by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Moving a shipment across the supply chain without suffering any setbacks or temperature anomalies requires the establishment of a comprehensive logistical process to maintain the shipment integrity.

The cold supply chain, for example, is getting more and more difficult to manage as regulatory issues, carrier capacity crunches, the need for sophisticated technology platforms, and driver shortages all take a toll on a firm’s ability to make the best possible transportation decisions.

In fact, these challenges can make maintaining the in-house expertise needed to stay profitable nearly impossible. Maximizing Quality and Profits in Cold Chain Logistics, author Pat Hughes notes that the most common causes of profit loss in the cold supply chain include temperature abuse, humidification abuse, ethylene/CO2 abuse, microbial growth damage, and damage due to mishandling.

5 Key Considerations

In The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University’s Jean-Paul Rodrigue notes that the process includes several phases that range from the preparation of the shipments to final verification of the integrity of the shipment at the delivery point. Each of these can impact the supplier’s profits:

  • Shipment preparation. When a temperature sensitive product is being moved, the shipment itself should already be at the desired temperature.
  • Modal choice. “Distance between the origin and the final destination (which often includes a set of intermediary locations), the size and weight of the shipment, the required exterior temperature environment and time restrictions (perishability) of the product all affect the available transportation options”, Rodrigue points out.
  • Customs procedures. “If the freight crosses boundaries, custom procedures become critical”, Rodrigue writes, “since cold chain products tend to be time sensitive and more subject to inspection than regular freight (e.g. produce, pharmaceuticals, and biological samples).
  • The last mile. “Key considerations when arranging a final delivery concern not only the destination,” he notes, “but also the timing of the delivery so the critical labor and warehousing space is available.”
  • Integrity and quality assurance. “After the shipment has been delivered, any temperature recording devices or known temperature anomalies must be recorded and made known”, Rodrigue points out.

“The setting and operation of cold chains is dependent on the concerned supply chains since each cargo unit to be carried has different requirements in terms of demand, load integrity, and transport integrity,” Rodrigue concludes. “Because of the additional tasks involved as well as the energy required for the refrigeration unit, transportation costs for cold chain products are much higher than for regular goods.”

As one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the cold chain industry, Hanson Logistics moves millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. Leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, technology, and expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time and at rates that allow your company to exceed its own profit expectations.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Request the Best Supply Chain

Request the Best Supply Chain

When manufacturers need their product shipped out, they trust Hanson Logistics to get it done.

As a global leader of food and foodservice solutions, Request Foods, Inc. ships over 230 million products every year. This means they need a reliable transportation team.

Five years ago, Request Foods was utilizing multi-drop stops. These stops force a driver to carry one product, making multiple stops each day that can be over five hours apart. Not only do these multi-drop stops take a toll on the driver, they are inefficient in scheduling and communication.

Multi-drop stops are even more ineffective when retailers want small orders to keep stocked inventory low. This is an incredible hurdle for shippers.

That’s when Request Foods utilized Hanson Logistics. They began working in our Velocities Multi-Vendor Consolidation Program. This is where Hanson loads trucks with multiple brands, keeping stops fluid. Drivers can better stay on schedule so products can be delivered on time.

The Velocities Program is creating consistency for Request Foods. Their distribution centers have a better idea when shipments are coming in and a routine is developed, creating seamless shipping for everyone involved.

Don’t settle for inefficiency when it comes to the delivery of your products. Contact Hanson Logistics today for the best in shipping and delivery.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Break Free of Manual Load Processes

Break Free of Manual Load Processes

Even in today’s technology-centric transportation world, small to midsized carriers rely heavily on fax, email, and the web for communication. To help you break free of these manual, labor-intensive processes, Hanson Logistics offers a load processes tender management platform that maintains a constant pulse on all load tenders – regardless of communication method or carrier size.

The SHIPS Pre-Dispatch workflow solution receives the load tenders and then extracts and interprets the delivery data using an OCR-based forms processing application. This, in turn, creates either an EDI load tender transaction or enters a file directly into the dispatching system (once the load tender is approved).

Carriers benefit from reduced customer service staffing levels, elimination of data entry errors, automated load status to shippers, and good turn-down visibility.

SHIPS Pre-Dispatch also offers:

  • Improved monitoring of websites to select load tenders based on lanes
  • Enhanced visibility to a shipper’s load acceptance and rejection status
  • Decreased customer service labor costs
  • Improved visibility and reporting on load turndowns
  • Increased collaboration between CSRs, management, and dispatchers in a digital workflow environment
  • Increased functionality to your existing document imaging system

If you need a solution that can reduce labor costs, eliminate order entry errors, and improve accuracy, look no further. Hanson Logistics has the answer. By selecting the best mix of automated tendering options that deliver on your cost and service goals, we take the operational work out of managing shipments and allow you to focus on more important business activities.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Things Every Cold Chain Shipper Should Know About the FSMA

5 Things Every Cold Chain Shipper Should Know About the FSMA

About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from food borne diseases, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011, enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system.

