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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

5 Key Criteria for Evaluating a Food-Grade Carrier

May 9, 2019 / by Jerry Critchfield posted in West Coast Distribution, 3PL, Vendor Compliance, Food Supply Chain, Cold Chain Managment, Refrigerated Trucking, Food Logistics

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If your company produces or markets food and beverage products, the safety and integrity of those products mean everything to your business.  It’s ill-advised then to entrust key components of your supply chain to just any 3PL.  With product safety and integrity in mind, we examined 5 things to look for in a food warehousing provider in our previous blog post.  In this article, we’re going to move things out of the warehouse, onto the loading dock and into the trailer as we examine 5 things you should be looking for in a food-grade carrier. 

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5 Things to Look for in a Food Warehousing Provider

Apr 25, 2019 / by Mimi Ma posted in Public Warehousing, Shared Warehousing, Third Party Logistics, 3PL, Warehouse operations, Vendor Compliance, Food Supply Chain, 3PL Outsourcing, Cold Chain Managment, Refrigerated Trucking, Food Logistics, Confectionery Logistics, Distribution Center, Distribution

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When you entrust your food and confectionery products to a food warehousing provider, you’re relying on that company to be much more than a provider of space.  You’re really relying on them to be a partner that will work to protect the integrity of your products through every step of the supply chain.  And, while every 3PL warehousing company will promise to be just that, you must find one that truly “walks the walk.”  In this article, we identify 5 things that you should look for in a warehousing provider before entrusting them with your food or confectionery products.

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Weber Adds New Inland Empire Warehouse

Aug 9, 2018 / by Weber Logistics posted in Warehouse operations, C-TPAT, Cold Chain Managment, Inland Empire Warehouse, Temperature Controlled Warehousing, Food Logistics, Distribution Center, Warehouse

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Weber Logistics has opened a 300,000-square-foot warehouse in Eastvale, CA (Inland Empire Region) for distribution of food and consumer packaged goods for multiple clients.

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Food Distribution Logistics: Finding a 3PL Who Has What It Takes

Mar 15, 2018 / by Bob Lilja posted in Food Supply Chain, 3PL Outsourcing, Food Logistics

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Handing all or part of your food distribution operation over to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider may seem like a leap of faith.  After all, you’re relying on the 3PL’s ability to maintain food quality throughout the distribution cycle and to keep your company compliant with FDA and other requirements.  But with the proper due diligence, you can be confident in a provider’s ability to drive superior performance in all areas, from compliance and safety to operational execution and cost control. 

Here are a few key questions you should ask as part of your qualification process for food distribution partners. 

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Choosing a Food-Grade Warehouse: 5 Areas to Evaluate

Mar 4, 2015 / by Weber Logistics posted in Food Supply Chain, Food Logistics

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When outsourcing warehouse distribution, it’s essential to find the right 3PL partner. One that understands how to run a food-grade warehouse and remain in compliance with all regulatory requirements. 

We write about it in our paper: Choosing a 3PL for Food Product Distribution.

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Freight Consolidation Strategy Provides Sweet Savings

Oct 22, 2014 / by Weber Logistics posted in Temperature Controlled Warehousing, Food Logistics, Confectionery Logistics, Freight Consolidation

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Most retail replenishment orders require the use of higher cost, less-than-truckload (LTL) freight for final-mile delivery. As a result, small and mid-sized companies struggle to meet daily retail replenishment requirements, while still keeping a rein on freight costs.

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Are AIB Standards Adequate for Your Food Grade Warehouse?

Jun 4, 2014 / by Weber Logistics posted in west coast warehouses, Warehouse operations, Food Logistics

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AIB International works with companies to elevate their food safety and production processing capability.  If you look through the current AIB standards for food distribution centers, they seem quite comprehensive.  If your food-grade warehouse meets all or most of the standards, you will receive a relatively high score.  During inspections, each infraction will result in a 5 point reduction on your score.  So the question is, is it enough just to keep your superior rating with AIB?
The AIB Consolidated Standards for Inspection entail the following:

•    Operational Methods and Personnel Practices
•    Maintenance for Food Safety
•    Cleaning Practices
•    Integrated Pest Management
•    Adequacy of Prerequisite and Food Safety Programs

Routines to meet these standards are set on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to ensure compliance.  Records are maintained and are made available when the inspection is carried out.  

