West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Chemical Warehousing 101 – New Primer Available

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Chemical Warehousing 101 – New Primer Available

The rules of warehouse storage for many product types are quite similar.  But when it comes to chemical warehousing, a whole new rule book applies.

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Tags: Chemical Logistics, Chemical Storage, chemical trucking

Candy Distribution Video

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

At Weber, we distribute a lot of candy.

In fact, if you’ve eaten any of the sweet snacks pictured here and you live in the Western U.S., it’s a pretty sure bet that the candy traveled through a Weber distribution center. 

What exactly happens at Weber’s temperature-controlled warehouses to ensure that the quality and integrity of these products are maintained throughout the cold chain distribution cycle?

Check out this 2-minute video to find out.

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Tags: Logistics, Cold Chain Managment, Confectionery Logistics

Can you lower your warehouse rates?

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

As a 3PL that provides warehousing services, we get that question a lot.

If the characteristics of the project are not changing, then the real question being asked is, “Can you lower your profit?” 

Well, we could, but then we’d have little or no money to reinvest in the business.

Eventually, quality would suffer and we’d go out of business.

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Tags: Third Party Logistics, Warehouse Rates, Warehousing

Cold Chain Distribution: Check out this 2-Minute Video

Posted by Connie Anderson on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

 

Do you manage distribution for temperature-controlled products?

If so, you know that expiration date management and product integrity are constant worries. Choosing an experienced partner for cold chain warehousing and transportation is critical.

Check out this 2-minute video from Weber Logistics on cold chain logistics management. 

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Tags: Logistics Technology, Cold Chain Managment, Refrigerated Trucking

Save with Pool Distribution for Refrigerated Trucking

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

You need to get across town fast.

With no car, your choices are public transport or a cab.

Of course you want to take a cab.  But the wallet’s a little thin, so maybe a bus is the way to go.

But hold on.  What if you could share an air-conditioned cab ride with a few others who are also headed across town, and pay the same as the cost of a bus ride?

Welcome to pool distribution: direct car service for a mass transit price.

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Tags: Refrigerated Trucking, Temperature Controlled Warehousing, Pool Distribution

Addressing Misconceptions About Intermodal Freight

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Over-the-road trucking has had its challenges in recent years, thanks to driver shortages, HOS regulations, rising fuel costs and capacity shortages.  During that time, railroads have been improving tracks and facilities, as well as service offerings, to meet shippers’ needs. That has led to a steady increase in the use of intermodal services.

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Tags: Rail Freight, OTR, Intermodal Transportation

Choosing a Chemical Warehouse Provider

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Dec 03, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

You’re not going to choose just any 3PL to store and ship your chemical products.  The liability and safety risks associated with hazmat storage and shipping are just too great.

But how can you evaluate 3PLs to ensure you’re working with an expert company that can actually advise you on proper procedures for storage and handling?

Here are three tips for your vetting process.  Read our Insight paper for all 7 tips.  

1) Look for experience handing the class of chemicals you market.
3PLs that handle one class of chemicals are not necessarily qualified to handle others. For instance, non-regulated chemicals do not require the same stringent storage and handling procedures as flammables, oxidizers, explosives, corrosives, and other hazmat substances. Flammables, for instance, require firewalls and in-rack sprinklers. Make sure the chemical warehouse provider understands the requirements for your class of chemical and has the necessary operating procedures, permits, and physical environment to store and handle such products.

2) Limit transportation miles.
With chemicals, fewer miles are better. For one, hazardous chemical transportation is dangerous, and more miles means more risk. Secondly, transporting chemicals is expensive. Commercial drivers with a hazmat endorsement on their licenses earn 15%-20% more an hour than other drivers. Equipment and insurance costs add to this expense. The location of the provider’s warehouse is very relevant to the goal of reduced miles. Finding a provider that is centrally located to efficiently reach your customer base will reduce your costs and risk. Weber Logistics serves the chemical warehousing needs of many large companies who need a distribution point in California.

3) Choose a partner for present AND future needs.
Too many Requests for Proposals ask only about a 3PL’s ability to address current needs. Instead, you should anticipate your needs well into the future and look for a partner that can satisfy these requirements. This avoids the cost and risk involved in switching providers. For instance, today you may not be moving goods via rail, but you may want to exploit this lower-cost shipping option in the future. In that case, choosing a warehouse with a rail spur is smart planning. Likewise, your need today might be for simple pallet in/pallet out storage and distribution. But what if future requirements involve, for instance, repackaging 50-gallon drums into ten 5-gallon pails? Can the provider handle the job? Does the provider even want to do this kind of work?

For more tips on vetting chemical warehouse providers, read our Insight paper: Chemical Logistics: 7 Tips for Choosing a Partner for Storage and Distribution.

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Tags: 3PL, Chemical Logistics, chemical trucking

VIDEO: Integrate B2B and B2C Distribution to Reduce Cost, Complexity

Posted by Connie Anderson on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

As the volume of online sales rises, many companies continue to struggle with managing the distinct fulfillment differences between B2B and B2C channels.  The trick is adapting processes to handle picking and packing of individual items for eCommerce fulfillment.

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Tags: Logistics Technology, eCommerce Fulfillment, Multi Channel Fulfillment

How Determining Warehouse Rates Is Like Preparing Your Tax Return

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Nov 05, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Too often, companies assume they have no power to impact warehouse distribution rates from 3PLs and commercial warehouse providers.

Not true. You have the power to control and reduce your warehousing costs.

An analogy might be preparation of your yearly IRS tax return. If you keep poor records and have no knowledge of allowable deductions for health expenses, business travel, and the like, you may pay more than you should. In contrast, if you keep meticulous records and have a solid understanding of IRS allowances, you’re more likely to get that fat refund.

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Tags: 3PL, Warehouse Rates, Warehousing

Check Out This Video on Reducing Retailer Chargebacks

Posted by Connie Anderson on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Retailer chargeback fines for non-compliant shipments are a costly reality for many consumer goods manufacturers.

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Tags: 3PL, Vendor Compliance, Chargebacks

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