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.

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

A bill has been introduced to Congress to amend the safety rating process for motor carriers. The upgraded standard would also require shippers and brokers to ensure trucking companies are licensed, registered, and insured before using them. As the TIA and its members continuously put forth efforts to establish a Motor Carrier Selection Standard, this is a small step in the right direction for the freight brokerage industry.

“TIA applauds Congressmen Gallagher and Moulton for their leadership on this critical safety issue. The current carrier selection processes lack clarity, affecting greatly not only our members but also all highway users. This legislation establishes a robust and clear rating process and improves highway safety,” stated TIA President & CEO Anne Reinke.

Read the full article at FreightWaves: CLICK HERE

We take a look at the history of the transportation industry and how Westgate Global Logistics evolved along with it.


A New Era in Transportation

The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 (MCA) was the beginning of deregulation in the trucking industry and the start of a new era in transportation. It promoted the introduction of a new entity to trucking… Freight Brokerage. The role of the broker was to serve as an intermediary between shippers and carriers, facilitating high levels of communication and customer service to move shipments faster and more efficiently. This opened up a new opportunity for businesses to meet this need and changed how goods are transported across the country.

While these industry changes from the MCA were taking place, our co-founder Tom Fiorini was a manager with IML Freight (a former LTL carrier based out of Salt Lake City). His boss at the time saw great potential in the brokerage business and began the process of leaving IML to start his own freight brokerage. Being a friend and mentor to Tom, he strongly encouraged Tom to consider the same opportunity.

Westgate Breaks Out

Meanwhile, a long-time freight salesperson and acquaintance of Tom’s in the Lehigh Valley, PA area, Don Hunsinger, had already secured a business license to start a brokerage firm. Tom joined him and together they formed Westgate Transportation Inc. in 1983. This partnership continued through the early 1990’s until Tom became the sole owner.

Westgate was founded on our core values – honesty, integrity and trust. This mindset coupled with our focus on remaining a small, streamlined company helped us remain flexible and able to provide personalized solutions to our customers. This structure and mission have allowed us to stand out in the industry as we are able to provide nimble solutions that are unique to our customers’ needs. In addition, both our carrier base and our employees enjoy working with a family owned company where their needs are valued and prioritized. As one of Tom’s ten children, Mark Fiorini joined the company in 2012 and became President in January 2017. Mark continues to focus on maintaining the tradition and culture that Tom built as the company grows.

40 Years Later

As we enter 2023, Westgate is celebrating its 40th anniversary year. Over the years we have witnessed many changes in the industry, including the move from paper to technology and ever-evolving tools. And while Westgate utilizes advanced technology to give their shippers the data and updates they need, they also have the focused support team to monitor it along the way. The newest, sleekest logistics technology is rendered useless if the company utilizing it doesn’t have an experienced team managing it. The highly-trained team utilizing the technology is what sets us apart.

In celebration of our 40th year, we are transitioning to the new company logo and look to reflect the growth and legacy of Westgate. Rest assured that our values, mission, dedication, and commitment to our relationships remain the same.

We dedicate this milestone to the customer base, the carriers, and the company’s trusted employees. We thank our customers for having the trust in us as a reliable partner to provide solutions to their shipping needs and challenges. Likewise, we thank our carrier base for allowing us to represent them, and for providing great transportation services for us and our customers. Most of all, we thank our employees for their dedication, hard work, and integrity in facilitating each and every move.

Remembering Tom Fiorini: a Founder, Father, and Mentor


It is with very heavy hearts we announce that Thomas A. Fiorini passed away on January 6th, 2022. Tom was more than just our Chairman and Co-Founder of Westgate Global Logistics. He was our dear friend, our mentor, and our family. Tom impacted each person he encountered with his incredible ability to connect with others and the integrity he upheld in everything he did. He was a hard worker in both his professional and personal life. He enjoyed fixing things and updated his entire home. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his large and ever-expanding family. He will be dearly missed and we will carry on his values and vision in how we work and how we live. You can read Tom’s full obituary here: https://www.cantelmifuneralhome.com/notices/Thomas-Fiorini


We are honored to announce that the Annual TIA Heritage Award was renamed after Tom this year to recognize his immense contributions to the organization and the relationships he fostered. Tom’s son, Mark Fiorini, had the privilege of presenting the Tom Fiorini Heritage Award at the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s 2023 Capital Ideas Conference in April.

