by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

The term ‘freight broker’ has too long been associated with images of a phone and a well-worn Rolodex. A lot has changed. Transportation brokerage services — like Hanson Freight Management — offer shippers technology-based, cost-effective and service-oriented solutions to the increasingly complex world of transportation.

We move millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. As an LTL or truckload shipper, you can leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, transportation management system and multi-modal expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time, at very competitive rates.

Simplify Your Workload

One call does it all. From our TMS portal to your point of contact, Hanson removes the complexity from your transportation and makes it simple. We solve customer problems, deal with carrier performance, and make things happen. It’s that simple.

Leverage Our Purchasing Power

Our negotiated rates are far less than most smaller shippers can hope to achieve and those savings go right to your bottom line. You’ll save in many ways: lower rates, better audits and lower overhead.

Achieve Supply Chain Visibility

Leverage our market-leading TMS technology and gain complete transparency into rates, capacity, carriers and documentation.

Access Capacity in all Modes

Inbound, outbound, multi-temperature, parcel; standard, expedited, guaranteed, white glove and flatbed: Hanson has the expertise, carriers and competitive rates in all transportation requirements.

If you’re looking to drive efficiency in your transportation management — and who’s not — contact a professional freight broker today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Three strategies cold chain shippers can use to ensure strong supply chain leadership today and in the future.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4%, the supply chain field is in the same quandary that many other industries are in right now—namely, finding skilled and available talent to fill their employee pipelines.

Going a step further, identifying and cultivating individuals who can lead the supply chain of the future is even more difficult, what with the abundance of jobs and opportunities that experienced professionals literally have at their fingertips online.

“Manufacturing, retail, logistics, and a range of other companies are scrambling to find supply chain professionals amid a severe talent shortage that threatens those companies’ very livelihoods,” Margaret Harrist writes in Supply Chain Talent Shortage: What’s an Industry To Do?

“At the same time, the skills needed are changing rapidly,” Harrist continues. “The challenge for employers is to find people with the necessary technical and operational competencies, as well as the ability to lead, apply analytical thinking, and innovate.”

Three Steps to Take Right Now

Here are three strategies that cold chain shippers can use to start shoring up their supply chain leadership pipelines for the future:

  • Define your company’s mission. According to the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives—not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs. This is a major oversight for any cold chain shipper that wants to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of supply chain leadership. “To get started, define an organization or team mission that identifies the specific objectives of your vertical, then use that mission as the foundation of your succession plan,” Tisha Danehl points out in Supply Chain Quarterly. An example of a mission may be something like: “Our goal is to provide quality service to customers while using technology to be sustainable.”
  • Position supply chain as a hotbed for new technologies. According to a recent industry survey, 70% of companies said that candidates’ perception that the “profession lacks status and opportunities for career growth have a high or very high impact on employers’ ability to find, attract, and retain talented people,” Harrist writes, noting that in many cases, those perceptions sometimes are perpetuated by the employers themselves. To buck this trend, focus on how supply chain professionals use emerging technologies (i.e., the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics), and on how it “allows professionals to focus on several areas that are attractive to young people: improving environmental sustainability and increasing standards of living.”
  • Look outside of your organization’s four walls. “While it’s ideal to look internally, the truth is that sometimes you must go outside your organization to find the right person to lead your logistics or supply chain organization in the future,” Danehl suggests. “With senior leadership potentially approaching retirement, partnering with outside resources, such as a recruiting firm, can help you fill important roles.” Social media (i.e., LinkedIn and the new “Jobs on Facebook” feature), professional trade organizations, and partnerships with area educational institutions are all good resources for shippers to explore.

“By hiring talent directly out of college,” Danehl writes, “you can get an early sense of the candidates’ capabilities and build your workforce from the ground up to ensure that your future supply chain leaders have the right management skills.”

Are you interested in joining the Hanson Logistics team? We look forward to getting to know you, contact us today to learn about our current openings!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

Siloed logistics approaches don’t work in today’s cold chain shipping environment. Here’s how to centralize those functions and get back to doing what you do best.

With organizational silos rapidly giving way to more open and collaborative business styles, being able to “flatten out” the logistics function and bundle multiple services with a single provider is becoming more and more important.

