Archive for ‘Warehousing’

Innovation and Partnerships Mean Success for CompackUSA

Sunday, October 20th, 2019


In 2013, Doug Barter, founder and VP of sales of CompackUSA, brought his 20 years of experience in the packaging industry to Portland. Since then he’s been realizing his vision of making a positive difference in his customer’s packaging operations.

Working together to achieve innovation and the very best packaging products and solutions has resulted in expansion across the country. CompackUSA partially attributes their success to partnerships. As a distributor, they rely on a variety of manufacturers to provide the very best products for their customers. During their growth, they recognized an increasing gap in their logistics. When they had outgrown their small warehouse facility, they decided to seek alternatives to a self-managed warehouse. Spending too much time on warehousing tasks was impacting their selling time.

Having found a solution with American Warehouse, the partnership has allowed them to focus their energy on selling rather than transportation and warehousing. “We have doubled the size of our business,” says Doug, as a result of concentrating on revenue-generating activities. As their business partner, American Warehouse has grown to be quite knowledgeable about CompackUSA’s products, creating trust that their customers have the best experience with their company.

CompackUSA expects to stay the course as they focus on continued growth and expanding into new geographical markets. Working with American Warehouse they move product through the Pacific NW fast with transportation, inventory management and warehousing solutions that give them the peace of mind needed to focus on providing excellent packaging products and services to their customers.

Third-Party Warehousing for Ecommerce and Kickstarter Businesses

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Ecommerce and Kickstarter Warehousing

Bootstrap ecommerce businesses, including those launched on global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, often put much of their initial energy towards the product and marketing. When the business starts to take off, the back-end details associated with growth become a second thought. Fulfillment is especially challenging in the era of Amazon.

Two-day to Two-hour Delivery

With the “Amazon-effect” requiring faster delivery, retailers and shippers are working to meet that demand. From hiring to scaling warehousing and logistics, ecommerce businesses are often unprepared for the next steps. Many logistics companies are responding with new technologies and systems to support this new world order.

Third-Party Warehousing

While you’re focusing on what brought you into the game – your customer and your product(s) – you’ll find your garage or warehouse space overflowing and you can’t get that days orders out the door. Bringing in a professional with the right tools and connections allows you to focus on your strengths while assured that your distribution is handled with efficiency in time and cost. Flexe, Ware2Go (a UPS Company) and Dark Store are a few of the logistics companies answering the call.


FLEXE offers on-demand warehousing, fulfillment, and logistics services by connecting retailers and brands with warehousing solutions within their network.

Ware2Go (a UPS company)

Ware2Go’s nationwide fulfillment network offers guaranteed 2-day delivery with an order-to-delivery experience.

Dark Store

Urban fulfillment locations allow Dark Store to offer their clients 1-hour delivery, same-day delivery and standard shipping out of each of their locations. They position themselves as a tech-forward company that happens to offer logistics services.

A third-party logistics service can get you on solid ground as your ecommerce or Kickstarter business scales. Get back to managing your business while reducing overhead and risk. Increase profit when you partner with the right warehousing and logistics partner.

Setting the Standard at One Day Delivery

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Amazon One Day Standard

Recently Amazon announced they will move Prime’s standard 2-day shipping to 1-day shipping. The company has some infrastructure to work on before rolling out the faster ship times to the world, but the announcement raises the bar for retailers and logistics professionals alike.

The surge of online orders and the resulting “Amazon-effect” are driving the demand for faster and faster delivery. Last mile delivery is especially challenging. After arriving at a high-capacity freight station or port, goods must then be transported to their final destination – often a home. Individual package delivery is less efficient, and therefore more costly. Alternative delivery methods like pick-up lockers and drones are becoming more common place to fill the gap.

All retailers and shippers will need to take action to keep up with the standards being set from Amazon and the other retail giants chasing them. A well optimized omni-channel supply chain will keep retailers relevant and competitive.

One option for optimizing your supply chain and delivering better service to your customers is partnering with a 3PL. A third-party logistics service has operational expertise that will offer a broad view of your supply chain and help you resource the necessary partners to accomplish your shipping goals.

