Monday, December 20, 2010

Obtaining Carrier Safety reports

Now that  CSA is "official" and in full implementation,  you maybe asking yourself how to check on your carriers for their safety ratings.

Go to  and enter the motor carrier's MC# or US DOT#. This will take you into the SMS results for the particular motor carrier and you can click on the individual BASIC to see what individual data created the score.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Animals need help too!

Yes,  animals need our help too!

If you have been to our facility you know that we have several "dogs" onsite,  who think they're just part of the Dixie Cullen TEAM, and they are.  Which is why when we received the "call for help" from the Rescue Bank came we were up for the task.

Our warehouse facility received truckloads of dog and cat food that were donated, that needed to be received and distributed to numerous organizations who foster, adopt and rescue pets.   We helped to load out the much needed food to the various organizations that the Rescue Bank supports. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

IMPORTANT DATE: December 5, 2010

CSA 2010 – When does it Begin?

On December 5, 2010, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) will replace the Safe STAT system and will switch compliance monitoring to the Comprehensive Safety Analysis, 2010 (CSA 2010) system

Monday, October 25, 2010

Break Bulk Conference 2010 Houston

ITMA, The Transportation Club of Houston, The Association for Global Logistics & Transportation, Organization of Women In Transportation, and Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association answered questions and promoted their clubs at the 21st Annual Breakbulk Americas Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on October 11th-15th.  More than 3,800 attendees and nearly 220 exhibits broke previous years' attendance records in both categories. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Opportunity Houston

Distribution and Logistics

One of the reasons that we chose to locate our business in the Greater Houston area was location.  Close to the Port of Houston,  and 1/2 way between east and west coasts.

Our location has been a major asset to our growth, and we find that we're not the only Company thinking that way.  The Greater Houston Partnership,  produces a quarterly magazine about "Opportunity Houston".    This particular issue deals with Distribution and Logistics  here in the Greater Houston Area.

This magazine also quotes some wonderful  statistics:  
16 Major Highways serve the Houston Area
1,212 is the Number of non-local trucking firms that serve  Houston
220 Million tons of cargo moved in 2009, as more than 7,700 ships called at the Port of Houston

For more GREAT Information and TIDBITS read the entire Magazine

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Journal of Commerce reports Houston Steel, Container Volumes Increase

Houston Steel, Container Volumes Increase

Joseph Bonney
Fri, 10/01/2010 - 14:30
The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story

Alternating trend reflects up and down overall economy

Steel and container volumes rose last month at the Port of Houston. The change followed what port CEO Alec G. Dreyer described as a "good month, bad month" pattern reflecting the overall economy.

Steel volume during August totaled 285,000 tons, a fourfold increase from a year earlier. Port CEO Alex G. Dreyer said export steel volume of 60,467 tons was the highest since March 2008. He said overall steel volume during September is expected to total 320,000 to 325,000 tons.

Container traffic in August totaled 152,077 20-foot-equivalent units, up 8.2 percent from a year earlier. Imports rose 6.2 percent to 71,702 TEUs while exports increased 9.2 percent to 80,375 TEUs. Volume through August totaled 1.2 million TEUs, an increase of 2.3 percent.

The port commission signed a two-year, $340,000 contract with Ben Line Agencies Limited Singapore to help the port promote its trade with Asia. Houston handles two-thirds of the container traffic through Gulf ports and is trying to attract Asian services through the Panama Canal, which is adding larger locks to accommodate 12,000-TEU ships.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Letters of Credit Boot Camp

Letters of Credit Boot Camp
Basic Training for Clean and Profitable Letters of Credit
Wednesday October 20th
8 am to 3 pm
University of Houston ~ Small Business Development Center
2302 Fannin, Ste 200,  Houston TX


Madeline Sprague, VP Global Trade Services
JP Morgan Chase

Jolie Cosman, CEO

  • Hear about best practices to create clean L/C's

  • Learn about INCOTERMS

  • UCP 600, ISPB:  Learn How to Use Them to YOUR advantage

  • Review case studies of good and bad L/C/s

  • and more
Cost:  OWIT Members  $75.00
Non-members  $90.00
Includes continental Breakfast and Lunch

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cargo Insurance Claims

Given the number of loads that we receive in and out of our warehouse facality,  paying attention to the small details, photo journaling each load, notating damages,  immediately notifying our customers when such damage is found,  and yes it does occur.   But what happens once you our customer receive the information from us.  Or what happens when it's shipped direct to your facility.   Each step that you take is very important to the recovery of your losses.

