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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Happening Now: Trucking Association Responds to 24/7 Port of L.A. Operations

The Harbor Trucking Association (HTA) has issued a statement in response to the Biden Administration’s announcement that the Port of Los Angeles will operate 24/7 in hopes of clearing congestion at the Port.

Advantages of working with an integrated 3PL for food services

A 3PL provider that performs integrated services is kind of like a puppeteer that controls three or more puppets at the same time. When those “puppets” include drayage, warehousing and final delivery services, you can leverage the 3PL to dramatically improve your port-to-retail-shelf cycle time. In this article, we’ll tell you why food companies would benefit from such an integrated 3PL for food services.

Happening Now: Major retailers resort to chartering ships to avoid delays

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, some of the largest retailers in the U.S. are trying to sidestep import supply chain delays and congestion by chartering their own ships overseas.

Happening Now: Drayage Rates Jump 32% in September

According to an article in DC Velocity, drayage spot rates in September were 6% higher than August, and 32% higher than September 2020.  These rates are only expected to increase, as further hikes of 10% to 15% are predicted for October.

California Port Congestion Woes Continue as Peak Season Hits

When shipping freight into California, or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter, you may feel that you’re leaping over one hurdle after another to deliver your goods to market. The current California port congestion crisis is one of the biggest hurdles right now. In this article, we’ll examine why the current freight system congestion is so severe, and why it’s lasted so long.

Happening Now: Will Vaccine Mandate Keep Drivers Away?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, trucking companies are concerned that the new federal vaccination and testing mandate which seeks to curb the spread of COVID-19 may keep drivers away from available trucking positions.

Happening Now: Record number of ships in port at L.A./Long Beach

As we head into peak season, supply chain congestion at/near the ports of Southern California is only getting worse – especially when it comes to container ship congestion.

What does AIB certification mean for 3PL providers?

If your company is looking for a food-grade third-party logistics (3PL) provider, there’s a lot of vetting required to make sure it can protect the integrity of your products. From the size and cleanliness of the warehouse to the safety and procedural knowledge of employees, there are many telltale signs that distinguish the best food-grade 3PLs from the rest of the pack. One of the most important of these signs is AIB certification, which shows that a provider truly walks the walk when it comes to food product safety.

Happening Now: Drayage Surcharges from C.H. Robinson

According to an article in Yahoo! Finance, logistics provider C.H. Robinson has announced that it will begin levying drayage surcharges to its customers. These surcharges are a response to continued congestion-related issues at ports across the U.S.

New Weber eBook: outsourcing omni-channel order fulfillment to a 3PL

Weber's new eBook, A Guide to Outsourcing Omni-Channel Fulfillment to a 3PL, identifies 7 key characteristics you should look for in a 3PL provider that can handle both your B2B and B2C fulfillment ops.  The following is an excerpt of the full (free) eBook, which you can access  below. 

Happening Now: Warehouse jobs continue to go unfilled

A new article in Freight Waves shows that the number of unemployed workers that formerly worked within the warehousing industry is much higher than national unemployment levels.

Reasons for drayage truck driver shortage and how the right 3PL can help

The current driver shortage affects every mode of trucking, port drayage included. What you may not realize, however, is that this shortage of drayage drivers is not new – it didn’t begin with COVID-19 or even in the years leading up to the pandemic. In this article, we’ll examine the reasons for the truck driver shortage among drayage drivers and tell you why your transportation provider’s culture is key to sourcing the capacity you need.

Happening Now: Import surge may last into 2022

As 2021 has had its share of supply chain challenges – particularly related to container imports – we all are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and a semblance of normalcy.

Happening Now: Impact of Driver Shortage on Drayage Ops

While everyone is familiar with the current driver shortage, many overlook the fact that drayage operations are affected by this shortage just as much as long-haul, LTL or other modes of trucking.

Impact of COVID on eCommerce fulfillment operations

In the pre-pandemic world of 2019, eCommerce accounted for 15.8% of all sales in the U.S. That figure ballooned with the COVID-19 pandemic to 21.3% – an increase of 44% – in 2020. This extreme growth in such a short period of time has led to growing pains that are still being felt within the eCommerce industry. In this article, we’ll examine some of the key effects of the pandemic on eCommerce fulfillment operations and explore ways that your company can mitigate these effects by partnering with a 3PL provider.

Happening Now: A recap of the first six months of 2021 in shipping

If you’re looking to catch up on all things container shipping in 2021, a recent article in Freight Waves has got you covered. The article looks, month-by-month, at all of the “stranger than fiction” events in the shipping world in the first six months of this year.

Happening Now: New Peak Surcharges from UPS

According to an article in Multichannel Merchant, UPS is issuing new surcharges which will hit shippers hard during this year’s peak season. These new surcharges will be applied between October 31 and January 15, with pricing based on percentage of package volume over and above February 2020 volumes.

Weber Logistics Adds New Distribution Center in San Bernardino, CA

Weber Logistics has secured a 406,710-square-foot omni-channel distribution center (DC) in San Bernardino, CA. This newly constructed multi-client facility – Weber’s largest – is the company’s sixth DC in Southern California’s Inland Empire region and thirteenth DC within California.

What food logistics services does a 3PL provide?

Food companies looking to optimize their supply chains can do well to entrust operations to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that specializes in food logistics services. They can distribute your products through the supply chain safely, while optimizing your business’s efficiency in the process. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the many food logistics services a 3PL can provide.

Happening Now: FedEx Freight suspends service to 1,400 LTL customers

According to an article in Freight Waves, FedEx Freight is suspending outbound shipments for approximately 1,400 customers in heavily-congested regions across the U.S. This reduction in service is part of an effort to better manage the high levels of freight that are inundating its LTL terminals across the country. Companies were notified Friday and the changes took effect on Monday.

Happening Now: Crisis at Major Chinese Port

A recent article in Freight Waves examines the unfolding crisis at the Port of Yantian, a major Chinese seaport. Due to a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, manpower at the Port is down by 70% because due mainly to quarantine restrictions and testing requirements.

Negotiating 3PL Warehousing Contracts

While the supply chain benefits of working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider are commonly understood, some companies still feel uncertainty when negotiating the warehousing contract at the outset. In this article, we’ll examine some of the key contract considerations and provide helpful tips for getting warehousing relationships off on the right foot.

A primer on overweight container logistics on the West Coast

If you weren’t already convinced of the value of overweight container logistics, 2020 and now 2021 should have made it clear. It’s one of shippers’ most reliable tactics in mitigating the headaches and extremely high rates associated with the current ocean shipping landscape. In this article, we’ll examine these overweight container shipping benefits, with a specific focus on U.S. West Coast shipments.

Happening Now: pallet prices up 400% amid shortage

As if supply chain professionals don’t have enough on their plate these days, we can now add the procurement of pallets to their list of concerns. A backbone of retail and grocery supply chains, pallets are now both hard to come by and much more expensive than they were prior to the pandemic.

Happening Now: Ocean Carrier Shipping Times Surge

Shipping delays that became common in the second half of 2020 continue to wreak havoc on supply chains in 2021. In March of this year, only 40% of container ships arrived on time at ports across the globe – compared to an average of 70% the last two years.

Embracing omni-channel fulfillment

If your company is looking to expand sales channels to embrace omni-channel fulfillment, there are things you should understand before you get started. These include specific system and process requirements to properly expand from business-to-business (B2B) to business-to-consumer (B2C), and vice versa. In this article, we will look at the key requirements for each fulfilment channel to help you ensure you are set up with the unique capabilities that each requires.

Happening Now: Jobs report shows driver shortage not easing

While the logistics industry hopes for good news on the driver shortage front, recent labor statistics are not delivering. April numbers are down from March, and March’s numbers were lower than initially thought.

Happening Now: LTL prices continue to rise

If you have priced LTL transportation for your products in recent months, chances are that you’ve seen prices rise. A lot.

Happening Now: How retailers can support sustainable returns

While they may not realize it, consumer returns come at a substantial cost to consumers. For every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer is incurring $106 million in merchandise returns. That is over 10%. These costs are ultimately passed on to consumers as prices are inflated to cover the cost of returns.

Understanding 3PL Warehouse Insurance and Liability

If you’re considering working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider for warehousing, it’s easy to get excited about the many services the 3PL can provide for your products. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, it’s important to understand and agree upon what happens in the event of an accident and/or damage to those products. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 3PL warehouse insurance, including “who’s responsible for what” between you and your 3PL partner.

