JBS kicks off 30-year anniversary celebration season


The traditional ‘Cinco de Mayo’ cookout on May 5th was the first event of the year, put together by the JBS social committee to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the company.

The rich buffet featured traditional Mexican dishes and freshly barbecued meat for tacos for all employees to enjoy.

Cinco de Mayo is observed as a holiday in Mexico to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely defeat over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.

The JBS social committee consists of 6 employees as depicted in the image below. From left to right: Steve Krisch, Elvia Arceo, Emilie Sudar, Kathy Jakubowski, Lucy Martinez, Joe Gizzi.

The next planned event is the actual anniversary on June 1st, the date JBS was founded in 1986.

Lobbying Congress

Last week I joined 65 other Logistics professionals in Washington DC to tell our stories to Congress. The group organized by TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Association) visited with over 150 Congressional offices to talk about how pending (or lack of) legislation will affect our industry and eventually our businesses. Third Party Logistic (3PL) providers employ 128,000 people in the US with a payroll of over $7 Billion. The $157 Billion Dollar industry has been growing at rate 2-3 x GNP.

The two-day event was well organized by TIA staff, giving us great guidance and information to make our visits productive. I was fortunate to meet with Congressman Peter Roscam (R-IL 6th District) who represents our District.


However, with votes being cast throughout the 2 days, we did not always get to meet with the actual Senator or Congressman/-woman. For example, our group had 10 meetings scheduled but we only had the opportunity to meet 3 Members. This is my 5th time lobbying for TIA in DC and I have learned that sitting down with a member of Congressional staff is just as productive because their job is to inform (and sometimes influence) their boss about issues that are important to their constituents.


Specifically we addressed 3 issues that are the most pressing:

  1. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) vs. Safety Fitness Determination (SFD)

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) fully supports the proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD). The SFD will clear up how safety ratings for motor carriers are presented to the public, and remove the confusion and liability traps that surround the four-tiered rating system. TIA supported the CSA Reform language included in the FAST Act, but the SFD is based on absolute measures and is not directly tied to CSA. Therefore, the SFD should not be delayed until the CSA study, certification, and corrective actions are taken. The entities that hire motor carriers, like 3PLs and shippers, cannot wait any longer for a clear-cut line to determine which carriers are safe to use and which carriers are not. The SFD provides us with that line. Additionally, the SFD would identify and remove the most egregious motor carriers from our nation’s highways, and drastically improve safety.

  1. Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity (PWAO) Act

President Obama announced a final rule on federal standards for exempting workers from overtime pay. The new rule will increase the salary level under which workers are eligible for overtime pay, from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year), and allow for this threshold to be automatically adjusted every three years. Although we agree that an increase is justified, we believe that the over 100% increase is too much for small businesses to absorb.

This proposed legislation (PWAO Act) will nullify the final rule and require the Department of Labor to conduct an economic analysis on the impact that increasing the mandatory overtime salary threshold will have on small businesses, non-profit employers, and public entities. This Act will also statutorily prohibit the automatic increase of the salary threshold that is included in the final rule. The overtime pay threshold has never been subject to an automatic increase before, and it is important that Congress and the American public have an opportunity to carefully consider the impacts on the overall economy.

  1. The National Hiring Motor Carrier Standard (H.R. 1120)

The national hiring motor carrier standard would clarify and standardize industry best practices for hiring safe motor carriers. Currently, industry stakeholders are often asked to second-guess the FMCSA on determining which carriers are safe to operate and those that are not. Congress tasked the FMCSA with evaluating motor carrier safety and empowering them with the sole authority to revoke the interstate operating authority of unsafe motor carriers or otherwise place unsafe motor carriers out-of-service and off the road.

H.R. 1120 would require that before hiring a motor carrier, a shipper, broker, forwarder, and/or receiver ensure that the motor carrier is:

  •  properly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA);
  •  has obtained the minimum insurance; and
  •  has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.

H.R. 1120 plays an important role towards improving safety within the transportation industry specifically by establishing a National Standard for Hiring Motor Carriers. Under the Bill, an entity (broker, shipper, receiver, forwarder, etc.) would be required to ensure that a carrier is properly registered, has obtained the minimum required insurance, and is not rated unsatisfactory. Currently, there is no standard or duty of care an entity must take when hiring a carrier and this is a huge step towards removing unsafe carriers from the highways.
All 3 topics were presented and discussed to both Democratic and Republican Members with both sides having their typical partisan views on President Obama’s Overtime Rule. My optimistic view is that a compromise can still be reached before the elections, yet I am not so sure that will be the case. However if we choose to stay home and if we were to not present our side of the agreement, there would be no chance to persuade.

The old saying goes, “In Washington, you either have a seat at the table or on it”.