Below is a link to a wonderful article on Basic Steps to follow when a claim occurs.

Following some basic steps when a cargo claim occurs will vastly improve the outcome of this process. See my recent article on pg. 39 in...

Click here for entire article

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Houston Business Journal
Announces . . . . .

Dixie Cullen Interests Inc.


Your firm [Dixie Cullen] has made the
2010 Houston Fast 100!

Your outstanding achievement as a growing Houston business has earned you a place on the Houston Business Journal's Houston Fast 100 list.

It will be announced where in the Houston Fast 100 we have placed to those attending the Houston Fast 100 awards ceremony on Friday, September 24, 2010, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm, Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 W. Alabama in the Galleria Ballroom.  

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Houston Creates More Jobs than any other U.S. City in Last Five Years

The Houston region has been named the nation’s No. 1 job creator over the last five years in a recent ranking from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. From June, 2005 to June, 2010, our region added 129,800 jobs. Over this same period, 84 major markets sustained employment losses while Houston was one of only 16 major markets to boast a gain in employment.

The first half of this year alone, the region has confirmed by its rankings and third-party validations that it is one of America’s areas of choice to live, work and play.

Additional rankings for the Houston region. visit

Cari Broderson
Greater Houston Partnership

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Logistics Professionals Should Prepare for FMCSA Final Ruling

July 23, 2010  --  Roanoke Trade

The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule (49 CFR Parts 365 and 387) which is effective March 21, 2011. It will affect cargo insurance requirements for most for-hire motor common carriers of property and freight forwarders.

The new rule, applicable to the above mentioned parties, eliminates the requirement to (1) maintain cargo insurance in prescribed minimum amounts and (2) file evidence of insurance with the FMCSA. There will be no change for household goods motor carriers and household goods freight forwarders, who will continue to be subject to the cargo insurance requirement.

What Does this Mean to Logistics Managers?

There are about 166,700 for-hire motor carriers and 1,600 freight forwarders registered with FMCSA today. Given the upcoming change, it is going to be more important than ever to have proof of insurance for each for-hire common carrier or freight forwarder with which your company works. Logistics managers will no longer be able to rely on the FMCSA to ensure that their truckers maintain at least minimum levels of insurance.

How to Prepare

Take proactive measures to help manage your financial exposure when contracting with for-hire motor common carriers of property and freight forwarders:

Require a certificate of insurance evidencing worker's compensation, general liability, automobile liability, and motor truck cargo liability insurance from all truckers.

Ensure that you are named as a certificate holder.

Ensure coverage is placed with an insurance company with an A.M. Best's Financial Strength Rating of "A-" or better.

Set up a reminder in your calendar to request updated certificates of insurance on an annual basis. Request this information at least 30 days before the carrier's insurance expires.

When using freight or property brokers, require proof of contingent cargo insurance. This provides an additional level of cargo coverage should the trucker's insurance fail to respond.

Instruct your operations team not to use carriers unless updated and satisfactory insurance is on file.

Motor truck cargo liability limits should be no less than the value of the cargo that you tender to them.

Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website to review trucker safety ratings, insurance details, and accident information.

Seek the advice of your Roanoke Trade representative to understand the limitations, exclusions, and other restrictions of motor truck cargo insurance.

Avoid unnecessary transportation risks in the supply chain. Contact Roanoke Trade today and we'll assist you with proactive measures to reduce financial exposure for you and your clients.

Roanoke Trade Services, Inc.
Affiliate of Watkins Underwriters at Lloyd's and a Member of Munich Re
phone: 1-800-ROANOKE

Houston:   Theresa Garcia

Friday, July 09, 2010

Incoterms 2010

Incoterms 2010 rules will come into force on January 1, 2011 and this will be the eighth Incoterms revision since their inception in 1936, and will be released in September.   These revisions happen about every 10 years and this particular revision has taken over 2 1/2 years.

