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POSTPANDEMIC GROCERY SHOPPING Here’s how a global pandemic has forever shifted the way consumers shop for groceries.

Issue No. 220 September 2020

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9/14/20 10:27 AM

BUILDING A FUTURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS. BOX. BY BOX. BY BOX. Nobody knows your business like you do. And nobody knows commercial vehicles like Ford. Together, we’re ready to reimagine how you work. And rediscover what’s possible.


Computer-generated image shown. Aftermarket equipment shown. *Based on IHS Markit CY1985-2019 US TIPNet Registrations excluding registrations to individuals. TIP Registrations prior to 2010 do not include all GVW 1 and 2 vehicles.


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The Future of Grocery 2.0

Editor-in-chief Marina Mayer talks Grocery 2.0, and what this means for the future of grocery retailers. COOL INSIGHTS



Post-Pandemic Grocery Shopping Whether it’s online, delivery, curbside pickup or BOPIS, here’s how a global pandemic has forever shifted the way consumers shop for groceries.



Rectifying a Recall

3PLs likely never issue a recall, but are a key party responsible for acting on it. Here’s who’s responsible and why.



4 Ways to Overcome Logistics Communication Challenges

Beekeeper details why logistics companies must adapt to this new, globalized order.


7 Ways Antimicrobial Light Delivers Cleaner Bottom Line for Food and Beverage Manufacturers




Transitioning to a Delivery-First World

Top 5 Factors Driving Digitization in Transportation

Vector Software outlines why digitizing all business processes allows for the efficient operation of trucks and movement of freight. FOOD (AND MORE) FOR THOUGHT


The Future of Food Safety in a PostCOVID-19 World

TomTom outlines the Top 3 location tech features every urban delivery service should have.

COVID-19 has changed the food safety landscape for everyone. Agroknow outlines how.




Smart Assets Means a Smart Cold Chain

The IoT in the cold chain may intimidate some, but the benefits can mean high return on investment in the future.

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Supply Scan Food on the Move Ad Index



Sailing into the Next Phase of the Cold Chain

Blume Global discusses why supply chain visibility has become a necessity in any organization that needs to transport cargo.

WEB EXCLUSIVES  Register for Food Logistics’ Upcoming Supply Chain Network Summit foodlogistics.com/scn-summit

 Learn. Innovate. News. Knowledge. The L.I.N.K. to Global Supply Chain Intelligence

Here’s how antimicrobial light technology enhances cleaning, according to Vital Vio.


 Food Logistics Editors Stream Live on Facebook





Published and copyrighted 2020 by AC Business Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Food Logistics (USPS 015-667; ISSN 1094-7450 print; ISSN 1930-7527 online) is published 10 times per year in January/February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November/December by AC Business Media, 201 N. Main Street, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. Periodicals postage paid at Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Food Logistics, P.O. Box 3605, Northbrook, IL 60065-3605. Subscriptions: U.S., one year, $45; two years, $85; Canada & Mexico, one year, $65; two years, $120; international, one year, $95; two years, $180. All subscriptions must be paid in U.S. funds, drawn from a U.S. bank. Printed in the USA.


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8/28/20 10:53 AM



A Marina Mayer Editor-In-Chief


s the nation hunkered down to prepare for stay-at-home orders, the grocery retail sector shifted into overdrive. From stocking and re-stocking shelves to implementing curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), the traditional brickand-mortar grocery shopping experience pivoted almost overnight into an e-commerce option. Some industry experts coin it as the era of “Grocery 2.0,” ushering in new ways of shopping for food. But, Grocery 2.0 isn’t just about being able to shop for groceries anywhere at any time. Check out these Grocery 2.0-type trends set to revolutionize the future of the grocery retail industry: Robotics and other emerging technologies. From robots and sensors to mobile apps and Internet of Things, many of today’s grocery retailers implemented what were once perceived as futuristic technologies in order to promote automation, visibility and inventory management. Micro-fulfillment. Micro-fulfillment is making waves by resembling the future of retail. For example, Washington Prime Group launched Fulventory, an initiative that allows tenants to utilize space within the company’s assets for last-mile fulfillment, BOPIS and inventory clearance. Fulventory captures the nexus between physical space and e-com-


Published by AC BUSINESS MEDIA 201 N. Main Street, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 (800) 538-5544 • www.ACBusinessMedia.com

merce and advances the symbiotic relationship between the two. Ghost kitchens. Ghost kitchens are a future-proof channel to help restaurants optimize recipes, produce food faster and keep pace with the growing demand for food delivery. Sustainability sustains. A Lux Research study revealed that during a period of record CPG growth, sustainability-marketed products continued to grow with 16.8% dollar market share YTD, up 0.6 ppts vs. 2019. Upskilling, reskilling and professional development. The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has generated new challenges for the supply chain industry, yet it now offers opportunities to rebuild the workforce. Driver shortage was almost non-existent and the term “essential employee” shed a newfound light on a profession that wasn’t too appealing—until now. For more on the future of Grocery 2.0, check out page 14. Also, head to FoodLogistics.com to watch video interviews, register for an upcoming SCN Summit session and subscribe to L.I.N.K. podcast channel. Also, tune into L.I.N.K. Live on Facebook every Wednesday at 11 a.m. CST to hear more about hot-button issues impacting the supply chain industry. Now, back to ordering my groceries online.


PRINT AND DIGITAL STAFF Group Publisher Jason DeSarle Sales Associate Brian Hines Editor-in-Chief Marina Mayer mmayer@ACBusinessMedia.com Associate Editor Brielle Jaekel bjaekel@ACBusinessMedia.com Assistant Editor Mackenna Moralez mmoralez@ACBusinessMedia.com Senior Production Manager Cindy Rusch crusch@ACBusinessMedia.com Art Director Willard Kill Audience Development Manager Angela Franks ADVERTISING SALES (800) 538-5544 Group Publisher Jason DeSarle (440) 476-9526, jdesarle@ACBusinessMedia.com Sales Associate Brian Hines (647) 296-5014 bhines@ACBusinessMedia.com CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS P.O. Box 3605, Northbrook, IL 60065-3605 (877) 201-3915, Fax: (847)-291-4816 circ.FoodLogistics@omeda.com LIST RENTAL Bart Piccirillo, Sr. Account Manager Infogroup Media Solutions (soon to be Data Axle) Phone: (518) 339 4511, E-mail: bart.piccirillo@infogroup.com REPRINT SERVICES Brian Hines (647) 296-5014 bhines@ACBusinessMedia.com AC BUSINESS MEDIA Chief Executive Officer Barry Lovette Chief Financial Officer JoAnn Breuchel Chief Digital Officer Kris Heineman Chief Revenue Officer Amy Schwandt VP Audience Development Ronda Hughes Director of Digital Operations & IT Nick Raether Director of Digital Strategy Joel Franke Group Content Director Jon Minnick Published and copyrighted 2020 by AC Business Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher.


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9/1/2020 2:28:33 PM

See what PNC can do for your agribusiness. _ Get banking solutions that help you make each moment matter.

You know how important it is to make each moment in the day matter. At PNC, our team of Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Bankers will partner closely with you to guide you through your unique challenges and provide you with customized financial solutions for your specific seasonal needs. So whether you’re looking to optimize cash flow, get capital or plan for cyclical changes, we’re here to help make banking easier. Visit pnc.com/agriculture or call 877-535-6315 to learn more.