Happening Now: Record U.S. Imports from Asia Continue in March

An article from the JOC shows that U.S. imports from Asia continued to climb in March. In fact, March was the second-busiest month on record, with imports jumping 22% from February and a whopping 90.5% compared to last March.

Ship overweight to combat high container shipping rates

Record-breaking shipping volumes into the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continue into Q2 and show no sign of letting up. This has contributed to container shortages and extremely high container shipping rates. In this article, we’ll explore a tactic to help mitigate some of the headaches associated with the current importing landscape: shipping overweight containers.

Happening Now: Inventory levels tumble

In our new segment, “Happening Now,” we share timely industry articles to keep our readers up to speed on important logistics news.

West Coast Chassis Pool Challenges at Ports of LA and Long Beach

As we examined in our recent blog post on port congestion, ports across the U.S. – most notably the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – are experiencing severe backups due to increased import activity after the initial pandemic-related slowdown of 2020. The effects of these backups continue to be felt throughout the supply chains of importers. In this article, we focus on one piece of this port congestion puzzle: the West Coast chassis pools, specifically those at the Ports of LA and Long Beach.

Attracting and retaining logistics workforce talent during COVID

Contrary to the high unemployment reported in other industries since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, competition for logistics workforce talent is more heated than ever. In this article, we’ll examine the current logistics labor landscape and provide tips on how to attract and retain the talent you need to keep your operation moving forward.

Happening Now: The Costs of Honeycombing

In our new segment, “Happening Now,” we share timely industry articles to keep our readers up to speed on important logistics news.

A new article from Storage Solutions examines the costs related to honeycombing in the warehouse.  Simply put, "honeycombing" is the act of creating dead or vacant space in the warehouse that results in operational inefficiencies and higher costs.  

Understanding parcel rates and parcel commitments in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed eCommerce business and eCommerce fulfillment. Shopping from home created unprecedented demand for parcel services, which the leading carriers responded to with higher parcel rates and, ultimately, diminished capacity. In this article, we’ll review the current parcel landscape and help you identify additional ways to lower your overall eCommerce costs.

Happening Now: Video shows scope of West Coast port congestion

In our new segment, “Happening Now,” we share timely industry articles to keep our readers up to speed on important logistics news.

Congestion issues at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are still creating a mess for trans-Pacific importers. Check out this Freight Waves article, which includes a flyover video of ships anchored within San Pedro Bay.

What types of products benefit from the California Overweight Corridor?

If you’re importing containers into the U.S., you may be limiting the weight of your containers in order to meet U.S. road weight limits. This is often a mistake as you’re likely shipping more containers than you need to and spending more for the entire import transportation process. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of the shipping overweight containers into the California Overweight Corridor and tell you what types of products make the most sense to ship overweight.

Why a mid-size 3PL provider may serve you better than a huge one

If you’re looking for a 3PL provider, you may begin to feel a bit like Goldilocks. You’ll encounter providers that feel “too big” and many that feel “too small” to handle your business effectively. For many companies, the “just right” 3PL is the mid-size provider that has the resources you require, plus the focused, personalized attention you expect. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of working with a mid-size provider and help you determine if such a 3PL is “just right” for your business.

Navigating Port Congestion Challenges at the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt all along the supply chain. For ocean shipping and import operations, this impact continues to be severe, with ramifications expected to be felt well into 2021. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at one of those ramifications – port congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – and get you up to speed on what’s happening at the Ports and what, if anything, you can do about it.

Weber Logistics’ Most Popular Blog Posts of 2020

Ready to say goodbye to 2020? We can’t say we’re sad to see this year go either. But before we move into the new year, we’ll take one last look back. Here are the 5 most-read articles in our West Coast and California Logistics Blog this year.

Case Study: Refrigerated Transport Services for Legendary Chocolate Maker

If you’re a fan of chocolate (and who isn’t), chances are you’re very familiar with Lindt & Sprüngli. The renowned chocolatier has been in business since 1845, serving chocolate lovers all over the globe. A few years ago, they turned to Weber Logistics to provide a variety of refrigerated transport services in a very specific part of the globe – the U.S. West Coast. We recently wrote a case study on the relationship, which we preview in this article.

Weber Logistics Partners with Stellex Capital to Position Itself for Growth

Weber Logistics has announced that Stellex Capital Management (Stellex), a middle-market private investment firm with significant transportation and logistics experience, has partnered with Weber’s management team in a recapitalization focused on accelerated expansion. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

How to outsource logistics operations to a 3PL

No matter what your company sells, you’re in the logistics business. From receiving and storage of your products to getting them out to customers, there are many logistics operations that your business handles or oversees daily.

But, unless logistics is your business’s core focus, these key supply chain operations may be better left to the experts – while you focus on the elements (e.g., manufacturing and sales) within your realm of expertise.

Retail Compliance Requirements: Common Chargebacks

Retail compliance requirements are more numerous than ever these days, creating challenges for retail vendors as they try to meet routing guide demands and avoid chargebacks. These chargebacks – vendor penalties for not following the retailer’s shipping guidelines – add a layer of stress for retail vendors and a solid revenue stream for the retailers themselves. In this article, we’ll examine the most common retail chargebacks that we see and tell you what you can do about them.

Ship Overweight Containers to Reduce Import Costs

When importing containers from Asia and other overseas markets, many companies limit their container weights to meet U.S. road weight limits. This is often a mistake as shipping overweight containers can offer you very significant ocean cost savings. In this article, we will examine the benefits of overweight container shipping – and how a 3PL located near your chosen port can help you realize them.

Is Your Company Ready for the Outsourcing of Logistics Services?

The outsourcing of logistics services can be the move that supercharges a company’s operations, replacing headaches related to scale, staffing, and inefficiency, with a more efficient, flexible solution. Arriving at the decision to outsource, however, is not always easy. You need to determine if your operation is ready for such a leap, and then hurdle the barriers – whether real or perceived – your company may have about outsourcing. In this article, we’ll examine characteristics of companies ready to outsource and address the barriers that many prospective outsourcers have.

A Key to Vendor Compliance: What is EDI in Logistics?

If you have retail customers, you are likely familiar with EDI. From shipping notices and order updates to purchase orders and invoices, EDI remains a workhorse of modern supply chain transactions – including those in eCommerce. In this article, we take a closer look at EDI in logistics, including its ramifications on vendor compliance.

What You Need to Know About Chemical Warehousing

Chemical warehousing, including the storage of hazardous materials, is a highly regulated undertaking with a substantial investment in both the physical storage environment and rigorous adherence to associated protocols, practices and paperwork required to ensure safety and compliance. If you are responsible for the storage and distribution of commercial chemicals, this article serves as a primer on key safety and compliance basics.

Looking for a Warehouse in Stockton, CA? Smart decision.

With its huge and growing population, California often serves as a key location for a company’s overall distribution operations. It’s usually Southern California – with its bright lights and huge ports – that people consider to be the region’s logistics hub. But with each passing year, more and more companies are learning about the benefits of basing operations a bit further north.

Let’s take a closer look at one of these major logistics markets – Stockton – and why a having a warehouse in Stockton could reduce your costs and improve overall distribution operations.

Accelerate Your Ecommerce Warehouse Operations with a 3PL Partner

Do you need to accelerate your ecommerce strategy due to the recent 2020 pandemic? You are not alone. There has been a dramatic increase in online orders and the bar for service excellence is set high.

The B2C shipping channel is very different from B2B. Smaller orders, faster turnaround, more labor-intensive overpacking and parcel processing require system capabilities and expertise to maintain your margins. The right third-party logistics (3PL) partner can guide you through these changes, while offering the eCommerce warehouse infrastructure and experience you need to grow your direct-to-consumer business.

What port logistics services can a 3PL provide?

When you’re importing products into the U.S., there’s a lot that needs to happen before your items hit store shelves or a customer’s doorstep. And it often starts with port logistics services such as those provided by a third-party logistics (3PL) company. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at those services and the options you have for getting your goods quickly from port to consumer.

How Chargebacks in the Retail Industry Work and What Can You Do About Them?

All major retailers issue chargeback penalties for non-compliant shipments from their suppliers. The specific penalties are explicitly laid out in each retailer’s routing guide and range from, in our experience, about 1% to 5% of a supplier’s gross invoice amount.

For example, Walmart’s On-Time in Full program charges 3% of item value for products that are late or missing.

