A Day in the Life of OnTrac on Interstate-5

Posted on Jan 29, 2016 9:30:00 AM

11.29.16_OnTrac_Interstate_5_PHOTO.jpgOnTrac is the largest regional ground transportation network in the country. We rely on the road infrastructure to move our trailers through states, between facilities, and from our docks to the customer’s doorstep. Along the three Pacific Coast states, Interstate 5 is vital to our network connectivity. 

Running 1,381 miles through California, Oregon and Washington, I-5 spans all the way from the country’s busiest border crossing in San Ysidro / San Diego continuing north to the Peach Arch Border Crossing into Canada. Each day OnTrac transports freight up and down the I-5 corridor. Each section of I-5 has its unique territorial challenges. Near major metropolitan areas, heavy traffic is the biggest headache for our freight delivery teams. The I-5 bottleneck through downtown Seattle is rated the 17th worst in the entire nation. In California, the evening rush hour on I-5 Los Angeles and Orange County is the worst traffic in the state. Ask any resident in Southern California about traffic and you’re in for an ear-full. The afternoon commute from Portland across the Interstate Bridge into Southwest Washington is pure gridlock – bumper to bumper every day with an average speed of 13 mph.








While traffic gives everyone a headache, I-5 isn’t always a parking lot. If you start in Southern California and drive up and over Tejon Pass, eventually the freeway goes through long, flat, rural stretches of California’s Central Valley. Tejon Pass, elevation 4,160, is the highest point on I-5 in California and sometimes closes when severe winter weather hits. In the Central Valley, I-5 runs parallel to Hwy 99 and bypasses the region’s major population centers and therefore has less traffic. Depending on the person, this section of I-5 could be described as pleasant or desolate. On this leg of I-5, farms and fields stretch out to the East and the Coastal Mountain Range in the distance to the West.

If you keep going north on I-5 through the Sacramento Valley you start gaining back elevation. After you pass through Redding, CA, and enter the Cascade Mountain Range the increase in elevation creates some nasty winter weather. Winding roads, snow, ice, and fog slow transportation through the mountain passes. The highestpoint on I-5 is Siskiyou Summit just north of the California-Oregon border. With an elevation of 4,310 feet and steep, winding terrain, this neck of I-5 can become impassable and is often closed until the weather subsides and the roads are safe to travel. Travelers are often required to chain up and use extreme caution.

Once truckers and travelers safely pass through the Siskiyous and cruise on through Medford, OR, it is smooth driving for a few hundred miles through the Umpqua Valley and north through the Willamette Valley until you hit the major metropolitan areas of Salem and Portland. Passing over the Columbia River on the border of Oregon and Washington, the speed limit on I-5 increases to 70 MPH, making your trip a little faster! If you’re heading from Vancouver, WA to Vancouver, BC you’ll be on the road for a little over 300 miles.

Love it or hate it, I-5 is travelled for thousands of miles each day by drivers and truckers carrying OnTrac freight. This one stretch of freeway continuously spans three states and connects three different countries and hundreds of cities and towns. Next time you drive the five, consider all the folks who spend their day on the road for OnTrac!




Topics: overnight delivery in California, Delivery Companies, shipping, deliveries, overnight delivery in Oregon, overnight delivery in Washington, Interstate-5

Reduce Transit Time and Shipping Spending with OnTrac

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 2:06:00 PM

As eCommerce sales continue to rise, OnTrac remains in a position to save its customers time in transit and boost their bottom line.

It’s no secret that faster time in transit is the key to keeping businesses competitive – the largest online retailers are able to get products delivered quickly, setting an industry standard and giving customers high expectations for their online shopping experience. They want their ecommerce orders delivered as fast as possible, for as cheap as possible.

According to a recent comScore study, at least 42% of online shoppers reported abandoning their shopping carts because of delivery timing estimates. Two-thirds of shoppers choose the most inexpensive shipping option, more than 40% expect to see the availability of 2-to-3 day delivery and nearly a third want the option to choose overnight shipping. A third of shoppers said they most often choose to pay a fee for faster delivery.

In that same study, 48% of online shoppers said they are not willing to wait more than 5 days for packages to be delivered.

With OnTrac, consumers notice a reduction in both transit time and shipping expenses. As a regional carrier, the company utilizes its regional hub-and-spoke model to provide next-day delivery at Ground rates to more than 60 million consumers in the eight Western States.

In the more than 20 years OnTrac has been in the business, the company has come to know just how important the need for speed is, but they also recognize the need for a great customer experience, as well.

That’s why we provide all the same characteristics people have come to expect of their delivery companies – tracking, software integration, live help and an intuitive, easy-to-use website.

If you have any questions about our service, or are looking to get started with OnTrac, simply call our Customer Service number at 800.334.5000 or visit our Welcome Center at ontrac.com.



Topics: competitive advantages, online delivery, ground rates, online shopping, fees, eCommerce, comScore, free shipping, faster time in transit, Time in Transit, save a transit day, OnTrac Shipping, deliveries, lowest cost shipping, fewer fees

Partnership with Colorado Rush Delivers Soccer Gear Around the World

Posted on Sep 4, 2013 4:24:00 PM

To some people, Donna Pettigrew is the woman in charge of the Events and Community Outreach Program for the Colorado Rush Soccer Club, a non-profit organization established to provide unparalleled personal growth.

She spends her days working to gather gently used soccer gear to send overseas, helping the less fortunate and instilling values into the Littleton youth.

To OnTrac's General Manager in Denver, Roy Yurt, she is an inspiration, a friend and someone worth lending a hand for.