©2020 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC

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8/28/20 10:48 AM


NEWS FROM ACROSS THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN Daily Updates at FoodLogistics.com


GLOBAL FOOD PACKAGING MARKET TO REACH $528B BY 2027 The global food packaging market accounted for $303.26 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $528.90 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period, according to a study produced by Research and Markets. Some of the key factors driving growth are increasing demand for convenience foods, rising disposable income and growing population. However, stringent regulatory measures are hindering the growth of the market. The packaging of food to protect it from damage, spoilage, contamination and tampering is known as food packaging. By material, the paper and paperboard segment is expected to grow at a significant market share during the forecast period as it is eco-friendly by having fewer carbon emissions. Based on geography, Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold considerable market share during the forecast period due to the expanding middle-class population in countries like China and India. pexels



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ServSafe expanded its training and certification ecosystem to include online (remote) proctored exams to better meet the needs of the industry. This addition allows for foodservice workers to access needed or required testing in the way that works best for their schedules and learning styles. “For 30 years, our goal has been to provide the most flexible and adaptable foodservice workforce training opportunities to improve the industry and to support the advancement of our hard-working people,” says Sherman Brown, executive vice president of training and certification for the National Restaurant Association. “The addition of online proctored exams fortifies our high-quality education ecosystem to the long-term needs of the market.” ServSafe partnered with ProctorU to create the online solution for testing. Customers choosing this option will be greeted by a live proctor who guides them through the exam launch process. The live proctor, backed by the artificial intelligence-powered Proctor U platform, monitors and flags any suspicious behaviors during the exam and intervenes, if necessary, to uphold exam integrity and security. This new online solution is available 24/7.

MORE THAN HALF OF SHOPPERS PLAN TO STOCK UP ON GROCERIES IF ANOTHER SHUTDOWN OCCURS Acosta released the final installment of its 10-part COVID-19 shopper insights series, covering the evolution of consumer behavior and outlook amid the pandemic. The report, which found 53% of shoppers plan to stock up if another shutdown occurs, also provides suggestions to help retailers best meet customers’ needs. “As COVID cases continue to rise, most shoppers believe we’re headed for another shutdown and plan to respond accordingly, so retailers should be prepared for a new surge in stocking up,” says Darian Pickett, CEO of North American sales at Acosta. “The pandemic will also significantly impact back-to-school shopping this year, and retailers will need to adapt to parents’ new priorities and shopping preferences. Hand sanitizer, masks and gloves will be the most in-demand items, in addition to basic school supplies, and many will opt for online shopping and delivery options.” Other key takeaways from the report include: o Four months into the pandemic, the level of overall shopper concern remains high at 7.9 out of 10. o 67% of shoppers think another shutdown is extremely or somewhat likely to occur. o In the event of another shutdown, more than half of shoppers intend to stock up on groceries: o 38% of shoppers stocked up at the start of the pandemic and plan to stock up again. o 15% of shoppers did not stock up at the start, but plan to stock up this time. o 17% of shoppers stocked up at the start, but won’t this time. o 24% of shoppers did not stock up at the start and also won’t this time.


8/28/20 9:15 AM

NEWS FROM ACROSS THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN Daily Updates at FoodLogistics.com

SHELF ENGINE RAISES $12M TO ELIMINATE FOOD WASTE FOR GROCERY STORES Shelf Engine announced $12 million in Series A funding, led by GGV Capital with participation from Initialized Capital, Foundation Capital, Correlation Ventures, 1984 and Liquid 2 Ventures. Hans Tung, managing partner, GGV Capital, will join the board as part of the financing. The company plans to expand its engineering and product development team by 65 people as well as another 25 people in sales and support. Shelf Engine eliminates food waste by managing inventory for grocery stores and food retailers. Using precision demand forecasting with advanced machine learning and robust data collection, Shelf Engine guarantees sales for grocers and can cut waste in half. It also enables stores to increase their margins substantially such that net profits nearly double. As a result, the company is working with more than 500 stores nationwide, including the largest grocery retailers. “Forecasting is traditionally hard for grocery stores, but regular buying patterns have been completely disrupted by the pandemic catching many stores in a costly dilemma of overstocking or understocking,” says Stefan Kalb, co-founder and CEO of Shelf Engine. “Shelf Engine is helping grocery stores, large and small, eliminate the uncertainties of the food supply chain.” pexels

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DEMAND FOR FLEXIBLE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS IN FOOD TO CREATE SPACE FOR GROWTH OF BOPA FILMS A study from Future Market Insights forecasts that the global BOPA films market will witness remarkable opportunities during the coming decade as flexible packaging becomes more popular. Over the last few years, consumers have rapidly inclined toward flexible packaging, owing to its portability and convenience factors such as resealability, microwaveable packaging, easy-open packs, carry-away packs and longer shelf lives. Analysts also expect that increased production of a wide array of consumer goods will require packaging formats such as single-dose and stand-up pouches. Key takeaways of BOPA films market study: o Food industry is estimated to be the key end user of BOPA films market, and is poised to account for twothirds of the BOPA films global market by 2030. o A substantial portion of the BOPA films market share is captured by nylon 6 grade, as end users prefer its high impact strength and easy orientation from both axis. o 11-20 microns is the preferred thickness in the manufacturing of BOPA films, which is likely to account for 60% of the global market by value at end of 2030. o East Asia to represent an incremental opportunity of $241.4 million by the end of 2030 with presence of major BOPA films manufacturers. “The demand for BOPA films in packaging is expected to increase in the years to come as the companies opt for flexible for functional solutions at affordable pricing,” says an analyst.


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KROGER LAUNCHES CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS PILOT IN QFC DIVISION The Kroger Co. launched a contactless payments pilot across the QFC division, located in Seattle, Wash., allowing customers to use their mobile device for a more seamless checkout experience. The pilot includes the acceptance of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, mobile banking apps and contactless chip cards, underpinned by near-field communication (NFC) technology. “QFC is excited to pilot contactless payments powered by NFC technology, providing our customers with an additional way to pay for their fresh food and household essentials,” says Chris Albi, president of QFC. “The contactless payment solution will help make life easier for many of our customers and provide the freedom of choice among various options, including cash, debit, credit and check.” Kroger’s technology team enabled NFC payments at 61 QFC stores. The NFC technology uses a radio frequency field to transmit data between two devices—a mobile device and PIN pad—eliminating physical contact. Customers can place their mobile device or contactless chip card near the PIN pad and payment data is transmitted from the device or card to the terminal to process the transaction.



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ROADMASTER TO OPEN NEW DRIVER TRAINING FACILITY Looking to address Ohio’s high unemployment rate and a shortage of truck drivers, Roadmaster Drivers School is set to open a new training facility in Columbus, Ohio. While Roadmaster has continually operated in Columbus since 1995, this new custom-built school will open its doors Aug. 17. The 10,000-square-foot facility sits on 12 acres and will serve approximately 750 students each year. Meanwhile, the Ohio State Senate is currently considering a bill that would increase training opportunities to meet Ohio’s growing demand for additional truck drivers. House Bill 222, which passed the Ohio House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support, would provide a tax credit for companies that invest in truckdriver training, equal to a total of one-half of the training expenses. “Nationally and in our new facility in Columbus, we’re hearing from people who want to get off the layoff-and-furlough roller coaster and build a new, secure future for themselves,” says Brad Ball, president of Roadmaster Drivers School.

Flock Freight

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Flock Freight is said to be the first freight shipping provider to earn the B Corporation certification due to its commitment to ship freight sustainably with its shared truckload solution Flock Freight’s commitment to the environment reduces carbon emissions by up to 40% by pooling multiple less-than-truckload and partial truckload shipments going in the same direction onto one truck. “As the first freight shipping company to gain B Corporation status, Flock Freight is setting the standard for sustainable shipping practices in the trucking industry with our shared truckload shipping solution,” says Oren Zaslansky, founder and CEO of Flock Freight. “Sustainability is an integral component of Flock Freight’s business model, and the B Corporation certification validates our commitment to transforming the $65 billion freight industry with shared truckload shipping, which makes shipping freight sustainable, affordable and efficient.”

