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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Air Freight Shipping: When Does It Make Sense?

Jan 11, 2018 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Distribution, West Coast Distribution, Transportation Strategies

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Air freight shipping.  In the eCommerce world, it’s a major component of everyday business.  For freight shippers outside of eCommerce, however, it’s far less common than truck, rail, and ocean transport.

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The Advantages of a 3PL with blended Asset/Non-Asset Based Transportation Services

Nov 3, 2016 / by Johnny Kim posted in Transportation Strategies, Distribution

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There are many transportation services to choose from when deciding which one is the right fit for your business.  A company with robust assets – a fleet of actual trucks providing service – paired with a strong network of carrier partners (brokerage) is able to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective transportation solution that may well be the best fit for your needs.

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Benefits of 3PL Services in the Overweight Corridor

Sep 1, 2016 / by Robert Deiro posted in 3PL, overweight, Transportation Strategies

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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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Shipping Cold Freight? Save Money by Collaborating.

Nov 12, 2015 / by Eden Castaneda posted in Third Party Logistics, Transportation Strategies, Pool Distribution

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We see the dialogue in films again and again. Two individuals, John and Jane, trying to catch a taxi cab, “Where you headed” asked John, “uptown” said Jane, then John replied “me too, want to split a cab?” Just as a taxi cab will cost the same overall price with one person vs two people inside, wouldn’t you rather share and pay less!

The same principle can be applied to shipping cold freight. Shipping some of your product alone can cost big bucks. That same truck filled with other products going to the same location, equals savings for everyone. The image below can help paint the picture of utilizing pool distribution.


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Benefits of an Upgraded Transportation Management System

Sep 17, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in Transportation Strategies, Logistics Technology, Refrigerated Trucking, LTL

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Our society today is all about upgrading to the next big thing. We wait in line for hours and hours to get ahold of the newest gadgets. Why? Because, they are usually smarter, better, faster and stronger. Who doesn’t want that, right? Well, a new upgraded transportation management system (TMS) has made Weber’s transportation services smarter, better, faster and stronger. We are excited about its functionality and the capabilities it brings to our team. Here is a list of functions that you can also benefit from by having a provider that utilizes an upgraded TMS.

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California Trucking Industry Could Be Hit by Hidden Gas Tax Effective January 1st 2015

Sep 11, 2014 / by Tina Truong posted in Logistics Management, West Coast Distribution, Transportation Strategies

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Weber Logistics hosted a “Tank the Tax” press conference at our San Diego distribution center. Tank the Tax is a campaign that advocates against regulations that would raise the cost of fuel in the state. 

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Controlling Costs for Refrigerated Trucking

Apr 22, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Transportation Strategies, Refrigerated Trucking, LTL

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Why, with so many manufacturers of food and temperature-sensitive products, are there so few temperature-controlled carriers?  And it’s not just food manufacturers that require refrigerated trucking services, other industries like pharmaceuticals face an equally challenging task to get their product to market and still sustain a reasonable profit margin.

In California, many trucking companies promote that they are refrigerated carriers, but are only brokers who hand off the cargo to an asset based refrigerated trucking company. So, not only are the choices limited in using a temp-controlled carrier, but costs could be high due to simple supply and demand.

For more information on strategies, like pool distribution, to control costs for temperature-controlled trucking, read our Insight paper:   Jump in the Pool – Shippers of Temperature-Controlled Freight Collaborate to Save.

How do the prices get so high?

Well, along with the supply and demand issue there are other components that drive up the price of refrigerated trucking equipment.  In the US, the annual cost of fuel to operate just the diesel reefer unit is nearly $4000.00.  Add annual maintenance costs of over $1500.00 to that and you have a sizable overhead that general truckers do not have.  Electric reefer units have less fuel and maintenance costs. But remember that that does not cover the cost of the reefer unit system or additional insurance coverage that the carriers must cover.

Am I overpaying for temp-controlled services?

Possibly.  Larger manufacturers have the benefit of using FTL refrigerated services, which controls their cost per unit sold.  Small to medium-sized manufacturers are forced to ship via LTL.  Based on the weight and density of the cargo you will pay for the space used in the trailer.  So the cost per unit is higher and can make it difficult to compete with bigger companies.

Also, when you are restricted to shipping LTL consignments for your refrigerated trucking needs, the transit time is usually longer. The carrier will collect various shipments over a set period to build a FTL to a particular destination.  Longer transit times also mean a longer “days sales outstanding” for receivables, which does not help the cash flow.

How do I control my costs?

There are a few ways that you can keep those costs from cutting into your profit margin.  

  • Collaborate with other shippers of temperature-sensitive products and pool your freight volume.  3PLs who serve multiple food shippers can coordinate this collaboration.
  • Contact a 3PL with warehousing and refrigerated trucking assets who specializes in storing and shipping refrigerated cargo.
  • Look for refrigerated LTL partners.  There aren’t many, particularly in California and the Western U.S.  But providers like Weber Logistics can combine your temperature-controlled, final-mile shipments with other companies to reduce your distribution costs.

The limited refrigerated trucking services in California are not likely to grow in the future.  But with some careful collaboration with similar shippers and a reputable temp-controlled carrier, you can control your costs and improve your bottom line.

Weber Logistics has one of the largest temperature-controlled delivery networks in the western US.  We specialize in food-grade warehousing and refrigerated LTL shipments. With our fleet of late model equipment and the latest generation of reefers we will get your product to market in a timely and cost effective manner.  Contact us at 855-GOWEBER (469-3237) to learn more about our 3PL services.

Download our Weber Insight on Pool Distribution for Temperature-Controlled Products:

pool distribution temperature control

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Logistics Costs: The Boomerang Effect of Price-Based 3PL Selection

Jan 16, 2014 / by Jim Emmerling posted in 3PL, Warehouse operations, Transportation Strategies

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Let’s face it, competitive transportation and warehouse rates are critical to earning new 3PL business.  Providers need to be ready to look for any and all efficiencies when pricing a deal, because that’s what shippers expect in their efforts to manage logistics costs.  

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Warehouse Rates: Beware the Low Price Leader

Jun 10, 2013 / by Connie Anderson posted in Third Party Logistics, Warehouse Rates, Transportation Strategies

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