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Highway Hero Award Highlights The Good Truckers Do

April 9th, 2014
Trucking and Logistics Industry Show

The Mid-America Trucking Show is one of the largest trucking shows in the USA.

Far too often we forget about the great things that are happening everyday in the trucking industry. We get caught up in the complexities of new regulations and day to day operations that we forget to look for that silver living.

This month, the silver lining at the Mid-America Trucking Show was the Goodyear Highway Hero Award of 2014. The Highway Hero Award brings recognition to the extraordinary feats of bravery and selflessness present in the trucking industry. This year’s winner was one Ivan Vasovic, a truck driver based in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

This past October, Vasovic risked life and limb to save a fellow truck driver who was trapped inside a burning truck. Despite the extremely treacherous situation, Vasovic dove in to pull the injured truck driver to safety. When the heat became too much to pull the driver to safety, Vasovic poured water over himself and went back to save the truck driver for good.

Vasovic is just one of the many other Highway Hero finalists who have committed great acts of bravery. That is part of what makes the Goodyear Highway Hero Award such a great thing—it celebrates the everyday truck drivers of America who are out there doing extraordinary things. It reminds us that we work in an incredible business with lots of heart. If people still have any doubts about the integrity, dedication, and altruism among trucking businesses, they need only look at some of the many amazing Highway Heroes, and the countless other highway heroes who are go everyday under the radar.

Truck Drivers’ Satisfaction Remains Strong in the Face of a Difficult Economy

March 28th, 2014

In the past, we have talked about the driver retention problems that most companies are facing, and how driver retention is one of the biggest concerns in the industry today. The times have not been particularly kind to trucking businesses over the past year: the Hours of Service regulations have exacerbated truck driver shortages, weather conditions in the United States were abysmal thanks to one of the hardest winters in recent history, and new young truck drivers entering field were few and far between when compared to other years in the past.

Trucking Fleet in AmericaLuckily, it looks like the trucking industry has held onto their drivers for the time being. Stay Metrics is an organization that has been holding satisfaction surveys of drivers in the industry since 2012 in order to better understand driver retention rates. According to their latest report, despite an extremely turbulent year—both economically and politically—driver satisfactions has remained steady when compared to past years. The news is extremely promising, and has shown that trucking businesses have been able to keep happy one of their most valuable assets: their drivers.

As always, in order to overcome these challenges and maintain a strong workforce of truck drivers, trucking businesses must continue to treat each and every one of their drivers as profit centers, because that is exactly what they are. Without the hard work and dedication of each driver, a trucking business would make absolutely zero profits. When you invest in your drivers and raise your offered wages, you are increasing the likelihood that you will improve retention rates of a highly skilled and profitable team of drivers which is essential to each and every trucking business.

Do Trailer Tails Actually Work? Should I Invest in Them?

March 11th, 2014

A topic that has been appearing in the news a lot lately are something called trailer tails. These gadgets are placed on the rear end of a truck in order to help reduce aerodynamic drag, and it claims to help fuel efficiency by as much as 6% when driving at freeway speeds. A New Mexico trucking business recently refitted their entire fleet with these trailer tails, ordering over 3,000 in total.

In the news, it was recently claimed that 200,000 trailers are predicted to be outfitted with trailer tails in the next 3 years. (Now of course, this figure becomes a little less persuasive when you realize it comes straight from the manufacturers of the trailer tails themselves.)

With the new government fuel efficiency mandates on the horizon any technology that tackles fuel efficiency obviously has its eyes set in the right direction. However, to say that all transportation and trucking companies should adopt trailer tails for a competitive edge would be premature and naïve.

Firstly, trailer tails are the not newfangled ideas. Side skirts and under trays for trailers and trucks have existed for years, and have been shown to work by utilizing the idea of reducing drag while moving.  Secondly, although trailer tails may be beneficial for certain types of companies, whether it is right for your business or not depends on your exact circumstances and future goals.

· Does your company have a lot of surplus funds? Installing trailer tails are not cheap in any way. Each trailer tail costs around $2,000 and some $200-300 for installation. You also have to factor in opportunity cost—your fleet will be out of commission for a certain time period as the vehicles are being refitted, and that is money you are leaving on the table. Add in any replacement and upkeep/maintenance fees for the trailer tails, and you have quite an impressive bill at the end of the day.

· What kind of conditions are your drivers traveling in? Driving thousands of miles with a gigantic flappy tail is all well and good when you’re in Hayward, CA, but if you are driving through hilly routes and extreme weather, the cons of an extra component begins to outweigh the pros. When a driver starts to experience high winds, rain, and snow, the trailer tail becomes just another item on a long list of things for a driver to take care of; the driver has to fold in the tail or else snow and ice can build up and cause problems.

· Do you travel across different countries? For some countries such as Canada, the usage of trailer tails is still being disputed, and cannot be deployed. If you have to go across into their roads, what are you going to do then? Not only that, but there are size regulations to be considered, and can vary widely from state to state and country to country.

All in all, on the surface it seems that this is exactly the type of technology the industry is talking about when they talk about adopting new technology in order to gain a competitive advantage. However, it is much more important to make smart decisions with the interests of your exact company in mind than to jump on the latest band wagon.

The ATA’s Top 10 List of Critical Issues Facing American Trucking Businesses

October 23rd, 2013

This past month was the American Trucking Association’s Management Conference and Exhibition in Florida, an annual conference held for over 10 years. A major component of this conference is the annual Top 10 Critical Issues List, which surveys members of the trucking industry including political figures, market suppliers, business executives, and the truck drivers themselves. All of these different parties were asked to voice their main concerns regarding the trucking industry in the present, and in the future. Consequently, below is the 2013 list for the Top 10 Critical Issues in Trucking:

1. HOS Rules

2. CSA – Compliance Safety Accountability

3. Driver Shortage

4. State Of The Economy

5. Electronic Logging Mandate

6. Truck Parking

7. Driver Retention

8. Fuel Supply/Prices

9. Transportation Infrastructure, Congestion, And Funding

10. Driver Health And Wellness

From this list, you can glean some valuable insights about what transportation and trucking companies as a whole is affected by, and what issues keep us all up at night. Concerns about CSA, which ranked the biggest concern last year, were knocked down by the Hours of Services regulations which have been shaking up the industry since its implementation this last summer. HOS rules and the CSA issues are not surprising contenders, as these are all fairly recent regulatory changes that are causing tons of unforeseen changes in businesses’ predicted timelines.

What interests me more is Driver Shortages/Retention. Since 2005, this issue has come up regularly in the top 10 list, proving itself to be a long-term problem for trucking companies. Although a considerable amount of control is out of the average man’s hands in regards to federal regulations, driver retention and shortages are a much easier issue to address on a smaller level, which begs the question—what are you doing to fix this problem?

The Government Shutdown: What It Means For You, Transport, And Trucking Companies

October 7th, 2013

As the government shutdown in the capital continues to drag on into its second week, it is important for us to take the time and recognize what the government shutdown spells out for trucking businesses, and how it is affecting other trucking-affiliated organizations.

Unsurprisingly, the government shutdown has had a direct and immediate impact on the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). As a government agency, the NTSB has had its employees furloughed for an undeterminable period of time, and have since been unable to inspect and report on fatal crashes and collision, such as the most recent accident in Tennessee that killed 8 and injured nearly twice that.

Beyond government-affiliated agencies, the government shutdown has made the trucking industry take a recent nosedive. As an industry as a whole, considerable movement for trucking businesses depends on government agencies and their daily agendas. With the government at a standstill, the work that businesses would normally receive as a result of government activity has all but halted.

In a less direct manner, the government shutdown has negatively affected the trucking industry by both laying off government employees as well as reducing consumer confidence. The combination of decreased disposable income and decreased consumer confidence in the face of legislative instability has created a sharp decrease in demand across all markets. Obviously, this has led to a noticeable drop in business for the trucking industry. With no immediate answer as to when the shutdown will end, trucking businesses should remain optimistic while keeping a close eye on their business’ operations to stay afloat in these uncertain waters.