HYSTER PUSHES INTEGRATED LITHIUM-ION POWER FORWARD WITH HIGHER-CAPACITY LIFT TRUCK Hyster Company introduced the new Hyster J155-190XNL series, the industry’s first sit-down counterbalanced lift truck with factory integrated 350-volt lithium-ion power in the 15,500- to 19,000-pound capacity range. The J155-170XNSL, J175XNL36 and J190XNL provide a zero-emission alternative for heavy-duty, higher-capacity applications both indoors and out, avoiding the need to operate extra lift trucks only for certain environments. “While heavy-duty lifting applications have long relied on internal combustion engines (ICE), green initiatives and government regulations have made an electric option increasingly attractive,” says Martin Boyd, vice president, product planning and solutions, Hyster Company. “Lithium-ion power has key attributes that make it well-suited to electrify higher-capacity trucks, allowing customers to get the performance they need and meet sustainability targets.” The battery is sealed and has no maintenance requirements, offering faster charging and a longer overall battery cycle life than typical lead acid batteries. The battery can also fully charge in less than 90 minutes using the required charger and can also be opportunity charged, allowing operators to plug in whenever convenient to help increase truck run time. Hyster



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TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS INDUSTRY IN INFANCY OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION The transportation and logistics industry has observed steady growth for more than 10 years, and now represents an over $300 billion industry. The industry has three major challenges—agility, sustainability and visibility—and companies operating in the industry are hoping to address those challenges through digital transformation. In Lux Research’s newly released report, experts highlight the most compelling use cases for digital transformation within transportation and logistics and shows where maturation is still needed.

APL LOGISTICS DEVELOPS SOLUTIONS TO MEASURE, MANAGE AND MITIGATE GHG FOR SHIPPING AND LOGISTICS APL Logistics announced a suite of products to measure, manage and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the shipping and logistics sector. Using the GHG Protocol, APLL calculates Scope 3, Category 9 emissions for customers across sectors and partners to achieve carbon-neutral shipping and logistics for 100% of supply chain transportation GHG emissions. With a combination of efficiency strategies, fuel alternatives and carbon offsets, APLL takes a straightforward approach to quickly advance sustainability priorities in the logistics sector. APLL first measures transportation GHG emissions, then identifies ways to inject efficiency programs into existing operations. For remaining carbon liability, APLL has a number of partners that deliver verified carbon offset projects to achieve 100% carbon-neutral product transportation.


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Preliminary NA Class 8 net orders in July were 20,300 units, rising 27% from June, and up 98% from a year-ago comparison, according to ACT Research. The NA Classes 5-7 market saw orders slip to 16,700 units, down 6% month-over-month and 3% below their year-ago July volume. ACT’s “State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles” report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6-7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing activity-related measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6-7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs and step van configurations. The Class 8 market is segmented into trucks and tractors, with and without sleeper cabs. “Preliminary data show that July orders for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jumped to a six-month high,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Less than a week ago, we learned that the U.S. economy was 9.5% smaller in Q2 than it was in Q1 and 10.6% below its end of 2019 level. Additionally, when the COVID began to bite in late February, there was a strong case to be made that the trucking industry was suffering from lingering over-capacity that was still putting downward pressure on freight rates, and by extension, carrier profitability.”

SURVEY SHOWS IMPACT OLDER TRUCKS HAVE ON SAFETY, REPAIR COSTS AND FUEL ECONOMY Fleet Advantage announced results of its latest fleet industry benchmarking survey showing the impact new safety technologies have had on Getty Images transportation fleets, how many fleets are still driving older-model trucks and the leading reasons motivating upgrade decisions. According to the benchmark survey, 71% of transportation fleets have implemented blind spot mirrors as advanced safety features, while 66% have implemented front and rear disc brakes. The survey also showed that 11% of transportation fleets estimate they have saved more than $1 million in crash avoidance by upgrading to newer trucks with advanced safety features. These types of safety technologies have led to safer roads for drivers, passengers and other motorists and have lowered accident costs. This is especially important since trucking fatalities recently reached the highest level in the past 30 years, with the average cost of each heavy-duty truck crash reaching $17.5 million. As fleets begin to realize these benefits, additional statistics prove new safety technology aided in roadway safety, reduced accidents and improved Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) scores. Nearly 61% have implemented forward-facing cameras and 53% implemented lane departure warning systems.



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important to have efficient ways to bid on freight contracts and manage freight movement using digital tools such as Electronic Bill of Lading (eBOL).

Growing need for contactless transactions

B Brian Belcher co-founder & COO Vector Software

The accelerated movement to digitize all business processes allows for the efficient operation of trucks and movement of freight.

Digitization can eliminate a lot of the paper handling across logistics partners.

y nature, trucking is very much a physical, analog world. Freight doesn’t get moved by bits and bytes, but by a real-world tractor and trailer piloted by a human being. And, that isn’t going to change soon. There is an accelerated movement to digitizing all business processes, which allows the efficient operation of trucks and movement of freight. Here are five key factors driving this movement:

Changes in freight patterns One of the biggest impacts of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been a rethinking of the supply chain infrastructure. Truckers and shippers spent the last 20 years building highly efficient logistics systems to ensure raw goods are available just-in-time at manufacturing plants and so finished goods can be delivered to retailers as close to the point of sale as possible. The goal has been to reduce inventories and overhead cost. This has been a huge win for the consumer and the economy as a whole. There is no question that we would have seen much higher increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the past few decades were it not for the finely-tuned logistics system.

But, the pandemic exposed weaknesses in this system. When manufacturers around the globe were suddenly forced to shut down or restrict activities, the flow of goods was interrupted and supply chains broke down. Suddenly, having just-in-time inventory levels was no longer a good idea. Moving forward, it’s likely the industry will build more buffers into the system, so that manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers don’t run out of inventory so quickly. We also see supply chains being shortened to prevent extended delays in receiving product. More goods currently being manufactured overseas will be made locally. This will change many of the freight lanes and patterns that fleets currently use. It will also make it more

The pandemic has also heightened awareness of the risk of infection with frequent handling of paper and physical interactions. Digitization can eliminate a lot of the paper handling as well as enable social distancing across logistics partners to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. As more transactions are digitized, logistics teams will have greater flexibility in where and when they work. The pandemic has shown that it’s possible to run businesses, including transportation companies “virtually” if information is in digital form. Progressive employers began their digital transformation initiatives way before the pandemic. Besides the health and safety benefits, the productivity and visibility gains make going digital an obvious decision for those just getting started. This trend to more home-based work will lower companies’ office costs and reduce traffic on roads in

Vector Software



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8/27/2020 11:21:39 AM

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Isuzu’s Ultimate Craft Beer Truck is the perfect solution for your craft beer business. Aside from delivery runs, the 8-tap cold station allows you to serve your brews pretty much anywhere while practicing social distancing at the same time.

Visit your local authorized Isuzu dealership for more information. Vehicle shown with optional equipment; some equipment is dealer installed. The 0.00% APR finance offer expires 12/31/2020 and is available only through Isuzu Finance of America, Inc. Finance terms are limited, credit approval required. Participating dealers only. Please see your authorized Isuzu dealer for details. Truck body represented herein is a product of Supreme Corporation. Thermo King is a registered trademark of Thermo King Corporation. Maxon is a registered trademark of Maxon Co. © 2020 ISUZU COMMERCIAL TRUCK OF AMERICA, INC.



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8/27/2020 11:21:41 AM


urban areas, helping trucking fleets deliver loads more efficiently.

Increased emphasis on cash flow Entering 2020, many fleets were already under financial pressure with lower freight volumes and rates due to industry over-capacity. Pandemic-related government funding such as PPP loans provided a lifeline to many fleets, but it has simply postponed the inevitable for fleets with the weakest balance sheets. Expect a lot of industry consolidation in the second half of 2020 and into 2021. The fleets that survive will need to have increased focus on cash flow. Digitizing load documents improves cash flow by compressing the time from freight delivery to payment. Drivers can submit proof-of-delivery electronically minutes after the freight is on the dock and the shipper can be invoiced shortly thereafter. Digitizing this process also helps increase the accuracy of the invoicing and reduces the number of missed billings. It all adds up to increased cash flow for the fleet and a stronger financial position.



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Higher focus on customers With the expected changes in freight patterns will come an increased need to bid on new freight contracts and engage with new customers. Fleets with time-consuming paper processes in back offices will be at a disadvantage to those with digital processes. Fleets have reduced man-hours on freight processing and invoicing significantly by digitizing. As well as sparing back-office personnel the task of manually entering freight proof of deliveries, digitizing reduces manual entry errors. It also frees back-office personnel to spend more time recruiting new customers and retaining existing business.

