West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Leading High Performance Teams

Posted by Steve Buckman on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 12:10 PM

Management practices have evolved over the last 40 years or so. There has been a slow but unmistakable move towards a more inclusive and more open leadership style. That style supports a level of informality and dissent that is sometimes difficult for some of us old timers!  Still, there is a lot to be said for the honest communication this style engenders.

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Tags: Logistics Staffing, Organizational Dynamics, Productivity, Team Building

Trust: Key for a Successful Third Party Logistics Partnership

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

With any good relationship’s foundation you will find trust. We constantly hear it. Just trust me. Without any backing or reasoning, just TRUST ME. Now if referencing dinner, okay… I trust you, but let’s raise the stakes… your life? your children’s lives? Not so easy now. Well for many their company is their life or their child. You can’t expect someone to trust you with their company’s livelihood just because you say so.

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Tags: Public Warehousing, Third Party Logistics, Inventory Control

Gear Up for SOLAS Compliance

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Fri, May 20, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

We have all heard about SOLAS by now, but the time has come to ramp up efforts for compliance. Do you have all the facts? We have gathered information from credible sites to create FAQs that can help sum up the new regulation.

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Tags: Southern California Ports, Port Logistics, Logistics Compliance

Tips for Choosing a 3PL for Pharmaceuticals

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Fri, May 13, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

Pharmaceuticals have become a necessary expense for almost all Americans. Nearly 60% of all Americans are taking prescription drugs and 80% are taking over the counter drugs. According to statista.com, the total number of nominal spending on medicines in the US was $425 billion and projected to increase to $574 billion in 2019. As the industry continues to grow pharmaceutical manufacturers must keep up with the increasing demand.

There are high stakes in the supply chain process of pharmaceuticals. Not just anyone can handle the rigorous demands the pharmaceutical industry brings. Challenges include health and safety regulations, close temperature monitoring, product integrity and more. As pharmaceutical manufactures look to 3PLs to outsource logistics services, there are many things to consider besides price.

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Tags: 3PL Outsourcing, Temperature Controlled Warehousing, Pharmaceutical Logistics

Where it’s Good to be Heavy – The Overweight Corridor

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 @ 10:25 AM

In society today, there is a large focus on weight. For many, the temptation of a pink box in the office can be cringing if you are trying to watch the pounds.  Luckily in the logistics world it can be a good thing to be heavy – when it comes to containers. Although overweight containers are not allowed to travel across town, they have a home in the overweight corridor. A distribution plan that includes heavy containers and the overweight corridor can equal great savings.

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Tags: Southern California Ports, Supply Chain, Transload

What to Expect After the 3PL Selection Process

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

As the saga of the 3PL selection process comes to an end and a contract is signed, one must prepare for what comes next. A new journey with your 3PL is now beginning; a journey called the onboarding process.

The onboarding process shows a great deal about the 3PL partner you selected. At this time the truth comes out; maybe you received amazing rates, but now experience a lack of service and attention. Maybe you paid well above market price, but the service is impeccable. Regardless, you want to know what you are getting into, good or bad. A company’s onboarding process will ultimately say a great deal of how it operates in the long run and will set the tone for the relationship.

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Tags: 3PL Outsourcing, Logistics Customer Service, Onboarding

Feel Confident with your Chemical Logistics Selection

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

chemical_warehouse.jpgAs consumers we live in a world where we are forced to constantly make decisions. Some require a great deal of time and research such as buying a car and some are simpler such as buying lunch. Although some may argue that is a greater feat. Nevertheless, there are endless options. With all the options available today, how do you decide and be confident in your decision?

Well, chemical logistics is no different. There are a variety of options to be considered.  Although we think we are AWESOME. Your choice for a chemical warehousing facility should not be based off our bias. We want you to be fully confident and 100% on board with your decision.

That is why we have a worksheet with 7 tips to choosing a partner for chemical storage and distribution. These will help you find what questions to ask when looking at prospective partners and key things to look for.

Here are just a few of the tips you will find:

Check the provider’s reputation with objective sources.

Don’t rely on the 3PL’s marketing claims to gauge capabilities. Check those claims against the opinions of outside companies and agencies familiar with the provider. For instance, local fire departments with jurisdiction over the provider’s warehouses are part of the local permitting process and will be aware of the company’s ability to manage health, safety, security and  environmental requirements for hazmat storage. With a little research, it may also be possible to identify the 3PL’s current or past customers. Call up these companies and ask for a candid assessment.

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 to avoid 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?

Look for a provider of integrated services.

You’ll find many candidates for chemical warehouse services and many for last-mile transportation. But the pool of chemical logistics providers that can integrate these services with seamless visibility to product at rest and in motion is much smaller. The advantages of integrating logistics services with one provider include:

  • Maintain the integrity of the product throughout the distribution cycle, including adherence to temperature control requirements.
  • Create a closed loop supply chain by bringing reusable containers back to the warehouse after deliveries.
  • Ease your management administrative

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: Shared Warehousing, C-TPAT, Chemical Logistics

Key Questions when Looking for Southern California Port Services

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 @ 11:27 AM

When importing goods into Southern California ports, getting cargo through Customs is just the begging of a large puzzle.

You still need to get your containers out of the port, find a transload facility (if overweight), find a warehouse to store your product and transportation for final delivery. That’s a lot of different pieces to put together. The best way to approach this puzzle is with a 3PL partner. They can manage the entire process to ensure all the pieces fall perfectly into place.

Before you select a 3PL, find out what your needs are. Below are some key questions that you may be faced with:

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Tags: Port Logistics, Transload, 3PL Outsourcing

Find the Best Warehouse Pricing the First Time Around

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:56 AM

When the search begins for a 3PL, we evaluate and consider many things. One of the make or break factors includes pricing. Now, do you want a rate generated on the spot or are you willing to wait for some number crunching? While some warehouses offer standard rates that can be provided on the spot, these rates may not be the best deal you can get. Most warehouse pricing models use a variety of data which includes product volume, case size, pallet size and weight. Evaluating and manipulating all this data, means if you want the best rate for your situation, it cannot happen overnight.

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Tags: 3PL, Warehouse Rates, Warehousing

Establishing a Relationship with Your 3PL Provider: 5 Points to Communicate

Posted by Eden Castaneda on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

With costs consistently rising, a 3PL partnership should be defined by more than just the cost of storing and shipping a pallet. For example, how much value does this 3PL bring? Do you even have a “relationship” or are they simply another vendor sending another invoice? Well, some of the best results are derived from companies who outsourced 3PL services and developed a relationship with them.

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Tags: Third Party Logistics, 3PL Outsourcing, Logistics Customer Service

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