We’re PIP/C-TPAT certified!

On June 28, 2008, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S.
Customs Border Patrol (CBP) signed an arrangement that increased the compatibility of of the two countries expedited border clearance programs. Canada’s Partners in Protection (PIP) program was developed in 1995 with a primary focus on promoting business awareness and compliance with customs regulations. The U.S’s Custom-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), in cooperation with the CBP was launched November 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in New York as a joint government-business partnership to help add to supply chain and increase border security. Both programs were and are voluntary.

Though the language may be different, a closer look shows that PIP and C-TPAT are similar initiatives. Both seek to enhance border and trade chain security, combat organized crime and terrorism and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling. In exchange, both the CBSA and the CBP provide reduced inspections at the port of arrival and expedited processing at the border.

On June 28, 2008 the CBSA and the CBP signed an arrangement that enhances the compatibility of the PIP and C-TPAT programs. The arrangement is intended to allow both countries to apply similar security standards and perform similar site validations when approving companies for membership in their respective cargo security programs. CBSA and CBP monitor the entire supply chain, not only for proper compliance, but also
for new and improved best-practice security processes assisting customers in proactively preparing for adjustments to any governmental changes and maintaining low-risk import for clearance designation. While both countries have similar security requirements and site validation procedures, companies must continue to apply for membership into each program. That said, a single application process has been developed for companies applying to both PIP and C-TPAT.

Pacific Coast Distribution was government audited, approved and certified PIP/C-TPAT in December 2018 and will remain subject to the scrutiny of the program’s agents moving forward. Our company undertook and remains proudly committed to the PIP/C-TPAT project as it demonstrates our initiative to ensure best business practices and load safety and security. Further, this certification bolsters our commitment to providing safety and security of food shipments in conjunction with our Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, which will be discussed in next months blog.

Our Brokerage Department

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Meet Aaron and Chris, the brokerage team for Pacific Coast Distribution . Both men are long time employees who started with our company in 2004 and 2009 respectively. They started as dispatchers and made the move to lead the brokerage department this year, a career shift to which they are both well suited.

With asset-based trucking being the core of the company it is essential that the brokerage team have a deep understanding of customer challenges as a whole, which is why Aaron and Chris’ time spent in dispatching was so valuable. “Trucking is a hectic business in general, lots to keep track of and organized in every department,” says Aaron. The same goes for brokerage. It involves closely managed schedules, building relationships and trust with shippers and endless problem solving. “There are always curve balls,” states Chris, “it’s a matter of how you deal with them.”

The team spends a lot of time not only managing freight operations to and from destinations, but working on projects that require network building to cover new lanes which helps the business grow. In some ways, the brokerage team is a little business inside of the bigger business that is Pacific Coast Distribution. Relationship building with the companies that they broker freight to is one key to the success of the company. “It’s a growth thing,” says Aaron to which Chris adds, “it’s a constant building process.”

When asked about the challenges in their department, both men chuckle. Stress is a factor, there’s not always a lot of notice before freight needs to be in a truck and on the road. Chris explains, “Sometimes is comes down to the wire; you know, fingers, toes, legs crossed that everything will work out because you know you have already done the best you can.” And when they need to, the two put their heads together to troubleshoot and make sure the job is done, no matter what.

Chris and Aaron agree about the future of brokerage within Pacific Coast Distribution. There are many lane options for us to work on, relationships to strengthen and new ones to form. Technology is advancing rapidly and options such as GPS tracking, TMS (transportation management) systems and, of course, cell phones are making it easier for the team to keep tabs on the working parts of their network. At the the end of the day, they say, “The important thing is for us to think outside the box and work together to find solutions we might not have thought of if we were working alone.”

Advantages of Cross Docking

The idea behind crossdocking freight is to minimize the amount of handling required to get materials from the supplier to the manufacturer and finished products from the manufacturer to the customer. Crossdocking drastically reduces inventory carrying costs as well as labor costs incurred by warehousing goods and picking them at a later time.

