Improving Shipping Efficiencies

Nowadays being an efficient shipper has received a ton of buzz, simply because of how much of a difference it can make in the costs of running a business.

But did you know, even with all the new mandates, price compression, and industry changes, you could still help manage your shipping expenses by paying attention to overlooked ways to improving shipping efficiencies? Some freight budgets are being revised around the New Year, because it turns out many businesses are seeing losses of 8-10% due to inefficient shipping practices.

Three of the major areas impacting shipping inefficiencies are:

  • ELD Enforcement
    Understanding the ELD implementation can be critical to improving efficiencies in your business. We know that as we move past the April 1st deadline for ELD implementation, the already tight capacity landscape will be affected even more as some carriers will drop out of service. Being proactive with our network of carriers by confirming available hours of service and ELD compliance helps us to be prepared in meeting our customer’s desired timelines and in making sure all parties involved are on the same page.
  • Small Changes
    Benefiting from small changes such as proper packaging and maximizing the pallet placement in trucks can have a positive effect on your freight savings and can also limit damage claims. Using standard size pallets (when the product allows) that are in sound condition and properly securing the items to the skid can minimize the number or trucks, and avoid potential damage and/or mishandling. Both the pallet preparation phase and the truck loading phase, can present cost-saving opportunities.
  • Inefficient Processes
    Direct impacts from inefficiencies in your processes are going to be felt with higher rate increases in 2018. For example, labor intensive requests on the pickup or delivery end are going to result in even higher rates as these additional services are going to be factored into the quotes. Also, with the additional hours of service constraints resulting from the ELD mandate, prompt loading and unloading procedures will be as important as ever in limiting freight costs and securing capacity.


Don’t get left behind in 2018. Get control of your shipping costs now, and inform yourself on how to take the most advantage to help yourself and your business. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

You can also check out our article on Best Practices for Shipping and Receiving


About Us

Westgate has 35 years of consistently delivering expertise in handling specialty loads, maintaining a large network of resources, and exceptional personal service. Reach out to us and allow one of our Certified Transportation Brokers to provide you with a quote.



Navigating A High-Capacity Market

An outlook on shipping in 2018

With the ELD mandate around the corner, the perking economy, the continued driver shortage, we are expecting an increase in carrier rates as we move forward and into 2018. In fact, over the past two months we’ve seeing a spike that we hoped was only temporary. However, spot rates continue to exceed contract prices over the last few months in all three modes (dry van, reefer, flatbed) due to strong demand and rising fuel prices, according to DAT. With online load boards reporting record-high load postings, shippers will continue to depend on brokers in this high-demand market to find capacity. And don’t forget about rising fuel rates. The average $2.91 per gallon of diesel last week was $.49 higher than a year ago, which drives up carriers’ costs.

ELD Update

Moving into 2018, those trucks that still haven’t installed an ELD will be put out of service on April 1, 2018. It is estimated that close to 1 million trucks still haven’t completed the Dec 18th required deadline. Some industry experts estimate the mandate could push out 3-5% of our industry’s capacity. While the majority of carriers are implementing an ELD (although begrudgingly) some veteran owner-operators could decide to retire early while others could move over to larger carriers so they don’t have to bother with it. Gone are the days of any wiggle room in a driver’s hours and shipments could be delayed when a carrier is out of hours and has to break. Carriers will have to be compensated for loading dock delays and will expect a premium for next-day service. We will definitely feel a difference in how we do business moving forward.

These are important topics and we want to make sure our customers are aware of these potential challenges. We’ve been navigating our ever-changing industry since 1983 and will continue to monitor the industry trends so that we can best serve you. At Westgate, we view challenges as opportunities to continually grow and refine our service.


>> CONTACT US for all your logistics needs. 

Why you should choose small companies

We understand your hesitation – why choose a small business when you can choose one with a bigger fleet and clientele? Honestly, choosing to work with a small company, like ours, has more advantages than meets the eye. Bigger companies are often held back by their size, and decision making can be difficult especially when you have a chain of command to follow. Besides the fact that we are more flexible, we also have the ability to adopt new and innovative ideas quickly and are usually more fast paced because we have fewer people to inform and train on new policies and technologies.

A business that values family

It may sound like a cliché, but we value our employees, and customers and ensure that they feel like they are part of the Westgate Family. If you’re wondering why this is so important, we will break it down for you; being part of the family means that employees feel safe and confident in their workspace, and a happy employee means great customer service, which ensures that our customers are happily taken care of too. Customers who feel like they are part of our family, are more comfortable with trusting their precious cargo with us and are more likely to return and choose to use our service again. After all, we want you to feel like you can pick up the phone and call us at any time – no robots, just a real person who understands your concerns and knows how to provide solutions that work for your business.

We are flexible to suit your needs

We have a distinct advantage over our larger competitors – we can make quick changes and are flexible in our service so that we can identify and then accommodate your needs with personalized solutions. A larger company has a lot of people and too many processes, so by choosing us, we can act quick and ensure that only the best service is delivered.

We save time and resources

With fewer employees, we have a better handle on our business and can ensure that it operates more efficiently. We save time when tough decisions need to be made because we do not need to worry about going through several layers of management before getting a final answer. Our small structure puts you, the customer, closer to our business which means a better understanding of what we need to do, to help you!

