My company, Go By Truck, recently pivoted to service the LTL (less-than-truckload) space and we’re proud of the help that we have been able to provide to small to mid-sized companies, particularly to those in the natural foods space.
After working with a variety of organizations with organic food and beverage product lines, I’ve identified the top 4 challenges that we see companies face. In working alongside our customers to strategize and resolve issues unique to natural foods, we have found that the approach of both personnel and technology can help to resolve the most prominent issues facing the industry.
Traceable to Origin
Consumers have a higher demand for information about where their ingredients come from, and manufacturers are looking to create products using ingredients grown in the same country and even the same neighborhood.
Sourcing products and co-packing facilities located in regions that will minimally impact your logistics spend is critical. We work with many young and growing companies where the primary focus is on sales and marketing. Logistics can easily be the last thought but can heavily impact the bottom line if strategic sourcing is not employed.
Making Products More Convenient & Eco-Conscious Packaging
Consumers are looking for ‘grab-and-go’ products and manufacturers are trying to adjust product lines to meet this need, all while staying away from packaging materials like plastic to remain more environmentally conscious.
More and more manufacturers are utilizing glass and tempered containers to transport goods which can significantly impact the ease of transportation. It’s vital to find solid transportation partners and carriers that understand the importance of secure shipping guidelines and claims management.
The Increasing Complications of Inventory Management
Since the majority of natural food products are perishable, maintaining strict FIFO (first-in-first-out) requirements, expeditious carrier selections, and knowledge of unique grocer’s delivery requirements is a must for success. Each can attribute to the loss of product and damaged goods and can cause thousands in unnecessary costs.
With all of the growing companies we work with, cash cycles are critical. Working with technology that immediately returns BOLs for billing is a must.
Transportation and Warehousing
As big-name grocers set extremely strict delivery requirements, having superior warehousing and transportation partners is an absolute necessity.
Not all carriers are created equal when it comes to both refrigerated and dry deliveries into grocery locations. Different carriers excel at different product types, locations, and service offerings. Understanding which carrier to use where is necessary to reduce re-bills and improve on-time performances. All should be followed up with quarterly KPI reviews to analyze and tweak your current strategy.
Due to our unique approach, Go By Truck has seen a lot of success in the natural foods space.