Added smarts to freight and driver management In the old analog world, fleets relied on phone calls and relationships with brokers and shippers to anticipate the source and destination of loads. That system won’t cut it in the increasingly competitive freight business of today. Progressive fleets manage their freight digitally and use artificial intelligence to calculate optimal load routing and pricing. It may also include

Getty Images

automated ways to calculate a drivers’ ETA at a load destination or a way to recommend the best loads for specific drivers based on their qualifications, work history, etc. As more shippers move to electronic freight quotes and electronic bills of lading, fleets will have a greater capacity to do freight analytics and make quicker decisions on which freight and freight lanes to focus on. Moving forward, fleet profitability will hinge a lot more on this. Fleet managers simply don’t have the capacity to do these calculations and predictions manually. The bottom line for fleets is they will lose competitiveness if they stick with old paper-based information systems and manage their loads with manual ones. Since it is very difficult to fully transform them to digital systems, expect to see a lot of hybrid solutions over the coming months and years. Paper documents will be scanned by drivers and pushed into a digital format as easily as possible. Fleets will also be putting more pressure on shippers to move to eBOLs, so that this step can be eliminated. Also expect to see a lot of fleets adopting automated workflows to bring information into their management software.


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THE BEST FUEL FOR THE ENVIRONMENT IS NOW THE BEST FUEL FOR YOUR BUDGET. People are having more goods delivered, faster, than ever before. Which means your fleet is generating more emissions than ever before. What if you could cut your fleet’s carbon footprint to zero and save money doing it?


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Whether it’s online, delivery, curbside pickup or BOPIS, here’s how a global pandemic has forever shifted the way consumers shop for groceries.


customers’ front doors. But, all it takes is a global pandemic to upend supply chains, close down cities and force consumers to adapt to new ways of doing things. One of those new ways involves ordering groceries online. FMI – The Food Industry Association and Nielsen updated their predictions on online food and beverage sales to $143 billion by 2025, which will represent 30% of all omnichannel food and beverage spending. This figure was first predicted in 2017 as $100 billion

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t was the end of March and the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic officially hit the United States, shutting down restaurants, schools, daycares and more. Then, many Americans rushed to their local grocery store to stock up on everything from toilet paper and hand sanitizer to frozen pizzas and frozen family meals. The nation was preparing to hunker down for quite some time. This “pandemic shopping” method was the beginning of the in-store grocery transformation to online—forcing many grocery retailers to implement the buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) practice and amp up their own delivery and curbside pickup options. “In many ways, COVID-19 created a period of ‘forced’ trial and adoption. This has been true overall, but also importantly among new demographic segments and within traditionally less popular online grocery categories,” says Carl Van Ostrand,


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vice president of consumer insights for DISQO. “For instance, pre-pandemic online grocery shopping was characterized by online-savvy consumers primarily buying a subset of specific grocery and CPG categories, a characterization that has been completely upended since late Q1.” The concept of grocery delivery isn’t that new; think of milkmen delivering baskets of bottled milk to

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As preferred brands have sold out, consumers have tried new brands, explored more retailers and turned to bulk ordering, according to this DISQO study.

by 2025 and updated last year to $100 billion to be reached between 2022-2024. At the end of 2019, online grocery had already accounted for 5% of all grocery spend, according to Bain & Company. Then, the number of consumers taking their grocery shopping online grew more than 400% in March and April of 2020 compared to 2019, according to an Escalent survey. Fast forward a couple of months later, and U.S. online grocery sales reached $7.2 billion in June, a 9% increase over May, as 45.6 million households continued to use delivery and pickup services, according to the Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Survey. Additionally, order frequency grew from 1.7 to 1.9 orders per month for active households. Likewise, results from an Inmar Intelligence study shows that since the onset of the pandemic, 56.7% of respondents shop for groceries online more now than compared to pre-pandemic, indicating that a strong e-commerce presence is necessary in order to see continued growth. Nearly 51% of those surveyed preferred a grocery retailer that had the desired product type available for purchase, and 39% selected a store based on whether the grocery pickup or delivery time was available in the preferred window. “Execution of these online curbside and home delivery services will be paramount to seeing continued adoption post-COVID-19,”


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says Ken Bays, vice president of product development for Inmar Intelligence. “In June, a whopping 42% of 1,000 consumers surveyed told us that since the pandemic started, they had shopped groceries online for curbside pickup for the first time. With 100% of our respondents saying they had shopped online in some capacity in April, May and June, 44% said they see themselves continuing to buy both groceries and general retail online after the pandemic.” Economists at Future Market Insights even say that online grocery shopping has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. retail market. The subscriptions segment, for instance, is poised to surge at a higher CAGR among purchaser type. And, personalized and smart packaging are likely to dominate the online grocery shopping scene. These consistent growth patterns illustrate that in a post-pandemic environment, online grocery could be here to stay, as many consumers prefer the convenience in having groceries delivered to their front door. “Pre-pandemic, grocery retailers were alerted to the oncoming demand for online grocery with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, and while adoption by retailers and consumers alike made steady gains, no one was prepared for the demand the pandemic would place on online grocery and its supply chain. The dramatic increase in online grocery ordering volume exposed the food retail industry to the need for quicker adoption of modernized processes and technology to fuel efficiency and agility,” says Patty Mc-


Donald, global solution marketing director for Symphony RetailAI. “As the pandemic set in, it became evident that rapid disruption was the necessary process to support online grocery shopping as an imperative for not only convenience, but [also for] health and safety. In fact, in a survey of FMCG retailer and CPGs, Symphony RetailAI found that 89% of those surveyed believe that the events of COVID-19 are driving retailers to optimize the supply chain to support omnichannel strategies faster than anticipated.” A McKinsey consumer survey reports that the “next normal has started to emerge,” and most categories have seen a 15-40% increase in online channel user growth. For instance, deli meats have been high-demand items, while dairy experienced more outof-stock in the early days of COVID-19. “Frozen appears to be less affected especially in non-essential categories like ice cream and novelties. This is most likely due to small

In June, U.S. online grocery sales reached $7.2 billion, a 9% increase over May, as 45.6 million households used delivery and pickup services to satisfy a larger portion of their grocery needs, according to a Brick Meets Click/Mercatus survey.

Brick Meets Click



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Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment gives grocers the ability to meet growing demand for curbside pickup on their terms, while offering essential shopping services, increasing profit margin and scaling their business for long-term growth.

All technology platforms need to “talk” to each other.

freezer space in most homes today. Hoarding frozen is not an option for most shoppers,” says Bays. On the other hand, though, frozen foods have become a pandemic-proof category. A consumer survey commissioned by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and conducted by 210 Analytics LLC revealed that after a 94% surge in mid-March, overall frozen food sales held at 30-35% increases in April vs. a year ago. Nearly 86% of all consumers bought frozen food items, such as frozen pizza, vegetables and entrées since early March, and of those, 7% of consumers who previously, rarely or never purchased frozen foods pre-pandemic are now buying frozen foods. At the beginning of U.S. lockdowns, Mercatus saw a large spike in online orders for essential items compared to the previous year, with frozen dinners raking in a 71% uptick in online orders. “Mercatus-powered retailers saw a rapid 1,200% increase in online shopping account registrations on retailer websites and a 300% increase in retailer mobile app downloads in March, up from the previous month before lockdowns started,” says Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus. Additionally, a Routific survey of 162 delivery businesses shows that 58% had started a delivery service due to COVID-19. What’s more is, 93% of those new delivery businesses said they’d

continue to deliver even as the economy re-opens. “We see a lot of big-name grocery retailers partnering up with logistics and supply chain experts to enhance the home delivery experience,” says Marc Kuo, founder and CEO for Routific. “Route optimization software has been a game changer for many online grocers and food retailers. Route optimization technology was previously only used by large corporations who had complex logistics needs and could afford a big price tag. But, there are now a number of affordable, cloud-based solutions on the market, many of which were designed for grocery and food retailers who have entered the home delivery market.” DISQO’s June Grocery Shopping Experiences survey reveals 24% of shoppers are ordering in bulk more than before. “The ‘digital shelf’ is completely different from the in-store consumer experience,” says Van Ostrand. “Brands and categories that thrived and ‘won’ in the brick-and-mortar environment will face different threats [post-pandemic].” Some grocery retailers even turned to food delivery services to provide groceries and essentials to customers.