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Organic Food Storage: Key Considerations

May 7, 2014 / by Weber Logistics posted in Food Supply Chain, Temperature Controlled Warehousing, Food Logistics

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 The definition of “organic:” of, relating to, or derived from living matter. "Organic soils"

Sounds healthy, doesn’t it?  Millions of people have adopted organic foods for many of their main diet staples.  Consuming naturally grown products can be good for one’s health and these products continue to grow in popularity.  It may not seem like anything could go wrong between the farmer’s field and the retailer’s shelf, but beware: organic foods can be tainted by outside forces if not handled and stored properly and according to FDA regulations.

Choosing the right organic food warehouse partner and 3PL is a good start.  Read our paper: “Choosing a 3PL for food distribution.”

Organic Certification
It all starts with the farmer being properly certified and adhering to regulations and standards set down by the FDA.  These rules carry over to cover the transportation and safe organic food storage while they make their journey to the ultimate consumer.  A few things to consider when choosing an organic food warehouse:

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Food Warehouse and the Food Safety Modernization Act

Apr 10, 2014 / by Weber Logistics posted in 3PL, Warehouse operations, Food Logistics

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Is your food warehouse compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)?
The FSMA was signed into law in January 2011 in order to increase the FDA’s role in monitoring and policing food companies.  The gist of the law is to protect the public from real and potential health scares, and it certainly impacts food logistics and food warehouses.

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How to Choose the Right Food Logistics 3PL

Aug 28, 2013 / by Weber Logistics posted in 3PL, Food Supply Chain, Food Logistics

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You know the perils of food logistics. Let your guard down, and a truckload of perishables turns into an unsellable mess. Or you get stuck with racks full of canned goods nearing their sell-by date.

The right 3PL can help you avoid those pitfalls in food logistics distribution.  But how do you know which 3PL to trust with your food shipments?   Here are five essential questions every food shipper should ask.   These are covered in more detail in Weber’s new Insight Paper – Choosing a 3PL for Food Product Distribution. 

1. Can the 3PL monitor and maintain temperature integrity throughout the food logistics supply chain?   For temperature-sensitive products, a few degrees might spell the difference between a trip to market and a trip to the landfill.  Suddenly, you’re writing off thousands of dollars worth of product.

2. Can the 3PL meet all your customers’ requirements for code date compliance, FIFO and other picking rules?  While all your customers want to maximize product shelf life, each of them has different ideas about how to achieve that goal. Code date, expiration date, best used by date, FIFO, FEFO, LIFO—any of them might apply to a specific customer. And the rules might be different for different SKUs. Get the details wrong, and you could get stuck with product your customers refuse to take.

3. Can the 3PL help you reduce supply chain costs?  Marketing food products is a low-margin business. To maximize profit, you need to minimize costs, and that means making your food logistics operation as lean and efficient as possible. Your 3PL should demonstrate how it keeps that per-case cost as low as possible with smooth, efficient warehouse and transportation operations. 

4. Can the 3PL meet government requirements for tracing food shipments?  From the FDA to the USDA to the SEC, federal agencies have enacted a mass of regulations that describe how vendors of food for humans and pets must perform during a product recall. Even if nothing ever goes wrong with your product, you must be able to prove that you can track and trace any item by lot number. Companies that don’t meet government mandates can suffer significant penalties.

5. Does the 3PL have plenty of solid experience handling food products? Any 3PL can claim to have experience in food logistics, but how many transactions has the company handled, and for how many years? How many satisfied customers does it serve in the food industry? How many different kinds of food has it managed?

For more detail on these questions and how to tell the experts from the imposters in food logistics, download Weber’s new food logistics white paper

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