“For both small and large transit companies, maintaining multiple locations or expanding into new markets involves lots of variables,” FleetOwner reports. “Exploring costs and service-bundling options could mean greater efficiencies and money saved—and a better chance of success.”

Here’s how cold chain shippers can benefit from bundling:

  1. Focus on your core competencies. No more running around, trying to oversee and micromanage multiple providers and getting them to “talk” to one another. When it’s all under one roof, your central transportation, warehousing, and logistics provider will handle it all for you and allow you to focus on what you do best: supply customers with refrigerated and frozen goods.
  2. Use your provider’s infrastructure to save time and money. Delegating multiple company functions—such as warehousing and distributing—to a single service provider can result in significant time and cost savings. “Bundling these services together with one provider serves to reduce the resources required for oversight as well as provides for economies of scale,” FleetOwner notes, “as a transportation and distribution provider can often utilize their infrastructure and purchasing power to reduce distribution and fleet cost.”
  3. Have a single point of contact. Bundling logistics services with a single provider means you need only make one phone call, send one email, or schedule one meeting to get everything you need. Because this provider will serve as your focal point, you’ll avoid the wasted time, effort, and cost associated with tracking down multiple providers to get your questions answered or problems solved.
  4. Get consistent results. If you’ve historically used multiple providers for your cold chain transportation and warehousing needs, then you probably understand pains like inconsistent service levels, fluctuating rates, and unpredictable outcomes. By bundling these services with a single provider, you can avoid these uncertainties and focus on getting consistent results from one business partner.
  5. Create a win-win partnership. When companies skip around from supplier to supplier, they never really get the chance to create true, lasting partnerships with those providers. By putting the time and effort into working with one logistics provider, companies can create win-win collaborations that can help them shepherd their cold chains through even the toughest logistics environments (i.e., the current driver shortage and capacity crunches).

Demand for next-day delivery, the driver shortage, and rising transportation rates are all pushing cold chain distributors to find ways to work smarter, better, and faster in today’s transportation environment. In their quest to manage more volume and deal with more complex customer demands than they’ve ever faced in the past, more shippers are bundling fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping with single providers that can meet all of their current needs while also helping them prepare for the future.

To improve your cold chain shipping efficiency, contact us today to learn how Hanson can help.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

Why You Should Use a Freight Broker.

The term ‘freight broker’ has too long been associated with images of a phone and a well-worn Rolodex. A lot has changed. Transportation brokerage services — like Hanson Freight Management — offer shippers technology-based, cost-effective and service-oriented solutions to the increasingly complex world of transportation.

We move millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. As an LTL or truckload shipper, you can leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, transportation management system and multi-modal expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time, at very competitive rates.

Simplify Your Workload

One call does it all. From our TMS portal to your point of contact, Hanson removes the complexity from your transportation and makes it simple. We solve customer problems, deal with carrier performance, and make things happen. It’s that simple.

Leverage Our Purchasing Power

Our negotiated rates are far less than most smaller shippers can hope to achieve and those savings go right to your bottom line. You’ll save in many ways: lower rates, better audits and lower overhead.

Achieve Supply Chain Visibility

Leverage our market-leading TMS technology and gain complete transparency into rates, capacity, carriers and documentation.

Access Capacity in all Modes

Inbound, outbound, multi-temperature, parcel; standard, expedited, guaranteed, white glove and flatbed: Hanson has the expertise, carriers and competitive rates in all transportation requirements.

If you’re looking to drive efficiency in your transportation management — and who’s not — contact a professional freight broker today.

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

Smaller, Smaller, Faster, Faster

Smaller, Smaller, Faster, Faster

The recent issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods cited a report by the ACOSTA, entitled Bricks & Clicks – Understanding the Omni Channel Landscape. It’s an interesting read if you have a moment.

The report called out that for Millennial and Gen Z shoppers technology has trumped brand loyalty. Tips to the brick-and-mortar retail is not as necessary or as entertaining as it is or was for their parents, who often perused fresh meats, cheeses and other chilled categories to ensure the right selection. From the report:

  • 40% of U.S. grocery shoppers use a retailer mobile app, and 23% of these users spend time seeking deals before visiting the store.
  • More than 58% of U.S. grocery shoppers are interested in scan-and-go technology in store, with usage and interest decreasing with age.
  • 15% of frequent e-commerce grocery shoppers use auto-replenish digital platforms.
  • 56% of male e-commerce grocery shoppers are influenced by social media when shopping online vs 39% of females.