“We now have over 9,500 active merchants (97% increase since February 2020) and grocery-convenience orders have increased by over 176% since February 2020,” says Sarah Abboud, communications manager for Uber. “These figures do not include our recent integration with Cornershop, which is a huge opportunity to expand our grocery delivery offerings in the Americas.” In February, Rosie and DoorDash partnered to bring another delivery option to independent grocers and their communities across the United States. “Rosie saw consistent growth pre-COVID-19, but we began to experience exponential adoption once COVID-19 started influencing shopper behavior. Before, shoppers focused entirely on convenience and price. Now it’s all about health and safety. First-time users are relying on online grocery shopping to protect their families,” says Nick Nickitas, founder and CEO for Rosie. “Rosie saw independent retailer sign-ups increase 900% during the pandemic (Q2 of 2020) vs. pre-COVID-19. The data suggests that shoppers are adopting online as a part of their daily routine, with a 270% increase in new users and a 184% increase in revenue. Some of our retailers have experienced as much as a 40% increase in their average online basket size (year-overyear July 2019 to July 2020),” adds

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Micro-fulfillment makes its mark


A Routific survey of 162 delivery businesses shows that 58% had started a delivery service as a result of COVID-19. What’s more is, 93% of those new delivery businesses said they’d continue to deliver even as the economy re-opens.

Swisslog’s AutoStore is a compact, robot-based automated storage and retrieval system that supports goods-toperson or goods-to-robot picking.

Nickitas. “We project that as much as half of the new online shoppers will continue to utilize e-commerce post-COVID-19. We see online shopping in the independent grocery segment growing from 1-3% of in-store sales pre-COVID to 4-15% after the pandemic is over. Currently, we’re seeing stores where Rosie is 22% of sales or higher.” Nickitas credits this increase to shoppers’ commitment to buying from local stores. “From a retail technology perspective, one trend we’re seeing is the need for seamless integration across platforms. All technology platforms (website, loyalty, e-commerce, point-of-sale, payment processing) should be able to ‘talk’ to each other. Our platform enables critical expense reductions for the retailer such as cashierless checkout and low-cost credit card processing. Additionally, we were one of the first companies approved to include processing of EBT SNAP benefits for online food purchases,” he adds.

One trend leading the way for online grocers is retailer expansion into multi-channel fulfillment. “Micro-fulfillment is showing itself as a specific section of a grocery store or a small, dedicated fulfillment center meant to allow for order picking rather than ‘hunt and peck shopping,’” says Don White, North America CEO for SnapFulfil. “For this, the traditional point-of-sale model is less efficient, and therefore, advanced, cloud-based warehouse management systems will become a focus. Additionally, those microfulfillment centers may contain limited automation to allow for more efficient operations and lower headcount.” The BOPIS concept has also paved the way for more grocery retailers to invest in microfulfillment centers. “We are now seeing models of [BOPIS] occurring regionally vs. locally with regional hub stores, dark stores or micro-fulfillment centers. This regional model offers greater picking efficiencies, but orders now need to get transported to the local level, which changes the type of packaging and equipment needed for streamlined operations,” says Andrea Nottestad, senior product manager for ORBIS Corp. ORBIS’ mobile ORBIS Pally has the potential to support picking, delivery, staging and curbside fulfillment in one single

base platform. This mobile pallet can work within the store or from micro-fulfillment center to the store. “Having a base like this, that can evolve as the supply chain evolves, adds value as it doesn’t require the customer to completely re-set their operations as they make changes through continuous improvement,” says Nottestad. “Additionally, as in-store picking and fulfillment continue to increase, integrated tote and cart systems offer retail associates a space-friendly mobile system to efficiently pick and fulfill orders for curbside pickup.” For its part, Mercatus announced Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment, a white-labeled, retailer-owned experience available to Mercatus-equipped grocers. The solution combines ShopperKit’s fulfillment technology and Radius Networks’ advanced location-based communications capabilities to offer online shopping, fulfillment and curbside pickup options. “With Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment, online orders made through the Mercatus platform are automatically sorted by ShopperKit into optimized preparation times and wave and zone pick paths. As employees pick and pack orders, they can connect with customers in real time for order substitutions and upsells. With real-time visibility into customer location from Radius Networks’ FlyBuy Pickup, employees can accurately track customer ETA for a seamless pickup experience,” says Perrier. “Mercatus Enhanced Fulfillment gives grocers the ability to meet growing demand for curbside pickup on their terms, while offering essential shopping services, increasing profit margin and the ability to scale their business for longterm growth. Grocers benefit by extending their brand experience beyond the store and meeting shoppers’ needs with increased time slot availability, real-time two-

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way communication, contact-free pickup and delivery and record low wait times at pickup.” Another automation technology hitting e-grocery fulfillment is Swisslog’s AutoStore, a compact, robot-based automated storage and retrieval system that supports goods-to-person or goods-to-robot picking. “The dilemma many grocers face is determining the right distribution model for their grocery chain. E-grocery orders are more complex than general e-commerce, which averages 1-2 items per order. The typical grocery order contains dozens of items and may include non-perishables, packaged chilled and frozen foods and fresh produce and meats,” says Colman Roche, vice president of retail and e-commerce sales for Swisslog Logistics Automation, Americas. “Managing fulfillment across those multiple product types requires automation technology that enables coordination across automated and manual picking processes. But, how does automation fit into their existing infrastructure? Should it be integrated at the store level, set up as a separate operation serving multiple stores or designed as a hybrid of the two strategies?” Fabric also offers a robotic micro-fulfillment solution that eliminates more than 75% of in-store picking costs and leverages retailers’ most important assets, says Steve Hornyak, chief commercial officer for Fabric. “Looking toward the future, the retailers who adopt robust micro-fulfillment strategies will be the ones to succeed in this rapidly evolving, highly competitive space,”


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he adds. “A micro-fulfillment solution like ours can automate 80-90% of an ordinary grocery retailer’s assortment—more than any other micro-fulfillment solution. That means it can handle loose, fresh and weighted goods all in an automated fashion, and process orders from an always-up-to-date online inventory. That means there are no substitutions, no errors, and since rotation management is handled in an automated fashion, managing the quality of fresh produce and the expiration dates of refrigerated goods is easy. This level of automation creates a better customer experience by overcoming the quality issues that have always plagued instore manual picking.” With e-commerce sales expected to hit $1.5 trillion by 2025, this also means an increase in demand for industrial real estate to the tune of an additional 1 billion square feet, as outlined in a report from JLL. “With online grocery adop-

picking and packing, create space to take robotic technology to the next level and allow for additional capacity and centralized route planning.” “As a result of the influx of gig economy shoppers in stores, grocers will increasingly build these e-commerce warehouses to avoid overcrowding the store and optimize product arrangement for online order fulfillment,” she adds. “The warehouses will need a

Integrated tote and cart systems offer retail associates a space-friendly, mobile system to efficiently pick and fulfill orders for curbside pickup.



tion rising, grocers will increasingly leverage micro-fulfillment centers as merchandise facilities for extreme efficiency, especially when the transaction volumes become higher and customers want to have items delivered to their home,” says Perrier. “These dedicated locations can enhance accuracy for online

dedicated cold storage section to keep refrigerated and frozen foods, as grocers utilize these off-site centers to prepare for the future of online grocery shopping.” The biggest challenge many grocers face is simply keeping up with demand. “With many restaurants still

The single biggest technological innovation to happen to grocery is the automated fulfillment of online orders.



