West Coast and California Logistics Blog

The Latest on West Coast Ports: One Year Since Labor Negotiations Began

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, May 28, 2015 @ 08:45 AM

Nearly one year has passed since labor negotiations began in May 2014 between the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union. On February 20, 2015 they came to a tentative 5 year agreement. The ILWU membership voted on their tentative agreement May 22 and approved the contract. The five year contract, which is retroactive to July 1, 2014, will expire on July 1, 2019. 

Looking back a year ago before the negotiations, teamsters picketing, chassis shortage and increased volumes… there was a standard “normal” in efficiencies. Vessel, yard and gate operations have been improving in recent weeks, yet have not returned to normal. Recent articles by the JOC discuss the expectations and challenges of the West Coast ports now and in the near future which can be summarized below: 

Is getting back to "normal" a good thing?

Yes. Getting back to that “normal” is great because it means the ports are on the road to recovery. Since last fall there has been extreme congestion and backlog with a peak of 28 vessels at anchor waiting for a birth to open up. The Marine Exchange of Southern California reported, there were no vessels anchored for many days this month, which is a great sign of recovery. Part of this is due to the increase in ILWU man-hours, which were much higher in April, compared to last year. The terminals added around 60,000 man hours according to the PMA to clear the back log.

Read More

Tags: Southern California Ports, Port Logistics, Drayage, Gray Chassis Pool

6 Essential Logistics Key Performance Indicator (KPIs)

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, May 07, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

We live a world today filled with data. Your logistics company may be investing in technology upgrading systems, but are you taking full advantage of the data you currently have in front of you?

We’ve all heard it again and again… “The numbers don’t lie”. Key performance indicators are crucial in evaluating your supply chain’s performance. KPIs can tell if work is being done efficiently. There are countless KPI’s that can be used depending on the needs and wants of the customer. It doesn’t matter how many reports you run, if they do not have meaning.   

Read More

Tags: Logistics, Supply Chain, Logistics Customer Service, KPIs

6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Intermodal Service

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

In recent years rail roads have been experiencing a boom in order to keep up with increasing demand from shippers. The infrastructures are being upgraded and capacities are increasing due to demand. Struggles this past year at the Southern California Ports, emphasized the need for diversity in a transportation plan. Intermodal transportation offers an important opportunity to lower shipping costs while cutting carbon emissions. Transporting a medium- to long-distance load via intermodal costs 15 to 40 percent less than moving the same load by truck. And studies show that shipping by rail is three to four times more fuel-efficient – and therefore more environmentally friendly – than shipping over the road (OTR). Although transportation managers often shied away from rail in the past, many companies today make Intermodal a key element of their transportation strategies.

Read More

Tags: Rail Freight, OTR, Intermodal Transportation, rail transportation

Tips to Evaluate your Warehouse Provider and Lower Costs

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

It’s tough to compare competitive warehouse bids. Precise warehouse rates require a more detailed analysis. Companies often cannot provide all the data requested, so 3PLs have to make assumptions in order to complete the pricing profile. Different 3PLs make different assumptions, and these differences are reflected in different rates for the same exact volume and services you need to ensure you are getting an apples- to-apples comparison. When it comes to warehousing services, the best price doesn’t always result in the best value. Find a logistics partner you can trust that sets a high bar for quality.   

Read More

Tags: west coast warehouse, Warehouse Rates, Warehousing

How a 3PL Provider Can Help Reduce Order Turnaround Time

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

“I want it and I want it now!” the mantra of consumers in 2015. Companies are doing everything they can to compete with one another in turnaround time.

Amazon was one of the first to enter this realm with Prime 2 day shipping. Many big box retailers have jumped in the game of quick turnaround time for orders. They allow consumers the opportunity to order online and deliver to home or to store for pick up in days or even hours.

One week delivery simply does not cut it anymore. Partnering with a 3PL can help you deliver your product the quickest way possible. 

Read More

Tags: West Coast Distribution, Third Party Logistics, 3PL, eCommerce Fulfillment

Lower Costs by Boosting Employee Morale

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 07:04 AM

Do you have disengaged employees?

Well, if you said yes you are not alone. About 70% of U.S. workers are disengaged.

Why should you care about employee engagement?

These disengaged employees are costing your company money. Did you know disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy up to $350 billion per year due to lost productivity. A study by Gallup found companies who increased employee engagement experienced the following:


Read More

Tags: West Coast Distribution, weber logistics, Logistics Turnover, Logistics Staffing, Organizational Dynamics

What Does the New LA-LB Gray Chassis Pool Mean for You?

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Apr 02, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Let’s start by simply explaining what this new Gray Chassis Pool is all about.

Read More

Tags: Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, Drayage

3PL as Alternative to Food Distributors: It Could Make Sense for Some

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Food manufacturers who sell through food distributors must absorb a significant price mark-up on route to the retailer, raising their prices on the shelf.  

Read More

Tags: Food Supply Chain

Pool Distribution for Confectionery Products

Posted by Connie Anderson on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

Freight logistics professionals can learn something from Match.com - the dating services that links you with complimentary partners.

Read More

Tags: Pool Distribution

Video: Cold Chain Warehouse Processes

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

 If you’re managing a cold chain warehouse, expiration date management and product integrity are constant worries. Slip up and you risk losing inventory, angering customers, or incurring fines. 

That’s why choosing an experienced partner for cold chain warehousing and refrigerated trucking is critical.

Read More

Tags: Cold Chain Managment, Food Logistics

Subscribe via E-mail