by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

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 Ways 3PLs are Modernizing Logistics

Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) like Hanson Logistics continue to make significant inroads in improving and modernizing logistics. With new products, safety regulations, and quality standards being introduced all the time, 3PLs give careful consideration to the challenges and opportunities associated with shipping and distributing temperature-sensitive products. Here are five ways that these providers are modernizing cold chain logistics right now: 

  1. Conducting thorough risk assessments on an ongoing basis. It’s no longer enough for a shipper to send out products in hopes that they will be handled properly on the way to their final destination. By helping customers identify potential points of weakness in the transportation or distribution process, 3PLs are playing an increasingly important role in companies’ overall risk assessment strategies. 
  1. Leveraging technology to streamline the supply chain. It’s no secret that the greater the number of touch points there are along the cold supply chain, the higher the risk of failure occurring at one or more of those points. By using technology to improve supply chain visibility and develop transparent tracking and accurate forecasts, 3PLs can simplify the distribution process and ensure expedient, uninterrupted service for end customers.
  1. Adhering to stricter and stricter safety codes. Food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturers must follow precise guidelines when making, storing, transporting, and delivering their products. Top 3PLs understand all of the rules associated with these requirements and are helping their customers adhere to these strict safety codes and regulations.
  1. Extensive training on advanced systems and solutions. The best technology in the world is useless if no one knows how to use it and maximize it. By training staff members on proper software and application use, and by maintaining in-house teams to run and maintain their systems, 3PLs are leveraging cold chain-specific systems such as advanced monitoring, temperature control, and humidity control to manage the wide variety of items that are transported daily.
  1. Providing the quality and consistency that manufacturers require. In some industries, speedy delivery is a top priority. For others, it’s the safe handling of high-value goods. Within the cold chain, shippers want consistency and quality – two measures that they can rely on when working with a 3PL like Hanson Logistics. Accustomed to working with sophisticated products that require an extreme level of detail and care, we help customers attain higher standards while delivering what they want most: consistency and reliability.
by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

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

The Statistics Behind Solutions

Success in today’s fast-moving transportation environment requires 100 percent visibility over the end-to-end, creating supply chain solutions. As your transportation partner, Hanson Logistics provides the access to real-time shipment visibility. This also encompasses online shipping management, reports, efficiency, and customer service that you need. Streamlining your transportation, distribution, and manufacturing operations to create visibility is easy with Hanson. We’re bringing the solutions to your needs.

According to Gartner, companies that gain visibility over the  status and availability of products reduce inventory levels by 20  percent. They also decrease stock levels to less than seven days  (from over 10 days), reduce freight charges, and cut manpower  needs. Other key benefits include enhanced supply chain efficiencies, enhanced inventory management, and better synchronization of the end-to-end supply chain. These major factors can determine higher success for organizations who utilize it.

Ready to start creating visibility? We can help. Hanson Logistics provides a comprehensive transportation and logistics services suite plus the real-time visibility that you need to operate as efficiently as possible. We also can become a business partner that can help you take better control of your inbound and outbound supply chains through improved visibility. Hanson Logistics is in the pursuit of excellence.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Hanson Represented at the Global Cold Chain Expo

This past week, from June 20-22, the Global Cold Chain  Alliance (GCCA) hosted the inaugural Global Cold Chain  Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. Hanson Logistics  was able to be present during the length of the expo, not  only representing at the conference but also hosting a tour  for attendees at the Chicago Consolidation Center.

The Global Cold Chain Expo has grown considerably since  past International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses  (IARW) conferences. In previous years, the expo held only 100 exhibitors in a 12,000 sq. ft. space. This year noted a considerable jump to 165 exhibitors with 28,000 sq. ft. of presentation space. The over 14,000 attendees included World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) participants, IARW warehouse members, and 1,200 more registered participants.

Hanson Logistics hosted a booth to discuss with attendees the responsibility of maintaining food safety while distributing throughout North America. We also brought one of our state of the art trucks parked squarely in the center display for all to climb aboard.