Visit the above website to find out more information and upcoming class schedules throughout the United States to bring you up todate on many of the changes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TRANSPORT TOPICS Special Report: CSA 2010 (Free PDF)

The government's new truck safety regime known as CSA 2010 is upon us. While the data for full implementation has slipped a bit lately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration still intends to ramp up the program nationally this fall. Like any major regulatory initiative, there is confusion and misinformation on this important program. The CSA 2010 Special Report is an effort to help spell out in detail what CSA 2010 will and won't do, and provide industry executives and managers with information they need to know to prepare for its full implementation.

The CSA 2010 Special Report (originally published as a Supplement to the April, 26 issue of Transport Topics) is an effort to help spell out in detail what CSA 2010 will and won't do, and provide industry executives with information they need to know to prepare for its full implementation.

Please feel free to distribute to your colleagues and others interested in the topic.

To open the CSA 2010 PDF, click here.

Transport Topics, 
950 N Glebe Road

Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 838-1770

Thursday, April 29, 2010

TEAMING: A way of doing business

Over the years we have TEAMED with machinery movers, machine dealers and freight forwarders to enable them to offer a complete project package for their customers. Most recently we have been able to TEAM with Stone Machinery Movers on a project for one of their customers involving plant relocations from multiple locations across the country. By choosing to TEAM with us, they are able to stage everything at our warehouse versus taking room on the factory floor and greatly reducing the space available for the installation of the equipment at the plant. It also reduces the extra handling of moving things from spot to spot as that space is needed for equipment installation. Everything is handled at our facility with overhead cranes so that we can just pick out what the end customer requires without extra handling and delays.

This process also allows for everything to be layed out and organized so that everyone can see what there is, determine what order is needed and move forward in a structured manner.

Why not contact us TODAY to see how we can assist you in working as a TEAM to complete that next project.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organization of Women in International Trade Sponsors:

Continental Breakfast
Welcome and Introductions

Import Updates:
U. S. Import Requirements:  Celia Ridel, Assistant Port Director - Trade Operations
Import Licensing / Compliance:  Marian Ladner Attorney Ladner & Associates
Cargo Owner/Operator Trends:  Diana Urelius, Manager Trade Compliance & Audit Resources Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift

Newtorking Luncheon

Export Updates:
Export Compliance & Licensing:  Pam Plagens, Senior Trade Specialist, US Department of Commerce and Pamela Nieto Attorney,  Baker & Hostetler
Transportation & Logistics:
Questions & Answers:

Tuesday May 18th
8AM to 3PM
University of Houston
Small Business Development Center
2302 Fannin, Ste 200
Houston, TX  77002

for registration form email:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our Gantry Crane is perfect for heavy lifts . . .

It's been an exciting week here at Dixie Cullen,  projects shipping out and equipment coming in.  It's the perfect week for a company such as ours.   

We had several of these 108,000 pound pieces come in within a matter of hours of each other.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


For the 8th consecutive year, Texas has been ranked the No. 1 export state in the United States. Texas' exports totaled more than $163 billion for 2009, with top export recipients being Mexico, Canada, China, the Netherlands, and Korea.

These countries imported $56 billion, $13.7 billion, $8.9 billion, $6 billion, and $5.3 billion in Texas manufactured goods, respectively. Texas' top exporting industries in 2009 were computers and electronics, chemicals, machinery, petroleum and coal, and transportation equipment.

According to a recent study and announced by Governor Perry, San Antonio and six other metropolitan areas in Texas are expected to be among the first to emerge from the recession.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

CSA 2010

As motor carrier companies know, noncompliance undermines safety and usually results in costly repairs and penalties. Safety on our highways is and must continue to be a priority for the transportation industry as a whole.

The Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 is a new system that will ensure safety is at the forefront of our work. This program will redefine audits as we currently recognize them through focused and comprehensive investigations. It is believed this transformation will ultimately reduce truck related crashes by implementing a new protocol for enforcement as well as improving safety monitoring, evaluation and intervention processes.

We know that CSA 2010 will affect every carrier in the nation. This stringent process charts immediate and continuous observations of carrier and driver performance.

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shifts from one regulation model towards a more efficient and effective model, it is pertinent that companies are prepared to adhere to this new compliance program and understand the regulations to which they are subject.

