THERE are many reasons that companies in the tank truck industry and its auxiliary industries update their Web sites. Some updates are the result of acquisitions or purchases, other redesigns come about when new services are offered. Following are some sites that have new and updated information to attract visitors and provide helpful solutions to business needs.
WestMor Industries has been involved in mergers. Schneider National has reengineered some of its Web services for carriers, drivers, and shippers. We're also taking a look at a consultant's site, Economic Planning Associates, and an association site, Propane Education & Research Council.
The recent purchase of Kleespie Tank by WestMor Industries LLC, Morris, Minnesota, has prompted the posting of a new Web site under the original Kleespie address. WestMor has chosen to place the latest company news and upcoming industry events on its home page.
Other pages cover company services that include the manufacture of bobtail, truck tank, and transport bulk vehicles. Each product and its design and engineering are discussed in detail.
Customers can access information about in-stock units, request a quote, and find out about repair and refurbishing.
Another section provides information about customer and technical services, engineering, equipment installation, and financing. The company's services also include aviation fueling, bulk plant construction, and service station equipment installation.
Schneider National, Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a brand new Web site look with options that feature special sections for carriers, drivers, and shippers. The new doesn't stop there — an updated transportation services section also is part of the new design. Customers and carriers who use the company's internet applications will now login through their respective sections to gain access to Schneider's Internet Tools. They enter their user name and password for access. For helpful hints on loading instructions, customer service contacts, or border crossings, they can use the hints link.
In the section designed for carriers, visitors find information describing opportunities that are available. On the day we visited, Schneider was looking for a carrier who had an available truck for northeastern Ohio that could go to New Jersey. Loads for five-to-six days a week were on the list.
There is a state-to-state search, radius search, origin search, and an all shipments search to aid carriers in finding shipments.
On the driver side of the site are categories for work opportunities, special driver programs, events, and driver recognition. If owner operators are interested in leasing or financing a tractor, they can click on a segment for the information.
Schneider drivers who have won driver awards that place them in the Million Mile Club will find their names posted in the driver section.
Shippers will find several tools, including a United States to Canada shipping guide. Amid the information are definitions of customer brokers and importers. Schneider lists the information shippers must supply to carriers for border crossing, including the bill of lading, Canadian customs invoice, and packing list. Customs documents that may be required are a North American Free Trade Agreement certificate of origin, shipper export declaration, and packing lists. There is even a step-by-step list for moving the goods from shipper to Canadian customer.
Economic Planning Associates Inc is an economic and industry consulting firm that provides clients with assessments of domestic and international economic trends, industry developments, and specific product forecasts. The company's Web site contains quarterly industry-specific reports that can be downloaded.
In addition to the full reports, the company offers an executive summary of the past reports, which is also available.
The reports include reviews of railroads, truck trailers, medium and heavy truck outlook, machine tool, and economic outlook for overall economic activity.
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has updated its site and filled it with information about the group's research, safety programs, and consumer initiatives.
Among the research and development projects are fuel cells, the largest research area for the council funding, to date. The development of cost-effective fuel cells is an opportunity for expanding the use of propane. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert a fuel's energy directly to electrical energy. The Council's research and development initiatives focus on bringing new, safe, and efficient propane utilization technology to the market. PERC has an advisory committee for research and development made up of representatives from the industry. The committee members and their companies are listed on the site, as are the committees research and development activities.
Another emphasis of the research and development division is its work in remote sensing technologies used to measure the level of propane in tanks and the use of telemetry to send the data to central locations. Information about these projects and others can be found on the Web site.
For additional information, a resource library has publications on many subjects. Some of the publications are designed to enhance marketing programs for propane distributors.