New Smog Check Requirements for Trucks May Help LA’s Air Quality

No one gets excited about getting a smog check, but there’s one thing all Los Angeles residents can look forward to: Fewer days in which our local mountains disappear in a cloud of brown haze. Numerous factors contribute to pollution in southern California, including smoke from wildfires and chemicals produced by refineries and other factories. The main cause of air pollution in LA County, however, comes from the emissions produced by the vehicles backed up on the 405. 

The air quality in LA has improved dramatically in the past 30 years, but cars and trucks are still responsible for over 50% of all emissions. In hopes of further reducing the number of days that our Google Home devices tell us that the air quality is too unhealthy for a walk on the beach, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is cracking down on trucks.  Read more

Drive safely

How to Drive Safely Around Trucks (Or in One)

We all think we drive safely, but do we really? August 16, 2022 started out like any other day. 71-year-old Larry Lee Atham, President of a West Virginia-based trucking company, got behind the wheel for a routine day of driving. At mile marker 132 on the I-79, everything changed. He lost control of the truck, hitting a guardrail, skidding across traffic, hitting the guardrail again, and catching fire. That was his last drive. Just a day later on a winding mountain highway in Buffalo, Wyoming, another driver, Texas-based Javier Cardoso-Reyes, couldn’t slow down, rolled over a guardrail and down an embankment, and never made it home. He was only 47. 

29 truck drivers lined up their vehicles to pay their respects after Atham’s memorial service, rolling slowly past the funeral home to say goodbye. As touching as their gesture was, the loss of Atham, and just a day later, Cardoso-Reyes, in single-vehicle trucking accidents, raises serious concerns. Just one driver lost is one too many. Are we doing enough to prevent casualties?  Read more

Fluctuating supply and demand leaves capacity trends unpredictable

Trying to Predict Holiday Sales? Gauging Capacity Trends Is Even Tougher

All business owners are familiar with the rules of supply and demand. Few, however, realize how heavily trucking companies depend on supply and demand to function. We don’t blame them, either. With free two-day delivery becoming the norm, it feels like shipping just happens automatically. Most of us know that it’s more complicated than that, but just how much more complicated might surprise you. Predicting capacity trends is extremely challenging, and that’s particularly true in 2022. 

Freight Transportation Always Has Four Seasons

Market conditions have always influenced the trucking industry, from capacity to rates. Still, there’s usually some level of predictability. There are four seasons in the logistics work. You have:

  1. The Quiet Season (January – March)
  2. The Produce Shipping Season (Produce Shipping Season (April – July)
  3. The Peak Shipping Season (August – October)
  4. The Holiday Shipping Season (November – December)

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Trucking at BYX

What It’s Really Like Working at BYX

As you probably already know, Best Yet Express has been family owned and operated since day one. We’ve grown a lot since the company was founded in 1978, but our values are just as important to us today as they were over 40 years ago. We firmly believe that the best way of serving our customers is by building real relationships with them– And we wouldn’t be able to do that without building strong relationships within our own team.

Some of our employees have been around for over a decade.

We owe our success, in part, to them. We spoke with one of our oldest employees to share an inside look into the company culture of BYX. Roger Huckstep came into the logistics industry almost by chance. He had been driving a water delivery truck when he heard about a more serious trucking job at BYX, and something clicked. He already knew the owner and decided to go out on a limb and ask for a job. The rest is history. Huckstep’s been with us for 15 years, and he’s not planning on leaving anytime soon. 

On his first day, he committed to being the best employee he could be. He’s done that and more. His commitment to BYX has helped us weather a tumultuous industry and come out on top. Our core team stuck with us throughout the 2020 pandemic and the driver shortage that followed, and we wouldn’t be able to continue caring for our customers without them. 

Our best advice for fellow business owners? Take care of your people.

Hiring a Local Trucking Company is About More Than Price

Keeping up with the latest tech developments isn’t cheap. When it makes it easier for your team to be efficient and safe, however, it’s worth it. According to Huckstep, the evolution of transportation technology “has made it easier to assist drivers and (improved) the flow of our processes and operations.” 

