065 and if it is an S-Corporation, you will file Form 1120S.

As an employee, you will deduct any expenses that your employer did not reimburse on Form 1040 Schedule A and Form 2106. Both of these forms are included with your personal 1040 tax return.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER, INC. – BIG OR SMALL WE SHIP IT ALL

CMI Certified – Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Courier-Messenger, Inc. completed the Goldman Sachs Certificate of Entrepreneurship!

And you can too…

Video Presentation by J.C. Burnett:

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Long Beach Community College  District is a practical business management education program that helps you develop the skills you need to grow your company.  If you are selected to participate, you also will receive a series of one-on-one business advising sessions from dedicated professionals to help develop a tailored plan for growth.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital, and business support services.

Applications at Long Beach Community College District are due on the 15th of every month at 5pm.  After you have submitted your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming its receipt and the upcoming class for which you are being considered.

For application and further details, click here.

Signal Featured Article with J.C. Burnett, click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER, INC. – BIG OR SMALL WE SHIP IT ALL

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #4

Roadify

Roadify

Map data is great, but you know what would make it even better? Real-time data about delays or services changes.

Roadify not only routes you through the transit systems of many major American cities; the app also pulls in updates from other riders, as well as from the Twitter accounts of each service line. The app also includes a parking service that lets you report available or soon-to-be available spots and see a list of reported ones near you.

The free app is available for all your iOS devices at the Apple App store.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

Transportation App to Keep You Moving #2

MotionX GPS Drive HD

MotionX GPS Drive HD

Why spend $100 or more on a GPS unit for your road trip when you don’t have to? MotionX GPS Drive HD offers you the same turn-by-turn directions of a GPS car unit, plus up-to-date map data and intergration with your address book and music app — all without breaking the bank.

The iOS app is $2.99 and comes with 30 days of free voice guidance for hands-free navigation. Users can pick up a year’s subscription to the voice feature at a 60% discount for just $10.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

U.S. moves closer to tougher driver training standards

U.S. moves closer to tougher driver training standards

Posted: March 27, 2018 by Elizabeth Bate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Entry-level truck drivers in the U.S. will face newly mandated training requirements as of Feb. 7, 2020.

But the new training standards set out by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will not define the minimum number of in-class or in-cab training hours, as previously advocated for, says Laura McMillan, vice-president of training and development at Instructional Technologies. Instead, a registered carrier will need to certify that someone with a Class A or B learner’s permit is “proficient” in 31 topics before a road test can be scheduled.

Those with a learner’s permit before Feb. 7, 2020 will be allowed to complete their licensing under the old requirements, as long as it’s done before the permit expires.

McMillan, who is also a member of the FMCSA’s advisory committee to suggest and approve the new regulations, offered an update on the tightening training regime during the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual convention.

The 31 topics are divided into 12 areas, with each area given a recommended method of delivery and a placement in training curriculum. However, there are few hard and fast rules for how the curriculum should be delivered.

Categories will include basic operation, safe operation, advanced operating practices, operating systems, reporting malfunctions, and non-vehicle activities for the classroom portion, skills on the range and on the road, and specialized information for those dealing with hazardous materials, school buses, or passengers.

Trainees will be able to take the in-classroom portion of the training in a traditional classroom, online, or through a combination of both. And the in-cab portion of the training can be done, in part, through the use of simulators to help trainees experience extreme weather and driving conditions, but it is not necessary to include a simulator component.

While the FMCSA regulations say driver trainees must be “proficient” in each of the 31 topics, there is no definition of what “proficient” means in the regulation. McMillan says the generally accepted definition of “proficient” is when the student can complete a task successfully eight times out of 10, but the definition is still subjective.

While the FMCSA committee originally wanted there to be a required number of in-class and in-cab hours, much like Ontario’s 103.5 mandated hours, McMillan says the feedback the group received from the industry pressured the committee to change its mind and go with the current system instead.

Those in the U.S. military who currently use their vehicle endorsements and training to transition into trucking will still be able to obtain a commercial driver licence through that program if their state allows it.

All training schools will have to be registered with the FMCSA — even if they belong to a group or association that maintains elevated curriculum standards. However, there is currently no active registration process or a timeline for when that will be available, McMillan said.

Schools will also be subject to periodic reviews and audits by the FMCSA once they are registered, but there is currently no timeline or mechanism for how that will be carried out, either.

Once the training is completed, training schools will have to submit their certification and have it received before a trainee is allowed to schedule their final road test. This closes a current loophole that allows tests to be completed and passed before evidence of training is submitted.

That system will be an online, automated portal, which has yet to be designed.

McMillan says she expects the developments that still need to be made will come with a “reasonable buffer” period for schools and drivers, and will be rolled out hopefully over the next year.

Reference: click here.

COURIER-MESSENGER INC. – (661) 257-8689 – BIG OR SMALL, WE SHIP IT ALL!

© 2017 Courier-Messenger, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

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© 2017 Courier-Messenger, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Web Design by Bright Mind Media