Food on the Move

Logistics trends in our industry.


 

Food Lion Puts Fresh Produce Front and Center

Grocery retailer Food Lion has launched a new program, entitled “Fresh From the Field,” that aims to put more fresh produce in the stores while teaching consumers how get the most shelf-life as possible. The program includes a “double your money back” guarantee for any fruit or vegetable in unsatisfactory condition along with in-store tips for how to care for and store fresh produce at home.

“We have made a new commitment to fresh produce,” emphasized Cathy Green Burns, president of Food Lion. “We heard from our customers that they wanted fresher produce for their families.”

The initiative is not only taking shape in-store, but in the warehouse too. Food Lion piloted the Fresh From the Field program at its Salisbury, North Carolina distribution center—one of six Food Lion DCs in the Southeast U.S. The DCs receive fresh produce every day now in order to assure quicker turnaround of stored fruits and vegetables, while the retail stores receive shipments of fresh produce every other day, up from three times a week.

 

Don’s Cold Storage Plans New Facility in Missouri

Arkansas-based Don’s Cold Storage is building a new $14 million cold storage facility in Joplin, Missouri. The 150,000 square-foot facility is expected to create 52 local jobs.

The company provides temperature-controlled warehouse and transportation services, including blast freezing and cold and dry storage, to industries in the continental U.S. as well as product export services around the world.

 

C.H. Robinson Introduces the Eco-Crate

C.H. Robinson Worldwide introduced the Eco-Crate at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in October. The Eco-Crate is a fully recyclable crate that weighs less than conventional products. Aside from its stacking capabilities, shippers can get up to 30 percent more Eco-Crates into a truckload.

The Eco-crate is also safer than wooden crates and labels adhere to it better than most other crates.

“Several surveys identified wood crates as the single most difficult and most injury-producing container at DC and store levels, both domestically and in Europe,” notes Daniel Whittles, director of grower programs and business development for Rosemont Farms, which is owned by C.H. Robinson. “Those handling the Eco-Crate at the various points of contact from packing to merchandising will be thrilled at the reduced hazard, thanks to the elimination of metal wire and splintered wood.”

 

New EPA Emission Standards for Refrigerated Units in 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 4 Final emission standards on engines, which will impact transport refrigeration unit (TRU) diesel engines, will become effective at the start of 2013.

“The EPA regulations for greater than 25, but less than 50 horsepower TRU engines require reductions of about 90 percent in particulate matter (PM) and 37 percent in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the interim standards that have been in effect since 2008,” explains Doug Lenz, director of product management and marketing for Thermo King. “In addition all TRU engines, regardless of horsepower, need to comply with new not-to-exceed (NTE) PM and NOx limits at elevations of 5,500 feet. Previous standards were based on emissions at sea level.”

At the same time, new regulations from the California Air Resource Board (CARB) will require haulers to become more fuel efficient and decrease the mass of their loads. CARB also requires the trucking industry to replace or upgrade refrigeration unit diesel engines that are more than seven years old.

 

Food Distributor Nash Finch Closing Iowa DC

Nash Finch, the second-largest publicly traded wholesale food distributor in the U.S., announced that it is closing a DC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which has operated since 1962, and will “transition” the DC’s business to other DCs in Omaha, Nebraska and St. Could, Minnesota.

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