Speed and Cost Advantages of West Coast eCommerce Fulfillment

When companies seek to optimize their eCommerce operations, they’re generally looking to do two things: improve distribution speed and reduce costs. These factors of speed and cost are affected by many factors, including the location where fulfillment services are performed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages of West Coast eCommerce fulfillment and show you how – when it comes to speed and cost – the West may very well be the best for your operation.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment: Key Considerations

According to the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, eCommerce sales accounted for 11.8% of total sales in the first quarter of 2020. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Q2 eCommerce figures are likely to grow more rapidly, as eCommerce sales through most of April were 49% greater than a similar period in March.

No matter what your company sells, it’s imperative that your eCommerce operations can keep pace with this growth. It is also important, however, that B2C growth doesn’t come at the expense of your B2B execution.

Hazmat warehousing: Is your 3PL audit-ready?

When you partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider for chemical and hazmat warehousing, there’s a lot to consider during the vetting process. Among other steps, you’ll want to take a tour of the facility, interview management and associates, and ask for referrals. However, there is one other crucial component you don’t want to overlook: the auditing process.

Chemical Warehouse Requirements: What is CFATS?

When you entrust your chemical products to a 3PL, it’s critical that you partner with an experienced provider that is compliant with modern chemical warehouse requirements.  Chief among these requirements are the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).  In this article, we’ll examine CFATS and explain why compliance is essential to chemical warehousing operations.

4 Key Considerations for Choosing a Chemical Storage Facility

Finding the right chemical storage facility for your products is an involved process. You’re not only looking for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that can comply with all regulatory requirements, you’re looking for a partner that truly knows your product and can fit seamlessly into your existing supply chain. In this article, we’ll try to simplify the sourcing process and identify the top 4 factors you’ll need to consider when finding the right chemical 3PL partner.

Storage of corrosive chemicals: 5 warehousing essentials

The storage of corrosive chemicals, whether liquid or solid, is a strictly controlled process. Many risks present themselves if proper specifications and handling methods are absent. Fire, explosions, leaks and human contact are a few of the unfortunate circumstances that could occur if the warehouse is inadequately constructed and the personnel are not sufficiently trained in corrosive storage and handling.

How 3PLs can keep your supply chain operations moving during COVID-19

When a disaster strikes such as the current COVID-19 outbreak, it’s a time when your business will truly need the support of its supply chain partners. Many 3PLs are showing that they will go to great lengths to ensure the continuity of customers’ operations. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways your 3PL can keep your products flowing during this crisis – and what you can do to help.

Weber Opens 5th Inland Empire Distribution Center

Weber Logistics has added a 353,361-square-foot distribution center (DC) in Jurupa Valley, CA to its warehousing and distribution network. This multi-client facility, Weber’s largest, is the company’s fifth DC in Southern California’s Inland Empire region and twelfth DC within California.  

Weber Logistics Expands Pool Distribution Network into Pacific Northwest

Weber Logistics has recently established new pool distribution hub operations in Kent and Vancouver, WA to deliver candy, snack and other food products to retail distribution centers throughout the Pacific Northwest. This new operation fills the hole left by United Warehousing’s exit from the market in the region.

How to find refrigerated LTL carriers on the West Coast

In our last blog post, we examined some of the characteristics you should look for in a refrigerated truck carrier – specifically one that specializes in candy and snack products. In this article, we’ll drill down a step further and discuss what you need to look for in refrigerated LTL carriers, particularly those that operate on the West Coast. While most of these characteristics are the same across the country, there are a few West-Coast-specific items to keep an eye on.

What candy companies should look for in refrigerated truck carriers

Candy companies and other food and beverage companies need to move products to retailers ever faster, while remaining compliant with stringent food industry regulations. You can keep pace with these demands by installing effective logistics providers throughout your supply chain. In this article, we’ll examine one set of those providers – refrigerated truck carriers – and help you identify the right one for your business.

What cold chain logistics services do 3PLs provide for candy products?

Candy products come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but share many of the same needs from a logistics standpoint. They all need to be carefully handled throughout the supply chain so that they reach customers exactly as intended. In this article, we’ll examine the cold chain logistics services a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can provide to protect the integrity of your products every step of the way.

Pool Distribution Services for Confectionery Products

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

In freight, the perfect match can cut your freight costs 8% to 10%. This happens when like shippers who lack the volume to ship in full truckloads utilize pool distribution services to combine their freight into lower-cost truckload moves.

The trick is finding other shippers whose freight requirements match your own.

The Top Weber Logistics Posts of 2019

Before we look ahead to the new year, we’d like to look back at the year that was. Specifically, we’re going to share our top 3 blog posts of 2019, as determined by reader popularity. As we are a West Coast 3PL that writes a lot about West Coast logistics, it comes as no surprise that our most popular articles of the year all have a decidedly West Coast bent.

What is Contract Warehousing and When is Your Operation Ready for it?

When your business is growing, shared warehousing with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) enables you to scale your warehousing investment to match your order volumes. Need more or less space? You can add or remove it based on your needs.

But, what happens with a mature business that is flying high and wants a more customized distribution solution? Companies in this situation often turn to a contract warehouse model to support their supply chains. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at contract warehousing and when it may be a good fit for your operation.

The Benefits of Using One Integrated Logistics Services Provider

Conventional wisdom tells you not to put all your eggs in one basket. In the logistics industry, however, this isn’t always good advice. By leaning on one third-party logistics services provider (3PL) for each leg of the distribution cycle, you may find greater efficiency and improved operational success than you would sourcing à la carte.

In this article, we’ll examine the benefits of an integrated logistics services approach.

What should you expect from your 3PL's WMS?

It wasn’t that long ago that simply having a sophisticated warehouse management system (WMS) was a major selling point for third-party logistics (3PL) providers. Over time, however, this technology has become commonplace, with just about all 3PLs having their own WMS bells and whistles to advertise.

But, while having a full-featured WMS may no longer be a differentiator for 3PLs, the way a 3PL uses the system certainly can be.

How 3PLs can help you create a more efficient CPG supply chain

For consumer-packaged goods (CPG) companies, efficiency is the name of the game. Your online customers expect faster delivery, while your retailer KPIs continue to multiply and grow in importance. Understandably, many CPG companies struggle to keep up with these increasing demands. In this article, we’ll examine where many companies are falling short, and show you how third-party logistics providers (3PLs) can be invaluable allies in overcoming CPG supply chain inefficiencies.

Understanding Millennials and Other Warehouse Labor Challenges

Warehouse labor is hard to come by. With national unemployment the lowest it’s been in 50 years, there are simply more jobs than there are people to fill those jobs. There is no easy remedy for attracting and retaining warehouse talent in this economy, but there are ways to adapt. Following are some important ways that your warehousing operation can navigate this ‘full employment’ economy.

What is ‘full employment’ doing to warehouse recruitment efforts?

When there’s not enough supply of a product to meet demand in the marketplace, consumers of that product are negatively impacted until the product is available again. But, what happens when the ‘supply’ refers to the very people responsible for moving products through the country’s supply chain?

As the economy continues to thrive, there simply aren’t enough warehouse workers to fill the number of warehousing jobs available. In this article, we’ll examine the current challenges associated with warehouse recruitment and give you insight into the way some third-party logistics (3PL) providers are handling the situation.

New Enhancements Aim to Speed Container Drayage at Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports

If you’ve been following operations at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in recent years, the trend looks something like this: the Ports continually break new volume records, truck turn times remain high, and officials vow to speed things up.  The calls for speed reached a fever pitch in Q1 of this year as freight piled up at the Ports in the wake of U.S.-China tariff announcements.  Fortunately for shippers, enhancements are in place to speed container drayage in Los Angeles and Long Beach now and in the future.

On-Demand Capabilities in Private Fleet vs Dedicated Transportation Debate

For companies of a certain size, there’s an age-old debate over how to best handle transportation services.  Is it best to go-it-alone and handle your own transportation through a private fleet?  Or, it is better to partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that offers dedicated transportation services?  We’ll take a fresh look at these two options in this article while adding a new wrinkle: the option of partnering with dedicated providers that can also offer on-demand transportation.

What shippers should know about driver misclassification by California drayage carriers

With the state supreme court’s Dynamex decision, followed by its Senate Bill 1402 (SB 1402), California’s position on the hiring of independent owner-operators by drayage carriers is now firmly established.  In short, the state asserts that many of these contractors are not independent after all – and those that claim to be acting as employees of the hiring companies have solid legal ground to sue for wages and benefits. 

