Supply Scan

News and Trends from Across the Food Supply Chain

Ralphs Reducing Emissions With Retrofit Exhaust System

Ralphs Grocery Co. is operating a cleaner fleet with a new retrofit exhaust system that enables older trucks to surpass new emissions rules.

Last month, the Los Angeles-based supermarket chain demonstrated its advanced diesel retrofit, featuring technology from Johnson Matthey, at the "Future Is Green" conference, an annual gathering of the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association.

Johnson Matthey, a Malvern, PA-based supplier of emission control technologies and its partner, Cummins Emissions Solutions, retrofitted 16 older class 8 grocery trucks used in the Ralphs' delivery fleet with its SCRT four-way control system. The trucks range in age from 1998 to 2004.

The four-way SCRT exhaust emission control system combines Johnson Matthey's two-stage CRT particulate filter system (to reduce particulate matter by more than 85 percent) with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst that reduces NOx by some 60 to 80 percent. It also reduces carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) by more than 90 percent.

The result is a four-year-old truck with NOx emissions lower than those of a brand-new 2008 truck. The Ralphs trucks with this system could potentially remain in compliance with existing and proposed air quality regulations until 2020.

The next stage for this technology is verification by the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is underway now. Johnson Matthey expects verification of the system by the end of 2008 or early 2009.

Latest RFID Research Finds EAS A Promising Application

The use of item-level radio frequency identification (RFID) for electronic article surveillance (EAS) and managing price markdowns appears to be a promising practical application that could deliver substantial benefits, according to a study.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), in cooperation with the Voluntary Inter-industry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association and the University of Arkansas, released the findings of a major item-level RFID research initiative held last month in Fayetteville, AK.

Over 100 attendees heard Phase III results of the new research that was conducted at the University of Arkansas. Inventory accuracy, reducing out of stocks, managing inventory more effectively and moving information efficiently through the supply chain could be some of the benefits realized.

Utilizing industry standards and guidelines, including the use of electronic data interchange (EDI) and barcodes, have proved beneficial to retailers. This experience demonstrated that utilizing electronic product code (EPC) standards will facilitate the implementation of item-level RFID.

The completion of the research is set for year's end. This phase focuses on the ROI of it in the planning stages.

Presenters included Dillard's and Sam's Club who discussed how data is generated in an RFID-enabled environment and used to create business value, the return on investment (ROI) of the technology in loss prevention and privacy concerns.

"The conference solidified our commitment to supporting the university's RFID item level research," says Joseph Andraski, president and CEO of VICS. "All preliminary results are extremely encouraging, confirming that RFID will play a major role in reengineering supply chain management."

Fuel Costs Top Trucking's List Of Industry Concerns

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry's not-for-profit research institute, unveiled its list of the top 10 critical issues facing U.S. truckers.

The cost of fuel and the nation's economy top the list in ATRI's survey of more than 5,000 trucking industry executives. The complete results were released in New Orleans at the 2008 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

Aside from fuel costs and the economy, other "Top 10" issues include:
• Driver shortage and retention;
• Government regulation;
• Commercial driver hours-of-service
• Congestion;
• Tolls and highway funding;
• Environmental issues;
• Tort reform and other legal issues; and On-board truck technology.

The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by the ATA to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.

"The annual ATRI survey proves invaluable in helping us chart a course of action for the future," says incoming ATA Chairman Charles "Shorty" Whittington (Grammer Industries, Grammer, IN) "and as ATA Chairman I will work to see that the industry-identified strategies are implemented."

A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at

FMI Names Sarasin President, CEO

Leslie G. Sarasin has been named president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, VA.

"We are very eager to welcome Leslie aboard. She is well connected with our industry and brings a wealth of experience to her new post, as well as a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement. I am confident that under her leadership, we will be able to move the association forward at a critical time for our industry," says Steven C. Smith, board chair, FMI, and president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores Inc.

Sarasin has been president and chief executive officer of the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) since 1999. She also serves as president of the National Yogurt Association, an association that AFFI manages, and has oversight responsibility for the National Frozen Pizza Institute, Frozen Potato Products Institute, International Frozen Food Association, Texas Mexico Frozen Food Council and Food Processing Environmental Conference.

Previously, she worked as director, government relations, and legal counsel with the National Food Brokers Association and as legal counsel and assistant to the president at Crest International Corp.