Although we hope that this shutdown will be short-lived, it is absolutely in your best interest to keep a tight grip on your business’ reins until this shutdown comes to a close.

Green Technology and Trucking Businesses

September 23rd, 2013

Over the last few years, we have seen “green” and “clean energy” technology just about everywhere. Absolutely everything is getting this makeover: from Tesla cars to even tanks meant for military use. As for the trucking industry, there have been significant movement to install V2G (vehicle-to-grid) technology to trucks used in the industry.

If you look at other industries that have undergone a “green revolution,” such as the HVAC industry, you can see that the government is incredible supportive of this, offering rebates for technology deemed “energy-efficient.” A similar future may lie in the cards for the trucking industry as well. There are already hints of government support for green trucking: the company responsible for V2G trucking technology recently received a $3 million grant by the California Energy Commission to continue on with their good work.

As with all vehicles, trucks used for long-hauls have a certain level of emissions which affect a city’s air quality over time. In neighboring California, the trucking industry was already attacked for its pollution. Businesses had to modify or change their fleet to ensure it met a certain level of clean energy, and many small trucking businesses in California were completely thrown off guard by these changes in rules and regulations, and found themselves in the red.

Being aware of all the changes that are affecting the waters of your business, regardless of what industry you are in is important. As the country continues to push onwards to a more “environmentally conscious” world, trucking businesses have to do their due diligence and stay on their toes. Keeping an eye on industry trends, and possible changes in legal rules and regulations can mean the difference between life and death for your business.

Trucking Businesses Rely On Driver Retention, So How Do You Do It?

August 27th, 2013

Last week, the ATA’s president and CEO Bill Graves made a speech addressed to trucking businesses’ executives with the message that the trucking industry is not properly compensating its drivers. Although the demand for truck drivers is predicted to be around 2 million by 2022, with the current rate of available truck drivers, there will only be 1.7 million truck drivers available which translates to a massive shortage ranging in the hundreds of thousands.

America’s trucking and freight drivers work extremely hard, transporting essential goods across thousands of miles in the United States, for very little pay. How “little” of a pay are we talking about?

Back in 1990, a normal truck driver made about what equates to $900 of today’s dollars in a week. Fast forward to today—the average truck driver makes around $800 a week. That means that our drivers today are getting paid less than what truck drivers made over twenty years ago. Although part of this phenomenon is the reality that the length of a usual route is declining due to a variety of factors, the declining length of hauls is not the only reason.

As we have mentioned in a previous blog post, the secret to driver retention boils down to creating a company culture and relationship in which each of the truck drivers know they are being appreciated and that good work will be rewarded. Besides monetary compensation, other aspects ensure that your drivers feel like an integral part of the company, such as making sure you make yourself available to them, listening to their concerns, and acting appropriately in response.

Increasing the payment given to drivers is certainly the first step to stopping the shortage of truck drivers in America, but be advised that the art of keeping a team of loyal and hardworking drivers goes beyond more than just money.

The Present and Future for Trucking Businesses

August 12th, 2013

With July having come to a close, Cass Information Systems has recently released their Cass Freight Index Report for the month of July, and the news is not exactly inspiring. The number of shipments for July 2013 is down 3% from the number of shipments made the same time last year, and is down 2.3% from June 2013. This is part of the general trend for transport trucking companies this year: only two out of the seven months in 2013 have shown improvements in shipping volume compared to the numbers in 2012.

This report is hardly surprising given the sluggish recovery of the economy and the changing regulations that trucking businesses are undergoing right now. Although the official unemployment rate is pegged at 7.4%, some studies have shown that the more accurate rate of unemployment is closer to around 14% which better fits the anecdotal evidence from the public. In addition, there have been many major court rulings which have introduced industry-wide regulations that are changing the way businesses operate, and not all companies are handling the changes well.

The message here is clear: it is still a long way off before trucking businesses will fully recover, and now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Now more than ever, it is important to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and watch your operations diligently. As frequently mentioned in our newsletter and podcast—trucking is a pennies business. Knowing or not knowing where each of your dollars is going can very well spell success or failure for your business.

It is now more important than ever to recognize all the strengths and weakness in your current business model. Company Evaluations are crucial for the struggling business right now, because it could be years before the trucking industry picks up again.

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail: The Importance of Having a Transportation Business Plan

July 29th, 2013

In our recent video podcast, our CEO Andy Ahern discusses the importance of having a business plan. Far too often, Ahern will speak with struggling trucking businesses and discover they have absolutely no business plan. When pressed for a business plan, the most common answer is to “make money”—strictly speaking, increasing revenue is not a goal. A business plan has distinct objectives and goals that are designed to increase the company’s value, and make it appealing to potential buyers. All transport trucking companies should be looking at a new transportation business plan every year or more, but 9/10 trucking businesses fail to have any written business plan at all.

Creating a business plan with explicit goals and objectives is essential for a company’s success. A detailed business plan can help businesses find the weak points in their operating model, and make the necessary adjustments for the next quarter to be more successful. It’s extremely difficult to monitor progress without any detailed goals to work towards.

The lack of a transportation business plan can also be felt by every single one of your employees and will dampen even the most proactive of employees. If there are clear goals that employees know they are working towards, not only will they work better but you will receive a better understanding of your employees. It is through clearly defined goals that business owners can deduce which employees are an or a liability to their company. Having employees that are proactive and creative is what is ultimately going to help your business grow, and make your business irreplaceable.

For all of Andy’s insights, watch the podcast here: Ahern & Associates – Business Planning.

ATRI’s New Fatigue Management Initiative

July 16th, 2013

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has just launched a new website for the North American Fatigue Management Program NAFMP.com which is meant to educate the general public and other industry members on fatigue management, and how it affects the entire transportation industry. The NAFMP website is said to be the culmination of over a decade’s worth of research and testing, and aims to become the main resource for individuals to learn and solve the issues of driver fatigue.

The website comes as an alternative to the hotly discussed Hours of Service regulations, by offering “real solutions” to the issue. The website carries online courses on driver fatigue, with ten different modules that are accompanied by tests and quizzes. These modules are targeted for individuals with varying roles in transportation, including executives, drivers, safety managers, and more. The modules range anywhere between thirty minutes to three hours, and are all available through their website.

NAFMP.com is an interesting site: the website can be read entirely in French or English, offers PowerPoint presentations with and without audio narration, and a ROI calculator tool on their website. The issue of driver fatigue is a hot topic for everyone, as it holds repercussions for everyone from the drivers all the way up to business owners. Although the hard work behind the NAFMP website should be applauded, the real merit of the website is yet to be seen.

E-logging & New Regulations

June 24th, 2013

There are a lot of changes on the horizon for the trucking industry that will affect transportation companies all around the country.

This week, the Department of Transportation received a proposal for an electronic logging rule that will affect almost all motor carriers. The proposal, which could come as early as this November, would make it mandatory for almost all carriers to install and use electronic logging devices, to ensure the exact hours of service in compliance with new federal regulations. As a result of new federal regulations, starting this July truckers will be allowed 70 hours of driving per week, compared to the 82 hours a week from before. These new regulations were made to decrease the number of fatigue-related accidents, and is a factor in the recent shortage of drivers.

This is just one of the many changes that will be affecting the trucking industry in the coming months. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently had his successor named as North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx by President Obama earlier this year. This change in leadership will no doubt cause some waves in the trucking and transportation industry.

How to Create a Successful Salesperson

June 3rd, 2013

Having an effective sales team is an important priority for all businesses, from the biggest fortune 500 companies, to the smallest local businesses down the road. In our recent Ahern Video Podcast, Andy Ahern, trucking consultation luminary and CEO of Ahern & Associates draws on his years of experience creating sales programs for businesses to explain what makes a successful sales person.

For skeptics who believe that sales people are born not made, Ahern challenges that assumption by claiming that the exact opposite is true. In his experience, with proper management and leadership, any business can have an effective sales team.