We are deeply grateful for the firm foundation Tom established for us and look forward to many more years of fulfilling his vision.


See for yourself why businesses are depending on Westgate to improve their shipping processes and to keep them informed of industry trends. Reach out to us to experience our boutique approach to streamlining logistics through an extensive network of resources, trained brokerage experts and unique personal service.

New California law adds a little chaos to truckers’ lives coast to coast.

Are independent owner-operators and drivers lease-independent contractors, or are they really employees under another name?

That’s the question posed by AB5, a controversial California law that has other states eyeing similar measures. Now that the law has passed a Supreme Court challenge, organizations like the TIA are studying the effect the ruling might have across the transportation industry.


It Started with Uber

AB5 was originally designed as a way to give gig drivers, like those working for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and similar app-based services, a fair shake. It codified the “ABC test” for determining if a driver was an independent contractor or an employee. You count as an employee – with all the obligations that entail – unless the company that hires you can prove:

  1. You’re “free of the control and direction of the employer in performing work”; in other words, you’re not subject to hands-on supervision.
  2. The work you do is outside the usual course of the employer’s business.
  3. You’re already working in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the employer.

For Uber drivers and the like, the law meant a chance at unemployment insurance, health insurance, sick leave, minimum wage, and everything that goes with a regular job. It went into effect on January 1, 2020.

By November, the ride-share companies had sponsored their own law, Proposition 22, that overrode AB5 and specified that app-based drivers were independent contractors (though it did kick in some health-care subsidies and accident insurance for them).

But other independent contractors – and especially other drivers – were left out.


No Dice In Court

The California Trucking Association challenged the law and ultimately tried to bring its case before the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court declined to consider it, issuing a denial without comment this summer.

Different versions of the law passed in Massachusetts and New Jersey attracted similar challenges from groups representing freelance journalists and photographers, saying that a law declaring them employees was a limit on their freedom of speech, but those arguments got no further.

For now, the CTA case is back in a California district court, and the state was trying to have the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) removed from it. The CTA and OOIDA replied with a joint statement saying, among other things, “It makes no sense that the State would oppose the participation of the nation’s largest and oldest organization representing small-business truck drivers in a lawsuit that harms tens of thousands of OOIDA’s members.”

That was in September. At the time this article is being written, it seems likely the court arguments will continue – but the law is already in effect.


Now What?

For now, TIA Board Vice Chair Mark Christos is heading up an “AB5 Task Force” looking into three possible impacts the law might have: first, on how brokers will now relate to owner-operators in California; second, on how agents used by brokers will be affected; and third, what broad effects the law will have on California’s cargo-carrying capacity.

The TIA also brought up the wider legal picture in Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. this September, as a part of what they’re calling “supply chain sustainability.” Our President Mark Fiorini attended the forum and is committed to being involved in these critical policy meetings. They’re hoping to get lawmakers to review how dozens of outdated or mismatched regulations are actually shaping the way things get moved from point A to point B.

For owner-operators and other independent contractors, as well as for the motor carriers who hire them, things are still somewhat in the air. Will brokers suddenly have to become employers if their drivers enter California (or Massachusetts, or New Jersey)? Can California-based motor carriers and owner-operators survive what the CTA has called “the costs and burdens associated with shifting to an employer-employee business model”? How will those “costs and burdens” affect prices and plans up and down the supply chain?

Unfortunately, those answers remain to be seen.


As Always, Westgate Global Logistics Will Keep You Informed On Industry Issues. We Encourage You To Evaluate Your Business, And If You Have Any Questions, CONTACT US To Discuss Your Transportation Needs.


Since this article was written, the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a national regulation similar to AB5.












Soaring Fuel Prices Putting the Squeeze on Owner-Operators

As fuel prices continue to surge, many of the 350,000 registered owner-operator drivers are looking at changing lanes and becoming company drivers. “It’s not happening yet, but it’s coming,” said William “Lewie” Pugh, an OOIDA executive vice president who worked as a leased owner-operator for 24 years, said of free-agent independent drivers either leaving the business or deciding to change the way they operate.