During one day of the Global Cold Chain Expo, we also had the privilege of hosting several Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) members and expo attendees at our Chicago Consolidation Center in Hobart, Indiana. Equipped with full service Hanson capabilities, this facility anchors our Velocities Multi-Vendor consolidation program, and is strategically located east of Chicago congestion.

Our Consolidation Center also grants newer modes of efficiency and quality in shipments. “Everyone that we’ve run across: customers, potential customers, carriers; they love our location. Can’t believe that no one ever located in that northwest Indiana corridor,” notes Andrew Janson, Hanson Logistics President. The centralized spot helps service both west and east of the Mississippi River while reducing stress for truckers who normally spend their time in excessive traffic.

Offering a tour of our Chicago Consolidation Center gave global cold chain partners the venue to connect and network in the constant pursuit of excellence.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Defined by Merriam-Webster as a system of government or business that has many complicated rules and ways of doing things, “bureaucracy” is often used to describe the inner workings of any organization that tends to operate with a lot of red tape, rules, policies, and decision makers. Hanson Logistics, on the other hand, has effectively bucked this trend and instead focuses on making it easy for customers of all sizes—and across numerous industries—to do business with it.

Counted among the largest refrigerated public warehouses in the country, Hanson is smaller than the conglomerates and internationally held PRWs.  Smaller companies are well known for their agility, growth potential, and ability to turn on a dime when the market calls for it, and Hanson is no exception.

Add “family-owned” to the equation and the attention to customer service, longevity, and sustainability becomes that much more focused. Rather than concentrating on what’s best for shareholders, for example, smaller firms empower their employees to make decisions instead of just deferring to corporate management. These qualities translate into less bureaucracy and more personal client and supplier relationships.

“When looking for a company to do business with, whether that’s as a supplier, a distributor, or service provider, it can be easy to go straight to the biggest names in the field,” notes Complete Biz Systems’ Size Matters: The Benefits of Doing Business with a Small Company. “However, when you look at the day-to-day reality of business, smaller companies often offer much more in return, providing you with a personal service that could suit your requirements far better than any global corporation ever could.” Just a few of those benefits include:

  • Understanding:  A small company is far more likely to recognize how your business works and what it needs to grow.
  • Accountability:  In large national or international companies, finding the person who is responsible for dealing with your query or complaint can be almost impossible.
  • Accessibility:  When contacting a small company, they’ll know exactly who you need to speak to, and if they’re not in the office, should be able to help you get in touch quickly.
  • Personal service:  Smaller operations are far more likely to take each client on individually, talking through their exact requirements and molding products and services to suit those needs. This way, you get a much more practical and targeted solution for your business needs.
  • Price:  Big businesses may be able to offer competitive prices due to the volume of business that they take on, but generally small companies will be able to offer you better deals on their products.

According to the National Research Center, other great reasons to work with small businesses include the ability to easily build relationships with owners and staff (and perhaps even feel like they’ve become part of a “family”); the opportunity to support the nation’s biggest job creators; and the fact that small business owners are generally experts in their field. This makes them better equipped to answer complex questions or provide innovative solutions for their customers.

For more information on how to leverage Hanson Logistics’ strength as a small, family-run logistics provider please visit us online at www.hansonlogistics.com.

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

Keeping Cool in the Temperature-Controlled Logistics Industry

Keeping Cool in the Temperature-Controlled Logistics Industry

Temperature sensitivity and the complex logistics from manufacturer to customer present many challenges to the temperature-controlled supply chain.

Failure to maintain the correct temperature in moving food or beverage can result in degradation, spoiling, and microbial growth. While countries like the United States have advanced temperature-controlled warehouse and transportation technology, less-developed countries do not.

The U.S. imports 17 percent of the 650 billion pounds of food consumed each year, and some of those markets from which food is imported may have limited cold-storage infrastructure. Those nations’ varying infrastructures become just one barrier to the efficiency of cold chains in the U.S.

Empowered with advanced technology, the U.S. food industry is focused more on visibility and traceability as top priorities that can help prevent potential issues in the cold chain. With new advances in tracking and scanning technology, shippers and 3PLs can gain better visibility into temperature-controlled transportation, ensuring greater food safety and quality. Because the cold chain involves many steps, each manufacturer, 3PL and carrier should have a list of checks and balances, sharing the responsibilities of the process.

