Supply Scan

News and Trends from across the industry

ON TRACK: Weekly bookings of produce on the Cold Chain have increased by more than 40 percent.
ON TRACK: Weekly bookings of produce on the Cold Chain have increased by more than 40 percent.

PepsiCo Selects Jacobson To Run DC In Washington

PepsiCo, Purchase, NY, has awarded an operating contract to Jacobson Cos. to run a new 450,000-square-foot distribution center in Tacoma, WA.

As part of PepsiCo’s efforts to consolidate its supply chain, the company recognized the need to expand its network by opening a DC in the Pacific Northwest.

This additional DC will expand Jacobson’s partnership with PepsiCo to operate five distribution centers and 2.5 million square feet nationwide.

The Tacoma operations ramped up Sept. 1, with first customer shipments on Oct. 31.

U.S. Foodservice ExpandsFlorida Distribution Center

U.S. Foodservice recently broke ground to expand its Port Orange, FL division’s food distribution center to 409,000-square-feet and support the continuing growth of the company’s central Florida distribution business.

Construction on the $33 million expansion will be completed by July 2011.

Once the expansion is complete, the company will close its nearby Ormond Beach location. Its more than 330 employees will move to the new facility which will have a combined workforce of more than 500.

This consolidation will make Port Orange the hub of its central Florida business which serves nearly 5,000 restaurants, healthcare facilities, hotels, schools and government agencies throughout the state, southeast Georgia and southern Alabama.

“Our business is growing and we need more space to serve customers,” says Pat Kelly, president of U.S. Foodservice-Port Orange. “The expanded facility will enable us to respond more efficiently to our customers’ needs while serving a growing market from a modern and strategically located distribution center.”

Despite two prior expansions, the company had exhausted capacity at the Ormond Beach facility, Kelly says.

The 60-acre site at Port Orange, however, offers ample space for growth. The expanded facility will offer:

  • Capacity for 14,000 fresh, frozen, non-perishable and non-food products;
  • 127,000-square-feet of freezer space;
  • 48,000-square-feet of refrigerated space;
  • 155,000-square-feet of dry storage space; and
  • 51 loading docks.

Kelly says the consolidated facility will feature the latest in food storage technology, including one of the largest private refrigerated transport fleets in Florida.

The facility will also feature motion-activated and energy-efficient lighting to reduce energy consumption.

‘Cold Train’ Intermodal Service Launched

A new refrigerated intermodal container rail and distribution service between Quincy, WA and Chicago is quickly growing in popularity with produce shippers in the Pacific Northwest.

This expedited, door-to-door Pacific Northwest-Chicagoland Express “Cold Train” Intermodal Service was launched in April by Rail Logistics in partnership with the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal and covers more than 2,000 miles in only three days.

According to Steve Lawson, vice president of intermodal for Quincy, WA-based Rail Logistics, weekly bookings of produce (apples, potatoes, etc.) on the Cold Train have increased by more than 40 percent since the service began and continue to rise weekly. In June, the Cold Train also began shipping cherries from Quincy to the Midwest and “is ideal for shipping Washington State perishable products to Chicago quickly and efficiently,” says Lawson.

“We are committed to providing a vital link between the growers and producers of Washington State and major retailers operating throughout the Midwest. In fact, we have added capacity heading into the fall harvest season and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” Lawson adds.

Produce shippers in Washington State are embracing the Cold Train service.

“One of our biggest challenges is finding competitive and consistent transportation services shipping products East,” says Bart Connors of Basin Gold, Pasco, WA. “This intermodal service to the Midwest offers a cost-competitive and sustainable alternative.”

“With fuel prices continuing to rise, this new rail intermodal service option from Central Washington to Chicago has given our company an efficient and reliable new alternative to transport our products to the Midwest,” says Scott Marboe, director of marketing of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, Wenatchee, WA.

In addition, receivers in the Midwest are giving the expedited refrigerated intermodal service positive reviews.

“Like many companies, we have been looking for transportation options that are economical and more environmentally sustainable,” explains Carl Swartz, perishables transportation, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati. “The Cold Train has provided us a great new option, with a carbon footprint that’s 50 perishable less than an over-the-road truck.”


