MDS, Greatwide Logistics Are Driven To Success

Food Logistics recognizes fleets for outstanding customer service and environmental conservation.

Mark D. Sandridge (MDS) Inc
Mark D. Sandridge (MDS) Inc

Food Logistics has named the first two winners in our Fleet of the Year Awards.

Mark D. Sandridge (MDS) Inc., the privately owned fleet for Sandridge Foods Corp, takes top honors for the best private fleet. The refrigerated food manufacturer, based in Medina, OH, provides potato salads, protein and seafood salads, soups, cole slaw, macaroni and pasta salads, hot foods, specialty salads and desserts. The company was founded in 1960 by Vincent R. Sandridge, who set out to start his own fresh refrigerated food company in northern Ohio. Now 50 years later, it is still a family-run business that always goes the extra mile for its customers and employees.

Dallas-based Greatwide Logistics Services, the second-largest U.S. provider of dedicated transportation and the largest in refrigerated dedicated transportation, has been honored for having the best fleet in the third-party logistics provider category. With 5,000 trucks and access to 20,000 highly qualified carriers, the 3PL currently serves six of the top 10 grocery companies in the country.

Our editorial team selected these companies based on the information they supplied on their submission forms. Congratulations to the winners of 2010!

MDS Delivers Outstanding Service

Quick-response delivery, unparalleled customer service and a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. This defines Mark D. Sandridge (MDS) Inc.—Sandridge Food Corp.’s privately owned fleet.

Due to the company’s investment in cost-reducing and customer service-enhancing technology; a training program to increase driver productivity and safety; as well as eco-friendly initiatives, MDS has been named Food Logistics’ 2010 Private Fleet of the Year.

In support of its sustainability efforts, MDS became an EPA certified SmartWay Transport partner with a commitment to improving the environmental performance of freight operations.

As a SmartWay Transporter, MDS is able to measure its miles traveled, fuel gallons purchased, average weight per load and more. It is just one way the company is determining its CO2 reduction and finding opportunities for performance improvements.

Several technical advances have been made to the fleet to improve efficiency, enhance customer service and reduce costs:

  • The entire fleet features aerodynamic eco-flaps with holes to reduce drag and increase miles per gallon;
  • The maximum speed of the fleet is limited to increase safety and improve miles per gallon;
  • Tire pressure monitoring systems have been installed to improve fuel efficiency;
  • Seventy-five percent of the trucks have single-wide tires to reduce total weight and increase roll resistance;
  • New trucks come standard with a C02 reduction system, as well as a trailer skirt to increase aerodynamics;
  • PC MILLER Navigators are used in all trucks to decrease out-of-route miles and improve customer service by arriving on time. (MDS has unsurpassed customer service with a 99.8 percent fulfillment rate and 99.2 percent rate of on-time deliveries);
  • Lastly, all trucks feature an anti-idle solution that saves up to five gallons per hour when trucks are idle and drivers are resting. These upgrades have greatly reduced fuel usage compared to previous years, which consequently decreases MDS’ carbon footprint and C02 emissions.

While enhancing productivity and growing “greener” is important, the well-being of MDS drivers is equally essential. A driver wellness program has been implemented to help drivers perform at their optimum ability at all times. As a supplement to a required pre-route stretch routine, the drivers complete ongoing training and meet with a physician quarterly to learn proper lifting techniques, stretches and how to stay alert and healthy while on the road.

Additionally, each driver receives a driver scorecard evaluation to learn ways to increase efficiency and resolve any possible issues.

Looking ahead, the company is preparing plans to invest in alternative fuel vehicles. Until the cost of such trucks is attainable, the company will continue to reduce its fuel usage through other means, such as equipment upgrades.

Greatwide Transforms During Turbulent Times

In 2010, Greatwide transformed itself with the launch of a new organizational structure, a new product offering and the achievement of a company-wide safety record. For these achievements, Food Logistics has named Greatwide 3PL Fleet of the Year for 2010.

In March, it announced the completion of a financial restructuring which positions the company for significant growth through new technology and streamlined processes. Greatwide also recently incorporated a unique utilization of an XRM (extended relationship management) strategy using customer relationship management (CRM) and specialized trucking software solutions to deliver an integrated dispatch and control center—the Transportation Operations Center (TOC).

TOC provides the platform for a new offering announced in May 2010: Greatwide Managed Transportation Services (MTS). MTS provides customers with an automated, streamlined process for transportation and supply chain services, allowing end-to-end visibility across the entire Greatwide network. All MTS functions are controlled by TOC: procurement, planning, execution and distribution.

Also this year, Greatwide announced it had reduced its collisions per million miles by 26 percent company-wide. The company’s dedicated transport business unit alone reduced its Department of Transportation (DOT) collision frequency by 35 percent during the same time period. This achievement is a result of the company’s comprehensive safety education and training programs for drivers and management. Greatwide has implemented the Smith System as a training tool and also monitors driver and vehicle performance.

Greatwide, a member of EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program since 2006, is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint both on the road and in the office. Greatwide’s fleet manages fuel consumption and emissions through a number of programs, including:

  • Auxiliary power units purchase program;
  • Lower speed initiatives;
  • Route optimization;
  • On-board technology such as satellite tracking;
  • Aerodynamic equipment.

The company’s corporate offices and facilities have many programs in place to conserve energy and reduce waste, the largest of which is the new TOC technology and processes that reduce paperwork and energy costs while increasing customer service and level of satisfaction. MDS has also implemented office-wide single-stream recycling, work-from-home and carpooling initiatives and consolidation of 24-hour operations to make cooling and heating operations more efficient.

Greatwide has transformed itself during a time of great challenges —both in the industry and the national economy—into a streamlined organization that can offer customers integrated solutions to all their shipping needs.

“It is an honor to be selected by Food Logistics as the Fleet of the Year,” says John Simone, president and chief operating officer, Greatwide Logistics Services.

“Over the past year, Greatwide has implemented a number of measures that have strengthened our leadership position within the industry including the launch of a new organizational structure, a new product offering in MTS and the achievement of a company-wide safety record,” says Simone. “As a result, Greatwide is a more responsive and streamlined organization that can offer customers integrated solutions to all their shipping needs.”

Mark D. Sandridge (MDS) Inc Stats

Average annual miles per vehicle: 109,272

Number of drivers: 16

Number of refrigerated tractors: 15

Percentage of refrigerated loads: 91%

Average length of haul: 600 miles

Average number of destination points: 4

Greatwide Logistics Services Stats

Average annual miles per vehicle: 95,000

Number of drivers: 4,000 owner operators and 1,000 company drivers

Number of refrigerated trailers: 2,825

Number of dry trailers: 2,275

Percentage of refrigerated loads: 65%

Average length of haul: 375 miles

Average number of destination points: 2.2