Alec A. Gizzi, President JBS Inc.



30 years ago JBS opened their doors in a small warehouse in Addison, IL.  (see also: https://jbslogistics.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/how-jbs-started-30-years-ago/)

Since then, JBS has matured into a full service warehouse and transportation company focusing on delivering excellent service at fair prices.  Those services include complete 3PL warehouse operations that allow commercial clients to focus attention on their companies’ core competencies while JBS takes care of their inventory.

On June 1st, the 30-year anniversary was celebrated with an employee appreciation luncheon which included an award ceremony for long time employees.

Pictured below are 6 employees who have been with JBS for 20+ years: From left to right:  Rich Plotke, Nancy DiMaio, Steve Krisch, Barb Grandis, Dan Nitti, and Bill Fiorito


How JBS started 30 years ago

I was a salesman working for a trucking company back in 1986 when a customer of mine was telling me how their merchandise was “walking out the back door” at a warehouse in Chicago. He was looking to replace them with a more secure warehouse operation. Being the opportunist that I was, I told them I would find a warehouse for them in a new industrial locality that was in a low crime area.  Searching for a couple of weeks I soon realized there was a shortage of 3rd party warehouses that could fit their needs.

Talking it over with my boss (and soon to be partner) Sam DiMaio, he assured me that we could do it ourselves and the only thing I needed to do was convince my customer to give us a chance. Within a few weeks, Sam & I found a 5,000 square foot space in a warehouse/office complex that would serve as our first warehouse. After the customer approved the space we were ready to sign a 1 year lease. We soon learned that was not going to be easy without any credit history (or money).

At the same time I had a small business on the side called Jiggers Bar Service that supplied bartenders and liquor for private parties. Although it was just a small company, it was in business for about 4 years. We took the initials of the company (JBS) and used its credit history to sign the lease, open a phone line, and order some supplies. We borrowed some money from a couple of good friends while the bank was approving a $10,000 equity on our homes to get us through the first few months. With the support of our family, friends, and of course that first customer we were able to pull it off. Within a year we expanded to 20,000 square feet and had 5 employees and over the last 30 years have grown to over 500,000 square feet and 55 employees.

A big THANK YOU to everyone that has been part of our 30-year history.

Alec A. Gizzi, President JBS Inc.


MIT report on the value of On-Time-Deliveries (OTD) in relation to payment for transportation

The study showed that although there is no correlation for better OTD when a shipper pays a higher rate, there was a distinct correlation for poor OTD when a shipper pays a lower than average cost.  The study found that shippers that paid less than $50 average per shipment had a significant reduction in service (40%-70% OTD) vs shippers that paid market rates. 

This aligns with JBS’ pricing tariffs which are generally within 5% of the average market rate.  Last year JBS’ OTD matrix for TL business was at 97.5%.

Click below to see the full report:


TCA – What took you so long?

I applaud TCA for their reversal on the controversial truck/weight legislative issue.  ATA has been the “big brother” in the trucking industry for many smaller associations including TCA.  ATA’s voice and resources in Washington certainly help when the issue is mutual for all e.g. safety and infrastructure.  However in this case, expanding the length of LTL Pup trailers from 28′ – 33′ would encroach too close to the TL market and TCA members. By no longer supporting this legislation, TCA’s new President John Lyboldt is standing up to ATA and supporting his members.  Let’s face it, this part of the legislation really serves no purpose other than helping ATA’s large LTL carriers like UPS and Fed Ex AND is counter to the overall safety on American highways.  ATA and TCA should work together when the benefits are mutual but in this case, not so much.

Alec A. Gizzi, President JBS Inc.

For more information:  http://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/truckload_group_splits_with_ata_policy_on_truck_size_and_weight_issue/news

Excellence Award for JBS Logistics

Naperville, IL – JBS Logistics has just been rewarded the 2015 Award For Excellence In Warehousing And Distribution by All American Poly.

JBS Logistics has been a warehouse and distribution center for All American Poly since 2012. All American Poly (AAP) is a manufacturer of polyethylene packaging products with over 300 employees and 3 manufacturing facilities in the US. With their headquarters in New Jersey, they are one of the fastest growing companies in the polyethylene industry. Since AAP’s core strengt his in manufacturing and selling of their products, they choose to outsource most of their warehouse operations in the US by using companies like JBS for their expertise and market location. The award recognizes JBS’ contribution as being one of AAP’s best warehouse partner in regards to volume and accuracy of product moved.

The award was presented by AAP’s Steve Berkowitz (far right) and Isaac Ravitz (far left) and was received by JBS team members Phil Spencer, Deb Novak and Tom Keller.