The first important step for a business manager in improving a sales team is to create specific goals and objectives, and then implement a time frame to accomplish those objectives. By setting very clear and distinct targets, the sales team will better understand what they are trying to accomplish.

Next is to keep challenging the sales team. Placing the sales team constantly in a new and unfamiliar situation, you are teaching the sales people to ask questions and think outside the box. Being comfortable asking questions, and forming creative solutions are important skills that all too many sales people lack.

Lastly, is to teach the sales team how to listen effectively. It doesn’t matter how good your service or product is, if you are not able to connect how that fulfills what the customer wants. Too many sales people just talk about themselves, without learning anything important about their customer.

Get all the details in the video podcast from Andy Ahern, truck expert of over 20 years.

Being Money Smart in the Trucking Industry

May 29th, 2013

In today’s rough economy, it is important for all business owners to know exactly what their financial situation looks like. From our years of experience in the trucking industry, we have seen many transportation companies stagnate and fail to address their long-term goals and profitability. It is important for trucking businesses—as with all businesses—to carefully take a look at how they are running operations and what that means for their finances.

Now, it’s not easy keeping accurate records of costs and profits. Traditional bookkeeping can be laborious and time consuming, and many standard money tracking programs are poorly suited for the needs of a trucking company.

This is why we’ve create the Financial IQ software. Financial IQ is a profitability software program that was created to address the specific needs of those in the trucking industry. The program can be customized for truckload, less than truckload, and brokerage businesses.

Financial IQ pulls information from a business’s balance sheet, and profit-loss statement to provide clear financial information that shows whether a business is making money or losing money. The program analyzes a wide variety of metrics, to show you what a business can do to improve profitability and cash flow.

We’ve made Financial IQ extremely powerful in the insights it provides, but we have also made it extremely easy to use.

Find out more about the program at the Financial IQ page.

Learn All About Buying & Selling Businesses

May 13th, 2013

This month, we have released a press release regarding the “sales boot camp” we’re holding this year. We held this boot camp last year, and are very excited to bring the event back for 2013.

The event has limited spots for attendees, simply due to the nature of the seminar. It is a day-long event, in which participants will learn everything necessary to sell, or buy a business in the transportation industry. Attendees of the event will actively learn about everything you need, whether you are buying a business or selling a business.

At Ahern & Associates, we have had years of experience working through business deals and finding businesses for sale in the trucking and logistics industry so you can rest assured that you are being taught practical, real-life experience about the transportation industry. Regardless if you have no background in business sales, or have years of experience, attendees will walk away with great advice about how to handle your business.


You can learn more about the seminar by reading the Press Release.

Why transportation and logistics companies rely on Ahern & Associates

April 3rd, 2013

Hundreds of transportation and logistics companies rely on Ahern & Associates each year as a resource for information and problem solving. From the small independent company that is looking for transportation software to larger companies that need help from an acquisition firm, companies that need assistance know that they can rely on Ahern & Associates.

The reason for our success in the industry lies in the fact that our company is based on relationships. Understanding who our clients are and what they need allows us to serve them in many ways.

Despite a still sluggish economy, Ahern & Associates has had a record setting first quarter for 2013. Our clients have issued a record breaking 11 letters of intent during this time in regard to a merger or the acquisition of a company process. While many of these deals have closed very quickly, one client experienced only a two-week period between his initial call and the issuing of the letter of intent.

Central Freight Lines, Inc. of Waco, Texas is one of our clients that was recently able to expand in to the Nashville, Tennessee area. While they had considered this expansion for some time, the complexity of the local market and other barriers in place held them back. Ahern & Associates was able to draw upon extensive experience and industry relationships to find the right match for Central Freight Lines, Inc. A Nashville company, Circle Delivery Service, was deemed the right fit for Central Freight Lines needs. By purchasing specific assets from Circle Delivery Service, Central Freight Lines was able to expand to the Nashville market with relative ease.

We assist transportation and logistics companies in finding solutions that include business valuation because of death, divorce or the need to get out of business, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Each week, thousands rely on the information contained in the Ahern Advisory, an industry-specific newsletter, as well as our podcasts. Contact Ahern & Associates today to discuss your needs.

The Secret to Driver Retention

March 13th, 2013

In a recent Ahern Advisory newsletter, Andy Ahern answered the pressing question of how to retain drivers and how to attract and manage quality drivers. The lack of drivers is a serious problem, with the estimated driver shortage for this year set at around 80,000, a figure that seems destined to rise in coming years. Besides the shortage of drivers, the turnover rate for drivers is exorbitant—it’s not uncommon for companies to have a driver turnover rate of 100%. This translates to companies having to renew their entire driver workforce each year.

The heart of this problem boils down to this—drivers aren’t leaving jobs, they are leaving relationships. Drivers have one of the harshest jobs in the world, and being under appreciated by their management and peers can push drivers to leaving. Appreciation for drivers starts at the top, so you should be actively throwing support behind your workers. This means you should be actively showing gratitude to your drivers and their families, and listening to their thoughts and concerns.

It’s vital that you set your company so that it’s attractive to workers. Doing so not only helps retain drivers, but also draws in new employees. This means having benefits for your workers, good pay, and job stability.

Get Andy’s full perspective on the issue by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of the newsletter.

The Bleary Economic Recovery Process

September 26th, 2011

Despite the bleary economic recovery process, there is still no clear indication of a recession. Yes, it could happen! Many analysts believe it will happen and I believe a lot of that has to do because there are not enough positives to give consumers the competence to spend more.

Everybody keeps relating to Japan, but it’s important to understand that;

  1. America isn’t Japan.
  2. Spending hasn’t stopped cold, as it did in the 1990’s.
  3. US labor markets are more flexible.
  4. Certain manufacturing gains are helping the economy stay afloat.

Last, but not least, we haven’t had a natural tsunami or a nuclear meltdown. There is much concern about the global economy. Some analysts are predicting that U.S. banks can be in trouble if Greece defaults on their current debt.

I, personally, believe that US banks can absorb a default by Greece, but it certainly will hurt if the crisis grows. French banks have the most exposure to total debt at $56.7 billion. The exposure for U.S. banks is $7.3 billion, compared with $136.3 billion for Europe.

An orderly default, restructuring a chunk of Greek debt, would be less risky. Banks in Europe and US have enough capital to deal with some of these losses. Unfortunately, if the process moves much quicker; Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain could have some substantial problems.

2011 Merger Mania

September 23rd, 2011

I’m constantly asked if 2011 is like 2005 and 2006 – the answer is a resounding no!

  1. 2011 is very active.
  2. It’s certainly more active than 2010 – 2009, but;
  3. 2005 and 2006 were monumental years for the financial industry.

In 2005-2006, that was a period when the largest buyout record was set and surpassed several times with 9 out of the top 10 buyouts at the end of 2007 were announced in an 18 month window. In 2006, Private Equity firms purchased 654 US companies for $375 billion. This represented 18 times the level of transactions closed in 2003.

Additionally, Private Equity firms raised $215.4 billion on investment commitments to 32 funds, which surpassed the previous record set in 2000.

IANA to offer pair of webinars…..

September 20th, 2011

The Intermodal Association of North America has scheduled 2 September webinars in its “Stay Informed” series. One will examine multimodal supply chain options and the other will look at the US environmental protection agencies, Smartway drayage program.

The first of the webinars is slated for Wednesday, September 22, 2011 at 2:00pm EST. The second webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 2:00pm EST.

To register for the Smartway webinar; you may register athttps://www1gotomeeting.com/register/143781200.

Worried about the economy—– You should be!

September 15th, 2011

S & P downgrading of US credit rating to double AA+, has put continual strain on Wall Street and it has caused a rippling affect throughout the economy. Many business leaders indicate that the impact of the economic uncertainty on the fragile consumers psyche has had an immediate and negative impact to the economy. The fear of 2008 is still far too fresh in the mind and at the end of the day economic growth comes from having confidence.