8/27/2020 11:15:45 AM


The biggest challenge many grocery retailers face is simply keeping up with demand.



closed, consumers continue to eat meals at home. Grocers are rapidly running through fresh product, leading them to work with vendors to refill inventory quicker than they did prior to COVID-19. Many large grocery retailers have staffed drivers to route regional shuttle runs every day. Lots of these drivers are using power-only equipment to pull large grocery retailers’ trailers from store to store in order to keep up with demand. This has caused a significant increase in spot shipments,” says Tom Barry, senior manager, carrier sales for Coyote Logistics. “Every day, we have more grocery retailers reaching out to our reps looking for additional drivers to restock their inventory. As a result of this increase in demand for capacity, the shipping costs on many products have increased. Until the country re-opens fully, we anticipate this trend will continue.” Another challenge is “cost to fulfill” and its financial ramifications in last-mile food delivery. “When refrigerated or frozen items are ordered, this entire process must take the cold chain into consideration,” says Guy Bloch, chief executive officer for Bringg. “I predict we will see the continued evolution of both fulfillment models. Grocers that maintain a larger store footprint typically see higher cart values and will continue to invest in automated temperature-controlled solutions for both [micro-fulfillment centers] and delivery. Most of these orders will likely be planned by the shopper well in advance, and shoppers will be willing to wait a few hours or even a day or two for these orders, which provides the grocer with enough bandwidth to deliver from a CFC (a centralized MFC) with temperature-controlled transportation. Grocers that typically maintain a smaller store footprint and offer more of a ‘top up’ shopping experi-


FLOG0920_14-21_CoverStory.indd 20

ence will likely continue to invest in the technology to scale faster, providing on-demand fulfillment and delivery solutions to meet their customer’s immediate needs.”

Technology takes over When it comes to supporting online grocery, there isn’t a single part of the supply chain that’s more important than the other, says McDonald. “Retailers must implement technology to support each stage of the online grocery supply chain, from demand forecasting to order fulfillment and store picking,” she adds. “Picking technology is particularly critical, as it’s tied closely to store labor and productivity, one of the biggest cost centers in the online grocery supply chain. Furthermore, these technologies and the processes must be connected across to create truly digital supply chain.” Automation will only continue to expand, with grocery retailers rolling out mobile apps and ordering kiosks for various platforms, according to Keith Daniels, partner at Carl Marks Advisors. “The largest grocery stores with proprietary technology and infrastructure have a distinct edge,” he adds. “Once COVID-19 passes, I think there may be a bit

of a rebalancing, as consumers will return to brick-and-mortar stores, but the penetration is now so high that consumers are getting used to having items delivered. And, this is a good alternative for the elderly now that they [too] have embraced the technology.” Earlier this year, Bringg integrated Postmates into its BringgNow solution to help restaurants and grocers manage their delivery operations. “Our SaaS platform digitizes the entire online grocery supply chain for grocers, optimizing every step of the delivery cycle, automating portions of delivery and fulfillment and orchestrating all logistics, which leads to more efficiency gains,” says Bloch. “It also provides instant visibility for organizations into their supply chains, making it easier to eliminate roadblocks

Coyote Logistics


8/27/2020 11:15:49 AM

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invest more heavily in digital retargeting to continue conversations with those users, adds Huber. “Brands will need to market promotions, products, etc. to those who’ve adopted the apps, especially if they want to leverage deep-linking options to take consumers into the shopping experience from an ad to encourage action,” he says. “In a mobile survey InMobi InMobi Marketing Cloud ran in early June, we asked Americans what was most important for them when purand pain points that are causing supply chain lags or disruptions. chasing consumer packaged goods Leveraging and having access to (which includes food and beverage that real-time data gives grocers grocery). [Nearly] 42% cited cleanmore control over their delivery liness, which we attribute to being management.” related to COVID-19. However, Since many of the habits es51% said price was a key decision driver while 41% said availability tablished today, such as ordering of certain items. Grocery delivery groceries from the comfort of home, will become entrenched over apps that are able to offer low prices and guarantee availability time, this opens the door for many of certain items are more likely grocery apps to reinvent the way to keep consumers engaged and they do business. happy now and in the future.” “Most consumers are used to browsing in store, choosing their Bracing for own products and doing it on their the future—whatever own schedule. COVID-19 forced that looks like change, and the urgent need for No one knows what the industry safety outweighed the barriers. will look like post-COVID-19. No Now that consumers have experione really knows when the postenced online grocery delivery, we COVID-19 environment will even anticipate more will consider the option especially if they are pinched begin. Post-Coronavirus could be for time or face another hurdle with months into the next 1-2 years. But, one thing is certain, online grocery getting to the grocery store,” says shopping is here to stay. Jeremy Huber, head of intelligence solutions for InMobi Marketing Cloud. “Since one of the contributing factors for the increase in grocery engagement is the lack of food options outside the home during COVID-19, as restaurants resume, we can anticipate that grocery purchases will decrease. As a result, we may see a bit of leveling off of grocery apps once restaurants and schools are open.” That’s why it’s imperative brands


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“It is an essential service element that every supermarket needs to offer to stay relevant and competitive,” says Nickitas. “The evolution of service offerings that were integrated into full-service supermarkets over time include frozen foods, self-service meats, deli departments and bakeries. Now online shopping is the department that no supermarket can lack if they want to compete as a full-service

solution to the public.” Some industry experts coin it as a new era of “Grocery 2.0,” which “will combine experiential in-store grocery shopping—food samples, cooking demonstrations, beer on tap—alongside behind-thescenes automated e-commerce fulfillment, either in the back of the store or in an adjacent property,” says Hornyak. “Brick-and-mortar grocery shopping will never disappear—in fact, the longer we live with the pandemic and the more our lives become digital, I think people will expect even more from their trips to the grocery store. There’s nothing like smelling freshly baked bread or choosing the perfect cut of meat from the butcher. But, at the same time, we’ll all have become accustomed to the convenience of ordering our cereal, milk and paper towels online, and many of those habits will stick. That means retailers will be expected to provide a true omnichannel experience for their customers.” Plus, COVID-19 has forced consumers of all ages and demographics to find alternative ways of accessing food. “Grocers who already set up online shops and delivery services were able to immediately fill that demand. Meanwhile, other food retailers who weren’t quite ready were forced to pivot quickly or risk going out of business,” says Kuo. “The pandemic enabled online food retailers to carve a space for themselves in the mainstream, accelerating adoption amongst the masses and forcing reluctant consumers to switch from the traditional retail experience to the modern, online one. A lot of people around the globe have experienced the convenience of grocery delivery for the first time. It is very likely that the majority will continue shopping online. If you’re not ready for this new trend, it’s still not too late to get your business online.”

Online/digital solutions that allow for curbside or in-store pickup level the playing field, which allows brands like Walmart to lean into as an advantage.



8/27/2020 11:15:52 AM




L L A C E R sue a ers likely never is id ov pr s ic st gi lo y Third-part r acting on rty responsible fo pa y ke a e ar t bu recall, . sponsible and why it. Here’s who’s re

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he safe handling of food is a top priority in the third-party logistics (3PL) sector of the cold chain, as consumer health is directly affected by the products that are transported. However, as with any sector, when it comes to the trade of goods and food, recalls still sometimes happen despite the countless safety measures in place. Since 3PLs are responsible for moving this product, food recalls directly impact their businesses, despite often having little to do with the recall itself. “3PLs are rarely the ones to initiate recalls; typically they receive a notification from a supplier that a product has been recalled (or from their customer, who has received a recall notice from a supplier), and they need to act on that information,” says Jennifer McEntire, senior vice president of food safety and technology at United Fresh Produce Association. However, once a recall is enacted, it is time for the 3PL to spring into action to ensure the safety of consumers. “3PLs need to review the recall notices that they have received, and isolate the affected product,” she adds. “This includes product that is still being warehoused, that is in transit and that has already been delivered to customers. Depending on the operation, this may require pulling information



FLOG0920_22-27_3PL.indd 22


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from a few different systems. Like other parts of the food industry, recalls are generally executed by a team. For product that has already been distributed, they need to notify their customers of the recall, so that the customer can take appropriate action (assuming the customer is not yet aware). 3PLs should recognize that in the eyes of FDA, they are a registered facility (if they ‘hold’ food). When it comes to a recall, it doesn’t matter to FDA who owns the product—it’s the one that physically handled the product that plays a role in the recall, and a recall plan is required as part of the Preventive Controls Rule for any products with a hazard that needs to be controlled.”

