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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

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


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


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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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


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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Air Freight Shipping: When Does It Make Sense?

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


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

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

Nov 3, 2016 / by Weber Logistics posted in Transportation Strategies, Distribution


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

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Benefits of 3PL Services in the Overweight Corridor

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


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

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Shipping Cold Freight? Save Money by Collaborating.

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


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

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

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Benefits of an Upgraded Transportation Management System

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


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

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

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


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

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Controlling Costs for Refrigerated Trucking

Apr 22, 2014 / by Weber Logistics posted in Transportation Strategies, Refrigerated Trucking, LTL


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

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

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

How do the prices get so high?

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

Am I overpaying for temp-controlled services?

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

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

How do I control my costs?

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

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

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

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

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

pool distribution temperature control

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