Unfortunately, the housing market is burdened with short sales, default properties, more short sales and excess inventory. That coupled with fact with the Federal Government is broke and they want to “Tax! Tax! Tax! Tax! Tax! Tax! Tax!” People that do not have jobs, that’s what I said… people that do not have jobs! … Is causing anxiety throughout the US.

In Europe, the debt menace is growing. There is a legitimate anxiety about bank write downs, which will continue to rattle stock markets, and more bailouts will fuel “Anti-Euro” sentiment.

In light of the tremendous government deficit don’t be surprised if there is a “blink” in the system and some tax revenue risers will ascend shortly. To save $1.5 trillion in the next 2 years taxes and the Consumer can’t be spared. Without taxes on the table, the 12 panel member charged with identifying cuts won’t strike a deal. The bottom line is taxes are going up.

The sad thing is that if the government was run like a business these problems wouldn’t have occurred; but since you can print money any time you want, the inevitable happens; chaos, poor management and ultimately the consumer pays.

That’s politics!

Postal service to end LTL freight hauling.

September 14th, 2011

Facing a major restructuring in the closing of thousands of post offices, US Postal Service stated it will end its LTL hauling in September of 2011.

The program began in May of 2009 as a potential cost cutting measure, but drew criticism from the American Trucking Association, which claimed the mail service is barred by law from competing unfairly with private businesses.

In August the Postal Services disclosed that it lost $3.1 billion dollars in its fiscal 3rd quarter ending in June. Compared to a $3.5 billion loss in 2010 (Excerpts taken from the Transport Topics)

Technology is replacing experience and expertise.

September 8th, 2011

Since 2006, the number of trucks required to move freight throughout North America has decreased on a ton per mile basis. Analysts are predicting that class “A” truck won’t return to their own volume.

Swift Transportation offers intermodal container – on – flatcars or COFC service between the US and Mexico to increase its service options available to customers. The service points are Central and NE Mexico, as well as Mexico City and Guadalajara. The expansion of the COFC product to and from Mexico completes the geographic footprint and permits Swift to capitalize considerable advantages in the cross border segment. Swift stated they will expand to 6,700 53’ containers all with GPS satellite tracking

Ahern & Associates Ltd receives multiple assignments…..

September 8th, 2011

North America’s Premier Transportation Consulting Firm, Ahern and Associates, Receives Multiple Additional Assignments from Trucking, Logistics and Private Equity Firms

Trucking and logistics consultants announce engagements by numerous new clients to review opportunities for acquisition.

Phoenix, AZ, September 5, 2011— Keeping their strong momentum while entering the final quarter of 2011, Ahern and Associates, Ltd. shows once again why they are the leading trucking and logistics acquisition firm by announcing consulting engagements by nine additional clients who are looking to expand operations. Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern and Associates, who is well known for his ability to create markets within the transportation industry, makes this proclamation on the heels of their recent announcement of their second annual Transportation Conference to be held September 23rd in Chicago.

Analysts at Ahern and Associates are seeking assistance for the following open assignments:

Client #1: is a privately held transportation company with revenues exceeding 1 billion dollars

The company is looking to acquire:

  • Flatbed companies that are predominately independent contractor driven.
  • Minimum revenue - $80MM.
  • Maximum revenue – $400MM
  • Company is willing to pay cash.
  • Company is willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA.
  • Company is looking for profitable carriers that have a strong management team and will want to stay on after acquisition.

Client #2: is a publically traded company looking to acquire freight brokers and logistics providers whose revenues generate $25MM – $80MM of annual revenue.

  • Must have a strong management team.
  • Management must be willing to commit 3-5yrs on running the company going forward, and;
  • Company is willing to pay multiple of EBITDA.

Client #3: is a private equity firm looking to acquire a van carrier or van carriers in two specific categories.

  • Carriers that generate $25MM of annual revenue and run primarily in the southeast/southwest.
  • Carriers that generate $200MM and over of annual revenue running primarily to southeast/southwest.

Client #4: is looking to acquire LTL carriers whose revenues exceed $150MM annually.

  • Company can be marginally profitable.
  • It has to have a long history in the business, and;
  • The client is willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA.

Client #5: is a trucking and logistics company that is currently in the dedicated contract arena.

  • They are looking to acquire companies that have 3-5yr dedicated contracts that pay all miles.
  • They are willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA.
  • They are not interested in automotive contracts within the auto industry, and;
  • They are looking for companies that historically are looking for an exit strategy and want to stay on for some time period.

Client #6: is a privately held company well recognized in the industry and is looking to acquire a $100MM – $500MM refrigerated carrier. Currently, the client does not haul this type of freight.

  • The company must have a very strong management team.
  • The management team must be willing to stay and move the company forward, and;
  • The client is willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA.

Client #7: is a small Midwestern, well capitalized family operation, looking for bulk pneumatic (dry) carriers in the IL, IN, MI, WI area.

  • Is looking to acquire companies from $5MM – $30MM of annual revenue.
  • Is also looking to acquire freight brokers that deal in the bulk commodity business, and;
  • The company is willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA.

Client #8: is a well-established manufacturing company looking to acquire companies to utilize the strengths of their business and develop new products in the category of powered equipment and tools, which will be sold in commercial and industrial markets, including new truck mounted applications. The client is looking for companies that offer;

  • Multiple and virtual unrestricted channels of distribution.
  • They are probably involved in manufacturing chipper units, log splitters, stump grinders, truck or trailer mounted vacuum systems, refrigeration units for trucks and trailer, under hood air compressors, turf products, air spades and air vacuums, portable winches used by arborists.
  • Minimum revenue size is $20MM.
  • Maximum revenue size cannot exceed $300MM of annual revenue.
  • Company is very well known in the industry.
  • They are willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA

Client #9: is a well-known family owned flatbed company that is in the top 5% in the industry.

  • Company is looking to acquire flatbed companies that utilize independent contractors.
  • Will look at companies that have a minimum of 30 trucks.
  • Will look at companies that operate 300 trucks.
  • Client is willing to move quickly.
  • They are willing to pay a multiple of EBITDA, and;
  • They are specifically interested in specific geographic areas such as; TX, OK, GA, TN, AR, IL and IN.

Ahern’s unique approach to aiding companies seeking to acquire specific assets in transportation is entrenched in their ability to provide the most accurate company valuations in the industry while working with the broadest network of professionals and contacts in the country. “We’ve seen a real spike in transportation acquisitions in 2011 and expect that trend to continue for quite some time. Our analysts are constantly talking to companies who may be a match for our outstanding acquisition needs.”

If your company is a potential match to any of the above prerequisites, you are urged to contact Andy Ahern direct at 602-242-1030.

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:

Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com

Transportation to increase…..

September 7th, 2011

Transportation is set to increase over the next several years

Transport Topics recently published, in their business and finance section on August 8th, 2011 about consolidation in the trucking industry. On page #13, they quoted Andy Ahern, CEO of Trucking and Transportation Management Consulting Company Ahern and Associates LTD, indicating that;

1. The number of mergers and acquisitions in trucking is up from 2010.

2. Smaller carriers are having a hard time surviving the economic turmoil, and;

3. Since 60% of fleets are 1-99 trucks this segment is finding reluctance for banks to lend them money for expansion and operating capital.

Federal Appeals Court on Friday, August 26 vacated the federal motor carrier safety administrations Electronic On board Recorder Regulation for not addressing how the world could prevent the device from being used to harass drivers. A 3 judge panel for the US court of Appeals for the 7th circuit concluded that “the ruling cannot stand because the agency failed to consider an issue that is/was statutorily required to address.”

The Safety and Regulatory Reform Act of 1988, requires the agency to ensure that any such devices are not used to “harass vehicle operators”.