Educate yourself and your employees about CSA 2010 through the informational pieces presented here.

What You Can Do to Impact CSA 2010 •Understand the CSA 2010 Methodology
•Obtain and Review Motor Carrier Safety Profile
•Clean Up CSA 2010 Data Files
•Update Your Census Data Regularly Via the MCS-150
•Compare Past Violations (last 24 months) to High Severity Weighted Violations
•Know Why Your Trucks Are Getting Inspected
•Raise Driver’s Awareness of Importance of Clean Inspections
•Review Driver Safety History When Hiring: Pre-employment Screening Program
•Manage Driver Behavior and Safety Practices
•File Comments on CSA 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Houston Chapter of Organization of Women in International Trade
Quarterly Meeting Tuesday February 23rd
11:30 am to 1:00 pm
University of Houston
Small Business Development Center
2302 Fannin, Ste 200. Houston TX 77002
Non-Members $15.00
Lunch available at additional cost of $10.00
What Lies Ahead
The 2010 Economic Outlook for the Houston Region
Guest Speaker: Patrick Jankowski -- Greater Houston Partnership
Patrick is a regional economist and the vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership. He oversees GHP's research department with provides information gathering, data analysis, database management, economic forecasting and mapping functions for the organization.
OWIT-Houston is a Texas non-profit organization founded to expand business skills and public awareness of international trade issues and how they relate to and affect women.
OWIT-Houston membership is comprised of women and men whose careers encompass all aspects of international trade including import, export, sales, marketing, finance, law, customs brokerage, logistics, government, economic development and consulting. Membership benefits include networking and educational opportunities, leadership development, international affiliation, membership directory and job banks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shippers see worst Great Lakes year in seven decades
Breakbulk Industry News

With the lowest cargo valume in 71 years for iron ore and the worst in 77 years for coal, the two chief backbones of U. S. Great Lakes shipping, fleet leaders are expecting better shipping in 2010. But only mildly better.

The third biggest item for Great Lakes shipping, limestone, was down to it's lowest level in 25 years, since the recession year of 1984, to 23.5 million net tons.

link to balance of of article

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Exports Increasing from our Almeda Geona Facility

Since opening our Almeda Genoa facility we have seen a major increase not only the number of containers/flat racks and items going break bulk that are being prepared for export at our facility but also a wide variety products.

Steel Coils, Tires, steel bar, construction equipment, mobile cranes even a few motor vehicles, machine tools and an assortment of project cargo.

Included in the services that we offer our export clients is the planning and laying out the loads, blocking with ISPM 15 Certificed blocking and dunnage. Preparing packing lists and photo journaling the project for our customers. But also making sure that fuel certificates and dock receipts are in hand to go with the shipment to avoid delays. Scheduling with freight forwarders and trucking companies are all in a days work for us. This saves time and worry for our customers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Decline of 2009 has bottomed out

Energy Information Administration predicts rising oil demand, prices
January 15, 2010 Break Bulk Connection

Global oil demand fell in 2009 and 2008, the first time since 1983 that oil demand has fallen for two consecutive years, according to a short-term energy outlook released this week by the US Energy Information Administration. However, the decline bottomed out in mid-2009 and the EIA expects recovery to continue with oil demand growth of 1.1 million barrels per day in 2010 and 1.5 million bbl/d in 2011.

Countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will lead 2010 demand recovery while OECD countries should see some demand growth in 2011, the EIA said. Overall, China is expected to lead world consumption demand growth with estimated increases of more than 0.4 million bbl/d both years.

The EIA expects the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil price per barrel, which averaged $62/bbl in 2009, to average $80 in 2010 and $84 in 2011. EIA’s forecast assumes U.S. GDP growth of 2 percent in 2010 and 2.7 percent in 2011 and world oil-consumption-weighted growth of 2.5 percent in 2011 and 3.7 percent in 2011.

The EIA also expects annual average natural gas spot prices in the U.S. to increase from $4.06 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in 2009 to $5.36 Mcf in 2010 and $6.12 Mcf in 2011.
Global investments in oil and gas exploration and development, and related heavy-lift and project cargo movement, can be expected to increase as oil and gas prices rise.