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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Bob Lilja


Recent Posts

Speed and Cost Advantages of West Coast eCommerce Fulfillment

Jun 25, 2020 / by Bob Lilja posted in Southern California Ports, Shared Warehousing, west coast warehouses, 3PL Outsourcing, eCommerce Fulfillment, Direct to Consumer, logistics in California

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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.

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Multi-Channel Fulfillment: Key Considerations

Jun 11, 2020 / by Bob Lilja posted in 3PL, eCommerce Fulfillment, Pick and Pack

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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.

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

Mar 31, 2020 / by Bob Lilja posted in Third Party Logistics, 3PL

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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.

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

Dec 12, 2019 / by Bob Lilja posted in Shared Warehousing, Warehouse Rates, Warehouse operations, 3PL Outsourcing, Labor issues, 3pl contracts

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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.

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The Benefits of Using One 3PL for Integrated Logistics Services

Nov 21, 2019 / by Bob Lilja posted in Logistics Management, Third Party Logistics, Transportation Strategies, Warehouse operations, 3PL Outsourcing, Drayage, Distribution

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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 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.

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Considering On-Demand Capabilities in the Private Fleet vs Dedicated Transportation Debate

Aug 22, 2019 / by Bob Lilja posted in West Coast Distribution, Logistics Management, Third Party Logistics, Transportation Strategies, Labor issues

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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.

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Update on the Southern California Logistics Services Market

Jun 27, 2019 / by Bob Lilja posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, Third Party Logistics, Warehouse operations, eCommerce Fulfillment, Inland Empire Warehouse, Labor issues, Drayage, rail transportation, Peak Season Shipping, Distribution, logistics in California

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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.

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Warehouse Labor Management Considerations During a Strong Economy

Feb 14, 2019 / by Bob Lilja posted in Logistics Management, Public Warehousing, Third Party Logistics, west coast warehouses, Warehouse operations, Onboarding, Management, Warehouse, Labor-Productivity

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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.

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Advantages of the Port of Oakland for Import Freight

May 24, 2018 / by Bob Lilja posted in Port Logistics, Northern California 3PL

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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.

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C-TPAT Certification: Is it right for you?

Mar 29, 2018 / by Bob Lilja posted in Port Logistics, C-TPAT

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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. 

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