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Oseguera Trucking Co. looks to expand cold-storage capabilities

Los Angeles-based Oseguera Trucking Co. Inc., which specializes in loads into the Southern California region, added a cold-storage division in the late 1990s that is now too small to handle its current customers.

“Our next goal is to expand that facility,” said Jose Oseguera, general manager of the family-run operation. “That’s where we see our growth.”

The company was started in 1985 by Mr. Oseguera’s father and mother, Benigno and Lilia Oseguera. Today, he and his brother Eduardo are running the firm, with Eduardo handling sales. The company, which has 10 semi-tractor trailers and six bobtail trucks, specializes in hauling produce from anywhere in California into the Los Angeles market. The logistics specialists handle hauls for many of the Southern California-based retailers and wholesalers. The cold storage facility, which is run under the name Four Seasons, is an added service for those customers. Using the facility for warehousing, Oseguera often does local deliveries for those customers. This year, it began handling more loads from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach into its storage facility and throughout Southern California.

“When my father started the company in 1985, we were basically mechanics,” said Jose. “My dad bought a beat-up old truck, got it running and started doing some deliveries.”

Originally, he was hauling building materials. He also tried his hand at furniture hauling and then went in with another partner to haul product from the Central Coast down to Los Angeles. “Our trailer caught fire on the way down and that put both companies out of business,” Jose Oseguera said.

But Benigno Oseguera, with his family at his side, persevered. In 1989, he was introduced to the produce industry and began specializing in refrigerated hauling of perishables. It has been a good match.

Four Seasons began Nov. 1, 1998, when a customer needed dry storage service. Within a few months, another customer asked for refrigerated cold storage. Now the firm offers cold and dry warehousing and plans to expand that to include freezer service next year. With the warehouse in the heart of Los Angeles and close to all major freeways, Mr. Oseguera said the location is perfect for fast deliveries to retail chains as well as the city’s produce markets.

“We are going to continue to grow the warehousing part of our business,” he said.

Jose Oseguera said that this year business has been good. “This summer has been very good. The beginning of the year wasn’t so good, but being in business for 25 years, we have gone through many ups and downs over the years. When the economy is soft, we feel it.”

He added that Oseguera Trucking has a very good business model, which helps it weather down times. “We are still mechanics,” he said. “We handle all our own maintenance, which helps us control costs.”

But he said that the real key to the company’s success is hard work. “We are on the phones all the time serving our customers and looking for new ones.”