Ideally, crossdocking is done at a building that has inbound docks on one side of the building and outbound docks on the opposite side.  The general idea is products will be pulled off of one truck on the inbound side, consolidated in the middle of the warehouse, and immediately loaded onto a truck on the outbound side of the warehouse. Most freight will not stay at the warehouse for more than a few hours.

By using crossdocking to consolidate both incoming and outgoing shipments, a company can save a great deal on shipping costs as the warehouse will be able to make the most use of trailer space. Additionally, as a shipment will arrive consolidated on one truck, the receiving company will save on labour hours as they will have less trucks to unload.

Additionally, as cross docking eliminates the need to handle the products regularly, there is a far lesser chance of damage from handling. Many shipments that do not use crossdocking services end up using LTL (less than load) trucks – meaning their shipment is likely handles multiple times before it makes its way to the customer.

If you are considering using crossdocking services for your shipments, the benefits are numerous: less handing which equals less damage, savings on shipment costs as shipments can be consolidated while the crossdocking takes place, and savings on labour costs at the receiver’s warehouse, as the shipment will arrive on one fully loaded truck, rather than many LTL trucks.

Through minimizing handling, and saving costs, crossdocking is a great option for companies dealing with multiple shipments.

Cross Docking Pacific Coast Distribution

Challenges of Food Warehousing and Transportation

Companies in the business of supply chain management of food products are well aware that strategies locking down efficiencies when it comes to food supply chain is of utmost importance. With issues such as safety and recalls, sustainability, and costs and infrastructure always looming, management of the supply chain is always an important consideration.

Safety for food products is always under scrutiny, especially when errors do arise. This means that track-and-trace capabilities are extremely important to ensure that the consumer knows exactly where their product came from – this helps to avoid excess recalls from happening, which may happen in the event of unknown handling practices. To ensure proper response times to recalls and issues, food companies are investing in new processes and technologies for more frequent temperature monitoring and inspections.

Additionally, companies are investing in certifications such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), which is a systemic preventative approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in places of food production or transportation.

Another challenge that the food industry faces in both production and transportation is the issue of sustainability. Major companies in the food industry have recently announced that they will be planning to cut their carbon footprints, and attempt to become more “green” with sustainable practices – especially when it comes to packaging, distribution, and logistics strategies. Meanwhile, other pressure from consumers also means that food companies are attempting to slim down on costs to their customers – companies are attempting to meet these needs by boosting efficiencies in their transportation and handling costs.

Those involved in food warehousing and handling are taking a fresh look at distribution patterns to better meet the new-age needs of the food industry. The supply chain of food products and finding efficiencies within the system is of utmost importance to the companies involved in food warehousing and handling to ensure best practices across the supply chain.

What is Asset Based Freight Transportation?

Asset based freight brokers are a popular choice for shippers who decide to use a freight broker for their loads. An asset based freight broker is a company that has their own equipment that is needed to move and store freight. Often they own warehouses, distribution centers and trucks. The asset based freight broker works directly with the shipper to coordinate the transportation of goods.

The argument between working with asset-based and non-asset-based freight brokers is a debate that has been going on for years: some people will only use asset-based companies, and some refuse to. Many shipments end up using a combination or a mix of different types of providers.

Asset based carriers are typically beneficial as they have a long history of service – and they generally provide many different services for their customers, including warehousing, distribution services, transportation, and value added options.

Working with an asset based carrier allows the customer to have open communication directly with the transportation provider – this tends to allow an ease of conscience for many shippers as they are never kept in the dark about their shipments.

For shippers who are looking for an easy, trustworthy way to ship their products, asset-based freight companies are often a great choice.

key transportation terms

Key Transportation Terms You Should Know

When it comes to logistics, there are a number of terms and phrases thrown around on a daily basis that (to an outsider) may sound like complete gibberish. To someone just starting out in the industry, or unsure of what exactly it is that they need to accomplish their company’s projects, the task of sorting through some of the commonly used words can be daunting. In order to give a hand to those who are not sure, we have compiled a list of some of the most common phrases in logistics that could be key to finishing their project in the best-possible way:

Full Service Logistics
Full service logistics is a complete step-by-step logistics process. It starts from pick up of the freight, includes storage of the freight, and follows through all the way until delivery of the freight at its intended consignee. Full service means you will have everything you need for an efficient and safe transportation of your freight – with no in-betweens, and no third parties.

