Supply Scan

News and Trends from Across the Food Supply Chain

Saddle Creek Acquires ServiceCraft Logistics

Saddle Creek Corp. has acquired ServiceCraft Logistics, a third-party logistics company headquartered in Buena Park, CA. The acquisition reflects Saddle Creek's strategic focus on bringing integrated logistics solutions to new markets and provides customers with expanded coverage and service options.

The deal provides Lakeland, FL-based Saddle Creek with an immediate increase in geographic coverage and industry expertise.

"This is really a great acquisition for us and for the market overall," says David Lyons, Saddle Creek's founder and chairman. "In ServiceCraft we found a company with a culture that is very similar to our own, and a service area that complements our existing network extremely well. That cultural fit is already making for a smooth transition—something that we know is critical to our customers."

With this acquisition, Saddle Creek gains eight warehouse locations in the key markets of Northern and Southern California and Dallas/Fort Worth and increases its total managed square footage by more than 20 percent.

The move also expands Saddle Creek's transportation offering. The company will now offer regional fleet transportation in the California markets in addition to its existing nationwide transportation brokerage service.

Adding hundreds of new associates also enables Saddle Creek to expand its service offering with expertise in additional industries.

Landshire Sandwiches Rolls With Insulated Vans

Landshire Sandwiches and CSTK, a Thermo King Corp. dealer, have developed insulated vans that offer improved fuel performance, as well as quality temperature control and easier maneuverability for drivers.

The Belleville, IL-based sandwich maker services convenience store, grocery and vending customers from throughout the Midwest. Starting out years ago with trucks and (electric stand-by) trailers that travelled many miles each day between its manufacturing facility and customer locations, the company eventually added strategically-placed distribution centers to more efficiently cover Landshire's growing Midwest territory.

In 2008, the company was looking for a way to combat high fuel prices. The answer came in the form of a new distribution model that included 40-foot, self-contained refrigerated pods, similar to ocean-going containers, and fuel-efficient, custom-designed Sprinter vans.

"We currently have eight pods in place throughout designated routes and have seen a significant reduction in miles driven by the vehicles servicing those areas; they simply do not have to travel as far between loads," says Joseph Trover, CEO.

"In addition, the Sprinter vans used in these areas more than doubled the miles per gallon achieved with the older box trucks they replaced, which has provided a considerable net savings to the company."

Landshire partnered with CSTK of St. Louis, its Thermo King dealer, to develop the vehicle. The goal was to end up with a vehicle that offered the improved fuel performance and quality temperature control and easier maneuverability for drivers.

"The first batch of Sprinter vans featured a CSTK-customized installation package that included a four-step insulation process and a Thermo King V-300-20 small truck refrigeration unit," explains Allen Lane, CSTK chief operating officer.

"The second batch of Sprinter vans included 14-foot Morgan Bodies and Thermo King V-500 truck units. The entire van fleet was designed to maintain an average internal temperature of 18 degrees and includes an R:COM cellular tracking system for real-time vehicle and temperature monitoring," says Lane. "The vans are non-cumbersome; they really do drive more like a car and offer better ground-level access."

All of the Sprinter vans are leased through Ryder and most of the pods are located at Ryder facilities.

Built to Landshire's specifications to complement the pod satellite locations, the vans are the perfect vehicle to ensure the success of this innovative distribution model. According to Trover, the system allows for faster, easier expansion due to its flexibility.

"We can service more accounts out of each pod, and because there is less driving, there is more time to service each customer," says Trover.

Landshire Sandwiches operates approximately 80 route trucks, as well as its 19 new Sprinter vans, to cover 85 service routes. The fleet runs a combination of Thermo King TS-200, V-300 and V-500 truck refrigeration units.

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