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By Mark Fiorini, President of Westgate Global Logistics

Many of us have been working in freight for decades and have experienced seemingly constant changes in technology, regulations, and standards. Some of these evolutions have improved our businesses and some have caused sleepless nights as we try to adjust to head-scratching policy changes. While it may seem like we are helpless bystanders to the tidal wave of change washing over the transportation industry, I have found a few ways to be actively involved and have my voice heard.

Advocate for Transportation:

Being an active member of Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) has been a way to advocate for my business and our industry. TIA sets the ethical standards for the 3PL industry, represents our interests before government bodies, and advocates for regulations that promote fair competition, safety, and efficiency in the transportation sector. Additionally, the organization works hard to prevent fraudulent activity that has continued to increase over the years. It is imperative that we, as members, represent our industry. If we aren’t doing it, then who will? TIA also has a PAC that raises funds to help build relationships with Members of Congress who can support our goals and initiatives. Every year, TIA members gather in Washington, D.C. at the Annual Policy Forum, where we meet with members of Congress and their staff to ask for help with ongoing issues and concerns, while offering alternative suggestions for improvement. I have participated in the Policy Forum since 2017 and always take so much out of the experience. This year’s trip is scheduled for September 16-18 and I strongly encourage TIA members to join in the effort.

Stay Informed:

I have found it critical to stay informed on what policy changes are headed our way. TIA has been a valuable resource for advanced knowledge on regulations and how they could shape our business. I highly recommend plugging into industry publications and organizations that can keep you up-to-date on news that will affect your business. Having a pulse on proposed regulations gives us the opportunity to have discussions before implementation occurs and it’s too late.

Network, Network, Network:

We are all busy and it too often seems difficult to carve out time to attend events or conferences. But the value I receive from meeting other logistics professionals is worth every bit of time I invest in it. Local Traffic Clubs and other supply chain related organizations provide a way to bring together industry leaders, while fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. We can make more of an impact as a group than we can alone.

It is my hope that by continuing to combine efforts will contribute to a more efficient, innovative, and professional logistics landscape.

 

Resources

Read more about the ATA’s challenge to the DOL rule: https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/ata-expresses-strong-support-kiley-cassidy-resolution-protect-independent-contractors

Check out the full NTDC 2024 schedule: https://ntdc.trucking.org/sites/default/files/2024-02/State%20Competitions%20Flyer.pdf

Learn more about trucking job demand: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-6

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/jobs-report-truck-transportation-employment-flat-warehouse-jobs-drop-again

EASY TO WORK WITH?

A service-aware logistics provider understands your shipping needs and proactively takes steps to meet them without having to be asked. They anticipate problems and put emphasis on preventing mistakes before they happen at every step of the process. Does your provider act like a partner, pointing out ways to mitigate potential issues you or your customers might face? Are they knowledgeable and experienced enough to root our problems on your behalf? Do they offer creative solutions and stay involved through the whole transaction to ensure a seamless experience? More than just making you feel good, this approach makes you look good to your customers, makes your business more streamlined, and ultimately boosts your bottom line.

 

QUICK TO RESPOND? 

Fast delivery is essential … but so is fast response to communications and fast updates on load status. Can your current provider give you access to real-time analytics and the superior service that means for your customers? Does your logistics provider keep the communications lines open so that your client gets the quickest possible updates on their shipments? No one likes to be bounced around a call center. A quality provider gives you the personal attention you need to save time and meet the needs of your customers.

 

CONSISTENTLY ON TIME WITH PICKUP AND DELIVERY? 

This old-fashioned metric is still the clearest performance indicator we have. When facing a request that’s out of the ordinary, does your provider tell you it can’t be done, or do they work with you to create an extraordinary, customized solution? An experienced, dedicated logistics service provider will treat your business as their own, showing the kind of urgency and attention to detail that ensures your satisfaction.
A dependable partner provides a higher level of service, and good customer service is good business. If your logistics provider is helping your reputation while improving your processes, your company will shine.
Call Westgate Global Logistics. We’ll give you a complimentary review of your shipping needs and challenges, and discuss solutions we can provide. We are an experienced logistics service provider.

 

DOWNLOAD THE HIGH COST OF POOR SERVICE TODAY and learn how to stop profits from slipping out the door!

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Do you know if your logistics partner is costing you money? 

 

This kind of question sounds like a gut check or judgment call, but there’s actually hard data that puts a sizable price tag on poor service. Newvoicemedia (now part of Vonage) tracks the effects of service on customer retention — that is, keeping old customers coming back — and acquisition — bringing new customers in. One of their recent studies found that poor service costs U.S. businesses in excess of $75 billion annually in lost revenue. What’s more dramatic, that loss of revenue is increasing by more than $5 billion per year…

 

Our Guide Includes:

  • Criteria your logistics provider should meet
  • Insight into key areas impacting shipping inefficiencies
  • Best practices for shipping and receiving

 

Get your copy!

DOWNLOAD THE HIGH COST OF POOR SERVICE TODAY and learn how to stop profits from slipping out the door!