Many beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) have seen the writing on the wall and are protecting themselves from possible legal and financial penalties by turning away from drayage carriers who engage contractors.  Others are not yet reacting, while still others may not even be aware of recent legal precedents.  In this article, we’ll get you up to speed on these developments and help you determine whether your prospective carrier’s drivers in California are actually considered to be on that carrier’s payroll or are sub-contractors.

Weber Logistics Named 2019 Top 100 3PL Provider

Weber Logistics has been named a 2019 Top 3PL Provider by the editors of Inbound Logistics Magazine

Why Experience Matters for Drayage Drivers

Drayage is technically just another transportation service.  A driver picks up a load and then delivers it.

With port drayage, however, this simple process becomes much more complex.  Navigating seaport terminals is a tricky business on a good day and can become extremely difficult as rules change from terminal-to-terminal, or even hour-to-hour.  To navigate the ports effectively – and avoid wasting time and money – shippers need to ensure the drayage carriers they work with have a roster of experienced drayage drivers. 

Life After FBA: Amazon Seller Fulfillment of Your Prime Orders

If you’re selling online, chances are you’re selling on Amazon.  And, if you’re selling on Amazon, you want to be Prime-certified to reach Amazon’s 100+ million Prime customers.  These ‘frequent flyers’ spend an average of 1,400 per year[i] on the site. 

To become Prime-certified, many sellers go straight to the source and let Amazon handle fulfillment through their Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.  But there is another Prime-friendly option available to you: Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP).  In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this Amazon seller fulfillment program and the ways in which it differs from FBA.

Update on the Southern California Logistics Services Market

When it comes to Southern California logistics, there’s never a dull moment.  The region is home to the busiest ports in the country, while the state continues to dramatically alter the way logistics gets done through an array of unique regulations.  In this article, we’ll get you up to speed on some of the recent SoCal supply chain developments during the first half of 2019.

What You Need to Know About Retail Compliance

If you’re a manufacturer, supplier or any other type of company seeking to do business with big box retailers, a key word to consider is “compliance.”  Every retailer has its own distribution infrastructure – complete with its own processes and procedures that allow products to flow through to stores in the most efficient manner possible.  They expect vendors to adhere to these processes and procedures. In this article, we’ll examine the most important aspects of retail compliance so that you can enjoy successful, long-lasting relationships with your retail partners.

The Four Cs: Choosing Between Shared and Dedicated Warehouse Services

You’re ready to outsource your warehousing operations to a 3PL that has the expertise, technology, and capabilities to handle your unique business day in and day out.  One of the first questions a 3PL will ask is if you are interested in dedicated or shared warehouse services.  Or, if you have been in a shared 3PL service contract for a while and your business has grown significantly, would it benefit you to move to a dedicated solution?  In this article, we’ll briefly explain what each of these services entails and then examine ‘the four Cs’ to consider when choosing between the two choices.

5 Key Criteria for Evaluating a Food-Grade Carrier

If your company produces or markets food and beverage products, the safety and integrity of those products mean everything to your business.  It’s ill-advised then to entrust key components of your supply chain to just any 3PL.  With product safety and integrity in mind, we examined 5 things to look for in a food warehousing provider in our previous blog post.  In this article, we’re going to move things out of the warehouse, onto the loading dock and into the trailer as we examine 5 things you should be looking for in a food-grade carrier. 

6 Essential Logistics Metrics: Key Performance Indicator (KPIs)

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. Logistics KPIs can tell if work is being done efficiently. There are countless KPIs 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.   

5 Things to Look for in a Food Warehousing Provider

When you entrust your food and confectionery products to a food warehousing provider, you’re relying on that company to be much more than a provider of space.  You’re really relying on them to be a partner that will work to protect the integrity of your products through every step of the supply chain.  And, while every 3PL warehousing company will promise to be just that, you must find one that truly “walks the walk.”  In this article, we identify 5 things that you should look for in a warehousing provider before entrusting them with your food or confectionery products.

Why Carriers are Stepping Away from Independent Truck Drivers in CA – and Why Shippers Should Care

Carriers are having a rough go of it as of late.  The truck driver shortage has left them scrambling to find new drivers to fill seats vacated by those retiring, leaving the industry, or switching jobs.  There just aren’t enough new drivers to fill the void. 

In most parts of the country, carriers can augment their company driver force with independent truck drivers (“owner-operators”) to fill in service gaps.  When it comes to logistics in California, however, this has become difficult due to regulations and landmark court decisions that alter the way drivers are classified in the state.  In this article, we’ll examine some of these and explain why the ramifications ultimately affect shippers just as much as carriers. 

Are AIB Standards Adequate for Your Food Grade Warehouse?

AIB International works with companies to elevate their food safety and production processing capability.  If you look through the current AIB standards for food distribution centers, they seem quite comprehensive.  If your food-grade warehouse meets all or most of the standards, you will receive a relatively high score.  During inspections, each infraction will result in a 5 point reduction on your score.  So the question is, is it enough just to keep your superior rating with AIB?

Understanding the Impact of the California Truck and Bus Regulation

California may be the Golden State, but its green initiatives are the most far-reaching in the U.S.  The state has a host of agencies and regulations whose aim is to substantially reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions.  At the heart of these efforts is the California Truck and Bus Regulation, which seeks to reduce emissions from heavy trucks and buses. 

3PL as Alternative to Traditional Food Distribution Companies

Food manufacturers who sell through traditional food distribution companies must absorb a significant price mark-up on route to the retailer, raising their prices on the shelf.  Some food companies could benefit from using a third party logistics provider (3PL) that specializes in storage and distribution of food products direct to grocery chains. 

Weber Announces New Leadership Team Members

With two new additions and one well-deserved promotion, Weber Logistics is pleased to announce the newest members of its leadership team.   These new team members bring over 50 combined years of experience to Weber customers. 

Logistics in California: Stay Compliant with State Regulations

If you’re looking to establish a logistics hub on the West Coast, California makes practical sense. Its ports and transportation infrastructure, as well as its economic and population advantages, make the state one of the world’s foremost logistics centers.

But doing business here requires an understanding of the state’s unique regulatory environment. In this article, we will examine some of these regulatory hurdles and provide you with information to navigate them effectively.

Logistics in the Chemical Industry: 7 tips for choosing a 3PL partner

If you are a chemical company seeking third-party logistics support, you’ll want to do a careful evaluation.  There are many liability and safety risks associated with hazardous material storage and shipping.  This is particularly true in the heavily regulated California market. 

Overweight Container Logistics at the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach

Shipping containers across the ocean to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is a big job with a big impact on your company’s supply chain.  It can also come with a big price tag, especially when you’re dealing with overweight containers.  This price tag can be greatly reduced, however, by partnering with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that specializes in overweight container logistics. 

Warehouse Labor Management Considerations During a Strong Economy

A strong economy means good times for business, right?  Generally speaking, the answer is yes, but there are some nasty side effects of economic strength.  In the logistics industry, one of these side effects is the difficulty in attracting and retaining talent in a high-employment market.

Let a 3PL’s West Coast Distribution Center Help You During the Driver Shortage

The three states that border the Pacific Ocean are home to 48 million people, with the states just slightly inland adding millions more to the population of the “Western U.S.”  With such a sizable chunk of the U.S. population residing in these Western states, West region distribution is a vital part of the supply chains of companies whose products originate in the Central and Eastern U.S. 

In recent years, however, multiple factors – the truck driver shortage chief among them – have made long-haul truck runs to the West Coast increasingly unreliable and inefficient.  The response of many companies has been to focus less on shipping West and, instead, store products in a West Coast distribution center operated by a third-party logistics provider (3PL).

4 Ways to Move Drayage Freight Despite the Driver Shortage

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: we’re in the midst of a truck driver shortage.  

While we may feel that we’ve reached the saturation point in hearing – and reading – about this shortage, the related headlines aren’t going away any time soon.  That’s because the shortage isn’t going away any time soon.  In fact, we can only expect to hear more about it as the impact to the trucking industry and the nation’s economy continues to worsen. 

With logistics in California, one of the major areas where this impact is being felt is container drayage.  The shortage of drayage drivers has recently returned to the headlines as there aren’t enough drivers to handle rising volumes in advance of tariffs and an interest rate hike.  In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this shortage and what you, as an importer, can do to keep your drayage freight moving to and from the ports. 

