How to Maintain Energy in the Fast Paced Transport Industry

The transport industry is fast and furious, as those who work in it know only too well. Working hard every day tendering to get lucrative haulage contracts can leave you jaded or burned out, and if you fail to manage that daily stress, you might just give up altogether. Here are three often overlooked ways to cope and even flourish under the most demanding situations in this frenetic industry.

Add Variation and Innovate

The very notable Benjamin Franklin once said, “The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This certainly applies to the transport and delivery industry. If you’ve been doing your job for quite some time it’s your responsibility to keep the company ticking along with good haulage contracts, then you’re a prime candidate for ‘insanity’! Of course, our point really is that doing the same thing for long periods-weeks, months, even years-can be boring, and that boredom can spread to people around you – your colleagues, customers, clients. Always keep your mind active and always be on the lookout for ways to do things smarter, faster and more cost-effectively. The familiarity f the task at hand should not breed contempt, but instead should be a breeding ground for innovation. Keep moving forward all the time and your business will do likewise.

Ensure You Have the Right Work Environment

An important, if often overlooked, source of stress is a poor work environment: if your working conditions are noisy, smelly, riven with distractions and basically have a layout that is not conducive to productivity, how can you be expected to stay focused and successfully bid for new haulage contracts? Even if you have a corner in a busy transport depot, it should be comfortable, clean, tidy and well-organised. A tidy desk is a tidy mind and while being surrounded by noisy trucks and truckers can be distraction, in fact it should also be your inspiration and motivation to succeed – for your employees as well as yourself.

Downtime Should Mean Total Disconnection

Most transport managers-especially those whose job it is to win those highly competitive haulage contracts-stay connected at all times: they’re constantly checking emails on their smartphones or Blackberry, communicating with a secretary or an assistant, or even conducting an important conference. But if you do all this during your designated ‘downtime’, aka your annual holiday, it’s all for nothing.

When you go on holiday, you need to totally disconnect from your devices and inform your colleagues not disturb you (except in an emergency, of course). The same goes for not taking any work-related documents with you. Leave the laptop at home and set up an auto-response message on your email. One important note, however: going off the radar like this requires giving notice to customers and business contacts: you can’t just surprise them by suddenly disappearing. Inform them ahead of time and pass on their next point of contact to the company, so that you’ll be able to manage their expectations and not damage your business.

The Advantages of a Motorcycle Track Day

If you’re a motorcyclist, you are familiar will the thrill you experience being in your own world, on a completely empty and winding road, enjoying a smooth ride. As a rider, you take a lot of risks, riding on the streets and public access roads, where there are possibilities of things going wrong. Potholes, vehicles, and a lot of other obstacles are all working against you. There is also the possibility of being pulled over, for trying to enjoy a good ride! However, you still love that feeling you get from riding anyway.

Imagine a place where you can enjoy a good and fun-filled riding experience, where the pavement is smooth and well maintained, more fun, no careless drivers, no traffic worries, and no cops waiting to pull you over? Taking your bike to its limits is encouraged instead of frowned at or punished? Yes! There is such a place. A Motorcycle Track Day!

A Motorcycle Track Day is the most thrilling, and effective way to build and enhance your riding skills. The event is held on a racetrack, allowing you to learn and ride at real-world speeds and also concentrate on enhancing your skills without the hazards on the street.The track gives you an great, safe environment compared to riding on public access roads. It is one of the best and exciting skill developments you can buy.

Learning on a racetrack will help you build skills that will make you a faster and better rider.

So what exactly are the advantages of a motorcycle track day? There are loads of benefits of taking your motorcycle to a racetrack. Here are some of the benefits you can experience by involving yourself and participating in a motorcycle track day:

Safe & Fun-Filled Environment for Learning

The track offers a safe and controlled environment to ride, especially for riders who want to enjoy the thrill of speed. You are surrounded by coaches and experienced riders. There are also no hazards or roadside obstacles that get in your way like on the street.

Fast Learning

You can learn more in one motorcycle track day than in several months of street riding in good conditions. This adds up into making you a better rider, whether on the street or on a track.

Opportunity to Socialize

Such an event like a motorcycle track day gives you the opportunity to network and develop new friendships other motorcyclists. Most new racetrack riders are usually nervous and afraid on their first day of participation, but once in the midst of a friendly group of riders with enthusiasm to learn, they are made to comfortable and feel at home.

Advanced Learning

You will also be able to concentrate on learning how to improve your riding skills such as such as how to corner and brake with more control and confidence. It is also the only place you can learn to ride your bike the way it designed to be ridden

Riders will learn how to apex a corner, braking skills, when to brake and when not to, appropriate shifting techniques, and the right body positioning. They will better understand the physics behind riding a motorcycle, and the consequences of improper moves when riding. This will help them become safer riders on the street because they learn control of their motorcycle better, and how to handle it.

Participating in a motorcycle track day helps you become a faster, safer better rider, allowing you to mentally process and react better to unexpected occurrences while riding.

China’s New Year – The Year of Opportunity


Trade exchange between different cultures and countries has long yielded rich rewards for those who recognize the potential.

