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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

Jerry Critchfield


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What shippers should know about driver misclassification by California drayage carriers

Aug 8, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Third Party Logistics, 3PL Outsourcing, Labor issues, Drayage, Regional Logistics, Northern California 3PL, logistics in California

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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.

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Why Experience Matters for Drayage Drivers

Jul 25, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, 3PL Outsourcing, Labor issues, Drayage, Distribution, logistics in California

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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. 

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5 Key Criteria for Evaluating a Food-Grade Carrier

May 9, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in West Coast Distribution, 3PL, Vendor Compliance, Food Supply Chain, Cold Chain Managment, Refrigerated Trucking, Food Logistics

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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. 

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

Apr 11, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, Third Party Logistics, 3PL, Transportation Strategies, 3PL Outsourcing, Labor issues, Regional Logistics, Logistics Compliance, logistics in California

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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.  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. 

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Understanding the Impact of the California Truck and Bus Regulation

Mar 28, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in West Coast Distribution, west coast warehouses, Transportation Strategies, OTR, Northern California 3PL, Distribution, logistics in California

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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. 

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

Feb 21, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, Third Party Logistics, west coast warehouses, Transload, Inland Empire Warehouse, overweight

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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. 

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4 Ways to Move Drayage Freight Despite the Driver Shortage

Jan 10, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Third Party Logistics, west coast warehouses, Transportation Strategies, Labor issues, Drayage, Distribution

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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. 

Here 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. 

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How to Reduce Your Chassis Rental Fee

Oct 18, 2018 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Southern California Ports, West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, Third Party Logistics, 3PL, 3PL Outsourcing, Drayage, Peak Season Shipping, 3pl contracts

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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.

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Container Drayage Companies: Securing Reliable Capacity Despite the Driver Shortage

Jul 26, 2018 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in Port Logistics, Drayage

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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. 

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

Apr 12, 2018 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in West Coast Distribution, Port Logistics, Distribution

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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. 

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