In addition to evolving technology, the culture of a company should evolve over time as well. We chatted with Huckstep about that as well and were happy to hear that he had nothing but positive things to say about how the culture of BYX has shifted. “It has gotten better throughout time. I have known the family for a very long time and I like the family environment. Means a lot to me!” 

It means a lot to us, too. Just take it from Lara Newjahr, Chief Operating Officer at Best Yet Express, Inc. We are a family business and have worked to maintain that “family feeling” while transitioning in many ways. While no longer directly managing most of the staff, Jay and I are at work daily and interacting with everyone on the floor. We have developed a division of labor and delineation of departments, but we maintain an open door policy. We emphasize traits that we find important like hard work and determination to succeed but leave it to the staff to support and encourage each other directly. I think that growing family businesses are unique in that they create a vastly different culture than one found in a large corporation. However, an essential part of growth is not depending on the family to do all the tasks that were once necessary to get the business where it is today.”

Family values are at the heart of everything we do, and we strive to offer all our employees family-friendly schedules, great benefits, and competitive pay. If you’re considering getting into the trucking business or know someone who is, give us a call! We have several job openings available, and becoming a driver comes with some fun perks. After over 15 years in the business, Huckstep still believes truck driving is a promising career choice for anyone who enjoys driving. After all, you get to see new sights every day. Beats sitting in an office, right? 

For more information, check out current openings here, or contact us for more information.

 

Trucker protesting AB 5 law

Big News: The Controversial AB 5 Law Now Applies to Trucking

Back in 2019, a bill was proposed called the AB 5 independent contractor law. It was intended to regulate companies that hire massive numbers of gig workers, like Uber and DoorDash, but when the law went into effect on January 1, 2020, it radically changed worker classifications.

Millions who were previously defined as independent contractors are now considered employees. While the trucking industry was previously exempt from AB 5, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling changes everything. Now, the law applies to trucking too, sparking industry-wide frustration. 

No Buts About It: The AB 5 Law Is Bad for Trucking (But not BYX)

Now that AB 5 impacts all 1099 truck drivers, the majority of trucking companies will be impacted. 

The law states that to be classified as an independent contractor, three conditions must be met: 

(a) The worker is free from control and direction in the performance of services; and

(b) The worker is performing work outside the usual course of the business of the hiring company; and

(c) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business. Read more

Rising insurance costs

Rising Insurance Costs and What It Means for Trucking

The past few years haven’t been easy for the trucking industry. In addition to the supply chain crisis that was made drastically worse by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we’ve also faced a persistent driver shortage, rising gas prices, an automation evolution and shifting client expectations. While fleet owners have been scrambling to find solutions to all of that, insurance costs have crept up in the background. Rising insurance costs has now become so substantial that ignoring it is no longer an option.

Over the past decade, insurance premiums have risen by 47%

The latest report by ATRI, the American Transportation Research Institute, found that insurance premium costs per mile increased by nearly half over the course of a decade, rising from 5.9 cents to 8.7 cents. Insurance rates also fluctuate substantially. Fleet owners hop on an unpleasant roller coaster ride when it’s time to renew coverage each year.

The last four years have been especially challenging. Between 2018 to 2020, virtually all motor carriers saw substantial rises in insurance costs. Despite efforts to improve safety and lower risk, insurance premiums continue to creep up. Read more

labor shortage

In 2022, Small Businesses Are Still Facing a Labor Shortage. Here’s Why.