After all, as far back as the 1st century BC, merchants and caravans followed the Silk Road – the overland trade route from northern China to the Western World – and brought precious silks, tea and other resources from China to the rest of the world. Not only did linking different countries and cultures prove profitable, but new and greater products and ideas flowed between the countries.
The Silk Road of the 21st century is technology driven. This trade exchange, built on fiber-optic cable, sprang from the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Now, it is the R&D departments of companies from the United States and other countries that benefit from the resources and opportunity found in China.

Today’s China, the fastest growing country in the world, offers the:

o Biggest engineering talent pool
o Biggest emerging market
o World’s number one manufacturing industry

Strengthening ties, country-to-country, people-to-people, has shown time and time again that remarkable achievements, that otherwise would have been impossible, can come to fruition.
Long Circle urges you to explore the opportunities that exist in China today, especially if your business focus is embedded systems technologies for software and hardware.

With our global reach, we could see the importance of China, and we have grown significantly in the past five years in this critical market. Today, we have $5 billion in revenues and 12,000 employees.

GE 2005 Annual Report:
Letter to Stakeholders

Biggest Engineering Resource Pool

The last few years have convinced Fortune 100 companies and start-ups alike that China, home of the fastest growing economy in the world, is key to achieving their strategic plans, as well as the business objectives of their R&D departments. GE, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, Nokia, Oracle, and SAP are just a few of the multinational companies with R&D operations in China, and for some important business drivers:

o Lower costs
o Lower wages
o Expanded productivity
o Reduced time-to-market
o Strengthened R&D embedded technology engineering resources

Wages are lower offshore, there’s no question about it, but the experience the workforce has must be in product research and development, not IT. With China’s deep pool of engineering talent, especially R&D embedded technology engineers, companies can expand and strengthen their R&D resources.

For example, the Microsoft Research (MSR) Asia lab has engineers working on a wide range of advanced technologies – from spoken-language technologies such as automatic speech recognition to face detection and tracking, face modeling and recognition, cartoon generation, image and video retrieval for MSN, and Xbox camera-based game interfaces. According to Forbes, Microsoft’s investment in all China-related R&D activities is approximately $100 million US dollars annually. In addition, with currently more than 800 employees in China, Microsoft is predicted to grow that number substantially over the next three to five years.

Biggest engineering talent pool; most engineering graduates each year
Engineering Graduates China India United States
Source: Duke University* 352,000 112,000 137,000
Source: Unknown ** 600,000 350,000 70,000

*Source: A study released in December, 2005 by Duke University (and also widely quoted in the media, including The Christian Science Monitor) citing the number of engineering graduates in each country yearly.

* Note: Statistics widely quoted, from Fortune Magazine to Senator Ted Kennedy’s speeches. However according to the Wall Street Journal online, these figures are misleading and no one can track down a concrete and reliable original source.

Biggest Emerging Market

How could any organization that wants to be successful in the global arena ignore China today?
China is the world’s most populous country – 1,313,973,713 (2006 est.) – and organizations like the Finnish mobile telecommunications giant Nokia expect China to be a key growth driver for their global operations. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations’ mobile phones and network equipment.

According to Infoworld’s online Web site:

“China has 400 million mobile users and its 3G (third generation) networks are not yet switched on, providing a future avenue for further growth. ” According to a study done by Norson (Hong Kong) Information Technology , “. . . after three years of 3G availability, more than 84 million Chinese will use 3G services.”

Consequently, construction is underway on Nokia’s new and expanded China headquarters, scheduled to open in 2007, that will host over 1500 of Nokia’s R&D, sales and marketing operations, pre-production, logistics, sourcing and manufacturing operations.
During China’s President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the United States, he attended a dinner at the home of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and called for broadening the relationship between the United States and China.

“Today, many cargo ships are very busy crossing the Pacific Ocean, laden with the rich fruit of our strong trade ties and friendship between our two peoples,” Hu said. “I am sure that with the further deepening of China’s reform and opening up, we are going to see an even broader prospect for the economic cooperation and trade between China and Washington State and China and the United States as a whole.” Source: Reuters

According to the US-China Business Council:

o China’s economy grew 10.2 % in the first quarter of 2006.
o The government’s new focus on balanced growth and its attempt to shift from an investment- and export-driven economy to a consumption-driven one will mean more policies to promote consumption.
o GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.158 trillion (2005 est.)
o GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $6,200 (2005 est.)
o GDP – real growth rate: 9.2% (official data) (2005 est.)
o GDP – composition by sector:

Agriculture: 14.4%
Industry and construction: 53.1%
Services: 32.5% (2005 est.) Source: []

World’s #1 Manufacturing Industry

China is “the world’s factory” and produces $60 billion worth of consumer electronic goods a year. The “Made in China” label is found everywhere.

When China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), it agreed to abide by WTO standards and regulations, along with the rest of the WTO countries. And this opened up one of the world’s largest economies to the rest of the world. Forward-thinking organizations did not hesitate to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity.

For example, GE has long regarded China as an essential piece in the company’s strategic plan. According to Jeff Immelt., “We have been there for 15 – 20 years, so we know how to do business. We have been on the ground. We have 12,000 employees. And I think at the end of the day, China is trending towards being a great global competitor and following the rules. And that is important to us and it’s a way that we can be successful as well.”