Navastar Sales and Marketing Vice President, James Hebe said that the industry needs to adapt to the changes in the economy. “The conditions since 2006 have changed our industry forever”. Hebe told trucking executives gathered for the Commercial Vehicle Outlook conference, prior to the start of the Great American Trucking show in Dallas. “The next 10yrs will change the industry faster than any time in the history of heavy duty trucking”

Challenges the industry must respond to include; carrier consolidation, longer running trucks, decrease on demand for class “A” trucks, increase production of medium duty trucks, increase intermodal freight, the rise of engines powered by natural gas and diesel and more regulation on diesel emissions.

Owner/operators will take more competition from technology.

Transportation Conference

August 19th, 2011

Friday – Ahern/Benesch Transportation Conference

When: September 23, 2011

Where: JW Marriott

151 W. Adams

Chicago, IL

Time: 9:30am – 3:30pm

Topics:

1. State of capital markets in logistics.

2. Getting your trucking/logistics company ready to sell.

3. The regulatory landscape, CSA, Hours of Service, Independent Contractors.

4. What transportation buyers are purchasing and why.

Fuel Prices

August 18th, 2011

As most of us know, fuel prices have just torn apart the trucking industry;

· We can’t pass on the fuel surcharges quick enough to the shippers.

· Many of the shippers are requiring the smaller carriers to adjust, once a week, according to the department of energy index, and;

· Many of your larger carriers are adjusting daily with the fuel.org index.

Last week, oil prices fell as mixed economic reports offered few clues about future energy demand. Although this was bad for the stock market, it was bad for the trucking industry. Prices for benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude ended the day down 34¢ at $85.38 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent Crude rose 1¢ to $108.03 a barrel on the Ice Futures Exchange.

In the past several weeks, WTI’s prices have fallen about $12.00. Overall, fuel prices are going to continue to spike; the economy is going to continue to sputter and trucking companies are going to have to start being creative and looking for alternatives to solve their problems such as agency programs, partnership programs, PEO programs, etc.

Health Care Update

August 17th, 2011

Health Care law mandate shut down. A Federal Appeals panel struck down the center piece of Washington’s sweeping health care, overall Friday, moving the argument over whether Americans can be required to buy health insurance. This is a step closer to the US Supreme Court.

The divided 3 judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Congress overstepped its authority when they passed a “so called” individual mandate. The decision marks a significant victory for the 26 states, including Arizona, to challenge the Health Care law.

The American public has been battered over the last 2 ½ years and to mandate medical coverage, was just another step towards placing further hardships on individuals and businesses.

Trucking 101

August 16th, 2011

It’s been stated that 60% of trucking companies have 1 – 99 trucks. It’s a fact that many of the small trucking and logistics companies are having a very difficult time competing in today’s marketplace, due to the fact that their lenders are very reluctant to provide any working capital, due to not only the cyclical nature of our industry, but also the economy.

Many companies are cutting back on their advertising cost and that’s the worst thing you can do when your business is not thriving;

  • You need to be creative.

  • You need to think out of the box, and;

  • You need to learn to use the internet to your benefit.

  • You need to create meaningful advertising and get the biggest bang for your dollar.

I recognize it’s very difficult to do this when cash flow is very tight. Recently, I read an article in the newspaper and there is a new website called Fiverr.com. This helps build businesses and it charges $5.00 at a time. If you want to mail someone a postcard from Las Vegas, you want to create some decals or provide some basic advertising on your company. If you want someone to do a voiceover about your business, it’s $5.00 payable through Pay Pal.

In reference to Fiverr.com, they claim to make available 500,000 services offered by individuals and businesses in 200 countries – check it out!

Transportation Update…..

August 16th, 2011
  • Industry rates continue to move up in the low single digit range-2% through 3% ytd.
  • Industry volumes were outstanding in the 2nd quarter, particularly in May and June.
  • Driver availability is the number one challenge for the industry.
  • Use equipment prices for both tractors and trailers continue to increase, thereby making it difficult for new owner operators to be created.
  • A “niche” market such as the expedited team, dry van market and the flat bed market are not not see the ebs and flows associated with the macro economy, and;
  • Heartland Express believes they’re going to grow their fleet by 40% or more and much of it will be through acquisitions.

Acquisition Client #26

March 16th, 2011
  • Family owned and operated, large intermodal carrier seeking captive agents to grow with their current established business. Client will provide working capital, insurance, billing, collections, client approval, etc. Agent split 65%/70% – parent 30%/35% – commissions paid weekly. Client is primarily interested in intermodal companies.

Acquisition Client #25

March 16th, 2011
  • Trucking company looking to acquire dedicated contract carriers with 3 – 5 year contracts that pay all miles. Target revenue: $5MM – $200MM of annual revenue.

Acquisition Client #24

March 16th, 2011

Family owned bulk and pneumatic carrier looking to acquire profitable bulk or pneumatic carrier with revenues between $5MM – $20MM. Prefers locations in Wisconsin and Illinois but is open to other geographic areas.

Acquisition Client #23

March 16th, 2011
  • Large intermodal client looking to acquire intermodal carriers between $5MM – $30MM of gross annual revenue. Must utilize independent contractors – buyer will bring capital to the deal.

Acquisition Client #22

March 16th, 2011
  • Specialized heavy haul client looking to acquire a non-asset based specialized carrier in North and South Carolina or Georgia. Some company equipment acceptable and target revenue should be between $5MM – $20MM.

Acquisition Client #21

March 16th, 2011
  • Family owned flatbed business looking to acquire a non asset based flatbed/owner operator company generating a minimum of $15MM of annual revenue, profitable or non profitable.

Acquisition Client #20

March 16th, 2011

Large transportation company, well recognized in the industry, is looking to acquire a $75MM – $200MM refrigerated carrier. Company must be profitable and key management must be willing to stay. Client is currently not in the refrigerated carrier business.

Acquisition Client #19

March 16th, 2011
  • Public, non-asset based company looking to acquire profitable freight brokers between $20MM – $75MM of gross annual revenue. Client is willing to pay 4 to 5 times EBITDA, plus the liquidated balance sheet.

Acquisition Client #18

March 16th, 2011
  • Private equity firm looking to acquire a $100MM+ freight broker or 3PL company. Willing to pay 5 to 6 times EBITDA, plus incentives. Company must be profitable with a strong management team willing to stay.

Acquisition Client #17

March 16th, 2011
  • Private equity firm looking to acquire a $100MM+ freight broker or 3PL company. Willing to pay 5 to 6 times EBITDA, plus incentives. Company must be profitable with a strong management team willing to stay.

Acquisition Client #16

March 16th, 2011
  • Private equity firm looking to acquire specialized heavy haul carriers generating at least $1.5MM of EBITDA and at least $20MM of annual gross revenue – will purchase asset based companies as well as non asset based companies.

Acquisition Client #15

March 16th, 2011
  • Private equity firm looking to acquire non asset based intermodal, van and 3PL’s. Must generate, at least, $1MM of EBITDA.

Acquisition Client #14

September 30th, 2010

Ahern and Associates has been engaged for the following targeted, acquisition assignments by a major East Coast Drayage Company:
1. Locate additional drayage agents in the eastern 2/3’s of the United States

2. Identify drayage agent companies with annual revenues between $10MM to $40MM which utilize independent carriers and have a strong agent network.
3. Locate dry van and flatbed platform freight brokerages with annual revenues up to $60MM.

Acquisition Client #13

September 17th, 2010

Client 13: Well established intermodal carrier. Seeking to acquire independent contractor companies within the markets of Los Angeles, CA, St. Louis, MO, and Charlotte, NC. Ideal candidates will have 30+ trucks in operation with annual revenues of $5MM to $40MM; independent owner operators only.

Acquisition Client #12

September 17th, 2010

Client 12: Large transportation/logistics company based in the Southwest. Company would like to acquire a dedicated freight contract carrier with 3-5 year dedicated contracts in place. Client would also consider a large logistics company or freight brokerage. Annual revenue requirements for potential acquisition are between $50MM to $200MM. Buyer is prepared to offer 4 to 4.5X EBITDA for an asset based company or 4 to 6X EBITDA for a non-asset based company. Financing is in place, buyer would like to complete transaction by year’s end.