The Top Weber Logistics Blog Posts of 2018

We’re coming to the end of 2018 and preparing for 2019 – and you know what that means: year-end “best of” lists.  And, while our list may not be as entertaining as the “top 10 movies of 2018” rankings you’ll see in your social media feeds, we hope that you find it valuable.  Here, we present the three Weber Logistics blog posts that were most popular among our readers in 2018.

Can One Warehouse Store Different Temperature-Sensitive Products?

Storing different temperature-sensitive products together is a little like running a pet store.  While they may have very different care requirements, a lizard, a puppy, and a goldfish can all co-exist safely under the same pet shop roof provided their individual needs are met. 

The same holds true in the warehouse, as products with totally different – and often opposite – requirements can be stored together safely as long as appropriate measures are taken. 

Collaborate and Save: Pool Distribution with Temperature-Controlled Trucking Companies

If you need to get across town fast and your choices are a taxi cab or public transit, you’d likely prefer the cab.

Times being what they are, however, the price of that cab ride might drive you to the bus stop. But what if you could share an air-conditioned cab ride with others going to the exact same place, and pay about the same as the cost of the bus ride?

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

The Importance of Scalability in ECommerce Order Fulfillment

Growing from 100 orders per month to 15,000 per month.  For most companies, that’s a dream come true.  But if you have the wrong solution in place for eCommerce order fulfillment, that’s a dream that may never materialize.  Here at Weber, this type of quick growth spurt can, and has, happened with eCommerce order fulfillment clients.  The only way to handle it is to have an operation that can seamlessly scale to meet the uptick in demand. 

California SB 1402: What You Need to Know

Does your logistics operation source drayage services in California?  If so, read on as new legal developments in the state can put you on the hook for damages if the drayage provider you hire is misclassifying employees as independent owner/operators.

This latest shot across the bow in California’s labor battles comes in the form of California Senate Bill 1402 (SB 1402).  The Bill was signed by Governor Brown on September 22, 2018 and will take effect on January 1, 2019.  In this article, we’ll summarize the new Bill and explain what it means for shippers and other companies that hire port drayage companies in the state of California.

The Difference Between Crossdock Services and Transload Services

In the supply chain, there is sometimes confusion about what is transloading and what is cross docking.  The strategies are different, but both work to accomplish the same goal – to reduce supply chain costs.  Crossdock services and transload services both includehandling the product and delivery to multiple destinations on a different truck or container than the inbound shipment.  

Finding the Optimal California Warehouse Space for Your Products

California.  A very big state with a very big population.  In fact, it’s the largest consumer market in the U.S. and thus a very sensible place to have a distribution center.  Making California even more sensible, from a distribution perspective, is the fact that most of the Pan-Pacific freight arrives via its ports.  For many companies, these combined facts make logistics strategy simple: place a DC in California close to the arriving port and the West Coast distribution riddle is solved.

Looking a bit closer, however, we can see that West Coast distribution isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.  In this article, we’ll take a closer look at choosing the right California warehouse space for your company and the impact it has on your port-to-market speed.

How to Reduce Your Chassis Rental Fee

When considering all the costs involved in getting your containerized goods from port to market, it’s easy to think of all the “big” things that drive up your spend.  These big-ticket items include your ocean carrier, drayage, and warehousing costs. 

As your container makes its way through your supply chain, however, there’s a smaller – but cumulatively significant – cost that is likely eating away at your margins: the chassis rental fee.  In this article, we’ll examine key ways to reduce this fee and improve the profitability of your operation.

Back to Basics: An Answer to Improving Warehouse Efficiency

I just finished reading the results of the latest annual Warehouse and Distribution Center Operations Survey (Peerless Research Group).  One of the clear takeaways was that companies need to take cost out of operations, but they are carrying out warehouse efficiency initiatives that don’t involve major investments in systems and equipment.

How can you preserve your capital while still driving costs out. Consider a “back to basics" approach to warehouse operations, whether you are a shipper or third-party fulfillment company. 

Select an Asset-Based Carrier for Drayage to Speed Distribution

Many companies will choose to have their ocean carrier perform “port-to-door” drayage services.  While this approach may be convenient, it can also be detrimental to your port-to-market distribution speed as it’s easy to become a small fish in a big ocean carrier pond. When you turn to an asset-based carrier such as a 3PL provider for drayage, its assets are as good as yours.

Importing from Asia: Selecting the Right Shipping Port

Your company has made a cost-driven decision to manufacturer in Asia and import from Asia back into the U.S.  The by-product of that decision is a much lengthier supply chain and cash cycle.  Your job, in logistics, is to mitigate the negative impacts of your import supply chain by designing an efficient U.S. distribution strategy.  And one of the first things you will need to decide is your destination port. For this decision, you’ll need to look at the impact of port location on time-to-market, customer satisfaction, freight costs and inventory costs. 

Weber Opens New Long Beach Drayage Facility

Weber Logistics has opened a new port drayage facility in Long Beach, CA, less than 1 mile from the port.  Situated within the Overweight Corridor, this new facility will handle Los Angeles and Long Beach port drayage services, as well as transloading, and weight reduction for overweight loads to make them compliant with California highway regulations. 

FROM PORT TO MARKET: How to Speed Distribution of Asian Imports to West Coast Ports

There’s a new supply chain mantra in the post-Amazon era, and that mantra is SPEED.

Whether you are delivering to retailers or consumers, or both, customers want products faster in a more predictable time window.

If you import from Asia, your company has made a strategic decision to lengthen its supply chain to lower actual product costs. While you can’t control this decision, you can control how goods are transported and what happens once a container hits U.S. shores. It’s here that you can make a real difference to your company’s financial health by reducing supply chain cycle time and shrinking the cash cycle.

Weber Adds New Inland Empire Warehouse

Weber Logistics has opened a 300,000-square-foot warehouse in Eastvale, CA (Inland Empire Region) for distribution of food and consumer packaged goods for multiple clients.

Container Drayage Companies: Securing Capacity Despite the Driver Shortage

As container volumes at West Coast ports continue to increase year after year, it’s becoming more difficult to move those containers inland.  The problem?  Container drayage companies simply don’t have enough drivers to meet demand.  And, when you are fortunate enough to secure dray capacity, you can expect to pay 10 to 15% more than you were just a few years ago. 

eCommerce Fulfillment Services: Thinking Outside the (Amazon) Box

Just as Scotch is to transparent tape and Kleenex is to tissue paper, Amazon is synonymous with eCommerce.  If you’re selling products online, chances are a sizeable portion of your efforts take place on Amazon’s site with its 197 million users per month. 

But, just because Amazon’s marketplace is where you want your products to be, doesn’t mean that Amazon’s fulfillment service (Fulfillment By Amazon – FBA) is the best method for you to store your products and ship them after sale on Amazon or anywhere else.  There are many third-party logistics (3PL) providers that, although smaller than FBA, are just as adept at handling your eCommerce fulfillment services.

Location and Cost Make Central Valley Logistics a Win-Win

California’s Central Valley consists of all or part of 19 counties in the center of the state – extending from Bakersfield in the South up near Redding in the north.  It’s home to the state capitol of Sacramento, and is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world.  In addition to “the Big Tomato” (one of Sacramento’s many nicknames) and the over 230 crops grown in the Valley (tomatoes included), the Central Valley is home to a burgeoning logistics industry. 

In fact, when it comes to balancing location and cost, Central Valley logistics offers a combination of the two that is unparalleled on the West Coast. 

Can you successfully fight chargebacks issued by retailers?

True or false: when a retailer issues a chargeback penalty to you, the fine is permanent and indisputable. 

In our experience as a 3PL provider, we find that chargebacks can be based on incorrect or incomplete information and are often worthy candidates for dispute. 

In this article, we’ll provide tips to help you fight these chargebacks and reverse unwarranted penalties. 

Advantages of the Port of Oakland for Import Freight

Just as Hollywood blockbuster films get more notoriety than independent films, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach tend to get all the attention when it comes to the movement of inbound container freight to the West Coast.  After all, these ports are the busiest in the U.S. and have set new volume records yet again in 2017.

As with a well-crafted indie film, however, the Port of Oakland should not be overlooked.  It set records of its own in 2017, is increasingly relied upon as a port of entry for U.S. importers, and is a cornerstone of logistics in California.

Finding the Right 3PL Provider: Is Your Growth Journey a Logistics Dream or Nightmare?

It was a great day for your business – Costco agreed to carry your product, both in stores and online. Awesome!  