Use of distribution centers and services like cross-docking allow access to processes and tools not readily available when managing your own supply chain. Further, partnering with the best transportation partners through smart vendor management is a strategy being utilized by the likes of Target and Petco.

3PLs offer value-add services that help you deliver on-demand to your customers. We look forward to delivering that superior customer experience to yours. Contact us today to explore how we can help.

Distributing for a Cause

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019


“I came to the point in my life where I was faced with a choice to choose life or death. If I was going to choose life, it had to be to do something that had purpose – gave me meaning for my life. CLEAN Cause was born.” – Wes, recovering drug addict and Founder of Clean Cause.

CLEAN Cause Yerba Mate energy beverages come in four refreshing flavors, are certified organic and full of natural caffeine. If that isn’t enough to make you want to pick one up, 50% of their profits support recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

The business was built on Wes’s journey to get clean and now they are supporting others like him with natural alternatives that anyone can enjoy.

Despite their explosive growth, CLEAN Cause still serves their hometown of Austin, TX by van delivery. However, they are quickly expanding along the west coast as well. Using distribution centers, they’re able to reach their wholesale accounts across the Pacific NW, with east coast expansion on the horizon as well.

“The company is growing a lot everyday! All the logistics processes need to adapt fast to the increasing change and it is always a challenge to give the best service to every customer as they deserve, but we are doing it!” says David Mera, Supply Chain Director at CLEAN Cause.

That need led David to discover American Warehouse. Attracted by their central location along the west coast, but won over by their service, he found their west coast partner. He’ll rely on an organized warehouse, top notch service, accurate on inventory and willingness to help in any emergency to ensure his customers get their orders accurately and on time.

Their path is clear for massive expansion. Keep checking the store locator to find CLEAN Cause in your neighborhood grocery or convenience store.

To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you expand your distribution, contact us today!

Holiday Shipping Preparedness – Here We Go!

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

holiday preparedness

Black Friday weekend is over, and that means the shopping season is officially here. According to NRF, more than 164 million consumers were expected to shop over Thanksgiving weekend and spend 4.1% more than last year. Transportation and logistics companies have been preparing to support retailers during the peak shipping season for months.

For those retailers, getting products on shelves and to consumers is priority number one. Last year, even Walmart struggled with fulfillment. To combat the challenges, logistics professionals and retailers alike are using several strategies to improve efficiencies and save costs in 2018 so that consumers receive their purchases accurately and on-time.

One of those strategies is to fill warehouse space with back stock. Beyond the demands of the holiday season, concerns over the coming tariffs have incited some to stock up in preparation. This is a sharp turn away from just-in-time inventory management trends, which increase efficiencies by receiving goods only as needed. The additional costs associated with this tactic may very well be worth it come January 2019.

To support the increased movement, most shippers have hired additional workers. Flexible shift models have allowed recruitment of a larger workforce. By accommodating their employee’s family needs, bus schedules, second jobs and more, companies are seeing success in seasonal hiring!

Consumer expectations for on-demand delivery is never felt stronger than during the holiday season. Consumers shop across a variety of retail outlets, though 55% plan to buy online (NRF). The old faithfuls – FedEx, UPS and even DHL – are still responsible for getting most products safely to the consumer’s home. To combat the last-mile delivery challenges, logistics companies are adding more drivers or contracting with additional carriers. Some are taking advantage of alternatives like Deliv, UberRUSH and Task Rabbit. Tech is also playing a crucial role, such as with Amazon Key.

Hold on to your hats, holiday shipping is here – whether you’re a retailer, shipper or consumer – you’re in for a wild ride.


To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you solve your holiday logistics challenges, contact us today!

Logistics Profit Center: Cost Savings Isn’t Enough

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018


Supply chain, warehousing and transportation have long been considered cost centers in logistics – necessary services to move the business forward. As support resources, they were accountable to achieving certain metrics that did not necessarily contribute to the top-line growth. Consistent with the industry shifts, that is no longer the case. Logistics professionals are instead finding themselves running profit-centers. Is your department functioning as a revenue-generating business center or continuing to operate as a service center? If it’s the latter or you aren’t quite sure, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Cost center: the way of the past

Running the logistics department as a cost center means you are not directly adding to the profits of the business, but still cost the organization money to operate. While the services you provide are necessary to the organization, you do not directly generate revenue. There is another way.