3PL
3PL, or third-party logistics, is a term that describes a company who outsources their logistics services. They may receive direction to ensure that a shipment gets from point A, to point B – but they will outsource to figure out the best way they can make that happen. That may mean using one trucking company from point A, but another company to make the delivery to point B, as an example.

Cross Docking
Cross docking is a method of moving freight from one transporter to another without incurring storage time. Typically this is done at a warehouse with both inbound and outbound docks in which the freight can be directly moved from the inbound truck to the outbound truck, with minimal handling in between.

Container Stuffing
Container Stuffing is the process by which a shipment is loaded into an empty shipping container. When loaded, the container is sealed for transport – usually by sea vessel.

Container Destuffing
The opposite of Container Stuffing is Container Destuffing, in which a loaded shipping container is brought to a warehouse to have the cargo removed. This may be the final stop for the cargo, or it may be stored to be later loaded onto an outbound truck for delivery. If the cargo was not palletized before being loaded, this process may also include palletizing the freight prior to storage or re-loading.

For some, these phrases may be familiar and some may be unknown. For full service logistics, all of these terms come into play to ensure that your freight gets where it needs to go.

Why You May Choose Storage Containers

storage container,full service logistics companyIf you are running a successful online merchandise-based business, you probably need storage for your merchandise. And one of the best things about running an online business is the flexibility that it affords you in addition to the low cost of operating. You may have started by storing inventory in you garage or basement, but as you scale the business, you will likely need an alternative form of storage for your wares. Renting a storage container may be the solution – it’s a great alternative to off-site warehousing and the hassle of loading up your things into a small storage facility.

These are some tips for storing your inventory in a storage trailer:

Get organized. When you are storing for business, you will eventually need to retrieve those most of your items. Create a list of the items going in your storage trailer. Make sure to have a certain amount of fast-moving inventory in a retrievable location, like at your home or office, so that you won’t be searching through the container should you run out of inventory. Choose a method of storage, either boxes in boxes or on shelves, and then decide how you want group things within the unit.

Pack efficiently. Rushing to pack will end up costing you time and money. Pack efficiently and you will help avoid damaging our losing your goods. Smaller items should be wrapped and pack together, and larger items should be itemized accordingly. Always put slower moving items near the back and items that you may need to retrieve near the front of your storage container.

Keep track. Create a system to keep track of your inventory. It’s critical that your store your items in a way that makes it easy to find later on. Try to ensure that there is ground level access for easy loading and unloading.

Pacific Coast Distribution can save you time and money if you need temporary storage for your online business. We keep all of our fleet with up-to-date commercial vehicle inspections so that our trailers are in roadworthy condition enabling your stored goods to be easily moved over the road from one location to another. If you need storage, call us for more details.

 

How an All Services Logistics Company Will Save Your Company Time And Money

 

full service logistics companyA full service logistics company can make sure that you have everything you need for efficient, safe, and appropriate storage. With the help of high-quality warehouse logistics in BC, you can keep your goods secure and in perfect condition until you are ready for them to be delivered.

In addition, all services logistics means effective transportation whenever you need it. A high-quality service will not only supply warehousing in Surrey, but they will supply your merchandise across North America, with all the flexibility to meet your unique needs.
 
By employing the comprehensive services of a full service logistics firm, you can concentrate on the core activities you must perform to ensure your business is competitive and continues to thrive.

Pacific Coast Distribution Gives You Space to Grow Your Business

Pacific Coast Distribution offers multi-service warehousing in Surrey, including the handling of food and dry goods. You can benefit from temperature controlled storage, bulk handling, inventory management, and much, much more.

When it comes to distribution, we have the resources necessary to suit any need. Our affordable service will free you from having to take care of your own logistics, whether you need a single van or an entire fleet of trucks.

