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Prime, Inc. takes Amazon to court over retailer’s use of ‘Prime’ on its trucks

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Prime, Inc. is suing online retailer Amazon over the use of its “Prime” logo on its trucks, which the Springfield, Missouri-based carrier says is a trademark infringement that puts its reputation at risk while Amazon unfairly benefits off their good name. ( Associated Press: IRWIN THOMPSON/Dallas Morning News)

Within the world of trucking, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s never heard of Prime, Inc. The Springfield, Missouri-based carrier is one of the largest trucking companies in the nation.

But to the general population, say the word “Prime,” and a different, even larger company is apt to come to mind, and since transporting goods is a big part of what this company does, the folks at Prime, Inc. are concerned about public misconceptions about whose trucks are whose.

They are so concerned, in fact, that on July 2, Prime, Inc. filed a lawsuit in U.S District Court, Western District of Missouri seeking to have Amazon’s trademark revoked on its Amazon Prime name and that Prime, Inc. is entitled to “the greater of three times Amazon’s profits or three times any damages” the carrier has sustained since Amazon began running its own trucks with the Amazon Prime logo in 2016.

Amazon was founded in 1994 and has grown to be the world’s largest retailer. In 2005, it began a premium service called Amazon Prime, providing customers with expedited delivery for an annual fee. In 2016, it was reported that Amazon had 54 million Prime subscribers in 17 countries.

Over the years, Amazon has used the “Prime” name for a number of optional services for Amazon Prime members: Prime Music streaming, Prime Reading e-books, Prime Pantry grocery delivery, Prime Video (later changed to Amazon Instant Video), and Prime Now, a service in some cities that provides deliveries within two hours of order. In 2013, it was announced the company was developing Prime Air, which is expected in the next few years to provide regular deliveries by drone for small orders within a few miles of an Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Prime, Inc. isn’t concerned with those services, per se. Their problem is with Amazon’s use of the word “prime” on its trucks, which the carrier says has the potential to cause confusion and do harm to its reputation and bottom line.

According to the lawsuit, Prime, Inc. first made an assertion of copyright infringement more than two year ago when it complained directly to Amazon. By continuing to use the logo, the lawsuit contends, Amazon’s actions are “intentional, willful and malicious.”

The lawsuit claims that even though the logos the two companies use are distinctive in appearance, the main element of both is the word “prime,” which is

The lawsuit asserts that even though the logos are distinguishable, the prominence of the word “prime” in each is enough to cause confusion.

enough to cause confusion. It is Prime, Inc.’s contention that this confusion is harmful for two reasons.

The first assertion is that Prime, Inc., which was founded in 1970, has been running its trucks with its logo since 1980, and had established a reputation from which Amazon has unfairly benefited. The suit also contends that Prime, Inc. is at risk of having its reputation damaged when dissatisfied Amazon customers erroneously confuse the two companies.

Prime, Inc.’s lawsuit argues that the carrier had established common law rights to the name. But in 2005, Amazon received a trademark for its “Prime” name. So, when Prime, Inc. sought a trademark on the “prime” name in 2011 and again in 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the application both times because of the close similarity to the already-registered Amazon Prime.

The lawsuit seeks to have Amazon’s trademark revoked, alleging that Amazon had falsely represented in its application that their service would provide “expedited shipping service for others” when in fact it did not even transport its own goods until nearly a decade later.

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JK Moving modernizes moving with mobile app and virtual AI estimating options

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The JK mobile app enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. (Courtesy: JK MOVING)

STERLING, Va. — JK Moving Services, a global moving, storage, relocation and logistics enterprise, says it has added new technologies to further modernize the move experience for customers, including a mobile app to help the customer manage the move process and software to do virtual estimates with either a real person or by an artificial intelligence interface.

“Great technology makes for better moves and that’s why we invest in cutting-edge solutions. Mobile apps and AI are now part of our customer tool kit,” said CEO Chuck Kuhn. “Giving clients choices in how they work with us helps us meet a variety of customer needs and styles.”

Kuhn said JK’s tech team had created a downloadable mobile app that enables clients to go onto the app to receive and review estimates; accept and edit estimates; make payments; communicate with their sales consultant and move coordinator; and prepare for the move day. The app is monitored 24/7 by the JK team.

Since this custom app was developed in-house, JK is able to incorporate feedback and improvements quickly, Kuhn said, adding that the mobile app complements new estimating software that clients can use to get a virtual estimate.

