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4 Ways Geosynthetic Textiles Have Solved Civil Engineering Problems

April 4th, 2021

Over the past decade a greater emphasis has been placed on the development and manufacturing of geosynthetic textiles. While the geosynthetics industry is comparatively new, it has already created products with applications in a wide range of industries including geotechnical, transportation, hydraulic, embankment management, and mining. In many cases, a single geosynthetic textile can solve or improve multiple civil engineering problems simultaneously.

The first example of a geosynthetic textile application is the use of a prefabricated pocket style vertical drain made from a nonwoven filter jacket specialized as a PVD filter material. The purpose of this product was to reduce the time needed for construction by quickly discharging water in the ground which speeds up the soil consolidation process. Overall, it proved to reduce construction time and speed up the consolidation of soft ground in a variety of different situations including road construction, the development of building sites, construction of gas and oil storage facilities, and bank revetment.

The second example of how geosynthetic textiles can provide solutions to civil engineering problems is the polyester woven geotextile mat. It is created from a high tenacity polyester filament which is highly dense. This particular geosynthetic textile has been used to reinforce soft ground and embankments, separate layers of sand and soft ground, prevent the uneven settlement of soft ground, and securing a safe path of travel for heavy equipment across soft ground.

The third example is a silt curtain or fence created by geosynthetic textiles. A silt curtain is installed in the water to prevent the spread of environmentally dangerous contaminants. These contaminants often result from coastal and Riverside construction projects although it can also be used in the event of an open water spill or leak. It has been shown effective at preventing the spread of fine soil and sand induced by construction. It can also prevent the contamination of the nearby seaports and help preserve sea farming and area beaches.

The fourth and final example of geosynthetic textiles assisting with civil engineering problems is the polyester needle punched nonwoven geotextile. It is typically made of continuous filament fiber to promote fast drainage and filtration. It has been used to help prevent landslides, control erosion on banks, protect waterproof layers in landfills, prevent road tracking, and protect waterproof sheets and tunnels.

There is no doubt geosynthetic textiles will continue to play a greater role in finding workable solutions to civil engineering problems across the globe. As their production continues to scale, prices will decrease which will lead to an increase in availability as well as further research and development.

Expert Tips for Customer Service in the Transportation and Logistics Industry

March 4th, 2021

People always ask me how we get and retain clients in the third party logistics industry (3PL). I think it’s pretty simple: Great Customer Service.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s a little too generic – right? Not really. Let me explain how I define great customer service:

1. Anticipate. Great customer service in the transportation and logistics industry is about beating your clients to their own thoughts. Whether it’s a need, want, or complaint – you have to communicate with your client before they communicate with you. If you can anticipate your clients’ thoughts and feelings and communicate their concerns before they do, they will feel respected. They will have received great customer service as a result.

2. Be grateful. Clients pay your bills. Every time they purchase a product or service they are giving you a part of their hard earned money. That money represents time and energy – the very stuff of life. They can invest their money at a lot of different companies, but they have chosen to invest it with you. Take every opportunity to let them know you appreciate them. Send a quick e-mail, leave a nice voicemail, take them out for dinner, or write a handwritten note and stick it in your company Christmas card. Do something at least once a quarter. Let your clients know how much you appreciate their business.

3. Plan your work and work your plan. Most clients’ frustrations come from unmet expectations. Do your best to plan for every contingency, communicate your plan well, and then follow through. When I first started in the logistics industry, I remember the company I was working for missing a narrow window to pick up a shipment from a Las Vegas trade show. It got pushed. The client was furious because the convention charged them four times as much to ship it back to them. Not only that, but we had lost valuable trust with client and we had to work very hard to build back that trust. You simply can’t afford to backslide with clients. Plan your work, work your plan, and watch your clients become your brand ambassadors.

4. Say “Yes” as much as you can (but know ahead of time when you have to say “no”). Clients love to hear you say “yes” as much as possible. As long as you can do it you should. Fulfilling a special request makes a client feel important, respected, and well served. Don’t think of special requests as a negative, rather think of them as a big curveball to knock out of the park. Your clients will love you when you do. On the other hand, there are instances when you must say “no.” In those instances, you should have an explanation ready for them. The solution can be a potential upsell for you or added value for your client. I never think of clients’ requests as problematic. Problems only arise when you’re not prepared. Never put yourself in a position to begrudge your clients because you said “yes” when you should have said “no”. Rather, find an equitable solution that you can both feel good about.

Although there are obviously many tenets to great customer service, these are the top 4 things that I consistently find myself talking about in the office.

We are nothing without great customers, and ensuring great customer service should be a no-brainer. We are in an industry where client relationships can be the greatest single competitive advantage we have. We can’t afford not to anticipate, be grateful, plan our work and work our plan, or go out of our way to make the client happy whenever feasible.

Juan Arango is the owner of 1 Trade Logistics in Dallas / Fort Worth, TX. 1 Trade Logistics is a premier, full-service transportation and logistics company based in Dallas / Fort Worth, TX that provides expedited freight forwarding,logistics management, supply chain solutions, and an international courier service. 1 Trade Logistics is a member of the World Cargo Alliance (WCA), carries a Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) and TSA Certification, and is fully licensed through the FMC, IATA, and NVOCC to name a few. They recently were named as a Top 500 US Hispanic Business with $6M in revenue for 2012. Learn more ab