Posts

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

Shipping appointment

Fed Up With Rising Prices? Shipping Appointments Are Partly to Blame

Every business owner knows customer care is the name of the game. Unfortunately, offering the best customer care possible sometimes comes at a cost. While making shipping appointments seems simple at first glance, the logistics behind arranging a simple pickup or delivery is more complex than it appears. 

The hidden cost of appointments

Every industry has annoying, unavoidable inefficiencies. The ones shipping companies like BYX deal with, however, didn’t exist just a decade or two ago. Originally, it worked something like this: Delivery companies would make their deliveries in the morning, and spend the afternoon making pickups. The only communication required was a quick phone call to let the customer know approximately when to expect the driver.

Today, expectations are very different. The workflow of a shipping appointment clerk looks something like this:

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:

Read more

CFL

CFL, A 96-Year-Old Freight Company, Just Went Under. The Scary Truth About the Future for Carriers.

If our headline seems melodramatic, that’s only because the news hasn’t covered this nearly enough. Central Freight Lines, also known as CFL, was founded in Waco, Texas in 1925. Nearly a century later in 2020, it won the title of Carrier of the Year from GlobalTranz. Yet, despite 96 years of excellence and expertise, just announced that they’re ceasing operation. 

CFL announcement

CFL’s announcement on their company’s homepage.

The logistics giant stopped picking up freight on December 13, and aimed to make all remaining deliveries by the 20th. While BYX is alive and well, the downfall of CFL is proof that no LTL carrier is immune to the effects of driver shortages and rapidly rising expenses. 

Where did CFL go wrong? 

Truth be told, it didn’t. The climate for logistics companies has turned increasingly volatile. The company’s announcement may come as a shock, but in reality, it came after years of struggling to remain profitable. Jerry Moyes, CFL’s owner, took up the reigns as CFL’s interim president and CEO in July, 2021 in an attempt to reduce expenses, pouring as much money into it as he could, but it simply wasn’t enough.  Read more

pallet shipping

Pallet Prices Remain Sky High. Here’s What It Means For You

For decades, pallets were commonplace and inexpensive. They were so easy to come by that people even made tutorials on how to repurpose them, making them into DIY furniture. Unfortunately, the days of turning old pallets into bookshelves and garden art are on pause. Earlier in 2021, the prices of lumber soared, and the prices of every single wooden pallet rose along with them. But why? 

Like countless other problems, the lumber shortage began with COVID

To start, the lockdown in early 2020 had all of us stuck at home. While some of us spontaneously learned to bake bread, thousands of others decided it would be the perfect time to start that DIY home improvement project they’d been putting off. The demand for lumber increased, but there was a problem: The sawmills weren’t even open.  Read more

reputable shipping company

Shopping Around: Is it Worth It

Before you read any further, we’ll give you an honest answer: No. Of course, that’s exactly what you’d expect a trucking company to say. Who would encourage customers to shop elsewhere? That being said, even if you’re trying to choose a trucking company in a different area (or even chose one of our competitors!), our recommendation stands. Choose a reputable shipping company and stick with it.

Why not shop around for a lower quote, you ask? Let’s get into it.

If you spend some time on Google, the odds are good that you’ll find someone who will ship your goods for less than BYX will. Most likely, those offering lower prices are owner operators. As you probably guessed by the name, owner operators buy a truck and haul loads themselves. They often work with freight brokers who coordinate with customers and take a cut of the profit.

We already covered why freight brokers are unnecessary and a huge waste of money here, but there’s more to it than that. Even the best owner operator has significant limitations in comparison to a reputable shipping company like BYX. Read more

accessorial

What Customers Need to Know About Accessorial Fees

Was your last freight bill more than you expected it to be? These added charges are called accessorials. If you don’t know what an accessorial covers, it can come as an unpleasant surprise. As frustrating as that may be, there’s almost certainly a good reason why the invoice exceeded the original estimate. 

Why Freight Shipping Costs Aren’t Cut and Dry

Wouldn’t it be nice if freight charges were as straightforward as shopping at Target? In retail stores, the price advertised on the tag is always exact, aside from sales tax. That’s because there are no surprises for the item’s manufacturer. By the time you toss it in your cart, there’s nothing that could possibly add to the company’s expenses. 

The world of freight shipping is more like plumbing or similar trade industries. We give estimates, but factors beyond our control contribute to the final bill. These accessorials are necessary to help us recover the costs of overweight shipments, inaccessible delivery locations, and similar factors that add to the expense of a given shipment.

Due to the nature of the shipping process, we typically apply fees after shipments are completed. This is because many accessorial causes occur during the shipping process itself. For this reason, the final bill may look different than our first estimate.

 

Our previous blog post went over a few of the elements that contribute to shipping costs. Let’s go over accessorial charges in more detail to help you better understand why they occur and how to avoid them. 

Read more

BYX warehouse

Big News: A Bigger, Better BYX is Coming Soon

Spring has sprung, flowers are growing and so are we! 

When BYX was founded in 1978, the company was run out of the back of a single pickup truck. By the time we took on Hewlett Packard as a client in the 80s, we had outgrown pickups and added tractors and bobtails to our fleet. Each decade of business welcomed new trucks, new technology and new clients. 

After 43 years of business, we’re thrilled to announce that our company is growing even more. This summer, BYX is expanding into a new class-A building to help us serve even more amazing business owners throughout Southern California.  Read more

freight brokers

5 Reasons Businesses Should Ditch Freight Brokers

If you’ve tried to arrange a large shipment, you’ve probably run into ads for freight brokers. A freight broker is a person or company that acts as the middleman between shippers and carriers. They find the carrier, arrange the shipment and track the load hauled. But is all that really necessary? The answer is a resounding no

If you’re thinking about using a freight broker (or you already use one), there are several reasons why you should reconsider. 

1. Freight Brokers Are Misleading

Customers looking for trucking services often get the impression that freight brokers are required. That’s exactly what brokers want people to think. 

We were reminded of this when we recently quoted a move for a company . They were comparing prices, and after receiving our quote, they immediately reached out and asked who the carrier would be and if we would be using multiple carriers. This was a huge, multi-billion dollar company, and they had no idea it was possible to work directly with carriers. If it hadn’t been for an overlap in communication, they never would have never found out. 

Needless to say, we got the business. We’re confident they’ll never return to using brokers. Because of our amazing customer service, but also because of the next item on this list.  Read more