Acquisition Client #11

September 17th, 2010

Client 11: Established Midwest based carrier; outstanding family business in operation for over 30 years would like to expand throughout the Midwest. Company seeks bulk transport carriers hauling dry product only: flour, sugar, corn, wheat germ, etc… Dry product must be hauled in pneumatic tank carriers as to match their current business model. Annual revenue requirements are between $5MM to $20MM.

Client Assignment #10

September 17th, 2010

Client 10: Has engaged Ahern’s services to redesign their entire freight distribution system. Current revenues of the client are between $1 billion – $2 billion annually.

UPDATE: Assignment 90% complete, client making final decision on freight partner.

Acquistion Client #9

August 12th, 2010

Client 9: Looking to acquire freight brokers with $5MM – $50MM of annual revenue. Management must be willing to stay; buyer is a $200MM+ freight broker.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #8

August 12th, 2010

Client 8: Would like to acquire a $100MM+ air freight forwarder with EBITDA of $5MM – $20MM. Buyer is a private equity firm.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #7

August 12th, 2010

Client 7: Looking to acquire large freight brokers $100MM+ with strong EBITDA. Also looking for a non asset based dedicated carrier with revenues over $20MM+. Buyer is a $1 billion+ company.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #6

August 12th, 2010

Client 6: Seeking to acquire a profitable refrigerated carrier with $50MM – $200MM of annual revenue. Management must be strong with key management willing to stay. Buyer is a large trucking company looking to expand into the refrigeration market.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #5

August 12th, 2010

Client 5: Looking to acquire a specialized heavy haul trucking company in 11 Western states. Company must be profitable and considerate at least $20MM of revenue. Buyer is a private equity firm that owns a trucking company.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #4

August 12th, 2010

Client 4: Would like to acquire dedicated contract carriers with 3 – 5 year contracts. Buyer is a large trucking company that is 100% dedicated carriers.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #3

August 12th, 2010

Client 3: Buyer looking to acquire a small flatbed carrier $5MM – $10MM; owner must be willing to stay with the business.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #2

August 12th, 2010

Client 2: Looking to acquire distressed companies. Buyer will pay an earn out based on growth and cost reductions. Buyer will bring capital to the deal.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Acquisition Client #1

August 12th, 2010

Client 1: Looking for captive agents to grow with established $60MM company. Client will provide working capital, insurance, billing, collections, client approval, etc. Agent split 70%/Parent company 30% -commissions paid weekly.

If you are a potential fit for this need or know of a potential match, please contact Andy Ahern directly at 602-242-1030 or email ahern@ahern-ltd.com for more information.

Andy Ahern of Ahern and Associates Teams Up with Trucking Company Chairman and Block by Block to Rebuild Cedar Rapids, IA

July 26th, 2010

Slow moving government spurs trucking executive into forming Block by Block to raise private and public funding to help Cedar Rapids recover from the Iowa floods of 2008—Ahern to aid in fundraising.

Phoenix, AZ—For nearly a month during the summer of 2008, the rivers flowing through eastern Iowa rose above their banks and flooded several Iowa towns; dubbing it as many would call it, “Iowa’s Katrina.” Hit hardest was the working community of Cedar Rapids, IA whose infrastructure and residential areas were all but destroyed.

Fast forward two years and not much has changed, homes still lay in shambles and are uninhabitable– leaving once thriving neighborhoods empty and on the verge of ghost town status.

On a recent business trip to Cedar Rapids, Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern & Associates, LLC witnessed first-hand, the lingering devastation still plaguing the local residents and toured the area with John M. Smith, Chairman and owner of CRST International, Inc.

Unhappy with the subsidized rebuilding efforts, Smith helped form Block by Block, which takes a solutions based approach to identifying and aiding neighborhoods that wish to come back to life. Block by Block successfully reached its 2009 goal of rehabilitating eight residential blocks, with plans for sixteen additional blocks by the end of 2010.

Ahern has recently joined forces with Smith and Block by Block through personal contributions and by undertaking his own fund raising campaign targeting his extensive network of contacts within the trucking and logistics industries.

Ahern comments on Smiths efforts, “John has really taken a proactive approach to rebuilding his local community and I’m calling upon all of my colleagues within the transportation industry to join me in supporting Block by Block’s efforts.”

For additional information, please visit http://www.BlockbyBlockCR.org or send contributions directly to:

Block By Block
c/o Affordable Housing Network, Inc.
5400 Kirkwood Blvd.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:
Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com

###
Business contact:
A.W. Ahern
602-242-1030

Media contact:
Jason W. Jantzen
Phoenix Marketing Associates

http://www.PhoenixMarketingAssociates.com

602-282-0202

Trucking Acquisition Firm, Ahern and Associates Expands to Offer Financial Feasibility Services to Clients

June 28th, 2010

Ahern and Associates, Ltd. to consult clients on personal wealth management and goal attainment before executing the sale of their trucking or logistics company.

Phoenix, AZ—The decision to sell a trucking or logistics company after years or nurturing and growth usually represents a pinnacle moment in one’s life. However, despite the fact that the owner of the business is about to come into a sizeable financial influx, many still have questions as to whether or not they will still be able to attain their goals in life–be that personal or financial.

Well known as the “go-to” firm to coordinate mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies across North America, Ahern and Associates will now offer financial feasibility services to principals who are on the cusp of executing the sale of their company but would also like a wealth management plan in place that assures their personal goals are met—whether Ahern is the orchestrator of the deal or not.

Often times, the seller of a business will have several concerns, including:

• Am I receiving enough money from the sale of my business to achieve my personal objectives?
• After the sale, how do I receive the highest rate of return on my influx of cash?
• Should I accept a 100% cash buyout or a partial stock option?
• How do I legally minimize my tax liability after the sale?

At the heart of Ahern’s new service is a Financial Feasibility Study which offers a non-biased, 3rd party perspective on the viability and consequences of selling a trucking or logistics company. The study thoroughly details event probabilities based upon the identification of goals in conjunction with proper financial planning prior to execution of the sale.
Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern and Associates, explains, “We’ve counseled hundreds of business owners on the personal and emotional ramifications of the sale of their trucking companies in the past and now, we’ve taken our services a step further by preparing them for life after the sale; regardless if our firm is involved in the deal or not.”

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:
Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com

###
Business contact:
A.W. Ahern
602-242-1030

Media contact:
Jason W. Jantzen
Phoenix Marketing Associates
http://www.PhoenixMarketingAssociates.com
602-282-0202

Transportation Analyst, Andy Ahern Breaks Tradition for St. Mary’s Food Bank; Calls on Trucking Industry for Summer Food Drive

June 14th, 2010

Phoenix, AZ—June 11, 2010 Recognizing a need and finding a solution is not only the way Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern & Associates, helps his clients; it’s also a way of life. Today, that need comes in the form of depleting food supplies for the homeless and families with children living at or under poverty levels.

Based upon that need, Ahern has decided to once again call upon his colleagues throughout the transportation industry in organizing a summer food drive to aid St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the nation’s first food bank and the people who depend on their services.

Over the last several years, Ahern’s commitment to fighting hunger has raised over $1,000,000 in food for St. Mary’s Food Bank through the generous contributions of companies like Paschal Truck Lines, North American Transport, LLC, PGT Trucking, American Transport, Inc., Lawrence Leasing, Inc. and the law firm of Benesch, Friedlander, among others.

Under normal economic conditions, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance would likely be in a position to continue their efforts of feeding those in need throughout the summer as a result of holiday season donations. However, the economy has not rebounded as expected and unemployment is at record levels—not only does that have a major effect on charitable contributions, it also provides for a larger pool of needy food recipients.

In addition, the rate of children living in poverty this year will climb to nearly 22%–the highest level in 20 years. Compounding that issue is the reality that children living in homes without a secure source of food has risen from 17% in 2007 to nearly 18% in 2010, or a staggering increase of 750,000 children.

