Supply Scan

News and Trends from across the Supply Chain

» Sataria Group Launches Cold Chain Network Specializes in refrigerated less-than-truckload service.

One of the biggest challenges facing frozen food manufacturers is the movement of frozen shipments in less-than-truckload (LTL) quantities. There are a limited number of carriers willing to haul partial loads of frozen or refrigerated products. As a result, the cost of transport is high and it is difficult to obtain reliable and timely service.

Sataria Group, Ham Lake, NH, has developed a solution. The non-asset third-party transportation services provider has launched the Sataria Cold Chain Network, which is focused on consolidation and distribution of frozen LTL shipments. Through its 3PL carrier network, Sataria currently moves hundreds of frozen LTL shipments every week.

“Many companies—especially the smaller firms—shy away from shipping refrigerated or frozen LTLs because of the expense and poor service,” says Bob Moran, CEO of Sataria. “We’ve got more than 18 years of cold chain experience and offer a viable alternative.”

Sataria Cold Chain Network is comprised of local freight companies; regional freezer warehouse operations and refrigerated line haul carriers. Sataria manages all of the participants through an effective transportation management software product. The network consists of frozen cross-dock locations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Atlanta. These facilities allow Sataria Group to offer freight consolidation services, distribution and cold storage.

The network provides a solution that reduces freight cost and provides timely delivery of goods. This allows the manufacturer to offer his products to customers in less than truckload quantities in markets that were previously too expensive to service other than in full truckloads.

Here’s how it works: Shippers tender their LTL orders to Sataria Group, who arranges for a local carrier to retrieve the order. The freight is collected at the origin cross-dock location and kept at temperature until the scheduled departure time. An over-the-road carrier is dispatched to transport the truckload, consisting of multiple LTL shipments, to the destination market. Once it arrives at the destination cross-dock, the LTL shipments are unloaded and staged for immediate distribution within that market.

There are many variations of this service. Sataria can pick up a full truckload of product at a shipper location, line haul it to a destination market and then distribute the goods in that market as LTL orders. Conversely, Sataria can consolidate goods from multiple shippers in an origin market and deliver them to a single consignee anywhere in the United States. Pricing is componentized so that the shipper only pays for the services that are used.

The Sataria Cold Chain Network is designed to maximize asset utilization for the carriers and warehouses. This allows the freight pricing to be competitive. The combination of lower cost service and reliable delivery scheduling allows a manufacturer to sell goods in LTL quantities in outlying markets.

» General Mills Honors Americold West Memphis

Americold’s West Memphis, AK facility was awarded the General Mills frozen facility of the year award.

“This award can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our entire West Memphis team,” says Mike Frazier, regional plant manager for Americold. “Our constant goal is to provide the best customer service to General Mills.”

The Americold associates celebrated this achievement with an award luncheon held at the facility.

This is the third consecutive year, and five years out of the last seven, that the West Memphis facility has achieved this recognition from General Mills.

» Fisher Ranch Signs Contract With CHEP

Fisher Ranch Corp., a Blythe, CA-based grower/packer/shipper of produce, has extended its contract with CHEP, Orlando, FL.

Fisher Ranch is now transporting Kingfisher and Fisher brand cantaloupes, honeydew melons, lettuce and broccoli from its facilities in California and Arizona to supermarkets, club stores and foodservice distributors throughout North America on CHEP pallets.

Fisher Ranch moved to the CHEP pallet pooling program in 2004. The produce marketer has experienced improvements in shipping platform quality and consistency as a result. It is also realizing a series of financial benefits from the switch, including productivity improvements and a reduction in product damage.

“We view the CHEP relationship as a real partnership that benefits the entire produce supply chain,” says Bart Fisher, president of Fisher Ranch.

Fisher says the CHEP program is more environmentally sustainable than the alternatives. Based on third-party lifecycle inventory analysis findings, through its use of the CHEP pooling system as opposed to white wood pallets, each year Fisher Ranch is reducing solid waste generation by more than 100,000 pounds, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by about 75,000 pounds and saving enough energy to power 55 homes with electricity.

» Diageo Honors Exel AsCarrier Of The Year

Exel Transportation, an operating unit of Exel, the North American leader in supply chain management and a Deutsche Post DHL company, has earned the Johnnie Walker Blue Award for Best Overall Carrier from Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company with brands including Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan and Guinness.

Exel Transportation’s Mesquite, TX, office provides intermodal services for Diageo, and has been recognized as a core carrier partner since 2005. Exel earned the award as a result of the highest cumulative score across Diageo’s four primary key performance indicators including on-time pick-up, on-time delivery, tender acceptance and shipment status compliance.

“Exel Transportation earned our Overall Carrier of the Year award for its exceptional service during our 2010 fiscal year,” says Simon Wootton, logistics director, Diageo. “This carrier partner has consistently executed at a high level while maintaining in excess of 99 percent tender acceptance throughout the year.”

The Exel Transportation team was also noted for going above and beyond in meeting the needs of both Diageo and its customers.

» Genesee Brewery Targets C-Stores With 24-Ounce Cans

The first of millions of 24-ounce beer cans rolled off a new $3.5 million production line at The Genesee Brewery in Rochester, NY, last month.

The line, which took more than five months to install, has the capacity to package as many as 360,000 cans a day over three shifts. The 24-ounce cans of Genesee, Genny Light, Genesee Cream Ale, Genesee Ice and The Original Honey Brown Lager are arriving at convenience stores and retailers throughout the country.

“We recognize the growing consumer trend in single-serve cans. And we’re confident beer drinkers will choose Genny when given a choice at retail,” says James Pendegraft, vice president of sales for North American Breweries.

In order to make the product available, the Brewery had to undergo extensive construction. Crews demolished a 20-foot exterior wall in order to move the equipment into the second story location and installed an epoxy floor across a 10,000-square-foot area creating a space for the 150,000 pounds of equipment.

“This production line was built into the existing floor plan to take advantage of unused space. Our new line upholds the best energy, quality and safety practices industry-wide,” says Kenn Yartz, chief operating officer, North American Breweries. “We recently received AIB certification throughout the brewery in Rochester, which is the ‘quality’ gold standard in the food and beverage industry.”

About a dozen new employees will manage the 24-ounce beer can line’s daily operations.

“There’s room to grow as we continue our success,” says Pendegraft. “Our sales team has been focused on securing distribution. To date, many national and regional chains have agreed to slot our 24-ounce beers.”

According to Nielsen, single-serve containers account for more than 50 percent of beer unit sales in convenience stores. Retail sales of Genesee products are up more than 30 percent in that channel. The new products in single-serve 24-ounce beer cans are expected to spark additional growth for the Genesee family.

“This is compelling for both chains and independent operators,” says Pendegraft. “Having the right product mix will increase sales and build share. We believe the Genny 24-ounce can line-up provides the package size and value that beer drinkers are looking for, which will help our retail partners win.”