Profit center: the here and now

Effectively running as a profit center, you’re generating your own results and earnings. You may already be accountable to a revenue or profit metric that contributes to the business.

If you aren’t quite there, you’re not alone. So how do you get a seat at the profit-center table? The key lies in efficiencies, agility, and technology. Utilizing a third-party logistics (3PL) company gives you instant access to the necessary tools – warehouse management system (WMS), skilled workforce, and a transportation network. With heightened demand and shortages amassing, a well-connected partner will offer you the cost-savings that actively contributes to the profitability of the company.

With a proactive approach to logistics challenges and results that positively effect organizational profitability, you’ll be ready to take a seat at the table.

eCommerce Fulfillment: Beyond the Garage

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

eCommerce Fulfillment

You’re up and running. You’re gaining some traction, and then suddenly you’re feeling like this:

overwhelmed by boxes

It may be time to outsource your logistics.

The ecommerce sales channel is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to the U.S. Commerce Department,

Consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. (Digital Commerce 360, 2018)

It’s no wonder that more and more entrepreneurs are trying their hand at online retail. The concept is simple: Choose a product that meets a need, build your ecommerce site, and market it with a compelling offer. The challenges come once you start seeing success:

  • Amazon Effect – Innovation is constantly changing the game
  • Warehousing – You’re running out of space
  • Inventory management – Receiving more orders than you have products
  • Picking and packing – The quality and accuracy of the fulfillment process
  • Shipping and/or Distribution – Carrier management and partnerships
  • Scaling – Your resources are limited and tied up

To ease your pain, there are several alternative choices for managing operations:

In the interests of control and simply misunderstanding what will be required, some will start their own warehouse operation. With this option, the business owner is now running two businesses, and not focusing on their revenue generating business.

Joining forces with another business allows you to share responsibilities and cost. These releases some of the burden of self-warehousing but misses the opportunity to partner with a professional.

Outsource to a 3PL
Bringing in a professional with the right tools and connections allows you to focus on your strengths while assured that your distribution is handled with efficiency in time and cost.

The options span the gambit, but please don’t try to build a warehouse for your fulfillment needs. The costs associated with rent, equipment, staff and the mistakes you’ll inevitably make far outreach the costs of hiring a professional that already has these in place. A 3PL will handle all your logistical challenges so you can focus on your core competencies:

  • Manages warehousing and distribution channels
  • Has the processes and systems in place to manage your inventory and orders with accuracy
  • Reduces costs associated with running a warehouse and distribution center
  • Provide a personal touch to optimizing your business logistics and supply chain

A 3PL solves your warehouse and fulfillment challenges so you can get back to focusing what you’re good at – driving ecommerce sales through your business.

Column: U.S. e-commerce sales grow 16.0% in 2017. (2018, February 16). Retrieved June 2, 2018, from

Partner Spotlight: Knickerbockers American Manufacturer

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Knickerbocker Bed FramesKnickerbocker, an American manufacturer of high-quality bed frames and bedding support systems, has been family-owned and operated for 100 years. Brothers Jacob and Lazar are 4th generation operators of the family business. They accredit their success to innovative, patented products, quality of craftsmanship and customer service. They are also the only bed frame manufacturer that still manufacturers all their products here in the USA.

When it comes a bed frame, Jacob recognizes that it’s not an item that people think about too often; “it’s usually when they stub their toe, or it breaks.” Few realize the importance of how a foundation affects the quality and performance of their mattress set. By providing innovative bedding support products, Knickerbocker has redefined the category to provide their customers with the lasting support they need.

Knickerbocker manufacturers all of their products in their New Jersey facility, but sells to mattress and furniture stores throughout the United States. Their products travel by rail freight to various distribution centers across the country.