According to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on-highway diesel pump prices are still hovering around record-high levels, averaging $5.72 a gallon nationwide. On top of the soaring fuel prices due to rising oil prices, flattening demand and lower spot rates are putting owner-operators in a tough spot. As a result, many drivers are looking to change the way they operate by either becoming company drivers and avoiding the fuel mess or by leasing their independent services to a fleet.


Freight Industry Downshifts from Hectic Pace for Shipping

As we approach the midway point of the year, the survey-based Logistics Managers Index fell for the first time this year. In fact, it fell from a record high in March to the lowest level since January 2021. However, not every sector in the industry was hit equally. While the inventory and warehousing sectors only exhibited minor changes, the transportation sector showed the steepest drop.

“Despite the slowdown in transportation, respondents still indicate growth in the sector, just at a slower pace than what we’ve seen over the last 18 months,” the report stated. “It can be observed that the two curves have not yet inverted, suggesting that while the frantic pace in the transportation market has slowed down, we have not yet tilted into a full-on recession.”


Rail Regulators Want to Speed Emergency Service Responses

Recently, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced the upcoming policy changes that will overhaul the existing emergency service rules. The new policy would essentially set up an accelerated response to emergency situations.

The STB mentioned many issues faced by the rail sector, including:

  • tight car supply
  • unfilled railcar orders
  • missed switches
  • ineffective customer assistance


“The rail service challenges shippers are currently experiencing are amplified by certain recent conditions but are not new,” STB Chairman Marty Oberman said in a release. “For several years the Board has gathered information showing that the existing emergency service rules are too cumbersome to be of use to shippers in need of immediate relief.”


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.





Truck Tonnage is Up1

Compared to this time last year, truck tonnage is up over 2.5%. “Demand for trucking freight services remains strong, but for-hire contract carriers are capacity constrained due to the driver and equipment markets. The spot market has been surging as these carriers can’t haul all of the freight they are asked to move,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “So the fact that the tonnage index hasn’t fully recovered is a supply problem, not a lack of demand.”

In fact, demand has been on the rise since the beginning of 2021. According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales are expected to continue to rise in 2022. “NRF expects retail sales to increase in 2022, as consumers are ready to spend and have the resources to do so,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said. “We should see durable growth this year given consumer confidence to continue this expansion, notwithstanding risks related to inflation, COVID-19 and geopolitical threats.”

Even though the expected growth rate for 2022 is lower than the 14% annual growth rate we saw in 2021, it is stronger than the 10-year, pre-COVID-19 pandemic growth rate of 3.7%.


Women in Logistics2

Many women are taking advantage of the opportunity to work in the logistics industry and contribute to a field that is often considered the backbone of American society. However, women’s presence in the industry is still lacking. In fact, men make up about 90% of the driving and warehouse positions and 70-80% of the positions in the 3PL space.

Are we lacking women in logistics? If so, we’ve come a long way, but what else can we do? How can we attract female talent to the industry? The TIA’s Women in Logistics (WIL) committee has a few plans in this regard, including speaking to high school and college-age students to introduce an industry they might not have ever considered.


Save Money with Expedited Shipping3

As shipping delays and supply chain issues continue to disrupt the logistics industry, a huge issue businesses are struggling with is shipping and receiving products on time. These disruptions can cause companies to miss deadlines, leading to the loss of valuable customers and vendors.

However, expedited shipping services can help mitigate these issues and save you money in the long run. Westgate has almost 40 years of experience as a freight broker. We can identify the quickest and most cost-effective transportation methods while also helping to prevent financial loss caused by absent or late shipments.

When you partner with Westgate, we save your account information, needs, and special requests in our customer database. That means that every time you ship with us, you’ll spend less time explaining your situation, getting your inventory on the road and on its way even faster.


When you have goods that need to be delivered, there’s no time to waste. LEARN MORE today to find out how we can help you with your shipping needs. CONTACT US today to request a quote!