Your team worked hard for this deal and, after the celebration, you went home for some much-needed rest before starting to tackle this great new opportunity the next day with your current third party logistics partner (3PL).

That night, a vivid dream transports you to your desk the following morning. You call your 3PL provider to begin discussing a rapid ramp-up process for planned volume increases. But instead of excitement about the new opportunity, your 3PL instead expresses concern and tempers your expectations about what can be done and how fast.

3PL Onboarding and Retail Compliance Requirements

Whether it’s your first time outsourcing or you’re changing providers, partnering with a new third-party logistics (3PL) provider is an exciting time for your logistics operation.  It is a time for your weaknesses to be turned into strengths and for vital elements of your supply chain to be optimized.  As part of this, your 3PL will be focused on enhancing your performance in the eyes of your retailer partners, and meeting – and exceeding – your retail compliance requirements.  And it all begins during the onboarding process. 

Logistics Technology Systems: A Primer

In today’s fast-moving logistics marketplace, logistics technology plays a key role in determining how quickly, how accurately, and how correctly product can be delivered to the customer.  But what kind of system, or systems, do you need?  The major components are:

Product Distribution: Shrink Order-to-Delivery Cycle Time with Transloading and Deconsolidation

Transloading is by no means a new method of product distribution, but the rationale for implementing it has changed over the years.   In the past, transload operations were primarily a cost-savings play as the contents of multiple 20-foot and 40-foot ocean containers can fit into relatively fewer 53-foot domestic trailers.  This results in fewer trips and therefore lower costs.   With the “Amazon-ization” of the supply chain, however, transloading – and its ally, deconsolidation – continues to thrive as a go-to strategy for a different reason: speeding order-to-delivery time. 

Rules for Good Customer Service in Logistics

Good customer service is the lifeblood of a logistics business.  It’s all about retaining your customers and sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your company to others.  The essence of customer service in logistics is forming a relationship that customers want to sustain over time.

C-TPAT Certification: Is it right for you?

Created in the aftermath of 9/11, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) was formed to strengthen and protect foreign trade and U.S. border security.  It is a private-public partnership between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and companies such as importers, exporters and many other supply chain professionals.  By pursuing C-TPAT certification, member companies can enjoy a variety of supply chain benefits that can boost operational safety and efficiency.  For some companies, however, these benefits may not outweigh the effort needed to meet requirements. 

Food Distribution Logistics: Finding a 3PL Who Has What It Takes

Handing all or part of your food distribution operation over to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider may seem like a leap of faith.  After all, you’re relying on the 3PL’s ability to maintain food quality throughout the distribution cycle and to keep your company compliant with FDA and other requirements.  But with the proper due diligence, you can be confident in a provider’s ability to drive superior performance in all areas, from compliance and safety to operational execution and cost control. 

Here are a few key questions you should ask as part of your qualification process for food distribution partners. 

Where to Locate a Southern California Distribution Center

Looking for a Southern California distribution center for your products?  Let’s go on a tour of the region’s 1.7 billion square foot industrial real estate market, the biggest industrial real estate market in the world. 

Choosing a Food-Grade Warehouse: 5 Areas to Evaluate

When outsourcing warehouse distribution, it’s essential to find the right 3PL partner. One that understands how to run a food-grade warehouse and remain in compliance with all regulatory requirements. 

Finding the Right 3PL for Chemical Warehousing Solutions

There is no shortage of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) that claim chemical logistics expertise and have space for your hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals.  But, separating the seasoned pros from the less qualified operations can be difficult.  In this post, we identify 5 tips to help you find the right 3PL provider for safe and reliable chemical warehousing solutions.

3 Candy Transportation Habits You May Need to Break

When it comes to eating too much candy, some people find it a hard habit to break.  And, when it comes to candy transportation, many confectionery shippers have a few bad habits of their own.  The following details three common examples.

Retail Suppliers: Why Supply Chain Metrics are Critical to Retaining Your Business

In modern baseball, the analysis of player performance has less to do with time-honored traits (e.g., power, speed, agility) and increasingly more to do with metrics.  With these metrics, teams define the “best” players as those that perform well in key statistical areas like “on-base percentage” and “slugging percentage” – not necessarily who can hit the ball the farthest.  

The same is true in the modern supply chain, where – like baseball analysts – retailers keep score and measure statistics. And that close scrutiny ultimately increases the pressure on you, the retail supplier.

Air Freight Shipping: When Does It Make Sense?

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.

Refrigerated Transport: Multi-Temperature Safety Considerations

“Can you transport products with different temperatures together and do it safely?” 

Hazardous Material Storage: Frequently Asked Questions

If performed incorrectly, hazardous material storage can be an extremely dangerous undertaking.  A single slip up or oversight doesn’t just impact line items on a balance sheet, it puts lives at risk.  With the right provider, however, hazmat storage can be just as safe as the storage of any non-hazmat item. 

Optimizing Long-Haul, Temperature-Controlled LTL Shipments

There is currently no solid national solution for long-haul, temperature-controlled LTL shipments between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  Consequently, candy manufacturers and other shippers with this temperature requirement use a multi-stop truckload solution to move goods to retailers in different regions. This strategy poses increasing problems as TL capacity tightens and as retailers levy tougher penalties for shipments that don’t hit requested arrival dates (RADs). For shippers feeling this pinch, a pool distribution strategy may be a lower-risk, lower-cost alternative.

Mexico Logistics: Manufacturing in Mexico, Distribution in the U.S.

For many companies, Mexico has long been an ideal manufacturing location due to lower costs and close proximity to American consumers.  What has often been less than ideal, however, is the distribution of those finished goods after they leave the plant.  Mexico logistics is often fraught with hurdles such as border uncertainties, inadequate warehouse capacity, and security concerns.  To overcome these hurdles, many companies are enjoying the best of both worlds: manufacturing in Mexico and shipping finished goods to a U.S. logistics facility for distribution. 

Shared Warehousing: Maximizing the Benefits

 
Do you use a 3PL to store and distribute products from a multi-client, or shared, warehouse?   If you’re like many shippers with a shared warehousing strategy, you may need to change the way you manage your 3PL relationship to maximize your benefit.  

Detention Charges in Shipping: What They Are and How to Prevent Them

When your container reaches its destination port, a lot needs to happen before your goods get to market. At this point, it is possible to begin incurring accessorial charges, which can pile up quickly. In this blog post, we’ll cover detention charges in shipping – one of the most common charges you’ll want to avoid after your container hits the port. 

Where Should I Locate My SoCal Warehouse?

The logistics question of where to locate your company’s distribution centers and how many you should have is pretty complex. Some consultants charge tens of thousands of dollars to gather the details and develop a software-aided recommendation.

But if you import goods via the Port of LA or Long Beach and you’ve made the choice to distribute from Southern California, analyzing the best SoCal warehouse location is a bit easier to do.

Importing Into LA: 5 Cost-Saving Tips for Shippers

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest ports in the U.S., handling over $450 billion worth of goods each year.  This kind of volume leads to congestion that can really slow down your supply chain, and your cash cycle.  If you are importing into LA or Long Beach, here are 5 tips that can save you time, money, and quite a few headaches.   

FBA Shipping:  A Double-Edged Sword for Online Sellers

For online sellers, Amazon.com is a major double edged sword.

On the plus side, the marketplace gives sellers direct access to 250 million buyers. According to Forbes, 4 of every 10 dollars spent online goes to Amazon. Sellers can’t afford not to list their goods there, and Amazon knows it – which brings us to the other side of that very sharp sword.

Can One Warehouse Handle All Types of Hazmat Chemical Storage?

Several types of chemicals occupying the same storage facility.  Sounds dangerous, right?  It doesn’t need to be. 

Can Your 3PL Meet Walmart On Time In Full Requirements?

Walmart’s relationship with its suppliers has made headlines recently as the retail giant implements its new On Time In Full (OTIF) policy that will dole out fines for late, early, and incorrect deliveries. 

Why Grading a Potential 3PL Partner is Like Grading a Restaurant

Do you ever feel like breaking out of the everyday routine and trying a new dinner spot? Well before hopping in the car and driving aimlessly, try turning to the internet to find suggestions and reviews of a few places. Now what are the key things most people look for in a restaurant? Perhaps… parking availability, the ambiance of the venue, hi-tech ordering gadgets, cleanliness of the restrooms, or price on the menu? Those are all good characteristics to review, however, don’t forget the most important of all… SERVICE!

