Supply Scan

Peapod Opens Dedicated Facility Serving Boston

Internet grocer Peapod LLC and Stop & Shop have opened a first-of-its-kind facility solely dedicated to serving the needs of businesses, schools and non-profit organizations in the metropolitan Boston area.

"Peapod is excited to provide enhanced delivery options and product selection to organizations who wish to provide high quality groceries to their associates and clients," says Andrew Parkinson, Peapod's president. "This is a high growth potential area of our business and we believe we can offer a unique value proposition-supermarket selection at supermarket values-with no subscription or high minimum order requirements."

The facility serves downtown Boston as well as Allston, Arlington, Belmont, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Charlestown and Waltham and deliveries are made Monday through Friday beginning at 7am and ending at 4pm. Customers choose from a variety of morning and afternoon delivery windows and can shop from over 4,000 products.

The facility also offers a range of catering options such as deli platters, cheese trays, and fruit trays. Peapod's order-fulfillment technology and proprietary transportation routing system help achieve accuracy and efficiency in picking, packing and delivering grocery orders.

"A growing trend in the workplace today is to provide convenient, nutritious food and beverages on-site for employees," says Parkinson. "Peapod makes it easier for companies to do so by offering the convenience of online grocery shopping and delivery."

USCS Acquires Facilities,Expands Service In South

United States Cold Storage Inc. (USCS) has acquired three facilities which were formerly operated as Cassco Refrigerated Services.

"We are pleased to add the three Cassco facilities to the USCS fleet of warehouse and distribution centers," says David M. Harlan, president and CEO of Cherry Hill, NJ-based USCS. "We are extending our market presence in North Carolina with one facility located in Marshville and entering a new market area in Virginia, with the two facilities located in Harrisonburg.

"The expansion of our business in these geographic areas is based on our belief in the logistical advantages of these locations including the excellent highway and rail networks and the transportation efficiencies they provide."

The two Harrisonburg, VA, facilities consist of 6.3 million cubic feet and 20,500 pallet positions served by 44 truck doors. The Marshville, NC, facility consists of 2.8 million cubic feet and 11,000 pallet positions and is served by 16 dock doors.

These facilities include extensive quick freezing capacity as well as rail service.

Harlan notes, "These facilities are managed and operated by experienced and dedicated public refrigerated warehouse professionals who constantly strive to achieve the highest standards in safety, sanitation and customer service. We are delighted to have them become members of the USCS organization."

GMA Unveils Plan For Imported Food Safety

Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, has unveiled a proposal designed to protect consumers by strengthening, modernizing and improving the system governing the safety of food and food ingredients imported into the United States.

The proposal is entitled: "Commitment to Consumers: The Four Pillars of Food Safety."

"Ensuring the United States has the safest food supply in the world is priority number one for the food and beverage industry," says Dooley. "Because we cannot simply inspect our way to a safer food supply, our industry can apply its vast knowledge and practical experience along the entire supply chain to prevent problems before they arise. And, under our proposal, a fortified FDA will be right there with us, side by side, to make sure we do it right."

Prevention and a stronger public-private food safety partnership are the foundation of GMA's proposal. If adopted, all importers of record would be required to adopt a foreign supplier quality assurance program and verify that imported ingredients and products meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety and quality requirements.

The program would be based on FDA guidance and industry best practices and monitored and enforced by the FDA.

The second pillar of the proposal would allow FDA to focus even greater resources on products and countries deemed of higher risk through a program that would allow food companies/importers to qualify their products as lower risk by sharing test results, data and supply chain information with the FDA in a confidential manner.

Saddle Creek OpensCross-Dock Operations

Saddle Creek Corp. has completed construction of a high-volume cross-dock at its Lakeland, FL headquarters. The 98,600-square-foot facility is designed to provide distribution services for one of Saddle Creek's key accounts as well as potential new business.

Saddle Creek says flexibility is key for this perishable food manufacturer. The facility is expected to be approximately 40 percent larger than the manufacturer will need initially. The remaining portion of the cross-dock building will be used for other business until this customer has need for additional space in the facility.

"By building a comprehensive cross-dock facility with room to grow, we'll be able to accommodate our customer's increased volume now and their projected double-digit growth in years to come," says Michael DelBovo, senior vice president of Saddle Creek Transportation Inc., a subsidiary of Saddle Creek Corp. "As a 3PL, we have the resources and flexibility to provide a custom solution that can adapt to our customers' changing business needs."

The cross-dock will allow product to be pushed through in a smaller time frame, enabling the product to hit the shelves more quickly-a critical benefit for the manufacturer's fresh product.

"Our customer can now deliver even fresher product to consumers," says DelBovo.

Previously, the manufacturer used an existing Saddle Creek facility to handle its products. Designing the new facility exclusively as a true cross-dock will also result in labor savings. Product will be loaded continuously rather than being stored for several hours on the floor. "Bypassing the extra handling effort will result in labor productivity gains of approximately 15 to 20 percent," notes DelBovo.