by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business

As a part of the ever-evolving cold supply chain, Hanson Logistics is always looking for opportunities to meet new customers and better ways to serve existing customers in the food and beverage industry. By attending this year’s AFFI Frozen Food Convention (AFFI-CON), Hanson Logistics will be among more than 1,400 processors, logistics providers, suppliers, retailers, foodservice distributors and operators. It’s a great venue for networking as well as learning about key issues in the frozen food and beverage industry.

This year’s AFFI-CON is about “Takin’ Care of Business”…something that rings true for us as well. With our Chicago Consolidation Center being the hub for more than 120,000 distribution miles every week, we are always on the move. And now we’re excited to add SUPERVALU distribution centers to our network of delivery points.

SUPERVALU can now leverage into Hanson Logistics’ expertise, WMS and TMS integration, and transportation management services for greater visibility and control, using one third-party provider.

Temperature-controlled distribution is more than order consolidation and shared truckloads … it’s about taking care of business so our food processors can take care of theirs.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Chicago Consolidation Center Phase IV Timelapse

Chicago Consolidation Center Phase IV Timelapse

Watch the Tippmann Group’s time lapse video of the Chicago Consolidation Center Phase IV construction. While it looks like time went by quickly, the 85,000-square-foot expansion actually took many months of hard work to complete. We’re excited to see the finished buildout, now ready for 12,000 additional pallet positions of deep frozen storage.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

What Can a 3PL Do for You?

What Can a 3PL Do for You?

Since the term — and the market — originated in the ‘70s, 3PLs providers have evolved to offer a variety of niche and broad-based supply chain services. Today, with the need for sophisticated technology, access to capacity and increasing compliance issues, even those companies that may have been hesitant to outsource logistics to a third party are acknowledging the growing value.

A 3PL offers many benefits, some of which include:

  • Opportunity Cost — Outsourcing allows you channel your resources to your core competency; you invest in yourself. A 3PL eliminates the need for capital expenditures in all of the separate elements of the logistics process (warehouse space, technology, staff, transportation, etc.). And no more diversions spent on rectifying a costly mistake. All of these factors directly impact your company’s rate of growth.
  • Leverage Expertise—3PLs are experts in the supply chain industry and know what solution is best for each customer. 3PLs have (or should have) the technology that gives you visibility into inventory, tracking, and delivery, plus automation that eliminates repetitive tasks. Technology is required to serve larger retailers and other lean supply chain customers. And if you’re in the food business, technology is a must for traceability.  With this best-in-class expertise at your fingertips, logistics becomes an asset, not a liability.
  • Scalability— Responding to seasonal demands, changing marketplaces and rapid company growing places a huge burden on internal resources. 3PLs are structured to manage any and all transitions or changes in the supply chain. The combination of warehousing network, truck fleet, and assets from supply chain partners gives 3PLs scalability to meet supply chain demand peaks. . . and valleys.
  • Continuous Improvement—3PLs constantly look for ways to improve the logistics process. These providers know how to deploy resources that ensure the job will get done in the most efficient way, providing security and comfort for your company. Whether it’s the latest advancements in technology or continuous optimization of the supply chain process, a 3PL has your best interest in mind.

And if you’re searching for a 3PL provider with a 60-year track record in all of the above, give Hanson Logistics a call. Outsourcing your needs to Hanson allows you to leverage best-in-class logistics as a competitive advantage.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

We May Ship Frozen Food Products, But We Deliver Value

We May Ship Frozen Food Products, But We Deliver Value

You work hard to produce frozen foods that taste as good as homemade. Whether it’s protein, center of the plate entrees, sides or desserts, we know you want your customer to purchase your brand with confidence. That’s where we come in. Our temperature-controlled distribution ensures that your product arrives in the freezer case like it’s right next door.

First-time buyers take note of your brand quality, and they look for it next time they shop. Soon, they are loyal customers who wouldn’t buy any other brand. They look to your brand for consistent goodness lot after lot, month after month.

Here’s what else we know at Hanson Logistics. We know how to take care of your product; we have the food safety and product control processes in place to ensure that every pick, every pallet is handled with accuracy and utmost care. Every move is well documented. Said another way, we help you grow your business. Our goal is to add value in a market where transportation demand far outweighs refrigerated capacity. Where smaller, mixed pallet orders are the rule, not the exception, yet when shipped alone in efforts to make deliver dates, eliminate any margins and increase the likelihood that the unconsolidated LTL will be last to unload at the consignees dock. We strive to add value in a time of increasing regulatory compliance.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) wants shippers, receivers, and carriers that transport food to implement safeguards to prevent food contamination.The FDA, required to finalize language by March 31, 2016, proposes rules that “would apply to shippers, carriers and receivers who transport food that will be consumed or distributed in the United States and is intended to ensure that persons engaged in the transportation of food that is at the greatest risk for contamination during transportation follow appropriate sanitary transportation measures.”

That language is required, unfortunately, in some dark corners of the supply chain. But not at Hanson Logistics … we’re well ahead of that. After all, where others just ship products, we deliver value.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Cold Storage Expansion: Off the Drawing Board and Into the Ground

Cold Storage Expansion: Off the Drawing Board and Into the Ground

By the time you read this, the concrete has likely been poured in the Phase 4 expansion to our cold storage Chicago Consolidation Center. There will be more concrete and steel in the months ahead as we build out our plan, more safety and mechanical systems, racks and doors and in the spring of 2015, more very cold air. This is all to improve our services to customers and businesses alike.