Plan ahead Because of the importance of situations like these, 3PLs need to have clear plans in place to effectively handle the recall in a timely and efficient manner. “First thing first, a detailed documented and proven process that is centered around clean data needs to be in place,” says Matt Goker, chief executive officer of Quloi. “3PLs start with flagging the group of products with quality issues. Subject merchandise then is moved to a resolution area where a detailed analysis can be made. Quarantining the recall merchandise is critical since this process drives the decision to repackage, relabel or destroy in accordance with the manufacturer’s policies. During the entire process, high-quality, transparent and two-way information is the make-it-or-break-it phenomenon for a successful result.” While it is up to the 3PL company to ensure these recalls are handled properly, there are others in the industry that vet procedures to determine their accuracy. For instance, the International Organization for Standardization (IOS)


FLOG0920_22-27_3PL.indd 23

is a non-governmental organization that certifies various companies based on the procedures in place prior to an event. “ISO-9001-certified companies typically have processes and procedures in place that can be examined before any recall happens,” says Chonchol Gupta, chief executive officer of Rebirth Analytics. “It is also important for companies to practice with mock recalls, so that they can ensure the capabilities of 3PL providers should a real event materialize. Companies should also be focused on preventing problems before product reaches the 3PL, which requires them to have a better understanding of their suppliers—Tier 1 and beyond.”

Look into the future In addition to certifications and practice, technology, data and analytics take recall procedures to a more advanced and efficient level. Modern management systems, communication and visibility allow 3PLs to act fast and accurately. “A food recall requires 3PLs to have robust warehouse management systems and good traceability data,so that good product is not impacted by or ‘flagged’ as bad product,” says Steve Kluting, national director product recall at Gallagher. “They also need proper/ effective recall protocols, which should be documented and tested. They also need solid communications capabilities—upstream and downstream—so that the food supply chain that runs through them is not disrupted.” Technology in the cold chain helps to almost predict the future

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and allows companies to plan ahead. “We believe companies continue to explore and invest in system capabilities,” says Johnathan Foster, consultant at Proxima Group. “This includes exploring automation capability to minimize any impacts that staffing might have in their service offerings. Like most other industries, the cold chain industry is working on their future planning strategies. They do not know the type or extent of the next recall, but continue to work on their preparedness for the next eventual issue. In a sense, word-class supply chains and cold chain networks build their plans off of past learnings and occurrences, work the adaptive plans and then subsequently

Keeping track of product is an important aspect of recall management.



8/27/2020 11:11:47 AM



measure the success of the plan being put into action.” As supply chains grow longer and more complex, the need for these technologies grows along with it.

Gupta. Weak data is where 3PLs will see the most problems, adds Goker “In general, when a product recall is required, a sizeable 3PLs most likely response is a function of its most likely weakest area—data management,” he says. “Since the quality of data depends on entering it properly, preventing a disruption is a matter

chain is disrupted, contaminated and compromised. Cold chain recalls get their fair share. It is also worth mentioning that there is an inherent drive of increased recall needs due to contextual quality management issues. We are living [in] times where coordination is difficult at all levels; production is not spared.” Technologies such as sensors and various solutions also drive efficiency in recall procedure.

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L A C E R The safety in food transportation means safety for grocery customers.


Recalls for temperature-sensitive products in the 3PL space that are most common are usually due to product damages or expiration dates. The longer the supply chain, the more common these events become. Using analytics to provide deep insight into the entire supply chain from start to finish is key, and predictive technologies can help 3PLs pull product faster and avoid disruption all together as problems are spotted and mitigated before a real issue occurs, according to


FLOG0920_22-27_3PL.indd 24

of having a detailed documented and proven process in place that covers the recall scenario from A to Z. In the pandemic era, things became more challenging for several reasons. Overall supply

“Automated solutions, including barcoding, RFID and integration with manufacturers’ business and ERP systems for product flow and traceability should be in place,” says Stephen Dombroski, director of consumer markets at QAD. “Today’s advanced technologies such as smart tags and smart labels can automatically trace the movement of product. This information can be used by the 3PL provider internally, but also communicated back


8/27/2020 11:12:01 AM

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to the manufacturer to ensure that their products are being handled properly and on to the retailer.”

A pandemic’s effect As the supply chain gets lengthier, the more room there is for error. However, since the start of COVID-19, some data shows that there was a decrease in the number of recalls in the food industry, despite one widespread onion recall in the United Stated in August.

pate that the number of USDA/ FDA recall events would be even fewer during those periods, in some part due to decreased regulatory inspections, including product sampling, environmental swabbing and enforcement, as well as plant shutdowns due to COVID-19 outbreaks.”

The beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the most problems for the cold chain where recall procedures were likely distressed, but as companies settle into the “New Normal” standard of work during a seemingly ever-lasting pandemic, processes have become more stable.




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“In my view/experience, there are likely fewer food recalls occurring in the 3PL (cold chain) sector right now; that would mirror the trend occurring generally in the food supply system during 2020 and the pandemic,” adds Kluting. “I’ve seen reports indicating significant decreases (more than 75%) in USDA recall events in Q1 2020, and decreases (approaching 10%) in FDA recall events during the same period. I don’t have reports on Q2 or July/Aug, but I would antici-


FLOG0920_22-27_3PL.indd 25

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“The only way that the pandemic may be affecting recalls is if supply chains have been modified,” says McEntire. “This was an issue early in the pandemic when foodservice sales came to a halt and there was a surge in retail purchases. There may still be some new supplier-buyer relationships, but this should be settling down now. A strong traceability system should also be able to accommodate these changes.”

Food logistcs requires extra safety procedures


When restaurants first shut down in March and April and food consumption in the United States dramatically altered, many distributors saw a surge of orders canceled and excess amount of food waste, compounding recall standards even further. “Some 3PLs faced immediate order cancelations (largely from foodservice/restaurant sector), leaving excess food stranded and not easy to move, leading to storage shortages, which is particularly expensive on cold chain,” continues Kluting. “Global supply chains were disrupted by COVID-19 outbreaks, including facility shutdowns (impacting production schedules, volumes and certainty); global lockdown of populations and activities creating less demand by restaurant/foodservice customers and increasing demand by grocery/ retailers and the resulting pack-


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aging size issues (moving from foodservice-packaged items to consumer packaged goods); and a less-than-fully-mobile movement of goods through ports and across borders.” However, order cancelations and restaurant closures are not the only influences from COVID-19 on recalls in the cold chain. In the last few months since the start of the pandemic, staffing greatly altered, as many companies decreased the number of staff on site or had to hire new personnel. This could upend solid recall procedures that were previously in place. Some experts believe technology mitigates this. “Like any staffing-related service, the aspect of staffing any warehouse or facility has become an issue,” says David Rossi, consultant at Proxima. “In the event of a recall, warehouses and 3PLs that have established

recall or blockchain systems in place will feel little-to-no-excessive pressure because of the pandemic beyond some minimal staffing constraints. However, if the warehouse and/or 3PL is reliant upon manual processes and system interfaces, they will feel velocity, staffing and response pressure that is amplified in a pandemic environment.” Additionally, demands, sourcing and routes all dramatically changed on a dime. “The pandemic has caused disruptions to all pieces of the food supply chain,” says Dombrowski. “Due to increased product demands, many manufacturers have had to change product sourcing routes and distribution flows that are used to get product to customers. Some warehousing stages might be skipped, including 3PL storage to reduce shipping times.

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8/27/2020 11:12:40 AM




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With changes in product sourcing, traceability becomes increasingly difficult, which has forced 3PL providers to become more diligent and has at times slowed the movement of product. A major impact of COVID-19 has been in the procedures of the operations of the facilities. Thorough reviews of product flow and personal physical touches are being reviewed and processes changed. Social distancing and

PPE procedures have been added to the normal work environment. Washouts of product movement areas and cleaning of trucks now occur to eliminate contamination from human interaction and potential contaminated food. Track, trace and recall procedures are being reviewed, and in many cases, rewritten to ensure that the process of a recall is not interrupted or impeded by the pandemic.” Despite the issues COVID-19 caused, exposed broken links in the supply chain supports a stronger future. “The pandemic has made companies more aware of the risks hidden within their supply chains,” says Gupta. “Companies are realizing that they lack visibility into the multiple tiers of their suppliers (i.e. the suppliers who provide goods and services to the company’s trusted suppliers). No matter how

trusted a particular supplier is, if the company lacks visibility into the supply chain of that 1st Tier supplier, they can become blindsided by disruption and recalls that they haven’t anticipated. The haphazard nature of how companies around the world are reopening (or how they reopen, only to be shut down again) has increased problems for companies that lack visibility into the multiple tiers of their supply chains. This undoubtedly complicates the job of 3PLs, which are forced to respond to changes and recalls brought on by supply-side pandemic related issues.” The future of the supply chain looks bright, as more technology enters the scene and 3PLs become more comfortable using it on top of the discovery of weak links. The more weak areas are exposed, the more they can be fixed for a stronger cold chain.

