The Logbook is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: J.B. Hunt announces $1M endowed scholarship for supply chain inclusion, OTR Capital’s new web series showcases life on the road, and tank driver could become Canada’s first NTTC Driver of the Year.

J.B. Hunt announces $1M supply chain inclusion scholarship

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) has announced two new funds with the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business to promote inclusion and sustainability in the supply chain.

Its newest fund, the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Inclusion in Supply Chain Endowed Scholarship Fund — supported with a $1 million investment, will reward Walton College enrolled students who are working towards an undergraduate degree in supply chain and come from underrepresented backgrounds.

“Since launching our collaboration in December, we have identified several opportunities to improve inclusion and sustainability that we are excited to ignite,” Shelley Simpson, J.B. Hunt’s chief commercial officer and executive vice president of people and human resources, said in a statement. “These funds will help jumpstart immediate needs while creating a long-term initiative to ensure that pursuing a career in supply chain is available to everyone.”

The J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Supply Chain Management Department Current Use Accelerator Fund will expand on the company’s previous partnership with the college, adding $250,000 to advance inclusivity and sustainability programs. 

The company set up its Inclusion Education and Thought Leadership Fund and the Sustainable Supply Chain Management Research, Innovation and Education Fund with the university in December with a $2.25 million donation. These two funds assist the college’s efforts to advocate for individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds within the supply chain industry and pursue environmental, social and corporate governance issues.

OTR Capital web series showcases trucking experience

OTR Capital, a factoring company based in Georgia, has introduced a new mini-series titled “Over The Road with OTR Capital” to its YouTube channel. The series gives the viewer an insider’s view of what it’s like to be a truck driver from the perspective of OTR’s clients.

In an interview with FreightWaves, Grace Maher, the vice president and director of OTR Capital, explained why it was important for the company to highlight its clients and how they leverage the partnership with OTR Capital to sustain and grow their trucking businesses.

“I wanted to show the personal connection we have with our clients, so we introduced this mini-series to share their stories, provide education, and to shine a light on the trucking industry.”

Maher rode along with driver Elbridge James for the first video. Despite having worked in the industry for a decade, Maher said she was surprised by many elements of his job.

“The most surprising aspect for me was how little control he really has over so many aspects of the job like getting loaded, traffic, weather, cancellations and unloading,” she said. “The phone would ring off the hook by brokers, trackers, other drivers with his company. He was truly managing his business from his truck and I witnessed the stresses first-hand.”

After watching James handle these various scenarios, Maher found there were company solutions that OTR Capital could focus on educating its clients about to make their days less hectic.

“We try to focus on those same things when improving services for our carriers,” she said. “The recent redesign of our mobile app gives truckers the transparency to look into real-time data for their business. I was able to walk through the app with Elbridge to show him how easy it is to manage documents.” 

Maher said OTR Capital will continue to add episodes to its “Over the Road” series, along with the array of educational videos, webinars, and live streams aimed to help its clients manage and grow their businesses.

“What we hope to get across is that trucking is filled with stories, and we hope to share the unique backgrounds of some of our clients,” she said. “Truckers do so much for our country, and they should be celebrated and appreciated. We want to shine a light on all of these stories and experiences and show what it’s really like being a truck driver.”

Tank truck driver of the year to be named at NTTC conference

The National Tank Truck Carriers’ (NTTC) annual conference is set to take place next week, June 13-15, in Indianapolis to educate and raise awareness for the issues facing the transportation industry and highlight the drivers who are committed to safety on the road.

The NTTC represents over 500 companies that specialize in tanker transportation throughout North America. This sector of the trucking industry generates around 5.1% of all truck freight revenue and 30% of all truck freight tonnage.

The annual conference will also feature the selection of the next NTTC Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year. In February 2020, 8 drivers competed in a series of challenges to win the award and due the pandemic, the selection was postponed until the in-person announcement at the conference on Monday.

Among the finalists is Ed Stasyshyn, a 78-year-old, from Edmonton, Alberta, who could become the first Canadian driver to win the award, according to the CBC. Stasyshyn, who drives for Trimac Transportation, became a trucker in his 20s.  

Besides two minor incidents on his record that he was found not responsible for, Stasyshyn has been accident-free and his license has been demerit-free for over 40 years, the CBC reported.

The conference will also highlight the association’s newest president and CEO, Ryan Streblow, and speakers including U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher of Indiana, Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana and Seth Mattison, founder and chief movement officer of Luminate Labs, a media platform for innovators and influencers.

Click here for more articles by Grace Sharkey

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