Paradigm Logistics: Corporate Overview

In the September 2008 issue of Food Logistics, the corporate overview of Paradigm Logistics on page 34 was inadvertently left out. We regret the error. This listing has been updated on
• Paradigm Logistics, Greenwood Village, CO
Area served: North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
Non-asset based
Transportation services: Air cargo, dedicated contract carriage, intermodal, LTL, ocean, rail, truck load
Corporate overview: Paradigm is the premier logistics management organization in North America designed exclusively to service the food products industry providing 3PL and 4PL management programs. Our industry specific experience as well as our extensive knowledge and relationships with all of the major food receivers enable us to enhance the presentation of your product. Our transportation management software functions in a completely shared environment allowing our partners' end to end visibility. This, coupled with cutting edge optimization capabilities and our team of logistics professionals make Paradigm the ideal partner.

Strong Outlook For DSD Delivery Process: GMA Report

Seventy-seven percent of U.S.-based retailers indicate that in 2008, they expect their use of direct store delivery processes (DSD) will increase or remain constant, representing a significant opportunity to drive sales growth, according to Powering Growth Through Direct Store Delivery, a study released by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and conducted by AMR Research and Clarkston Consulting.

"Direct store delivery improvements represent manufacturer-customer collaboration at its finest," says Stephen Sibert, GMA senior vice president of industry affairs. "This study indicates that both retailers and manufacturers are being rewarded for DSD innovations--from enhanced promotional effectiveness to increased brand and store loyalty."

As evidence of the sales opportunity that DSD can create for retailers, the study notes that sales of DSD products account for 24 percent of unit sales and 52 percent of retail profits in the grocery channel.  What's more, seven of the top 10 largest grocery categories employ DSD, and these categories experienced a nearly 15 percent growth in sales from 2003-2007. 

By placing supplier representatives in the store, the DSD model not only helps ensure proper execution of trade promotions but also contributes 25 percent of total store labor in the North American market. 

"DSD offers unparalleled capabilities to meet shoppers' needs," says Ann Dozier, The Coca-Cola Co.'s vice president, collaborative customer capabilities and chairman of the GMA Direct Store Delivery Committee. "By collaborating with DSD suppliers, retailers can maximize operations while delivering a unique shopper experience at every store."

The analysis, based on quantitative and qualitative research of DSD and non-DSD company environments, was initiated by the GMA Direct Store Delivery Committee. The study is available for download at


PepsiCo Makes Progress Towards Sustainability Goals

PepsiCo says it has made significant progress toward its long-term environmental sustainability goals, which include reducing water consumption and electricity consumption by 20 percent and fuel consumption by 25 percent per unit of production by 2015 compared to 2006. These goals are part of PepsiCo's Performance with Purpose vision, the company's commitment to delivering shareholder value while leaving a positive imprint on society.

"All of the credit for the progress we've made so far goes to the many talented people within PepsiCo who have found innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint," says Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of the Purchase, NY-based company. "We still have much work to do, but these are important, positive steps in our long journey to constantly improve our stewardship of the environment."

In order to attain these goals PepsiCo has launched a number of activities:

Water--reduce consumption by 20 percent: Across the world, PepsiCo has saved nearly 1.5 billion gallons of water in 2007 compared to 2006. PepsiCo is taking to scale a combination of new technology, information sharing and employee initiatives that reduce water consumption and increase re-use.

In the U.S., the company is using a proprietary air-rinse technology to clean newly manufactured bottles with air instead of water in all Gatorade and Propel manufacturing plants, saving almost 150 million gallons of water per year.

Electricity--reduce consumption by 20 percent: At the Tropicana facility in Bradenton, FL, the orange juice storage system was converted from an ultra-low temperature freezer system to cool refrigeration that preserves the juice's freshness without freezing it. This transition not only improved the fresh taste of Tropicana juice, it saved the equivalent of electricity needed to power over 7,000 houses.

At the Quaker facility in Cedar Rapids, IA, the development of an innovative milling process saves almost three million kilowatt hours of electricity per year--the same amount used by 250 typical American homes.

Fuel--reduce consumption by 25 percent: Alternative fuel sources are also a major focus for PepsiCo. This year, the Frito-Lay manufacturing facility in Modesto, CA, inaugurated a solar concentrator field made up of large curved mirrors that move with the position of the sun, focusing the heat into tubes of glass filled with water. The water is converted into steam, which helps heat the cooking oil used to make SunChips.

In addition, there are two U.S. PepsiCo manufacturing facilities that use landfill gas, thereby reducing their consumption of fossil source fuels.