In addition to eliminating the headache of hiring staff, and maintaining vehicles, resource-saving benefits of using an all service logistics firm include:

  • experience, ensuring that your goods are handled in an organized and cost-effective manner
  • logistics expertise to determine fast and economical routes
  • flexibility and the ability to respond to various storage and distribution needs
  • scalability – we can handle spikes in demand and reduce service when necessary, so you don’t have to pay for unneeded space or vehicles and drivers.
  • a professional, dedicated service to minimize risk of damages and loss

The money you save can go directly into your profits, or direct it into activities to grow your business.

If you’re looking for a firm to take care of distribution throughout North America or warehouse logistics in BC, know that Pacific Coast Distribution is committed to your success. Our team has the right experience and the expertise to handle the storage and delivery needs of any type of business.

Focus on reaching out to customers, and we will make sure that your products reach them, too. Invest in Pacific Coast Distribution for peace of mind, and so that you can spend your time and money on growing your business.

What Is Container Stuffing

If you are new to logistics and transport, you may have questions about the process by which products are readied for transit and also delivered to the retail outlet. Commonly, questions arise around what is involved with container stuffing, container de-stuffing and cross docking services. These terms and their associated processes are easily defined.

Container stuffing is the process by which goods are loaded into a container to be shipped. Container stuffing isn’t just a matter of randomly placing items in a container until it reached capacity. It is a process that requires careful planning that takes into consideration the unloading or de-stuffing process. The container also has to be well balanced for transit and it is important to make sure that incompatible and dangerous products aren’t shipped together. This planning process is crucial to ensure that products aren’t damaged while they are in transit and that the de-stuffing process can take place safely on the other end.Vector of Ships at docking crane

On arrival of the container at its destination, the inverse process is called container de-stuffing. This is where products are inspected for damage, catalogued and unloaded by personnel. It isn’t just taking things out of the container, there’s a process and system to the removal of goods to ensure that products are without defect.

Cross docking services is the process by which containers are transferred from one transport to another with minimal intervention, with staging and warehousing taking place at the destination where the products are ultimately sold. This reduces central warehouse requirements and means that products take less time to make their way to shelves.

A working understanding of the processes referred to as container stuffing, de-stuffing and cross docking services provides a fuller picture of the journey that a product takes as it moves from manufacturer to retail stores. At Pacific Coast Distribution in Langley, we can work with you to plan and carry through with all of your container stuffing, de-stuffing and cross docking needs.

Refrigerated Transport – What You Need to Know in Selecting a Company

Refrigerated container transport and warehousing are essential considerations for anyone working in industries involving perishable goods. Whether the items in question are food, pharmaceutical products, medical, or life science products, it’s important to think well ahead when selecting a company to take care of container stuffing, freight distribution or refrigerated transport in BC.

Some of the options to look for in refrigerated transport:

  • Size – Ensure that any transportation firm has a fleet of vehicles to suit all of your needs, whether you require vans or articulated vehicles. Look for a trucking firm that can handle your deliveries even if you change the scale of your operation.
  • Tracking – A good transport company will allow their clients to track their consignments online, whether the goods are being delivered around Surrey, BC or internationally.
  • Tracking – A good transport company will allow their clients to track their consignments online, whether the goods are being delivered around Surrey, BC or internationally.
    •    Timing – For many goods that require refrigeration, timely deliveries are of the essence. A refrigerated transport firm that can offer deliveries to suit their clients, including overnight services, short notice, and after-hour pick-ups, can be a real find.
  • Temperature monitoring – Optimum refrigeration temperatures will vary according to the cargo, so the temperature range must be variable. A reputable transportation service should be able to maintain a steady temperature while the goods are in motion.
  • Servicing – Make sure that any transportation service has regularly serviced trucks and equipment. Avoid unpleasant surprises and mishaps. This is more important than ever for refrigerated transportation.
  • Accreditations – Ask for evidence of the firm’s ability to handling cargo safely and its understanding of legal obligations, including in the transportation of dangerous goods.

Businesses may also ask whether their refrigerated services also include container stuffing in addition to other transportation and storage services. The greatest care needs to be taken with items that require refrigeration. Pacific Care Distribution can take care of all of your refrigerated transportation needs.