As a key element of this preventive approach, FDA was mandated under FSMA to establish science-based, minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce on farms to minimize contamination that could cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

The food safety law passed by Congress on December 21, 2010 aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. issued a written statement shortly after passage. Key facts about this legislation are presented below.

The FSMA is now final, and compliance dates for some businesses begin in September 2016. According to the FDA, this final rule is the product of an unprecedented level of outreach by the FDA to industry, consumer groups, the agency’s federal, state, local and tribal regulatory counterparts, academia, and other stakeholders.

Here are five important points that every cold chain shipper should know about the FMSA:

  1. There are new hazards analysis and risk-based prevention controls. Covered facilities must establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventive controls. The rule sets requirements for a written food safety plan that includes: Hazard analysis, preventative controls, monitoring, corrective actions/corrections, and verification. The latter, for example, includes validating with scientific evidence that a preventive control is capable of effectively controlling an identified hazard; calibration (or accuracy checks) of process monitoring and verification instruments such as thermometers, and reviewing records to verify that monitoring and corrective actions (if necessary) are being conducted.
  1. Farms aren’t subject to preventive rules control. The EPA’s definition of a “farm” includes two types of farm operations, and operations defined as farms are not subject to the preventive controls rule. A primary production farm is devoted to the growing of crops, the harvesting of crops, the raising of animals (including seafood), or any combination of these activities. A secondary activities farm isn’t located on a primary farm, but it is devoted to harvesting, packing, and/or holding raw agricultural commodities.
  1. Some companies will need risk-based supply chain programs. The FSMA mandates that a manufacturing/processing facility have a risk-based supply chain program for those raw materials and other ingredients for which it has identified a hazard requiring a supply-chain applied control. Manufacturing/processing facilities that control a hazard using preventive controls, for example, or that follow requirements applicable when relying on a customer to controls hazards, need not have a supply-chain program for that hazard.
  1. Employee training will be mandatory. Management is required to ensure that all employees who manufacture, process, pack, or hold food are qualified to perform their assigned duties. Such employees must have the necessary combination of education, training, and/or experience necessary to manufacture, process, pack, or hold clean and safe food. Individuals must receive training in the principles of food hygiene and food safety, including the importance of employee health and hygiene.
  1. Compliance dates for businesses are staggered over several years after publication of the final rule. Here are the deadlines:
  • Very small businesses (averaging less than $1 million per year in both annual sales of human food plus the market value of human food manufactured, processed, packed, or held without sale): Three years
  • Businesses subject to the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (compliance dates extended to allow time for changes to the PMO safety standards that incorporate the requirements of this preventive controls rule): Three years
  • Small businesses (a business with fewer than 500 full-time equivalent employees): Two years
  • All other businesses: One year

Click here to learn more about the FSMA.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Can You Lower Your Cost to Serve?

Can You Lower Your Cost to Serve?

Every manufacturer likes to see a truckload of product leaving the dock, destined for the retail shelf. They probably look the other way, however, when it’s a hotshot load of a few pallets. In today’s market, vendors face the challenge of meeting the on-demand replenish requirements of large regional and national retail customers. Order frequency is higher; order size is smaller. The question becomes, how much does that level of service actually cost?

It’s a tough question, and you’ll likely get two different answers from sales and from finance. You may very well be servicing an unprofitable customer if your week is filled with last minute outbound LTL to many points.

True cost to serve requires analysis of supply chain activities and costs incurred to meet customer’s product demand. This is a disciplined, data-based modeling of your network, and not many manufacturers conduct these studies.

So, short of modeling, what can you do to help ensure you are taking the steps to lower your costs to serve?

    • Stage forward inventory in a distribution location strategic to your customer base. This is a quasi form of postponement; placing stock required for the final order closer to the point of purchase. Ideally, you can move your finished goods via truckload to this distribution point. This is critical for mid-tier processors or those with complex SKU product lines.
    • Use technology to drive efficiencies in ordering; accuracy in picking, and supply chain transparency.
    • Collaborate with like vendors in your supply to eliminate waste and reduce costs. In our industry, it’s called order consolidation resulting in multi-vendor load building.
    • Strive for scheduled delivery. Work with your customer to determine the optimal frequency for delivery; handle the exceptions as required. It’s not perfect, but it is a best practice.

In full disclosure, these steps describe the Hanson Logistics Velocities MVC program, domiciled in our strategic Hobart, Indiana facilities, now in it’s fourth expansion. That aside, lowering or stabilizing your cost to serve is a worthy effort regardless of your product, channel or location.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

3 Reasons Why Velocities Load Consolidation is Growing

3 Reasons Why Velocities Load Consolidation is Growing

As we near the completion of our Chicago Consolidation Center expansion, we’ll touch upon several reasons why frozen food load consolidation programs, such as Velocities MVC, are considered best practices.

Lower Overall Transportation Costs

Load consolidation can significantly reduce overall shipping costs because manufacturers no longer pay for the inefficiencies of single LTL rates. Instead, their orders are paired with those of other manufacturers with similar LTL shipping needs (all have orders going to the same retail distribution center) to create multi-vendor truckloads. According to many industry estimates, transportation costs can be reduced by up to one-third by moving from LTL to consolidated TL.