As consumers and logisticians we’ve all seen dramatic, if not radical, changes on the retail front, and that’s beginning to include more and more grocery stores and a wider range of foods. The ease of purchasing groceries on your phone, voice control, system or Bluetooth refrigerator is impacting the ‘hands on selection’ made at the store.

One paragraph in the report came close to home: “There is a discrepancy between the volume ordering of online retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers. E-tailers typically order less product, which can disrupt manufacturer logistics. Some retailers are also compiling eCommerce orders from stores – it can be difficult to effectively manage on-shelf availability.”

A walk through our Chicago Consolidation Center in Hobart, Indiana reveals an amazing assortment of frozen foods on their collective way to distribution centers throughout the U.S., which loads and departs more than 125 truckloads a day. Hanson Logistics has invested significantly in a replenishment strategy designed to help food manufacturers address this disruption cost-effectively.

How many retail stores will become hubs for home delivery or strategically-located click and collect distribution centers? How can logisticians in the cold supply chain provide value-added services to these new, near-inventoryless service centers?  How small will orders become?

Says Retail Systems Research, “People need stores. They like stores. They love shopping online, but there are things that online just can’t do – and likely never will.”

Right or wrong, food manufacturers and distributors must continue to be diligent and innovative in finding new ways to serve the blurred lines of the looming grocery omni-channel.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

On FSMA Compliance

On FSMA Compliance

If you’re confused about compliance with FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), you’re certainly not alone. In fact, this was a “hot topic” at the recent Food Safety Summit, where a group of speakers discussed how food safety professionals are coping with the new rules.

And, in FSMA 2017, Foah International’s Shawn McBride told Quality Assurance that he’s been observing, “…somewhat of a mix between confusion, denial, fright, disinterest, and so on. To some it is ‘out there’; it does not seem to have real meaning because it is not today. And many are saying that they need time to get ‘things in order’ within their company or with their customers.”

McBride noted that there also is some confusion between what is labeled as a very small company (below $1 million) vs. small (which is over 500 employees). “Even that is not very clear and, therefore, their timelines (and pressure to be in compliance) are not in full swing,” McBride said in the article. “It feels like everyone is just waiting to see what the real law will be. But the law is there, we just need to get into it now.”

Breaking Down the Rules

The FSMA may be the most sweeping change in food safety law in 70 years, but according to the Texas State Dept. of Health Services, it also builds on existing regulations to ensure a broader approach to food safety. Broken down into seven key segments, FSMA requires companies—including those involved with refrigerated warehousing and trucking—to be proactive in providing a safe food supply. The Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF) rule, for example, lays out the foundation of preventive food safety, and it applies to domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold human food.

Compliance dates for businesses impacted by FSMA were staggered over several years, according to the FDA, and range from six months to three years after the posting of the final FSMA rules (depending on the business’ size and role in the food manufacturing or handling process). The final rule was published in September of 2015, and the rule went into effect in November of 2015. Larger companies had to be in compliance by September 2016, for example, and small businesses have until September 2017.

Get Going Now

As shippers scramble to meet their respective mandates for FSMA compliance, a number of trade organizations, consultancies, and software developers are working to come up with solutions that help companies achieve this goal. For example, the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), has developed resources to help firms strengthen their food safety programs and meet the robust requirements of the FSMA preventive controls rule.

“In response to FSMA, SQFI has developed a voluntary Preventive Controls audit checklist and guidance document for stakeholders to use as a guide for identifying the necessary steps to bridge any gaps between a company’s SQF Program and the PC rule,” according to the organization’s website.

At Hanson Logistics, we’re here to help shippers ensure that their cold supply chains are both FSMA compliant and safe for consumption. Please contact us today to discuss your company’s requirements.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

7 Ways to Ensure a Safe “Cold Chain” in the New Year

7 Ways to Ensure a Safe “Cold Chain” in the New Year

If food manufacturers learned just one thing from 2016, it’s that even the most consumer-friendly, beloved brands can quickly fall prey to poor fresh, refrigerated, and frozen food handling. From Chipotle to General Mills, the list of companies that made headlines due to foodborne illnesses was both varied and well documented in industry publications like Food Safety News.