For over 10 years Ahern has supported the efforts of St. Mary’s Food Bank based upon their stellar track record of efficiency and philanthropy; consider the facts:
• Every $1.00 collected by St. Mary’s purchases $7.00 worth of food.
• .96 cents out of every dollar goes back into the community.
• 90% of all funds collected go to feed families with small children and the elderly.

Although the transportation industry as a whole was among the hardest hit from this last recession, Ahern is confident that his supporters throughout the trucking industry will once again heed the call.

“Our friends in the trucking and logistics industries have been steadfast in their support of St. Mary’s every year and even though I’m calling upon their support outside of the holiday season, I’m confident that they’ll continue to show their generosity,” explains Ahern.

Terry Shannon, CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance comments on Ahern’s efforts: “Today’s ongoing economic challenges continue to create unprecedented demand for St Mary’s Food Bank’s emergency food distribution programs. Only through the support of folks like Andy Ahern who are willing to not only personally support our mission but also open up his network of business connections are we able to serve the growing need. We truly appreciate his commitment to feeding the hungry in our community.”

Those who wish to further Ahern’s cause and make a direct contribution can send donations to the following address:
St. Mary’s Food Bank
C/o Ahern & Associates, Ltd
2198 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 210
Phoenix, AZ 85016

About St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance:

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the world’s first food bank, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to 534 agencies that serve the hungry. Serving 13 of Arizona’s 15 counties, the organization is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks, and is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships, and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 67 million pounds of food to families and individuals, provided enough food for 300,000 meals every day, and garnered more than 370,000 volunteer service hours. Web site: http://www.FirstFoodBank.org Phone: 602-242-FOOD.

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:
Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com

###

Business contact:
A.W. Ahern
602-242-1030

Media contact:
Jason W. Jantzen
Phoenix Marketing Associates
602-282-0202

Trucking and Logistics Conference Held by Ahern and Associates and Benesch, Friedlander Sets the Stage for 2011

June 9th, 2010

Benesh/Ahern transportation conference recently held in Phoenix, AZ exhibited keen insight on the trucking and logistics industries and capital markets in transportation; conference’s success provided catalyst for second conference in 2011.

Phoenix, AZ —Based upon the reaction of attendees of the first annual, Trucking and Logistics Conference by transportation acquisition firm, Ahern & Associates and the law firm of Benesch, Friedlander, the organizers of the event have overwhelmingly decided to joint sponsor an additional conference for 2011.

Among the topics covered in 2010’s event which really resonated with attendees included, The State of the Capital Markets in transportation: The Independent Contractor crisis; “Weathering the Storm” of a distressed company; and “Beautifying your company for sale”.
The esteemed panel of experts that covered the topics for the 2010 event were outstanding, according to the attendees. The independent contractor crisis effecting the trucking industry was eloquently explained by Rich Plewacki of Benesch Friedlander, as well as Mr. D.W. Speer Director and Owner of Peoplease Corporation.
“Weathering the storm of a distressed company,” panel experts included Bob Weaver, past President and Chief Executive Officer of PAM Transportation Services, Dick Metzler, Chief Commercial Officer of Greatwide Logistics and William Schonberg, partner, Benesch Friedlander.
Beautifying and preparing a company for sale was chaired by Andy Ahern, Chief Executive Officer of Ahern & Associates, Ltd, as well as Marc Brockinton, director of AON Transportation, Jonathan Ives, Director of Cobblestone Harris Williams; Marc Blubaugh and Eric Zalud, Partners, Benesch Friedlander.
Jim Hill, Executive Chairman of Benesch, along with A.W. Ahern sponsored the event and Jim Hill, Executive Chairman of Benesch chaired the panel on The State of Capital Markets in Transportation.
Providing additional impetus for the planning of an additional trucking and logistics conference was the feedback from those in attendance:
Patrick Gallagher, Chairman of PGT Trucking, stated; “very informative”, “very well prepared”, “I enjoyed myself immensely”.
Jeff Jerue, Vice President of John J. Jerue Companies, stated; “outstanding seminar, very well prepared and was a great networking opportunity – one of the better seminars I have attended”.
John Simourian, Chairman of Lily Transportation exclaimed; “(the seminar) was very informative and very well prepared, had many good speakers and I enjoyed myself immensely”.
Gary Amoth, Gary Amoth Trucking Company proclaimed; “I was very impressed with the panelists’ knowledge in the transportation industry and, as I was listening to the speakers and panelists, I applied what was being said and how it relates to my business”.
Steve Lawrence, Chairman, Lawrence Transportation stated; “great seminar, very well prepared, I enjoyed myself tremendously and it was a great opportunity to network”.
Elizabeth Myzak, Vice President of Transportation of Forest City Trading Group LLC, stated; “very informative, great caliber of speakers. Great networking opportunity, and the topics discussed were very pertinent.”
An exact date and location for the next conference has not yet been set, please visit http://www.ahern-ltd.com for upcoming details, as well as http://www.beneschlaw.com
About Benesh:

Benesch’s Transportation and Logistics Group was specifically created to address the needs of users and providers of logistics services. Benesch lawyers are uniquely qualified to represent companies nationally and internationally that are either sponsored or owned by private equity firms. Attorneys leading these efforts are James M. Hill, Executive Chairman of Benesch (jhill@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4444), Eric L. Zalud, Partner and Chair of the firm’s Transportation & Logistics and Litigation Practice Groups (ezalud@beneschlaw.comor 216.363.4178) and Marc S. Blubaugh, Partner in Benesch’s Transportation & Logistics and Litigation Practice Groups (mblubaugh@beneschlaw.com or 614.223.9382). For more information please call Megan Thomas at 216-363-4639 or visit http://www.BeneschLaw.com

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:
Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com

###

Business contact:
A.W. Ahern
602-242-1030

Media contact:
Jason W. Jantzen
Phoenix Marketing Associates
602-282-0202

Ahern & Associates Selected by Linx Partners, LLC to Perform Transportation Company Acquisition Search

May 13th, 2010

Trucking and logistics company acquisition specialists, Ahern & Associates, Ltd., engaged by New York and Atlanta based, Linx Partners, LLC to locate niche transportation acquisition target.
Phoenix, AZ—Private equity investment firm, Linx Partners, LLC has retained the services of Andy Ahern of Ahern & Associates to perform an acquisition search for a regional transportation or logistics company which would markedly benefit from Linx Partners’ progressive growth strategies.
Linx Partners looks to add to their current portfolio of select transportation and logistics companies by acquiring an eastern U.S. based transportation company with annual revenues up to $100MM.
Ahern & Associates is the nation’s leading trucking and logistics management consulting firm with unmatched expertise in the areas of transportation mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and profitability analysis. Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern & Associates plans to use his broad reach within the overall transportation industry to match potential acquisition targets to Linx’s criteria. Ahern explains, “Our firm has had our finger on the pulse of the transportation industry for over 20 years and we’ll use the full scope of our resources to quickly and efficiently identify targets that meets Linx’s standards.”
Mark Niznik, Principal at Linx Partners, LLC explains why they selected Ahern & Associates to aid them in their search: “We wanted to partner with Andy Ahern and his firm given their unique expertise in finding niche opportunities within the transportation and logistics arena.”

About Linx Partners, LLC:
The companies in Linx Partners’ portfolio include transportation and logistics, energy, building products and metal and specialty equipment distribution companies. They operate and have main or regional offices in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. All show solid growth potential and can benefit from the strategic, operational, and financial skills of the Linx Partners managing directors. Additional information can be found at http://www.LinxPartners.com
About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:
Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com
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Business contact:
A.W. Ahern
602-242-1030

Media contact:
Jason W. Jantzen
Phoenix Marketing Associates
602-282-0202

Ahern & Associates and Benesch, Friedlander Announce Panelists for Upcoming Trucking & Logistics Conference on Mergers, Acquisitions and State of Capital Markets

May 5th, 2010

Expert panelists and keynote speakers announced for complimentary trucking and logistics conference to be held on May 25, 2010 at the Ritz Carlton, Phoenix; speakers to provide information on mergers, acquisitions, recapitalization, restructuring and profitability within the transportation industry.