Their supply chain network spans far and wide, but reaching some of their customers proved a challenge. In particular, the distance from their Texas distribution center to their Pacific Northwest customers put them at a disadvantage to serve retailers in Oregon and Washington. After hearing from their customers along the west coast that they required next-day service, Knickerbocker sought out a west coast logistics partner.

When Knickerbocker met with American Warehouse, it was an instant connection. According to Jacob, he found an organized and diligent staff at American Warehouse. With accurate inbound and outbound tracking, they felt assured their deliveries would be accurate and on-time. American Warehouse understood Knickerbocker’s business needs and quickly became a valuable extension of the team. As a result of the partnership and their presence in the northwest, orders in Oregon, Washington and Idaho are up 100%. Expanding their network of logistics support with another regional warehouse allowed Knickerbocker to better serve its customers, and with it generated a significant increase in orders.

Wishing to respond to customer demands, Knickerbocker set out to find a warehousing and distribution partner in the Pacific Northwest. Finding the right solution in American Warehouse, has allowed them to better serve retailers while reducing the worry associated with expanding the supply chain, and growing their business as a result.

To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you solve your logistical challenges, contact us today!

The Perfect Storm in Global Shipping

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Transportation Perfect Storm

The global logistics shipping industry, from domestic trucking to international air and ocean transportation, is experiencing a whirlwind of upheaval and change. Driven by the political climate, changing consumer demands and labor shortages, manufacturers and shippers are being called on to solve unprecedented challenges all while rates are down and service demands are increasing. With global shipping becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, logistics professionals will have mountains to overcome in the coming years.

While NAFTA negotiations continue to loom over our heads, people in and outside of the transportation industry are fearful of the impact. The loss of trade benefits could be devastating, should the United States pull out of the deal. It’s a similar situation with potential trade tariffs for China and Brexit in the works. It’s yet unclear how the shifts in trade agreements will affect the global economy and shipping industry.

Already affecting the industry: ecommerce. Merchants selling online are generating more sales, but increased business creates challenges in consumer demands and logistics. Ecomm shoppers want faster and cheaper – if not free – delivery. And they expect it to be an experience. Further, the state of the global shipping industry will greatly impact our ability to trade and ship from manufacturers outside of the United States.

On the national front, the United States is experiencing a trucking crisis with a driver shortage. The effects are already being felt, with delivery delays and higher costs to transport. Driverless cars and trucks are on their way but technologists don’t agree on how quickly that day will come.

Commerce flowing in and out of our homebase in Portland has also been impacted by the struggles experienced at the Port of Portland. With the existence of 2000 TEU carriers, and a number of other factors, the Port of has been unsuccessful in attracting ocean freight carriers. The port has shifted its focus to a mixed-use model in order to serve a more diversified client base. To move products overseas, the Port has partnered with BNSF Railway to transport goods north to Seattle-Tacoma to be shipped overseas.

By air, water or land, the transport of goods is crucial to our economy and way of life. Transporters are being challenged in the current environment and where it will turn is yet to be seen. Despite the mounting challenges in the transportation industry, there’s enormous opportunity for innovation and growth. Those who adapt to the changes will come out on top.

American Warehouse can help navigate your logistics, contact us today to learn more!

Pricing a Third Party Logistics Provider

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Pricing a 3PL

Hiring an outside vendor for transportation management is an exercise in trust and is an important business decision. A great 3PL acts as an extension of your supply chain team. The procurement process can feel daunting. Ensure that you’re in control of the process by educating yourself on standard practices of 3PL pricing.

There are three main services provided by a 3PL, including inbound processing, warehousing and outbound processing. It is essential to understand how your 3PL partner quotes their services and where any hidden fees or charges may threaten your budget. Acquiring accurate and comparative quotes will ensure you’re getting the right partner to fit your budget.

American Warehouse is here to help – no matter who you choose to partner with. This pricing guide will give you the knowledge and tools to attain an accurate and consistent quote from any third party logistics provider – allowing you to make a sound business decision on who to partner with on your logistics needs.

Understand 3PL pricing >>