A lack of service can ruin an entire dinner3pl partner experience and detour you from ever returning regardless of how tasty the food was. Just as you evaluate and value the service at a restaurant, you should evaluate and value the service of a potential third party logistics warehouse. By service we are referring to “associate engagement” within the 3PL. For many companies in the market for a new 3PL partner, there will be an intense focus on the economics, contract provisions, possibly IT capabilities, however, we know that when associates are engaged in our business and more importantly, in our client’s business, we win and our clients win. If you can refuse to go back to the restaurant, why should your product keep going back to a warehouse with poor service?

How to Reduce Port Fees in Southern California

For large-volume importers, drayage costs and port fees can eat up a good chunk of the transportation budget. So it pays to dig in and understand where the money is being spent and whether smarter, cheaper alternatives exist.

Reduce Warehouse Labor Costs By Paying Workers More!

How can you reduce warehouse labor costs by paying more to warehouse workers?  Simple: Don’t pay everyone more, just the peak performers. 

Managing Client Relationships

3PL partnerships work best when both parties are engaged and understand each other.  Like any relationship, it takes some work to get to the ideal level of partnership.  The 2017 Annual Study on the State of Logistics Outsourcing published by Dr. C. John Langley stated:  91% of 3PL users and 97% of 3PL providers reported that their relationships are successful and that their work is yielding positive results. 

Following are three keys to establishing an effective successful relationship and avoid a costly breakup and transition.

A Spotlight on KPI Metrics: On-Time Shipping

Holding your 3PL accountable to deliver on the service promise can be difficult.  However, a key component of that is monitoring key performance indicators (KPI’s).

Characteristics of GREAT Teamwork

Throughout my career in logistics, teamwork has been an essential – and rewarding -- part of my operational SOP. Everyone’s role is vital in a successful operation;that synergy ultimatelydrives productivity, quality, and timeliness. 

Handling your Supply Chain this Holiday Season

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season are critical periods for many companies. For both brick-and-mortar retailers and online merchants, the holidays may be the year's peak sales period, representing in excess of 50% of their annual business. With so much on the line, it is critical to be prepared.

Different Generations, One Goal

As a company grows, so does its need for new talent, and in today’s workforce there are several generations to choose from. One can select from the well-seasoned Baby Boomer to the green bushytailed Millennials, each with their own strengths. Figuring out the correct balance for a company can be a challenge and takes some understanding of where the company stands in its development. All customers, regardless of their respective generations, are looking for the same things from a 3PL: timely communication, meeting delivery times, and avoiding additional cost. 

Keep in mind the following when dealing with different generations.  

  • Be aware of preferred work styles: Boomers tend to prefer detailed instruction and guidance while Gen X and Millennials work better on teams.
  • Adopting effective communication: This is key for effective and timely communication. Understanding the preferred method of communicating that a customer wants can alleviate communication barriers. For Veterans and Boomers a fixed hour work week can mean they are not reachable after a certain time as they typically prefer a phone call or personal conversation. Millennials, on the other hand, have communicated via technology all their lives, and are continuously connected and readily available as such -- a text message later in the evening many not be intruding.  
  • -Identifying the most successful feedback techniques: Understanding how the generations view feedback can help avoid pestering clients with hourly updates, or on the flip side, worrying them with minimal updates. Developing a relationship with customers can lead to a clearer and tailored feedback channel. A “No news is good news,” approach may suit a Boomer client, but the same approach would not be suitable for a connected Millennials utilizing live feed software.
  • Recognize the different reactions to conflict: Avoiding conflict should be a primary goal in every customer relationship. However, when problems occur, understanding what approach a customer will take can expedite solutions. Whether the customer expresses their concerns via a corporate hierarchy as a sign of respect as is frequent with Boomers, or take an immediate and direct approach as is seen in Gen Y, they are both looking for relief. With this understanding one can present solutions to the right parties or teams both timely and directly, making best use of everyone’s time.

Understanding Warehouse Insurance and Liability

Your products are the life blood of your business. Their secure movement through the supply chain, from manufacturing point to final delivery to your customer, is critical to your success.

Driving Dissent

We all face the drive to “get it done” and usually it means “get it done right now!”  But sometimes in the rush to mark the next item off our “to do” lists, we stop listening. We stop engaging our partners – and we stop listening to constructive dissent which is often the last best defense we have against really getting it wrong!

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

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.

Maximizing the Benefits of Shared Commercial Warehousing

“Consume less, share better.”   -  Herve Kempf


Shared warehousing, also known as public warehousing, can’t sound anything other than cost effective, right?  Your goods are received, stored and distributed by a 3PL provider who has made all of the investment in buying or leasing land, building, equipment and labor.  Certainly that keeps cash flow in your pocket.  But are you getting the biggest bang for your buck for public or shared warehousing?

How to Get a Good 3PL Solution

You realize that partnering with a 3PL service provider can save you money and expand your capabilities.  Yes! Good idea!  Partnering with a 3PL is a smart option to take your business to the next level with a variable cost structure, flexible capacity along with technology and expertise to improve your supply chain.  What are some keys to get the solution you need? 

Utilizing Data to Lower Warehouse Rates

We all know how the story goes when it comes to finding the lowest price, “you get what you pay for” they say. Wouldn’t it be nice for once to pay less for great quality! When it comes to warehousing rates, you can. Data is the key!

Why Utilizing a 3PL is Cost Effective

In today’s growing e-commerce world, online businesses are in a position to optimize their operations that will fuel growth, because they are able to focus on a single product-to-consumer distribution channel.  Many of the technical aspects of e-commerce business such as social marketing, website design and content management continue to be executed by in-house staff. These functions are crucial and have to be in house as they are the foundation of growing startups and online business. But when it comes to the operational and logistics aspect of the business, adding on an outside partner that has the knowledge and expertise to optimize your supply chain could provide great value.

5 Ways to Improve Logistics Communication with Customers

Logistics communication is a critical component of supply chain success.  Deficits here can cause major problems and huge losses down the road. In this article, we look at 5 ways to improve communication with your customers.  

4 Mistakes to Avoid This Holiday Season

For many retailers, the holiday season is the biggest and busiest season of the year. Some companies report that up to 40% of their total revenue comes from the holidays alone. Mistakes during this time are costly, especially because there is a very short window of time to make corrections and recoup losses. Below are four mistakes to avoid this holiday season:

Benefits of 3PL Services in the Overweight Corridor

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.

The Key to Upholding Quality in an Operation: Internal Audit Programs

Does your warehouse or 3PL provider have an internal audit program in place?  It is critical for all operations follow standard operating procedures (SOP’s) – that’s how you get to the quality we need to deliver on our promises. 

Centered around Communication

As the Distribution Center Manager for Weber Logistics’ Stockton facilities, and throughout my career in Warehousing, Logistics and Supply Chain, it has become apparent that one of, if not the, most important factors to success in the field is communication.

A Partnership Approach to 3PL Logistics

What is the key to a successful business? We all have a common goal and that is to grow our businesses. The key is to bring in new partners and not just customers. You want to form new partnerships and not categorize them as customers. Here are the principals to the partnership approach - 

Leading High Performance Teams

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.

Trust: Key for a Successful Third Party Logistics Partnership

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.

Gear Up for SOLAS Compliance

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.

Tips for Choosing a 3PL for Pharmaceuticals

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.

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

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.

What to Expect After the 3PL Selection Process

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.

Feel Confident with your Chemical Logistics Selection

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.

Key Questions when Looking for Southern California Port Services

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:

Find the Best Warehouse Pricing the First Time Around

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.

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

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.

Location Key for Supply Chain Services

In California, location is everything! It is considered in almost every decision made. Where to live, where to shop and even where to eat! Just as the importance of location is easily seen in personal day to day life, it is even more important for a business.

The beauty, however, about location is that there is no one perfect place for everyone or everything. Depending on the wants, needs and situation of an individual or company, the perfect location will always vary for different groups.

5 Tips for a Productive and Efficient Warehouse

In the logistics and supply chain industry some of today’s biggest buzzwords are efficiency and productivity. Finding a warehouse that operates efficiently & productively will ultimately reduce costs, so who doesn’t want that!

New Logistics Solutions for Port Services Guide

Ever wonder how you can gain the competitive advantage over your competition? 


How about with an amazing port distribution solution? A new solutions guide for port distribution is now available that explains the basics of utilizing transloading services. We hope after reading this guide, you can then use this knowledge to cut and control your costs.