COVID-19 hit the U.S. at full force in March of 2020. Small businesses were among the hardest hit. Many were forced to close their doors permanently. As a company with decades of experience and stability, BYX was able to weather the storm. Sadly, the full ramifications of the pandemic are still unfolding. Even now, we’re struggling to find qualified, reliable workers, and we’re not the only ones. Businesses around the country are facing a frustrating labor shortage, and there appears to be no end in sight. What gives? Read more

Rising gas prices visual

How Gas Prices Affect BYX and Our Customers

Gas prices fluctuate by the day. This is nothing new, but the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has caused an exceptionally painful spike. The current average price per gallon in Los Angeles County is currently $5.52, with diesel averaging $5.85, but some stations are charging over $6 per gallon. Trucking companies feel the sting of elevated fuel prices more acutely than most. To fill up a 100-gallon diesel tank costs about $585. If you’re thinking “ouch,” so are we. 

Gas prices look very different than they did in recent months. The average prices are up by 57 cents/gallon from just last month. It’s hard to believe that at this time last year, gas only cost $3.73 a gallon. Inflation is hardly a new dilemma, but now its effects are more pronounced than they have been in decades. 

Shipping companies use something called “fuel surcharge.” A fuel surcharge is a flat rate that allows the cost of fuel to be incorporated into shipping rates in a fair manner and allows shippers to have a fixed fuel cost they can count. Fuel surcharge is an important part of us continuing to operate our business and is set by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and updated weekly. 

Rising Gas Prices May Lead to Rate Hikes Down the Line

Before you panic, BYX just updated our rates at the start of 2022, and we hope to keep them stable for some time. Still, we prefer to be transparent with our customers so they understand why price increases have to happen. It goes without saying that elevated gas prices make transporting goods more costly. The farther the pickup, the more the additional fuel expenses are felt. 

The hike isn’t just felt by trucking companies. Every rung of the transportation ladder is effected, including cargo vessels and moving freight by air. Coupled with the existing supply chain crisis and materials shortage, the cost of everything is likely to increase, not just gas prices. Maintaining our fleet, from replacing tires to changing the oil, is more expensive than it was a year ago. Read more

Amazon location

Love Prime? Here’s Why Amazon Locations Are Actually a Nightmare

Say you have a particularly busy week and realize as you’re running out the door that you’re out of both coffee and paper towels. Who wouldn’t love being able to order a refill on Amazon over their lunch break? With Amazon Prime, both items will likely arrive within two days, sometimes even sooner. It’s like magic; addictive magic that we’ve all come to expect. Behind the scenes, it’s much more complicated. In reality, Amazon locations are a pain to deliver to and pick up from, and their methods may not be sustainable.

The basics of Amazon shipping

There’s a reason that your comfy pair of winter boots or last-minute birthday gift arrived so quickly. Most Amazon sellers send their goods to large Amazon warehouses. There are more than 50 warehouses across the U.S., so there’s one relatively close to almost any residential address nationwide. That’s how Amazon can promise 2-day shipping. The goods really don’t have to travel that far. Based on product availability and distance from the nearest warehouse, same-day shipping may even be available. 

There’s a dark side to all of this, however. To start, Amazon has a sizeable history of complaints regarding employee welfare and ethics. The corporate giant supposedly installed $52 million worth of air conditioning units in their U.S. warehouses to make working conditions more comfortable, but there’s still room for improvement. For example, warehouse workers at Amazon locations are on their feet all day, and they have extremely demanding quotas to fill.  Read more

Driver shortage

TIME Claims There’s No Truck Driver Shortage. Here’s Where They’re Wrong

Time Magazine published an article in late 2021 claiming that the truck driver shortage is a fallacy. As a decades-old trucking company, we beg to differ. While their statistics are on point, Time lacks perspective. To clear things up, here’s an insider view on one of the biggest issues plaguing America’s supply chain issues today. 

The claim: The driver shortage doesn’t exist.

To start, TIME’s infamous article covered some indisputable basics: America’s supply chain is struggling, leading to frustrating delays over the holidays and ongoing product shortages. The crisis began months ago, and yet our favorite muffin at Starbucks and the new smartphone we saved up for remains stubbornly unavailable. 

Many experts have cited a truck driver shortage– the largest we’ve seen in decades, as a strong contributing factor to the recurrent delays, but TIME says it doesn’t exist. To be specific, their article stated that:

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