That’s all good and exciting. Yet it was the actions of people that paved the way for this noticeable addition to our service offering. The continual “Yes We Can” attitude of Hanson associates, the vote of confidence from our Board of Directors, the optimism of our management team, and the patronage of our customers. . . these are the things of success. So thank you to all involved in this process and monumental building – it’s been a long time coming and we could not have possibly done it alone.

We hold no franchise on cold storage or refrigerated transportation. Members of the Hanson team earn the right to grow in the marketplace every day. Through courteous service, making the best decision, getting things done. That’s what gets it off the drawing board and into the ground.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Keeping It Smooth with Deep-Frozen Storage

Keeping It Smooth with Deep-Frozen Storage

I like ice cream. All flavors, all recipes, served alone, in a cone or as a sundae. As dessert, after a ball game, you name it. I like it. Being in the business of deep-frozen storage and transportation, we tend to savor ice cream based on a slightly different criterion: ice crystals. Ice cream is full of ice crystals, very small, and virtually unnoticed. The goal is to keep it that way.

While many frozen foods can be preserved at temperatures between 0°F and -10°F, ice cream is best at -20°F. That’s not just cold: that’s take-your-breath-away cold. Many a Hanson Logistics associate works in that environment everyday. Deep-frozen, as it’s called, stops bacteria from even thinking about moving around and, as is the case with ice cream, it keeps the small ice crystals small and unnoticed so the ice cream remains smooth and delicious. If there’s an error in the distribution system, if a handler thinks anything below 32 degrees is good enough to keep ice cream frozen, Ostwald ripening enters the picture.

Ostwald ripening is the phenomena of warmth (relative) causing smaller ice crystals to join and become larger ice crystals. With ice cream, the ice crystals will change the smooth texture of the ice cream into something coarser. If you’ve ever taken ice cream in and out of the freezer overtime, you even begin to see large ice crystal in that once delicious ice cream.

Since Hanson Logistics was founded, we’ve been helping store ice cream. Our customer House of Flavors, for example, relied on Hanson for short-term storage for their ice cream products. When House of Flavors received a contract from TCBY in 2012 to produce private label ice, we added transportation to the mix and now deliver their products to all 41 Walmart Distribution Centers and many other retail distribution centers nationwide.

More recently, House of Flavors was awarded the opportunity to produce Sam’s Choice private label ice cream, again with Hanson Logistics as their supply chain partner for the nationwide distribution of the new product. And that’s keeping it smooth. 

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

We’re Grateful For What We Have

We’re Grateful For What We Have

With our history and frozen warehousing rooted in the orchards and berry fields of Michigan, Hanson Logistics rides the same unpredictable tide of crop numbers, as do our grower customers.

This year it was a very good summer. Thankfully the demand for blueberries continues to rise nationwide, providing some stability in pricing for fresh and frozen berries. This year’s blueberry crop has battled the remnants of a brutal winter, a cool summer and a variety of pests. The near normal crop, however, tastes as good as always. We’re grateful for that.

Michigan cherry tonnage is close to 80% of normal. Maybe not ideal, but after the devastation of a few years ago, my guess is any grower you ask is grateful for this year’s production, as are all of us at Hanson Logistics. Just because things aren’t great doesn’t mean growth goes unnoticed. We’re thankful for the close-to-normal numbers we have.

While weather and market conditions are forever changing, one thing is not: our commitment to product safety, grower support, and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities means that we are well-equipped to handle any crop that comes our way, large or small. So go ahead, have another slice of pie; I know I will.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Throwback Thursday: Breaking New Ground

Throwback Thursday: Breaking New Ground

Time flies. It’s hard to believe that 7 (seven!) years ago, the Hanson Logistics food manufacturers management team broke ground on our 14,500,000 cu. ft. Chicago Consolidation Center. Since then, the building has received three expansions, each reflecting the growing momentum of the Velocities Multi-Vendor Consolidation program.

We are now able to service surrounding areas with efficient logistics movement and trucking that isn’t influenced by nearby traffic or public transportation hold-ups.

The implementation of a new business model in an unproven location was a risky decision that has flourished immensely; Velocities MVC has become the ‘go-to’ consolidation program for mid-tier food manufacturers in the greater Midwest, while more reliable service fosters the Chicago area.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Deep Frozen Warehousing: Summer Treats

Deep Frozen Warehousing: Summer Treats

Time for ice cream. In 2010, the United States ice cream industry generated total revenues of $10 billion. Frozen yogurt sales saw a 74 percent increase between 2011 and 2013.

The growing demand for frozen foods, ice cream and novelties has created a growing need for deep frozen storage. These popular temperature-controlled foods require stringent handling requirements to ensure they safely move through the supply chain.

At -20 degrees Fahrenheit, deep frozen warehousing preserves even the most fickle of foods. At subzero temperatures, foods can remain stable as long as necessary, preserving both moisture and flavor.

Operating temperature-controlled warehousing and refrigerated trucking is not for the faint at heart. As it is more expensive to cool a warehouse than to heat it, logistics companies must be knowledgeable in deep frozen storage as well as financial control.

Some foods, like ice cream, are very sensitive to temperature abuses. These perishable items can easily be mishandled during loading, unloading and storage, harming the product and the relationship between processor and customer. A smooth supply chain – one that allows every department to track inventory and plan orders based on real-time data – will ensure that frozen foods stay fresh and stable throughout the entire transportation process.

All of our facilities adhere to best practices in cold storage. The Hanson Logistics Chicago Consolidation Center offers a state-of-the-art facility of 45,000 pallet positions, including deep frozen refrigeration space. Contact us to learn more about our deep frozen technology.