Say Goodbye to End of Year Inventories

In the past, annual inventories were executed at the end of the year based on an organizations accounting year. While that was a method to get a good annual inventory count, it had its challenges with the following:

3PL’s can Help with Seasonal Fluctuations

As the final holiday push for many companies sends merchandise out of the warehouse and to retailers’ shelves, inventories become minimal and can leave many paying for empty warehouse space. Third party logistics providers are a great option for companies who have fluctuation in their inventories. To save costs, you need someone who can handle these fluctuations with an appropriate structure.

New White Paper on Supply Chain Services in Northern California

Northern California is a large market for supply chain services. It is easy to become overwhelmed at the idea of selecting a particular location for your manufacturing or distribution. Don’t worry, Weber is here to help. We have developed a white paper to help you better understand the Northern California market and reasons to take a second look at choosing Stockton as your primary location.

Shipping Cold Freight? Save Money by Collaborating.

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.


Searching beyond the Digital Surface to find the Right Partner

Technology we love it! Right? Well, when it comes to the dating world, not quite. The days of courtship, chivalry and face to face interaction are not long gone, but they are rare. Dating today can be done by a click of a button or a swipe to the right. Online profiles are set up to share only the things people want others to see, photos of only their best looks and the most adventurous times. Based on surface level information, the dating games begin. As individuals start to date multiple people at once, it becomes a lot of work to keep up with different people; checking your online account, text messages, phone calls and calendar. At what point do you stop and narrow the dating to one individual and attempted a committed relationship to move forward together?

The new world of 3PL selection has many similarities to dating thanks to technology.

Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better: Why Regional 3PL Providers are a Perfect Fit

 

Everyone remembers the fairy tale story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? As a refresher – Goldilocks sat in the chairs of the Papa, Mama and Baby Bear. She ate their porridge. And she finally fell asleep in Baby Bear’s bed after trying out all of them because it was “just right”. This story can be revamped into the 3PL selection process for many companies. Whereas, a company has gone to a national vendor thinking big has got to be better. Isn’t that the philosophy of the American dream?

Unfortunately, this shouldn’t be your approach when you are selecting an important extension of your organization, a partner who will share the responsibility of your supply chain. You need to ensure that you open your discussions to regional players who may be the perfect fit for your organization. Below are a few reasons why a regional provider can be a better fit at this time.

True or False: Cross Docking is to Transloading as Ice Cream is to Gelato???

At the surface, a scoop of gelato and a scoop of ice cream appear to be the same thing. They look the same, they are both cold. Despite their similarities, we know they are different when we taste the two. What makes them different is the work that is done to create the final product.

In the logistics industry, we can look at transloading and cross docking in the same way. The end result appears to be the same; however the manner in which the services are performed to get to the result are different. Transload is a form of cross dock just as gelato is a form of ice cream.

Benefits of an Upgraded Transportation Management System

Our society today is all about upgrading to the next big thing. We wait in line for hours and hours to get a hold 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.

You Can’t Build Success on a Rocky Foundation: Things to Consider During Onboarding

Any good relationship requires a solid foundation to build upon. In order to establish a solid foundation you need trust, respect and commitment. This same foundation is necessary when partnering with a new third party logistics company. Although each person has their own way of doing things in a relationship, both individuals must trust the other has their best interest in hand. The same principal applies with the client – provider supply chain relationship.

As the onboarding process begins, clients should be open to accepting the standard operating procedures (SOP’s) of their new logistics partner. At Weber we have found may clients want to replicate the systems and procedures they were previously utilizing. If you bring your same routine to your new 3PL partner, you will experience the same results and will NOT maximize efficiencies. Leaving old systems and procedures behind are crucial steps to establish the foundation for success in the short term and long term.

The Same Game with Different Rules - Chemical Warehousing

Chemical Warehousing 101

Whether you’ve been in the game for years or have just jumped in, you know when it comes to chemical warehousing, a whole new rule book applies.

Become the Holiday Hero: Prepare your DC for the Food and Beverage Industry during Peak Season

When you think of the holidays, what pops into your mind? Is it a winter wonderland, super sales, nonstop festive music, or is it all the FOOD! Can you image the holidays without your favorite holiday food and drinks to enjoy and share. The holidays would be ruined!

At Weber we don’t want to spoil the holiday spirit. Peak Season is approaching for the food and beverage industry and most are gearing up for holiday distribution. In order to ensure Weber can accommodate all our customer’s needs during this time, here are a few golden rules we use:

 

Reasons to Setup Distribution Services in the Overweight Corridor

When you are in the process of buying a house, what is most important? You always hear… Location! Location! Location! For many, location is the deciding factor. You want to be located in a spot that saves you time, money and allows you to accomplish necessary tasks. The same can be said when searching for a distribution solution. Depending on your needs, your solution may rest in the Inland Empire, near the border, in Northern CA or near the LA/LB ports.

Benefits of a Border Distribution Center

Selecting a location to manufacture and set up distribution is different for all companies. Mexico is re-emerging as a leading location for manufactures due to increasing labor and fuel costs in China and Mexico’s accessibility into the United States. Many companies especially those in the automotive and aerospace industries are taking advantage of the situation manufacturing in Mexico and setting up distribution in the United States along the Mexico border.

The Key to Accurate Warehousing Rates is Accurate Data.

3PLs utilize profile worksheets to calculate rates. Each 3PL has its own worksheet, but the approaches are similar. At Weber, we look at a variety of data, including product volume, case size, pallet size and weight.

Is the Honeymoon Over with your Current 3PL?

Many will say there is no better part of a relationship than the honeymoon phase. Both parties are always there for one another, care extremely about their partner and will do anything and everything to keep their partner happy. You are barely scratching the surface and uncovering your partner’s true identity. Things seemed great at first, but what if you are not so happy now with what you find? Suddenly promises are broken, goals are different and the synergy is gone.

It’s possible you overlooked investigating a few things because they looked great at the surface level. If your 3PL is not living up to the expectations from when you signed the contract, it might be time to start exploring other options and re-evaluating your current provider.

7 Frequent Chargebacks and Steps to Reduce Them

Are you receiving chargeback after chargeback after chargeback? Well, you are not the only one my friend. Companies can lose hundreds of thousands in profit if they do not resolve inadequacies in compliance.

Over the past few decades retailers have amped up their vendor compliance with a view to speeding their order-to-cash cycle times and making their distribution centers maximally efficient.  When goods are not received before or after the expected date or contain errors in labeling the vendor is subject to a chargeback based on the percentage of the value of the shipment.

Seven of the most frequent chargebacks by category include:

6 Tips to Select the Right Chemical Warehouse Partner

What do chlorine, nitrogen and ammonium hydroxide have in common? Well if you guessed THEY ARE DANGEROUS… You are correct! These are EXTREMELY dangerous chemicals that require proper handling. Without the proper knowledge and necessary caution these products can create havoc for any person or company.

Hazardous chemicals cannot be stored at any location. They have a huge liability and not just any one can handle this product. It can become a headache trying to find the right partner to store your product with and trusting it will be in good hands. Weber is here to try and reduce the stress; we have put together some tips to help you in the selection process for a chemical warehouse partner.

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

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.

6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Intermodal Service

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.

Tips to Evaluate your Warehouse Provider and Lower Costs

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.

How a 3PL Provider Can Help Reduce Order Turnaround Time

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

Lower Costs by Boosting Employee Morale

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:

 

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

 


The Gray Chassis Pool allows truckers to pick up and drop off chassis at ANY of the terminals served by the three chassis pools. That’s right ANY of the twelve terminals. The project was launched on March 1st, 2015 by TRAC Intermodal, Flexi-Van Leasing and Direct Chassis Link.

Want Accurate Warehouse Pricing? Provide Good Data.

To provide a warehouse pricing quote, most third party logistics providers (3PLs) use profile worksheets.  Each 3PL has its own worksheet, but the approaches are similar.

C-TPAT Benefits for Importers

Companies that import products often ask us about the benefits of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.  We write about it in our paper “C-TPAT Membership: Is It Right for You?”

Let’s review these C-TPAT benefits. But first, a look at the basics of the C-TPAT program. 

7 Steps to Reduce Chargebacks

Tired of retailer chargeback penalties? Here are seven steps you can take in your distribution operation to minimize chargebacks. We write about it in more detail in our paper: "How to Reduce Chargebacks in Your Vendor Compliance Program."  

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