"I worked with Donna a few years ago when the REACH program was sending soccer gear to Iraq," Yurt said. "This year, they are sending soccer gear to Africa. It’s a really great cause, and I’m happy to be a part of it."

Pettigrew started building the REACH program in 2003. After just one year, REACH was able to deliver soccer gear to 10 third-world countries and her cause aired on Good Morning America. REACH grew fast; it’s still growing and that’s due to the effort of Pettigrew and her team.

"I love pulling people together for a common cause," she said. "When we are building and improving relationships in other countries—and we are able to have all of our partners build relationships with each other, the job gets done and it gets done well."

OnTrac is proud to be a part of this noble effort. As a 100 percent for-charity effort, OnTrac has offered its vehicles to help Donna and REACH get gear from point A, being the Rush REACH facility storage in GarageTown, to point B—the US Navy. 

"OnTrac, and Roy, have always been there," Pettigrew said. "Anytime I call him and ask if he can help—we have an issue getting from point A to point B—he always steps up."

It is the vision, and the support of that vision, that enables the REACH program to remain successful. "Roy has always supported our efforts," Pettigrew said. "He believes in what we are doing, and he has proved it."

OnTrac is getting ready to do two more pickups of 80-100 boxes. We are proud to be able to support Pettigrew and the Colorado Rush in their endeavours.



About the program:
Rush Equipment Assisting Children (R.E.A.C.H.) is a program that collects used or unwanted soccer equipment from Rush and other community members to donate to underprivileged children throughout the world. From tsunami victims, to Russian orphans, to the children of war torn Iraq, all benefit from the generous donations of Rush soccer and its members.

The Colorado Rush is always looking for more donations, either through cash or slightly used soccer equipment. Visit http://www.coloradorush.com/index.php/reach.

Topics: OnTrac Ground, Charity, outreach, deliveries

When Free Shipping Is Not Enough!

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 9:25:00 AM

Regional parcel carriers give you the next-day delivery edge!

Last week our Director of Business Operations, Mark Magill, spoke at the Council of Supply Chain Management, where more than 3,000 professionals in logistics and supply chain management met at the Annual Global Conference to learn how to cut supply chain costs, network with colleagues from all over the world, and discover new and innovative supply chain ideas.

Mark MagillHis presentation included information on the online retail industry and gave shippers an idea of what to do when offering free shipping is not enough.

The online retail industry passed the $200 billion mark in the 2011 revenue estimates released last month. Projections show it will grow by another 60 percent in the next five years and cross the $300 billion threshold by 2016. These are staggering figures when you consider that e-Commerce still only comprises about seven percent of retail sales.

This has had a profound impact on the parcel delivery market. An industry once dominated by the commercial segment has been inundated by business to consumer deliveries. At last count, it had exceeded 40 percent of all shipments and it is relentlessly approaching the halfway point. The fiercely competitive e-Commerce landscape has caused free shipping to become an almost standard offering on most websites. This has caused the volume of postal consolidators to spike up sharply because they are the lowest cost shipping method. But what are your alternatives when free shipping is not enough to satisfy the demands of your customers?

The seven to ten day delivery commitment offered by postal consolidators may be a satisfactory option for inexpensive items ordered online (sometimes humorously referred to as “cheap and cheerful’). But what are the realities when your customer is ordering an expensive piece of apparel like a $700 leather jacket? Is it worth the risk of buyer’s remorse with that type of high margin item? And what about the risk of shopping cart abandonment if they need the apparel for a special occasion and balk at the high cost of the express shipping option on your website? These issues become even more critical when dealing with the Generation Y/Millennial consumers who have an expectation of overnight delivery without being willing to pay extra for it.

However, there are viable solutions to these issues in major metropolitan areas of the United States. To gain a sharper insight into these solutions, let’s first examine the term Mega-region.  A Mega-region is a geographical area where a large portion of the U.S. population is concentrated. A good example of this is California. It is home to more than thirty seven million people.  Other examples are the Phoenix Sunbelt, Cascadia (the Seattle/Portland I- 5 corridor), the Front Range of Colorado and the Boston to Washington D.C. Corridor. The population of these Mega-regions totals nearly 200 million consumers and the overwhelming majority of e-Commerce deliveries are shipped to them.

The solution to your faster time in transit requirements are the regional parcel carriers that are located in most Mega-regions. These carriers have a next-day Ground delivery footprint that is much larger than that of UPS and FedEx. They offer guaranteed next-day delivery to Zone 4 destinations as far as 800 miles from point of origin. For example, with a distribution center in Reno, NV, you could provide your customers the option of, not only overnight delivery in Nevada, but overnight shipping from Seattle to Phoenix. The best part about it is these overnight deliveries are performed at Ground rates. This makes free shipping with faster time in transit a much more cost effective advantage to offer to your customers.

OnTrac Service AreaLast year I had an in-depth conversation about online delivery needs with the vice president of a very large e-Commerce company. When I asked him his opinion about regional parcel carriers, he mentioned that the regional carriers should talk about nothing but faster time in transit because it has become such a competitive factor. He wanted me to talk about , or ground shipping in Arizona. The largest Internet retailers are continually raising the bar with faster deliveries. Not every company can afford to locate a distribution center in every state, but every company that wants to remain competitive can strategically place two distribution centers in the most effective locations to take advantage of the faster time in transit that the regional parcel carriers provide. Some of the regional parcel carriers linking those Mega Regions are OnTrac in the seven largest western states, Eastern Connection in the Northeast, Lone Star Overnight in Texas and SpeeDee Delivery in the Midwest.


To learn more about our overnight delivery service, please visit any one of our OnTrac Ground information pages.

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