We offer personal service

Our business’ mission is to be closer to our customer so that we can have a full understanding of what you need from us, and exactly how we can exceed your expectations. We have the ability to develop relationships with our customers because we offer personal customer service. We don’t believe in making you speak to different robots who will never understand the intricacy of your problem, we strive for a business that understands you and your needs, and then delivers the solution to guarantee the best results.

Want to join the Westgate Family? We would love to chat and discuss how we can earn your business, with our personal customer service and commitment to quality.

Best Practices Shipping and Receiving

Don’t allow profits to slip out the back door!

Use this review to insure your receiving and shipping practices conform to industry best practices.

Best Receiving Practices:

Ensure receiving personnel are trained in the proper receiving procedures.

Check seals on trailer doors before opening.

Inspect shipments upon delivery.

Only the person receiving and inspecting the freight should sign the delivery receipt.

Write proper exception notations on delivery receipts.

Report concealed damage or shortages within 15 days of receipt.

Retain all packaging until a claim is resolved.

Notify carriers of claims and request and inspection.

Read and critique a carrier’s inspection report before signing.

Best Shipping Practices:

Always request a copy of the carrier’s tariff before shipping.

Know what a carrier’s liability limits are before shipping.

Use only new packing material, use of used cartons or packing may limit your ability to receive full value for any loss or damage.

When necessary, verify the identity of the driver before loading his truck.

Properly complete the bill of lading using correct classification descriptions.

Clearly mark any special delivery requirements on the bill of lading.

Make sure the driver clearly signs the bill of lading noting the total number of “outside” pieces received.

Never permit a driver to sign “shippers load and count (SLC)” unless he is signing for a sealed load.

Make sure all trailer loads are sealed by your personnel./

Record seal numbers on the bill of lading before it is signed.

Promptly respond to a carrier’s On Hand notices.

When shipping hazardous materials make sure the individual preparing and offering the shipment to the carrier is properly trained and certified to handle hazmat shipments.

By combining technology and expertise with steadfast alliances, Westgate Global is able to simplify your company’s logistics challenges.

Ask about our consulting services and unique Hazmat training program.

Understand, Capture and Control Freight Costs

Domestic Terms of Sale

Over the years, true understanding of domestic purchasing terms of sale and their implications have become blurred.  Issues generally do not arise until there is a problem and then the parties to the transaction attempt to sort out their individual responsibilities.  Taking time to understand the terms, will help you select the correct one for your transaction.
Since transportation costs are the second or third highest expense that a manufacturing company has beyond the cost of labor and raw materials, it makes sense to know how they are allocated.  Even if you permit your vendor to pay the freight charges, you need to know the amount they paid.  Be sure to identify freight costs separate from cost of goods.

Negotiating the most appropriate terms of sale will allow you to add value to your purchase.  Choosing Westgate as your transportation service provider gives you the opportunity to select the best price / service value.



  • F.O.B. Origin———————–>
    Freight Collect
Buyer pays freight charges
Buyer bears freight charges
Buyer owns goods in transit
Buyer files claims – if any
  • F.O.B. Origin———————–>
    Freight Prepaid
Seller pays freight charges
Seller bears freight charges
Buyer owns goods in transit
Buyer files claims – if any
  • F.O.B. Origin———————–>
    Freight Prepaid and charged back
Seller pays freight charges
Buyer bears freight charges
Buyer owns goods in transit
Buyer files claims –  if any
  • F.O.B. Destination—————>
    Freight Collect
Buyer pays freight charges
Buyer bears freight charges
Seller owns goods in transit
Seller files claims – if any
  • F.O.B. Destination—————>
    Freight Prepaid
Seller pays freight charges
Seller bears freight charges
Seller owns goods in transit
Seller files claims – if any
  • F.O.B. Destination—————>
    Freight Collect and Allowed
Buyer pays freight charges
Seller bears freight charges
Seller owns goods in transit
Seller files claims – if any

Our Ideal Client

Westgate Global Logistic’s ideal client is someone who:

  • Typically is a small to midsize company requiring greater transportation resources.

  • Knows there is more to moving freight than picking up at one location and moving to the next.

  • Typically views our services as a means to provide them time to achieve other, more important things in their business and/or personal lives.

  • Has realistic logistics objectives and clearly communicates those expectations to our firm, so we all agree on how to proceed.

  • Hires us to play a vital role in their strategic transportation plan, because they value the flexibility available through a non-asset based logistics service provider.

  • Trusts us enough to ignore all those that appear in the marketplace driven by price alone, without regard for consistent service.

  • Commits to our company for the management of most/all of their volume and truckload freight, because they want to coordinate the entire process rather than handpick individual shipments.

  • Amicably discusses and then delegates transportation and logistics decisions to our firm, including customer/ vendor relationships and expectations. Doing so gives us a better chance of overcoming the logistics challenges and meeting objectives.

  • Provides qualified referrals to us.

Our ideal clients enjoy a preferred relationship with our firm and staff. As a result they:

  • Expect and deserve to receive personalized customer service.

  • Consider our firm to be part of their transportation team.

  • Know that our firm and our service partners bring specific areas of expertise to each situation.

  • Trust that our competent and dedicated staff is capable of answering their service-related questions.

  • Treat our staff with respect and are treated with respect and appreciation by our staff.

  • Gain both personally and professionally from the relationship with our firm.

Now that we have described our ideal client, we need to know how we meet your expectations of the ideal logistics service provider.