One way to reduce the risk of damaged product and waste is through consolidated loads, such as the Hanson Logistics Velocities program. Consolidated loads are handled less frequently, which lowers the risk of damage and decreases transit time. With state-of-the-art TMS technology, Hanson Logistics also provides end-to-end supply chain visibility. Customers and Hanson staff alike can track and trace shipments through delivery.

Choosing to partner with a knowledgeable 3PL allows retailers to rest assured that temperature-sensitive shipments will arrive on time and in the proper condition. Subsequently this will strengthen relationships between manufacturers and retailers, which is key to having an efficient overall cold chain.

Contact Hanson Logistics today to receive best-in-class temperature-controlled transportation expertise from the beginning of the cold chain through the end, keeping each partner cool in the process.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

GCCA Interview with Andrew Janson, President of Hanson Logistics

GCCA Interview with Andrew Janson, President of Hanson Logistics

We believe our success in the frozen food and 3PL industry is only possible with the seasoned logistics professionals on our management team.

As part of a recent issue of COLD FACTS magazine, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) interviewed Andrew Janson, President of Hanson Logistics, to learn more about the current state of the cold chain industry and how it may continue to evolve in the future.

Janson joined the (then) Hanson Cold Storage team in 2004 as Vice President of Business Development. He serves on several boards, including the International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA) and is currently Chairman of the Michigan Frozen Food Packers Association (MFFPA).

COLD FACTS: With 27 years of experience in food logistics, what’s the most significant change that you’ve seen in the cold chain industry?

ANDY JANSON: Technology, without question, both in the warehouse and transportation. When I started in this industry, we were picking with paper and pencil. Applying labels to cases of produce was a big advancement at the time. Today we have computers on forklifts and many warehouses are completely paperless—scanning pallet IDs, directed put-away, EDI, satellite tracking of trucks, trailers and reefer units, energy management systems and on and on.

CF: What factors impacted Hanson’s decision to enter the 3PL market in 2004?

AJ: Customer demand for transportation services caused Hanson Cold Storage to rebrand our organization as Hanson Logistics and offer transportation services utilizing both asset and non-asset based solutions.

Read more of the interview at www.gcca.org.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Road Congestion’s Costly Impact On the Logistics Industry

Road Congestion’s Costly Impact On the Logistics Industry

While traffic is a large cause of frustration and a time waster for many drivers, road congestion is especially detrimental to truck drivers. In a recent report by the Department of Transportation’s National Freight Strategic Plan, the DOT announced that road traffic congestion costs the trucking industry nearly $27 billion annually due to lost time and excess fuel consumption. Congested roads cause shipping delays, which, in turn, raise product prices.

The plan calls for exploring other, more efficient transit more efficient transit options, as well as encourages the use of existing resources (such as improving and modernizing intermodal and rail facilities) to help the highway systems move easier, as 13,500 miles of the current system are consistently slowed down below posted speed limits.

Recognizing that freight projects can be costly, U.S. DOT hopes to better invest in the freight system, including the investment in education, recruitment and training of the freight workforce. DOT will continue to develop newer freight data resources—in addition to the current data achieved through advanced GPS-based truck location information—to help make more informed decisions that could affect the freight system.

One city that exemplifies the growing highway congestion is Chicago. Five of the 20 most congested stretches of road in the United States are in the Chicago area. In 2014, drivers endured an average of 61 extra hours on the road due to delays caused by gridlock, construction and collisions. The cost of truck congestion in Chicago last year reached $1.5 billion, accounting for five percent of the national cost.

Shippers may have a difficult time avoiding Chicago and other metropolitan road congestion altogether, but Hanson Logistics has an innovative solution. By locating the Hanson Logistics Chicago Consolidation Center east of Chicago in Hobart, Indiana, truck drivers are not restricted by the city’s congestion that can increase travel time, sometimes by 60 percent. This creates more reliable and efficient routes and more rate certainty, resulting in significant long-term savings. Though the crippling congestion issue may not disappear overnight, Hanson Logistics’ best-in-class distribution program is prepared to step up to the challenge.