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General Hiring Slows as Trucking Jobs Continue to Drop

 

Unemployment has been historically low this year, but the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures show hiring slowing. About 150,000 new jobs were added compared to 297,000 in September. But the new number is still robust enough to suggest that companies remain keen on hiring despite high interest rates making borrowing more expensive.

 

Experts say lowered job growth is due to the United Auto Workers strikes which just ended with tentative settlements agreed to by the union and Detroit automakers. The UAW strikes led to a loss of 35,000 jobs in October, which contributed to the unemployment rate rising from 3.8% to 3.9%. On top of that, the Labor Department lowered its job-growth estimate by 101,000 for August and September.

 

While other sectors saw job gains, such as healthcare (58,000) and construction companies (23,000), the truck transportation sector shed 5,000 jobs. That’s the fourth decline in the past five months, with total jobs at 1,578,600, down from 1,609,200 in May for a difference of 30,600 jobs.

 

The good news is that the seasonally adjusted trucking jobs report of 5,000 was a smaller decline compared to July and August. Revised September and August numbers show that the past five months have recorded drops of 1,400 jobs in June, 6,900 in July, 30,700 in August (due to the closing down of the huge Yellow Corp.), and 5,000 in October. There was also a trucking industry job increase of 13,400 in September, possibly due to the BLS overestimating job losses in August.

 

Economists mainly care about seasonally adjusted data, but they don’t advise disregarding non-seasonally adjusted numbers. The jobs total for not seasonally adjusted truck transportation in October was 1,589,700, the same as September, which was revised downward by 2,000 jobs.

 

 

To read more about the drop in trucking industry employment: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/truck-transportation-jobs-drop-again

 

 

Trucking Companies ask States for Parking Funds

 

The 50 state associations of the American Trucking Associations have sent a letter to all governors asking them to make truck parking one of their infrastructure spending priorities. In the letter, the ATA calls attention to the many new resources and funds being provided by the federal government through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which could be used to improve and expand truck parking facilities.

 

The ATA point out to the governors that construction of new truck parking capacity “at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate. Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”

 

For some time now, the trucking industry has been insisting on greater investment in truck parking capacity. They point to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which shows that 98% of truck drivers commonly have trouble finding safe parking. They are therefore often forced to park in unsafe or unauthorized areas. Because of this situation, 70% of drivers have had no choice at times but to violate hours-of-service rules.

 

To read more about the trucking industry request for parking funds:

 

 

About Westgate 

You can always count on Westgate Global Logistics to keep you up to date on industry news. Our passion for delivering exceptional logistics services continues to be at our core, and is why we have thrived in this constantly changing industry. CONTACT US today to experience how we can improve your shipping efficiencies.

We attended the TIA Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., where we were honored to represent the 3PL industry and build relationships with key members in Capital Hill.

 

Members of TIA held 170 meetings to address with state representatives some important topics affecting our industry, such as rate intrusion and fraud in the supply chain.  The event boasted a remarkable turnout of 130 members, making it the largest forum to date- proof of our ever-growing commitment to advancing the industry.

With our record-breaking attendance and productive meetings, we are proud to have played a role in the success of not only the 2023 TIA Policy Forum but also in elevating the logistics industry as a whole.

 

In the photos with Mark (left to right) are Representative Dan Meuser (R-PA), Sarah O’Driscoll / CTB (National Xpress Logistics), and Rob Kemp (DRT Transportation LLC).

You may have seen it in the news—a large less-than-truckload carrier went out of business recently, leaving a lot of shippers blindsided and desperately in need of an alternative. Maybe you’re one of them?

Especially if you are in that predicament—but even if you’re not—now is a good time to consider the benefits of working with a family-owned/operated brokerage firm like Westgate for assistance with your LTL shipping needs. What exactly are these benefits? Funny you should ask. They include:

  • Efficiency. Giant companies are inevitably less nimble than smaller ones. A larger staff means more corporate bureaucracy and a longer chain of command, which could lead to sluggish pace as decisions and actions must filter down through personnel. At Westgate, we are not only free of those issues, but we can implement innovative ideas and technological change more seemlessly through our lean group of experienced logistics professionals.

 

  • Flexibility. We can adapt much more fluidly than a larger brokerage, thereby providing you with personalized solutions that meet your changing needs ASAP. We’re agile and can spin on a dime!

 

  • Family values. It may sound corny, but it’s true—because we’re a small company, it’s easier for us to put our values into action. That means we embrace a warm, thoughtful workplace culture, treating our employees with care and respect. And that personal concern extends to our customers, making sure their cargo is properly handled while providing them great communication along the way. Our customers know they can call us at any time and we’re ready to provide solutions to solve their challenges.

 

  • Business know-how. We’re proud of our long reputation for reliability and our customers have learned to expect only the best from us.  Because of our small stature, each of our team members plays a critical role in our success.  As a result, we have developed a trained and knowledgeable staff that is capable of tailoring services to meet the timing and expectations of all different types of businesses.