Today, companies doing business in China find tax incentives, excellent civic infrastructure, government support, a political environment that encourages foreign business, rapid economic growth, a deep pool of engineering talent and college graduates, and improving legal, banking and financial systems.

China Strategy: Choose the Right Road to China

There are basically three paths an organization’s R&D department can follow to successfully gain entry into China. Take time to consider the best route for your company, especially if your focus is in R&D embedded technology.

» Single, Independent Project

Beginning by outsourcing a single, independent project is an excellent way to start on the path to China. Typically, these projects involve software and hardware development, testing, maintenance, or product enhancement. This transaction type outsourcing is turn-key, straightforward, and has a quick ramp up time. An R&D department can:

o Capture an opportunity within a short time frame.
o Boost bandwidth to meet short-term demand.
o Outsource clearly defined short-term projects.

Companies going this route find cost savings through transaction-type outsourcing and capitalize on short-term cost savings.

» Partner Program

A long term, relationship-based service program is another excellent way to leverage China’s technology resources. A dedicated team within the China outsourcing vendor’s R&D department can be created, trained, hosted, and managed exclusively for your embedded systems R&D technology projects. Clients take advantage of lower wages, while benefiting from a team educated on the Client’s corporate values and culture, providing a true business level alignment. A China R&D department can:

o Offload non-core functions.
o Fill in needed skills.
o Increase engineering efficiency.
o Increase return on R&D.

» Offshore R&D Center

Many companies find they benefit most from a one-of-a-kind incubation center that is an extension of their R&D department back home. Building a R&D facility from the beginning and introducing best practices provides the optimal solution to meet your company’s strategic goals.
Your company takes advantage of China’s low cost workforce, manufacturing capacity, and emerging markets and there are no intermediaries or third party costs.

A China R&D Center can:

o Provide confidence and security to handle sensitive data and intellectual property inhouse offshore.
o Train talent according to your company’s unique standards and values.
o Increase talent retention by providing attractive culture and a sense of belonging.
o Share services with other functions of the company.
o Engage in long term innovation-driven research that does not usually generate immediate profits.
o Access the China labor market directly.

Turn to China

Throughout history, new products, new ideas, and new opportunities have come about by crossing borders. The global exchange of trade, expertise, and capabilities means exciting ideas and innovations which benefit everyone.

China today is a country with unlimited opportunity. However, personal connections and relationships are essential to any successful business in China. Would your company like to expand into China, but is unsure about potential roadblocks such as regulations, recruiting, and setup? The right vendor can smooth your way.

In addition to entry into China, a potential vendor’s technology expertise must not be overlooked. For example, does the potential vendor focus on embedded technology? Do they have experience with manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), original design manufacturers (ODMs), independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators (SI), and value added service providers (VASPs) who rely on embedded hardware and software technologies?

Intellectual property is a concern everywhere, but especially in a new environment. What are a potential vendor’s procedures for protecting your intellectual property?

Remember, when searching for the best route to leverage China’s vast resources and opportunities, it pays to make certain you have the best vendor as your guide.

A journey of a thousand miles
Begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC)
Chinese philosopher

Insurance on Rented Car

There can be lot of different reasons for renting a car. It can be any special occasion like wedding, function, business trip, or it can be a vacation holidays. Renting a car at another place can be very exciting and adventurous. But, times come when this vacation, trip, or any of the occasions do not seem exciting as you might have thought of. As you are travelling an accident occurred by you, or says you parked the car somewhere and it got stolen. Than, you might end up paying huge bills which may even be able to afford it. If you end up with an accident, there might time come that you have to pay the actual cost of the car you rented or you have to pay for the damages. And if car got stolen than you are liable of the rented car.

To avoid these types of consequences, it’s advisable that you go for insurance policies which are available. It’s better to take an insurance of the car you rented. So, it will be easy to tackle any of the problems, if it arises later. But, be also aware that before going for any of the insurance policies for rented car you first check that your asset insurance policy give the insurance for the rented vehicle or not. Because, lot of insurance policies, gives insurance on the rented vehicles also. So, if you already have the insurance, than there is no need to get an extra insurance policy. Even the credit card companies, also give insurance for rented vehicles, because they are aware of that if you rent vehicle they will take a hold on certain amount from your credit card, so if any damages happen they will deduct it from your credit card. So, ultimately credit card companies provide insurance on rented vehicles.

Car rental insurance policies differ in lot of ways, as from which place you have rented the car, whether you are travelling in any other country, what type of vehicle you are driving, etc. But, there are lot of reasons which will be feasible to have insurance for the rented vehicle, as it’s protect you from any accidental damages or any theft occur, and the greatest thing is that it will give you the coverage in any of the small damage occurred as for example, any damage occurred to tyres, or windows it will be paid by insurance company rather than paid by you and same is if the car got stolen than no worries insurance company is there to help you in that also.

So, before renting vehicle do take a look in taking insurance for your rented vehicle also. Because; time may come when it can be helpful.