The client gives a tour of their house with their phone to their choice of a real or AI representative. The AI estimating software recognizes shapes of objects and makes an inventory list. From that tour, JK can provide an estimate and send it to the mobile app. Estimators still are available to come to someone’s house if that is what the client prefers.

“Going mobile improves our customer offerings since many clients want products that are seamless, easy and quick. We’re receiving terrific feedback for our new mobile app and virtual estimating. These tech advancements put us at the forefront of the residential moving business,” said David Cox, executive vice president, residential, JK Moving.

Cox said the mobile app also reduces the use of paper, which is good for the environment. Environmental stewardship is part of the JK culture and a consideration in many of the company’s innovations.

“In fact, JK was one of the first on many environmentally friendly practices, including: ordering Tesla semi moving trucks, embracing new technologies that will further its aggressive carbon emissions-reduction goals, leading with box-less moves and major recycling efforts, and starting a chemical free community farm,” he said.

Another recent modernization includes the addition of dashcam technology in its whole fleet. These cameras are installed in the truck cabs. When a trigger event happens, such as a sudden stop or jostling movement, a 12-second video clip gets sent to DriveCam, a third-party vendor that monitors and evaluates the incidents. DriveCam sends JK feedback when opportunities arise to improve driving behaviors, enabling JK to provide customized training to drivers. The dashcams have resulted in employees improving their driving skills and experiencing fewer triggering events, resulting in fewer accidents and a reduction in claims.

 

 

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Reddaway celebrates centennial anniversary while continuing its evolution

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One hundred years after its founding, Reddaway operates with 5,000 trailers, 1,500 tractors, and is now part of YRC Regional Transportation, along with Holland in the Midwest and Southeast, and New Penn serving the Eastern United States (Courtesy: REDDWAY)

TUALATIN, Ore. — Reddaway, the longest continuously operating Oregon-based regional less-than-truckload carrier, is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year.

Founded in 1919 in Oregon City, Reddaway continues to advance its services for the 21st century while remaining the premier service provider in the Western United States and Canada, according to Reddway President Bob Stone.

Reddaway’s founder, William Arthur Reddaway, began the company with one Ford Model T truck primarily serving Portland and Oregon City. One hundred years later, Reddaway operates with 5,000 trailers, 1,500 tractors, and is now part of YRC Regional Transportation, along with Holland in the Midwest and Southeast, and New Penn serving the Eastern United States.

“It’s humbling to think about the legacy of innovation, continuous improvement, exceptional reliability and the personalized support that have not only carried us through the past 100 years, but have allowed us to thrive,” Stone said. “I have had the pleasure of witnessing it firsthand for the past 25 years. I’m honored to work alongside the dedicated people who make Reddaway a company that our customers enjoy doing business with. It’s this culture and our people who help us continue to thrive into the next century.”

As part of the company’s 100-year celebration, Reddaway will be hosting appreciation events in the Tualatin office as well as field offices to recognize and thank the thousands of loyal employees who work hard to take care of the customers they serve, Stone said.

The western U.S. provider of LTL services, Reddaway currently employs over 2,800 people and operates more than 40 service centers. With high on-time reliability and one of the lowest claim ratios in the west, Reddaway continues to lead the industry in customer satisfaction.

Reddaway has earned multiple distinctions over the years, including these recent awards such as the 2018 West Coast Regional Carrier of the Year from Worldwide Express, 2018 LTL Carrier of the Year from DHL Supply Chain and the 2018 Carrier of the Year, West Regional, by GlobalTranz.

For more information, visit www.reddawayregional.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Weak finish to 2nd quarter

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The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index (June data) showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity again the lone exception.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, falling to 43.2 (seasonally adjusted) in June from 46.7 in May.

The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history.

“Volumes and utilization have been down seven of eight months, and the supply-demand balance has been loosening for eight straight months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “In line with several second quarter earnings warnings from truckload carriers this week, this is further confirmation of a weak freight environment. May’s Pricing Index looked a little anomalously bad, so it was good to see that pick back up, though still not a great level in June.”

Denoyer said volumes reached a new cycle low in June, likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets, the slowdown in the industrial sector and some inventory drawdown.

“This coincides with most other freight metrics,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 41.4, from 42.1 in May. The past eight consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with June the largest yet.”

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, major trucking and logistics firms, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.

 

 

 

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