Supply Scan

News and Trends From Across the Food Supply Chain

Leading candy manufacturer Just Born Inc. has purchased a 600,710 square-foot warehouse in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park in Bethlehem, PA.

The warehouse will become the central storage and distribution point for all Just Born products.

Just Born will partner with global logistic company OHL at the Lehigh Valley location to provide a solution that will include value-added warehousing, distribution, and transportation management services.

“Just Born is always looking for ways to improve our customer service. That we can do that while benefiting the Lehigh Valley economy and reducing our environmental impact is a win-win-win,” says Matt Petronio, the company’s executive vice president and COO. “The close proximity of this DC to our plant will help us remain competitive by decreasing our logistics costs and significantly reducing our carbon foot print.”

By moving the DC closer to its manufacturing facility in Bethlehem, Just Born will eliminate more than one-half million truck-miles from Pennsylvania roads. The current distribution center is 75 miles away in Scranton, PA. The new facility, operated by OHL, will open in late 2009, and is expected to employ 70 workers when fully operational.

OHL will also manage a multi-vendor consolidated shipping program. The program will facilitate customer shipments across the country on behalf of a growing number of participating confectionery companies.

Foster Farms has reached an agreement to purchase the Fernando’s and El Extremo foodservice brands from ConAgra Foods.
Fernando’s, with a full line of Mexican entrees and appetizers, provides food service operators with a selection of frozen Mexican items.

El Extremo is also a foodservice, frozen Mexican brand and serves the school-lunch program distribution channel.

A manufacturing facility in Compton, CA was included in the sale. The plant is used exclusively to produce handheld Mexican products under the Fernando’s and El Extremo labels and will remain operational.

ConAgra Foods and Foster Farms have agreed to a transition service agreement to manage the order entry, warehousing and delivery of Fernando’s and El Extremo products and to provide sales support during the transition period.

C.R. England, one of the nation’s largest refrigerated truckload carrier, has selected SkyBitz as its integrated asset tracking solution provider for its reefer and dry van equipment.

The Salt Lake City-based provider of dedicated contract services will deploy SkyBitz Global Locating System and Reefer Monitoring and Control solutions on its entire fleet of dedicated trailers.

“We selected SkyBitz for their best-in-class solution to improve trailer utilization and increase trailer loads, regardless of trailer type,” says Chad England, president of C.R. England. “Temperature stability is paramount and this solution provides constant monitoring and control of each trailer. Additionally, the SkyBitz solution tracks our fleet in Mexico very reliably.”

C.R. England will be able to manage its fleet through the SkyBitz InSight software application by viewing its multiple asset types in real-time and running customizable management and operational reports for their fleets on a unified platform.

Kraft Foods Global Inc. instituted a synchronized trip program last year, Project MOST (Management of Optimized Sustainable Transportation), designed to achieve a reduction in “empty miles” within its U.S. private fleet and top 50 carriers.

One year later, Project MOST is the cornerstone of Kraft’s transportation sustainability efforts. It identifies the repeated patterns of truck movements into and out of Kraft distribution locations and then creates a series of trip segments for individual drivers and tractors in order to avoid trucks moving while empty, creating “empty miles.”

“Even before the increases in the price of oil and the growing focus on sustainability, we knew we could improve the movement of trucks carrying products to our customers,” says Mike Cole, director North America transportation, Kraft Foods, Northfield, IL.

“The challenge is to identify the recurring patterns of truck movements when you have almost a million shipments a year, spread across a network covering over 25,000 potential origin and destination combinations, on any given day.

“After looking for commercial software that would meet our needs, we concluded that none existed and so we decided to work with Oracle,” says Cole.

Kraft collaborated with Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, CA, to develop innovative transportation functionality that enables Kraft to perform strategic analysis of its network, identify ways to leverage freight, and form efficient routes for trucks.

Oracle Transportation Cooperative Routing, the new transportation optimization tool based on Oracle Transportation Management, ultimately put the more efficient “loops” into practice to successfully save miles and fuel for both the Kraft private fleet and its third-party carriers.

“Working closely with Kraft, we gained valuable insight that enabled us to deliver new transportation management capabilities,” says Derek Gittoes, Oracle vice president, logistics product strategy. “As a result, Kraft has been able to optimize their asset utilization, maximize their fleet and third party resources and further their overall sustainability objectives.”