Greater Consistency in Order Delivery

Being more efficient in shipping translates to better optimization of the overall supply chain. Having the critical mass of collaborative food processors is the foundation of a success consolidation program; one that can offer scheduled national deliveries. On a macro level, the global supply chain for food manufacturers is also better optimized as manufacturers work together to remove waste from their individual supply chains and reduce overall shipping costs.

Closer Ties with Key Customers

Load consolidation can also significantly improve food manufacturers’ relationships with retailers, wholesalers and other buyers by helping ensure that order requirements and preferences are met. Consolidated shipping is a receiver’s preference. Retailers benefit from reduced dock congestion, improved on-time delivery, improved purchase order compliance and shorter lead times, all of which allow for more frequent orders with reduced inventory carrying costs.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

With Infor Technology, Your Data Is Safer at Hanson Logistics.

With Infor Technology, Your Data Is Safer at Hanson Logistics.

With the recent design and build of Secant Technologies’ Tier3 Data Center Facility, Hanson Logistics’ warehouse management system, Infor SCE 10, has a new home.

This state-of-the-art facility in Oshtemo, Michigan is backed by 15 years of data center design/build experience. Equidistant from Chicago and Detroit, Tier3 is conveniently located and also provides a North-South geo-redundant disaster recovery site for Grand Rapids, South Bend an Indianapolis-based companies.

Tier3 was carefully built to withstand high winds in addition to security threats. Its fiber-rich, carrier-neutral environment offers high-performance connectivity options. Secant adheres to the highest standards and best practices, complying with HIPAA and SSAE 16 SOC I. Tier3 is an environmentally responsible facility, as seen in the power delivery efficiencies and efficient cooling design.

Housing Infor SCE 10 at Secant allows for even greater visibility into the supply chain process, with additional benefits of guaranteed security and performance. Customers can easily trace order statuses, and are ensured that transparency, efficiency and food safety are priorities.

Hanson’s Infor Supply Chain Execution solution integrates warehouse and ordering processes for a more complete, unified approach to managing complex inventory. Using Infor ION, a new generation of business middleware, Hanson is able to put better information into the hands of users…faster.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Mitigating Recession-Altered Transportation Costs

Mitigating Recession-Altered Transportation Costs

Over the last five years, many temperature-controlled transportation companies have seen an increase in average load weight as well as a decreased number of loads shipped. This has impacted smaller carriers who struggle to survive. Rising transportation costs have increased the quantity of SKUs shipped per load well, in efforts to mitigate costs.  However, for the mid-tier food supplier this is not always a feasible option. They may feel forced to ship in smaller lots (LTL), which creates a higher cost per pallet. In order to give the economic advantage back to the smaller refrigerated shipper, Hanson Logistics has created Velocities TM Multi-Vendor Consolidation (MVC) program. This allows many smaller companies to take advantage of the full truckload price by combining product lots with the same temperature requirements from multiple vendors who have all sold product to a single or low number of receivers.

As the country progresses through recovery and financial ability improves, the affordability of LTL shipping may come back into range for the mid-tier shipper. But the loss of many temperature-controlled carriers currently leaves the country with a combined capacity for the major carriers of approximately 10,500 tractors and 15,000 trailers at 3500 cubic feet of available space per 53 ft. trailer for national coverage. Additionally, the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) currently limits drivers to 11 hours of driving daily up to a maximum of 70 hours per week. Within each day’s driving, a 30-minute rest break and a 10-hour sleep period are required. Most major transporters limit the maximum speed of their trucks to 62 or 65 mph for fuel economy, allowing drivers to cover 500 to 550 miles per driving period. All this results in a shortage of capacity as the demand becomes greater. Hanson Transportation Management Service works hard to meet the needs of the mid-tier processor by offering consolidation plus national, regional and local distribution.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Multi-Vendor Consolidation: A ‘Green’ Approach to Transportation

Multi-Vendor Consolidation: A ‘Green’ Approach to Transportation

There are many avenues underway to reduce the carbon footprint of food distribution. Consumers are quick to cite MPG of diesel trucks, but the truth of the matter is the greatest impacts are highway congestion and a growing population. There are more mouths to feed.

One of the most recognized inefficiencies within our trade is the empty miles created by today’s on-demand order fulfillment. The best solution? A Multi-Vendor Consolidation (MVC) program, such as Hanson’s Velocities. By building critical mass in a central location, Velocities allows food manufacturers to leverage the economies and other benefits of load consolidation while also being able to more frequently fulfill smaller, higher frequency orders.

With Velocities MVC, trailers move with a higher cube density because food companies collaborate on their distribution. This results in fewer diesel trucks on the road, reducing carbon emissions and creating a more sustainable supply chain.

While companies may not choose consolidated shipping solely for the purpose of being ‘green’, it is an added benefit for second tier food manufacturers unable to build truckloads based on their own volume.

Consolidation with scheduled delivery is a win-win. Contact Hanson Logistics today to learn more about the benefits of our Velocities MVC program.