Phoenix, AZ—Trucking and logistics acquisition specialists, Ahern & Associates, Ltd. and Benesch, Attorneys at Law, co-organizers of the approaching trucking and logistics conference on May 25, 2010 in Phoenix have announced the names of the accomplished panelists who will be addressing attendees.

Keynote speakers to include:

  • Andy Ahern, CEO of Ahern & Associates, Ltd.
  • James M. Hill, Executive Chairman, Benesch

Expert panelists in attendance in conjunction with the topics scheduled for discussion:

The State of Capital Markets in Transportation

  • Mike Iannelli, Managing Director, Lincoln Transportation
  • Andy Wilkins, Partner, Atlantic Street Capital

Independent Contractors: Is the Rumor of the Demise of the IC Model Greatly Exaggerated or Real?

  • Rich Plewacki, Partner, Benesh
  • Lane Kidd, President, Arkansas Trucking Association
  • DW Speer, Director and Owner, PeopLease Corporation

Distressing Companies: Weathering the Storm, Maximizing Exit Strategies and Finding Bargains

  • William Schonberg, Partner, Benesch
  • Bob Weaver, past President & CEO of P.A.M. Transportation Services
  • Dick Metzler, Chief Information Officer, Greatwide Logistics Services

A Diamond in the Rough: Beautifying Your Company for Sale

  • Eric Zalud, Partner/Chair of Transportation & Logistics Group, Benesch
  • Marc Blubaugh, Partner, Benesch
  • Mark Brockinton, Executive Director, AON Truck Group
  • Jonathan Ives, Director, Cobblestone Harris Williams

Additionally, Benesch and Ahern will be discussing their upcoming forecast for freight demand for the balance of 2010 and 2011.

Those who wish to RSVP for the conference are urged to contact:

Claudia Balderas

Manager/Executive Assistant

Ahern & Associates, Ltd.

(602) 242-1030

Email: Claudia@ahern-ltd.com

Megan Thomas

Client Services Manager

Benesch, Friedlander

(216) 363-4639

Email: Mthomas@beneschlaw.com

Rooms at the Ritz Carlton, Phoenix have been reserved at a special rate for this outstanding event and can be reserved by calling 602-468-0700 and referencing the Benesh/Ahern Conference.

About Benesh:

Benesch’s Transportation and Logistics Group was specifically created to address the needs of users and providers of logistics services. Benesch lawyers are uniquely qualified to represent companies nationally and internationally that are either sponsored or owned by private equity firms. Attorneys leading these efforts are James M. Hill, Executive Chairman of Benesch (jhill@beneschlaw.com or 216.363.4444), Eric L. Zalud, Partner and Chair of the firm’s Transportation & Logistics and Litigation Practice Groups (ezalud@beneschlaw.comor 216.363.4178) and Marc S. Blubaugh, Partner in Benesch’s Transportation & Logistics and Litigation Practice Groups (mblubaugh@beneschlaw.com or 614.223.9382). For more information please call Megan Thomas at 216-363-4639 or visit http://www.BeneschLaw.com

About Ahern & Associates, Ltd.:

Ahern and Associates is North America’s leading trucking and transportation management consulting firm. The skilled consultants at Ahern and Associates specialize in mergers and acquisitions of trucking and logistics companies as well as the restructuring and evaluation of existing carriers that seek to increase operating efficiency and improve profitability. Since 1987, Ahern and Associates has aided hundreds of buyers in the acquisition of trucking and logistics companies throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as assisting many transportation and logistics companies in reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profitability. For more information, please call 602-242-1030 or visit http://www.Ahern-Ltd.com

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Business contact at Ahern & Associates:

Andy Ahern

602-242-1030

Business contact at Benesch, Friedlander:

James M. Hill

216-363-4500

Media contact:

Jason W. Jantzen

Red Spot Marketing

602-282-0202

Transportation Crisis

April 3rd, 2009

Class A truck volume set a 26 year low in February as U.S. manufacturers and their dealers sold only 6,236 heavy duty vehicles. The sales total last month was 39% lower than the sales record recorded in the same month last year.

Mexico retaliates with tariffs after the United States halts border program. Days after Congress and the Obama Administration “shut” down the controversial cross border trucking pilot program with Mexico. Mexico struck back imposing new tariffs on approximately 90 U.S. products valued at $2.4 billion. Mexico believes that U.S. failed to live up to its long standing obligations under the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to open the border to Mexican carriers.

United States agrees to provide auto suppliers $5 billion in aid. The Treasury Department stated, it would provide as much as $5 billion in financing to struggling automotive industry suppliers to help them stay in business.

The above statistics provide insight into the turmoil in the trucking industry;

  1. Shippers continue to pressure carriers for rate reductions;
  2. Shippers are slowing up their payments to carriers;
  3. Freight movement has prospered dramatically, because of the World economy;

This is all directly the result of the World Financial crisis.

This is the worst Transportation crisis we have faced since the Great Depression.

Japan’s Red Line

March 12th, 2009

Japan posted a record account deficit in January plunging into the “red” for the first time in 13 years. The deficit, the broadest measure of Japan’s trade with the rest of the World stood at a record of $172.8 billion Yen ($1.8 billion dollars) in January.

  • Exports in January plunged 46.3%
  • Imports decline 31.7%
  • Trade deficit was at $844.4 billion Yen.

Japan’s exports to the United States dropped:

  • 52.9%
  • Asian shipments fell 46.7%

Among exported products:

  • Vehicle shipments were down 66.1%
  • Exports of semi-conducted products were down 52.8%

This is the worst financial decline in the last 13 years for Japan.

Transportation-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES!!

March 11th, 2009

Transportation has experienced the worst economic challenges, since the Great Depression.

  • Freight rates are down dramatically;
  • Shipper demand is down dramatically;
  • Some carriers have seen their revenue decline by 30%-40%;

Many trucking companies have substantial trucks “sitting up against the fence” due to the lack of freight. Some states such as Texas, freight rates are as low as 65¢ a mile;

  • The economy continues to “sputter”.

At the same time, there is less demand for fuel, yet crude oil continues to rise, which directly affects trucking companies “bottom line” profitability. To sum up the conditions of the trucking industry—very chaotic!

Trucking 2008

January 6th, 2009

Dear Readers:

2008 was the worst year that the trucking industry has experienced, since the Great Depression.

  • Supply did not equal demand
  • Freight became a scarce commodity in our industry;
  • Freight rates continue to be depressed;
  • Diesel fuel hit an all time record high of $145.00-$150.00 a barrel for crude oil.
  • In some parts of the country, Diesel fuel was as much as $5.00 a gallon, and;

The economic collapse of the world economy, put the trucking industry in a “tail spin.”

What effect will this have on the trucking industry for 2009? Stay tuned for further comments…..

Welcome to the Ahern & Associates, Ltd.’s first “blog”

October 24th, 2008

My name is Andy Ahern and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer. I have been involved in transportation for 38 years. My company is involved in mergers and acquisitions and the restructuring of transportation and transportation related companies. As such, many of the comments in my weekly blog will be my opinions in reference to the trucking industry. I recognize that in the time of turmoil, for every opinion I may have, there will be an opposing opinion. With that stated, my blog is basically to apprise the trucking community of the challenges it faces based upon my years of experience expertise and the relationships I have with many companies. If you go to www.ahern-ltd.com you’ll notice that I have represented most of the major transportation carriers in the United States and Canada. My blog is basically designed to be informative in nature so that the general public understands the challenges of the trucking industry. It’s important to understand that trucking is 87% of all products in the U.S. and even though we are currently in a major recession, there are 3 necessities of life that all of us as human beings need;

  • Food.
  • Clothing, and;
  • Shelter.

Trucks provide the movement of those precious commodities throughout the global world. Welcome to my blog, and hopefully you will find it informative and you will be able to take some of my years of expertise and apply it to your own business