The Blame Game

SONY DSCThe Journal of Commerce recently published a commentary by Bruce Wargo, President  and CEO of PierPass, entitled “It’s Time to Face the Real Problems with Port Trucking.” The gist of Mr. Wargo’s commentary is that an over capacity of trucks, not inefficient terminal operations, is the primary reason for slow terminal turn times. Hmmm…you are welcome to read the full article (click here) and decide for yourself.

Celebrating Driver Excellence

Driver Meeting 2014We are very fortunate to have so many hardworking and safe drivers at Devine.  We held our annual Safety Celebration last month where we celebrated their safe driving records, reviewed safety information and had a little fun.

Our drivers travel some of the most congestion roadways in the nation, traverse Donner Summit in the snow and negotiate Hwy 99 in dense fog.  Any number of accident-free years driving in these conditions is an accomplishment, but when drivers pass the 10-year mark, it is a remarkable achievement.  It is with great honor we give special recognition to our 10-year accident free drivers Balraj Dhillon, Raminder Takhar and Sukhdev Mundi, our 11-year accident free driver Amreet Singh, our 13-year accident free driver Amandip Singh Rana and our 15-year accident free driver Robert St. John.  You guys epitomize the Devine Difference.  You have our appreciation and our gratitude.  Congratulations!!!

Turn Times & Closing Times

Port of Oakland Tour 08-21-08 012We continue to experience slow turns times at Oakland’s marine terminals, especially Ports America and SSA.  While operations at SSA have improved, there is still work to be done…now is not the time to rest on our laurels.  Ports America, on the other hand, has not emerged from the delays and congestion caused by the move of operations of Maersk and MSC from SSA to Ports America.  The additional volumes are not being absorbed seamlessly.

Terminal gate hours remain a scourge.  It is difficult for motor carriers to be productive when we can’t get an import pick after 2:30-2:45. The abbreviated gate hours preclude trucks running between the Central Valley and Oakland from cycling two round-trip loops per day, thus essentially halving their productivity and driver revenue.  Congestion surcharges do not adequately address the shortfall.   It is imperative that terminal operations revert to a full workday schedule or truck rates are going to soar.

California’s Water Problems[5]California always has to chart its own course.  While the rest of the country is inundated with snow, ice, rain and freezing temperatures, California is basking in dry, warm weather…but, it’s not a good thing.  We are in a serious drought.

Warm temperatures in the state are breaking records established decades ago, or longer.  San Francisco, which normally registers about 55 degrees this time of year, was 73 degrees last week, breaking a record previously established in 1878.

Snow pack in the mountains, 8” at Donner Summit, has not been this low since 1946.  At .20”, it is the third driest January on record since 1850, and the reservoirs in the state are at dangerously low levels.  Take a look at these striking before and after photos (click here).

We highlight these disturbing statics because California grows the majority of the nation’s produce.  Here is a short list of commodities and the percentage grown in California:

Almonds – 100%                   Artichokes – 99%.                 Carrots – 67%

Bell Peppers – 50%              Cauliflower – 89%                Broccoli – 94%

Leaf Lettuce – 90%               Spinach – 83%                      Avocado – 95%

Peaches – 84%                      Strawberries – 88%              Plums – 97%

Gung Hay Fat Choy


HorseThis year’s celebration of Chinese New Year began on January 31st and ushers in the Year of the Horse.  Those born in the year of the horse are said to be energetic, independent, impatient and love to travel.  To learn under what Chinese zodiac you were born and your horoscope for the coming year, click here.


Happy New Year!!!


Oakland Welcome’s New Maritime Director

John DriscollThe Port of Oakland recently hired a new Director of Maritime, John Driscoll.  Mr. Driscoll has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and has worked for Sea-Land, Maersk and CMA-CGM.  “He will be responsible for building and growing maritime business through efficient operations, stakeholder engagement and strategic planning.  Mr. Driscoll will oversee the full range of maritime operations including administration, finance, customer service, planning and development and seaport security.”

We hear good things about John and welcome his leadership to the port’s maritime team.  The Port of Oakland has had some very good draft picks with Chris Lytle as Executive Director and now John Driscoll as Director of Maritime.

Membership Matters

218_Logo_wil_women_in_logistics_norcal_smallIt is time to renew your Women in Logistics (WIL) membership.  WIL is open to both men and women in the logistics industry and offers educational, networking, job bank and scholarship opportunities to members.  Join today by filling out an on-line application here or download and mail your application here.

From the Driver’s Seat

Driver 2368 Gee Ganzorig w New Truck 002Cold Weather and Your Tire Pressure

In 1787, French physicist Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles concluded if the pressure of a gas remains constant, the volume of the gas will increase as the temperature increases and conversely the volume will decrease as temperatures decrease.  In other words V1/T1 = V2/T2…or in other words swings in temperatures can play havoc with your tire pressure.  The volume of air will expand or contract as temperatures rise and fall.  For every 10-degree change in temperatures, the tire pressure will change +/- 1-2 psi.

For safety’s sake, check your tire pressure as the temperatures fluctuate.

From Behind the Dock Doors

Reno Warehouse Truck + Van 003 ATen Tips on Setting up a Warehouse

Gavin Clark, CCO of Snapfulfill, a warehouse management system provider, outlined his priorities for setting up a new warehouse, and they are:

  1. The floor plan should have areas for shipping, receiving, storage as well as a comfortable staff break room.
  2. Assess the type of racking, shelving and storage you need for the products you service.
  3. Create a separate storage area for regularly used items…cartons, boxes, packing filler and packing tape.
  4. Ensure the area around the loading dock is free of shelving/racking to allow unimpeded operations by forklifts and staff.
  5. Define separate areas for shipping and receiving.
  6. Allocate office space that is separate and self-contained.
  7. Correctly place warning and safety signs and notices.
  8. Assure skips are close to the warehouse so trash doesn’t accumulate in workspaces.
  9. Place mats in areas where employees stand in one place for long periods of time.
  10. If you employ more than 5 warehouse employees, consider a warehouse management software system to streamline and speed up operations.

ILWU Negotiations

ILWUThe West Coast longshore contract expires June 30 of this year.  While negotiations have yet to begin, the logistics community is on pins and needles.  There is concern disruptions will occur as the two sides, ILWU and PMA, work out the contract.

Many issues will be discussed, but two of the hottest will be jurisdiction…especially over maintenance and chassis…and how the two sides will deal with the fact the ILWU’s “Cadillac” healthcare plan will now be taxed under the Affordable Care Act.