Loveland Distributing Co. Inc., a major Miller/Coors distributor in Richmond, VA, is using Intermec and MiT Systems to improve operational efficiency by more than 90 percent in its warehouse and distribution processes. Loveland has been able to reduce warehouse worker downtime and bolster route sales rep productivity by using the Intermec CN3 rugged mobile computer with MiTEzSales Mobile for Pre-Sales, and the hosted, cloud computing MiT EzWebRouter software.

Phoenix-based Swift Transportation has extended its Fuel Management System (FMS) software and services contract with FuelQuest Inc., for an additional five years. FMS streamlines Swift’s fuel operations by providing just-in-time inventory management with demand forecasting and optimized order and dispatch management.

Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto, CA, has renewed its subscription to DemandTec Inc.’s Deal Management software service. Using an automated workflow spanning the entire deal process, Save Mart boosts efficiency by eliminating manual processes and cutting the deal cycle time with suppliers, electronically sharing key information to maximize trade fund availability, and accelerating the reconciliation and audit process with an electronic document archive.

The Vitamin Shoppe, North Bergen, NJ, has signed a multi-year contract with Weber Distribution to warehouse and distribute many of its top volume items throughout the Western United States. Weber currently handles weekly shipments of vitamins and nutritional supplements to replenish approximately 100 Vitamin Shoppe stores located throughout the entire Western region including Hawaii.

Providence, RI-based United Natural Foods Inc. is the first organization to install the Raymond Corp.’s hydrogen fuel cell-compatible orderpicker, which features a 21-inch battery box to easily accommodate a hydrogen fuel cell. The orderpickers are part of an initiative to transform its Sarasota, FL, distribution facility lift truck fleet to hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks.

Greeley, CO-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. has resumed export shipments to Russia after the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) finalized certificates that must accompany the shipments. Pilgrim’s has four Russia-approved processing plants that are currently packing product for Russia. In July, Russian officials signed a formal poultry agreement outlining new processing requirements for domestic chicken that is exported to Russia.

Washington-based International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses has published the IARW Warehouse Administration Manual to serve as a guide to the management and administrative side of the refrigerated warehouse business. Chapters address topics such as finance and accounting; human resources; warehouse law, liability, insurance and risk management; information systems; and safety management.

Target Corp., Minneapolis, has selected DemandTec Shopper Insights to complete its planned deployment of DemandTec’s entire nextGEN solution suite. Target deploys DemandTec solutions to help make more localized merchandising and marketing decisions that improve the relevance and value of Target’s offerings for its customers.

Congelados Del Valle Installs Second AS/RS

Two years ago, the newly renamed Congelados del Valle celebrated the grand opening of its frozen produce automated warehouse near Leon, Mexico. Repeating the original project, Congelados again contracted Westfalia Technologies Inc. to design, manufacture and install an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) and Savanna.NET Warehouse Management software to maximize logistical efficiencies. Both these freezer warehouses process fresh produce, and then quickly freezes it in a -20 F storage area.

The company prepares, packs and freezes asparagus, broccoli, carrots, strawberries and cauliflower, under the new company name Congelados del Valle.

“The automated warehouse has greatly exceeded our expectations for faster and more efficient warehouse operations, which makes adding another easy to justify,” states Juan Carlos Leon. “Plus, the Savanna WMS gives me up-to-date accurate information whenever I need it. It has made our order processing faster and more accurate, a great boost to our customer satisfaction.”

The WMS efficiently controls the product flow throughout the existing facility—from receiving, storing, order processing, to shipping docks—and will integrate the same functionality in the facility.

Drawing Board

Sysco Corp., Houston, is planning a major distribution center south of Dallas in Ellis County. The foodservice distributor bought about 257 acres from the city of Ellis where it hopes to build more than 1 million square feet of distribution space in a rail-served complex....New Vancouver, BC-based Village Farms has opened a distribution center with value-added packaging capabilities in New Castle, DE. The 30,000-square-foot facility is in close proximity to the produce grower’s South, Mid-Atlantic and New England core market.

Companies in this article