 

  • Personal service. When you have an urgent issue you need addressed ASAP, you’ll never have to deal with an endless series of automated voice responses and prompts as you wait to speak to someone. At Westgate, you’ll always get a live person who is available to provide immediate assistance. We are positioned to develop personal relationships with clients, and prepared to help you find the right solutions to fit your needs.

 

  • Claims assistance/disputes. Tired of dealing with the challenges associated with pricing disputes, or filing and staying on top of damage or loss claims?  Let Westgate remove these headaches. Outside of furnishing some required documentation, our team will manage the entire claim process until settlement occurs. We also fight pricing disputes for unjustified charges on behalf of our clients.

 

So whether you’ve recently lost your LTL provider or your current one is not giving you the service you need, or you simply want to enjoy the kind of assistance that only a smaller, more dedicated brokerage can provide, please consider contacting us and giving us the opportunity to earn your trust.

 

Manufacturing is Moving Closer to Home 

A resurgence of American Manufacturing is upon us. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain vulnerabilities have been brought to the very forefront of the industry, revealing both the risks and inefficiencies of relying on outsourced manufacturing operations. As businesses adjust to a post-pandemic world, many consider reshoring or nearshoring their manufacturing operations to bring production closer to home and reduce supply chain risks. The potential for a revitalization of American manufacturing, driven by increased investment in technology, automation, and skilled labor, highlights how the manufacturing industry is experiencing a resurgence.

 

With an increased focus on sustainability, technology advancements, and government policies, domestic production is more appealing than in decades. By adopting more robotics and artificial intelligence in manufacturing, companies can increase speed and efficiency while reducing labor costs. By investing in apprenticeships, vocational programs, and other workforce training initiatives, American manufacturers can develop a more highly skilled workforce better equipped to compete in a global marketplace. Of course, the transformation won’t happen overnight. It will require significant investments, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. Still, with exemplary efforts and investments, American manufacturing has great potential to see a new epoch of competitiveness and growth.

To read more about supply chain specifics: https://www.supplychainbrain.com/blogs/1-think-tank/post/37079-a-new-dawn-for-american-manufacturing

 

 

FMCSA Considers Proficiency Tests for New Commercial Carriers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is considering new regulations requiring proficiency tests for new carriers. These tests would ensure carriers thoroughly understand safety regulations and compliance requirements before they begin operating, and the initiative intends to reduce the number of accidents and safety violations caused by carriers who need to be adequately trained. Under the proposed rule, new carriers must demonstrate proficiency in several areas, including safety, regulatory compliance, and business fundamentals. While this proposal is still in its early stages, it has the potential to improve the trucking industry’s safety significantly. The proposal has received mixed reactions from industry experts and stakeholders, with some arguing that the added requirements would create unnecessary barriers to entry for new carriers. In contrast, others believe the tests would be a valuable way of ensuring that carriers are prepared to operate safely and effectively. Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.

 

 

 

Top Trucking Talent: A Look into the Competitive World of Truck Driver Championships

Truck driving enthusiasts, buckle up! The 2023 State Truck Driving Championships schedule has been announced and is set to be a thrilling event. Starting in July, truckers from across the United States will compete in regional competitions for professional truck drivers to showcase their skills in categories like vehicle inspection, backing, and driving courses. The winners of the state finals will then have the opportunity to represent their state at the National Truck Driving Championships in August. The annual event is an excellent opportunity for drivers to showcase their skills, demonstrate their knowledge of safety and regulations, and connect with other drivers and industry experts. As the world continues to rely on the trucking industry for transportation, events like these are essential to acknowledge the vital role played by truckers and provide a platform for drivers to connect and showcase their skills while ensuring they keep up with the latest safety standards and practices.

To see the full schedule: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/2023-state-truck-driving-championships-schedule

 

 

 

 About Westgate 
You can always count on Westgate Global Logistics to keep you up to date on industry news. Our passion for delivering exceptional logistics services continues to be at our core, and is why we have thrived in this constantly changing industry. CONTACT US today to experience how we can improve your shipping efficiencies.

On May 10th, President and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), Anne Reinke, testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on behalf of freight brokers. She addressed the challenges faced by 3PLs and offered solutions to ease supply chain disruptions. Reinke also emphasized the need for a better safety rating system and the fight against fraud in the logistics industry, estimated to cost $800 million.

Westgate has been a long time member and supporter of the TIA, which not only sets the ethical standards for the freight brokerage industry, but also actively lobbies on our behalf regarding important issues affecting our businesses.

Read the full article here: LINK

 

Congratulation to Westgate Global Logistics’ President, Mark Fiorini, for being chosen for the 2023 Lehigh Valley Business’ Power 100.

 

Chosen by Lehigh Valley Business staff, this list consists of the top 100 most influential business leaders from a wide variety of businesses in Lehigh Valley. These leaders improve the local community, bring prosperity, and are considered to be the “movers and shakers” of the area.

We are proud of Mark for all his hard work and dedication to Westgate and beyond. His leadership is valued by all the employees, customers, and carriers that he impacts.

If you would like to read more about the Power 100 or Mark and his accomplishments, you can read more here: LINK