As organizations like The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) learned last year, prevention is not only about pinpointing and mitigating a single culprit; it’s also about keeping the entire end-to-end supply chain safe. In total, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. This is a significant public health burden that is largely preventable, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA thinks the answer lies in more stringent regulation of the cold supply chain. On July 14, 2016, it issued a final rule to amend and update the agency’s food facility registration requirements, and implement revisions mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). According to the National Law Review, all FSMA comments submitted by March 27, 2017—for both the November 2016 and December 2016 draft guidance documents—will be considered in the drafting of the final version of the guidance.

What’s Behind the FSMA?

According to the FDA, the FSMA will be important for the health of both people and animals, and points to high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness over the last decade—and data showing that such illnesses strike one in six Americans each year—as the driving force behind the following five core elements:

Preventive controls – For the first time, the FDA has a legislative mandate to require comprehensive, prevention-based controls across the food supply to prevent or significantly minimize the likelihood of problems occurring.

Inspection and Compliance – The legislation recognizes that inspection is an important means of holding an industry accountable for its responsibility to produce safe food.

Imported Food Safety – The FDA has new tools to ensure that imported foods meet U.S. standards and are safe for consumers.

Response – For the first time, the FDA has mandatory recall authority for all food products.The FDA expects that it will only need to invoke this authority infrequently since the food industry largely honors its requests for voluntary recalls.

Enhanced Partnerships – The legislation recognizes the importance of strengthening existing collaboration among all food safety agencies—U.S. federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, and foreign–to achieve our public health goals.

Staying Safe in the New Year

As the FDA nails down the fine points of the FSMA, and as more companies pay attention to the food safety aspects of their refrigerated/frozen supply chains, Hanson Logistics is paying more attention than ever to GFSI protocols, ASI Excellence, and GFM practices in the handling, storage, and delivery of food products. And while food safety has always been a priority, increasing regulation has made food safety a legal issue and the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of manufacturers, retailers, and their trading partners.

Here are seven ways that you and your logistics provider(s) can ensure a safer cold chain in the New Year:

  1. Audit your distribution facilities to ensure that safe food handling practices are being implemented and used (i.e., warehousing and storage facilities have their own criteria for audits, especially if they are third-party owned).
  1. Identify risks, focus on any potential problem areas, and put actions in place to fix any issues.
  1. Train all employees on the procedures for safe refrigerated and frozen food handling and distribution. Under the Sanitary Transport Rule guidelines, for example, employees must be trained so they are aware of proper handling and know how to prevent or recognize contamination.
  1. Document all procedures related to the above step and revise/update regularly
  1. Perform all preventative and routine maintenance on a predictable schedule
  1. Utilize technology (applications, software, cloud-based platforms, etc.) to more efficiently manage and track your refrigerated/frozen supply chain
  1. Know, understand, and following the ever-changing regulatory standards associated with the cold chain.

On a final note, the complexity of food safety regulatory standards requires dedication and expertise, and is a critical part of keeping your company up to date with improvements even before they become a law. This forward-looking mentality will give your company a competitive edge and ensure the safety and quality of its refrigerated/frozen supply chain in 2017…and beyond.

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

The Future of Cold Chain Logistics

The Future of Cold Chain Logistics

The future of cold chain logistics is almost always in transition: from growth to slow-downs, modified trends to shifted needs from customers. After two considerably slow years for the industry in 2014 and 2015, shipping providers are eager to see a new era for logistics.

That new era might be closer than we think: the Council of Supply Chain Logistics released its 27th Annual State of Logistics Report and suggested a shift to a more sound logistics industry. The report documented the positive changes in the logistics market from last year. This showed providers it may be time to accommodate accordingly.

The Findings

In this year’s report, what began as lulls in traffic and a rise in costs for businesses has accelerated into a cost efficient system. This includes having services available in plenty, with agreeable pricing and rationalized demand. The report mentioned an increase in supply chain transparency as it continues to grow. Another highlight was technological changes for 3PLs, helping enable more efficient production of data to drivers and coordinators alike.

Interpretations

What does this mean for providers? An air of excitement looking forward into a stronger industry. This also infers more promising results as the next few months finish out the quarter.

Partner with us in the new era for cold chain logistics. At Hanson, no matter the change in industry, we are always saying “Yes, We Can!” to providing solutions and pursuing excellence.