PRESS RELEASE: JBS Renews with the U.S. EPA SmartWay® Transport Partnership

Naperville, IL – JBS Logistics trucking division JBS Transportation today announced that it has submitted and received approval for their 2016 data update with the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry. The SmartWay Transport Partnership provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

JBS will continue to contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 144.3 million barrels of oil, $20.6 billion in fuel costs, 61.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 1,070,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 43,000 tons of particulate matter, the equivalent of taking 13 million cars off the road. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog.  By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, JBS demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“We are dedicated to helping obtain SmartWay Transport Partnership goals, and as such we will continue to do our part as a responsible corporate citizen to move product across this country on energy efficient equipment” said JBS President Alec A. Gizzi.

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations, and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2014. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement. The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners including shipper, logistics companies, truck, rail, barge, and multimodal carriers.

For more information about the JBS Logistics and our transportation and warehousing services, visit http://www.jbstrans.com or call 800-877-3953.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit http://www.epa.gov/smartway.

Congress changes in the Transportation Industry for 2016

Highway Bill – FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transport Act)

Signed into law by President Obama last month, this bipartisan legislation will finally give relief to the industry that has not seen a multiple year (6 years) funded Highway Bill since 2005. Although the last 3 years of the bill are not yet funded, FAST Act does give hope to States, giving them the ability to do some long term infrastructure planning.

Here are a few other important pieces of the Bill that will go into effect:

  • Removal of CSA Scores: The FMCSA was ordered to take down the published CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) scores that were available for public viewing on their website.   Pressured by industry leaders including the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) President Bob Voltmann as “unreliable” and “plagued with serious data flaws”, Congress urged the FMCSA to clean up their data before the scores can be used to determine a carrier’s Satisfactory Rating.
  • Military: The bill establishing a pilot program meant to bring in young veterans and military reserves into the industry at an earlier age. Other changes would let military driving experience count toward a skills tests and it would allow military vets to receive their medical certification from Veterans Affairs doctors rather than having to use those in the FMCSA’s National Registry.
  • Driver Drug Testing Reform: The bill allows carriers to test drivers via hair test (currently using a urine test) once the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) establishes guidelines for hair testing. The bill requires DHHS to produce the guidelines within a year of the bill’s enactment.

Final Rule on Driver Coercion

The FMCSA issued its final rule on driver coercion November 30th with an effective date of January 29, 2016.   Basically under the rule it is prohibited for a shipper, receiver, motor carrier, or a broker to force (coerce) a driver to violate various regulations of the FMCSA. The rule further states that a driver MUST state to the party requesting such services that the request will force him to violate a specific FMCSA rule. A driver must bring a complaint to the FMCSA within 90 days of the alleged coercion.

Hours of Service (HOS) Rule

The Highway Bill also made a provision for FMCSA to provide Congress with an assessment on how the current 34-hour restart rule provides improvement “in all outcomes related to safety, operator fatigue, driver health, and work schedules”. The rule, suspended in December of 2014, will continue to be suspended until at least November.

Electronic Logging Devise (ELD) Rule

FMCSA issued their final ELD Rule in early December that will require carriers to use electronic logging devises to record a drivers’ hour of service. The 516 page rule details new technical specs for ELD’s and clarifies what supporting documents will be required. Motors carrier will have almost two years before the new rule becomes law as the deadline for compliance will not be until December 2017.

Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) suspends West Coast Ports 2/6/15 weekend

PMA just released a press statement (below) confirming that the west coast Ports will suspend loading and unloading operations for this weekend.  This 2 day work stoppage will effect rail, yard and gate operations as well.  According to analysts, this could cost the US economy up to 2 Billion Dollars a day.  The White House should consider employing the Taft-Hartley Act to force negotiators back to the bargaining table and workers back to work.


Contacts: Wade Gates, (415) 591-4048, pmanews@bm.com Steve Getzug, (310) 633-9444, steve.getzug@hkstrategies.com


San Francisco – February 6, 2015 – The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced today that weekend vessel loading and unloading operations will be temporarily suspended this weekend, with yard, rail and gate operations continuing at terminal operators’ discretion. In light of ongoing union slowdowns up and down the coast which have brought the ports almost to a standstill, PMA member companies finally have concluded that they will no longer continue to pay workers premium pay for diminished productivity.

“After three months of union slowdowns, it makes no sense to pay extra for less work,” said PMA spokesman Wade Gates, “especially if there is no end in sight to the union’s actions which needlessly brought West Coast ports to the brink of gridlock.”

Vessel operations are scheduled to resume Monday, February 9. Yard operations – that is, moving processed containers for truck and rail delivery to customers – will continue at terminal operators’ discretion, although the ILWU continues to limit operations by withholding the needed crane operators or operating slowly.