ONE PARTNER. MANY SOLUTIONS. Burris Logistics is an end-to-end supply chain solution provider comprised of four unique brands. Through customized distribution, warehousing, procurement, and freight brokerage, we adapt to your complex needs and overcome logistical challenges. Partner with us today.




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8/27/2020 11:12:43 AM

Daniel Sztutwojner chief customer officer & co-founder Beekeeper

It’s important to prepare for the future by taking an integrated, omnichannel approach to optimization.

Enterprise messaging enables real-time communication, giving employees and management time to react to the ever-changing conditions in the logistics industry.




n the wake of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, workforces across the supply chain have remained in a continuous state of change. Adapting to shortages and multiple iterations of government-mandated transport regulations, the food logistics ecosystem has faced unprecedented challenges in an already complex global supply chain. Logistics management has faced major setbacks such as disrupted supply chains, difficulty sourcing raw materials, higher border security and lack of available transport. These setbacks have made effective logistics communications across frontline workforces more imperative than ever, which has traditionally been a challenge among organizations due to employees working in remote locations and not tied to a desk and computer. Most companies simply aren’t utilizing mobile communications tools for workplace collaboration, and it comes at a direct cost to efficiency. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, nearly 86% of companies say frontline workers need better technology to support accurate, independent judgment calls. Rather than stalling decision making, equipping employees with the right mobile


FLOG0920_28-29_Warehousing.indd 28


communications tools can help resolve issues independently and stay in adherence with safety and procedural guidelines. By tackling the following issues head-on, food logistics companies can resolve any communication breakdowns in the supply chain.

Create realtime, transparent communication channels Communication delays can create critical issues throughout the entire supply chain, reducing worker productivity and hurting a company’s bottom line. When communication speed is of utmost importance, there is no room for

withholding information or keeping it out of frontline employees’ view. Additionally, a truly global business needs to have a single point of access for all supply chain information, so that workers can execute with efficiency. To meet demand, timely communication between suppliers, customers and the workers who make the entire system move is not optional—it’s a must. Lags in communication can cause a cascade of problems across a logistics company’s supply chain, lowering output and increasing costs. Instant messaging for business and mobile solutions can help keep operations in sync. Such enterprise messaging enables real-time

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8/27/2020 11:10:03 AM





communication, giving employees and management the time to react to the ever-changing conditions in the logistics industry.

Enable collaboration with network-based communication Today’s logistics companies are no longer focused on singular geographic markets. Instead, they are global organizations that work in interdependent, networked economies that require more collaboration and cooperation. This new paradigm requires an understanding of different markets, and all aspects of the supply chain must be securely connected and communicated. To facilitate the necessary team collaboration, it’s important to use the right tools for internal communications. Mobile solutions let workers communicate in real-time, connecting everyone from frontline employees to corporate offices.

lem can cause a ripple effect and completely disrupt shipments or overall workflow. Logistics communication involves complex coordination among different departments and workers within an organization, including both inbound and out-

bound shipping and receiving. With so many moving parts, a mobile solution allows teams to automate critical business processes and communications to simplify logistics management, keep workflows moving and stay on schedule.





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Ensure secure data transmission Logistics communication often deals with sensitive information. Moving data over a well-trafficked network can be high risk, especially with international communications that cross borders. Simply relying on traditional communications methods, like email servers or consumer messaging apps can place sensitive data and procedural information at risk. Selecting a secure communication technology service is imperative for protecting the company’s digital infrastructure. Organizations should pay close attention to data security and perform regular security audits to ensure secure data transmission.

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Eddie Hall business development director, food & beverage Vital Vio

A new approach to mitigating contamination is with visible light.


aintaining clean production lines is a critical challenge facing cold food and beverage manufacturers. Tight regulations ensure that production processes and environments meet stringent safety guidelines. Plus, with the challenges of the current pandemic, there is justifiable concern for the health and wellbeing of workers throughout the industry. When it comes to production, if products or equipment become contaminated, lines shut down, machinery is disassembled and everything needs a thorough cleaning. The impact to the bottom line can be considerable. Specialized contamination cleanup is very costly. Financial opportunity costs of a shutdown increases by the minute. Already processed goods must be discarded as a loss. The sum of these costs can be staggering. The larger or more complicated the contamination is, the longer it takes and the more costly the


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remediation. When contamination isn’t caught in time—and a product ships—a costly and time-consuming product recall becomes necessary. Product recalls are expensive and can have a material impact on a company’s standing with suppliers, distributors and consumers. Damage to a brand’s reputation can take years to overcome. Most U.S. consumers can probably name at least one brand associated with a food recall. Beyond costs, there is a real human toll. First, there is the proper health protections for workers. And, according to recent data from the CDC, approximately 48,000,000

people in the United States (about one in six) become sick from foodborne illnesses; 128,000 are hospitalized; and 3,000 die from these (largely preventable) illnesses each year. Other CDC data show that 31 major pathogens acquired in the United States are responsible for these illnesses. For instance, Nontyphoidal Salmonella was found to be the leading bacterial cause of illness (11%), and the top cause of hospitalizations (35%) and death (28%). Another common foodborne bacterium—Listeria monocytogenes—is estimated to be the third-leading bacterial cause of death (19%).


8/27/2020 11:08:28 AM

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Antimicrobial light—the 21st Century way to clean Until recently, choices to combat microbial contamination within food and beverage manufacturing environments were limited, toxic and inefficient. They included: · Aggressive and caustic chemicals for wiping and mopping. · Power washing and deep cleaning by specialized cleaning services. · Disassembling equipment, cleaning it and rebuilding it, typically using outside services. A new approach to mitigating contamination is with visible light. Simply put, specific (non-ultraviolet) light frequencies within the visible light spectrum are rated for continuous and unrestricted use around people. When turned on, they prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, yeast and mold on surfaces. Originally discovered in England in 1892 using filters and sunlight, this light has evolved to become flexible and highly efficient using the digital tuning capability of LED technology. The breadth of use cases is phenomenal, with none more compelling than food and environmental safety. In food and beverage manufacturing, these lights are configured precisely to target specific areas (throughout all zones) where microbes are present, likely to grow or likely to be transferred between zones. The key advantage of antimicrobial (nonUV) lighting is that a single LED diode emits this specialized light, enabling it to both illuminate large spaces such as manufacturing environments while constantly delivering antimicrobial dosing. This helps to provide continuous antimicrobial protection in hard-to-reach spaces,


FLOG0920_30-33_Warehousing.indd 31

such as within the processing line itself or underneath equipment. UV light has gained popularity in recent months with the rise of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but is inherently dangerous because it attacks DNA and destroys the cellular structure in all living things (including people). Antimicrobial LED light, however, meets the international standard for continuous and unrestricted use around humans. Given its approval for extended use, this provides countless advantages for this light to complement more traditional ways of cleaning. Studies also show

lights are in place, this creates a layered approach to cleaning, meaning, after surfaces are wiped, the area is still being cleaned.

Delivering a cleaner bottom line Here are seven ways antimicrobial light delivers a cleaner bottom line for cold food and beverage manufacturers. Less unexpected downtime. This technology reduces/eliminates the need to hire expensive, specialized cleanup crews, reducing overhead costs. Full-time staff can remain productive and focused on day-

Food and beverage manufacturers can benefit from an enhanced layered approach to cleaning by leveraging the continual cleaning power of antimicrobial light technology.

Vital Vio

that antimicrobial LED light has no effect on materials like gaskets, rubbers, plastic surfaces or the food itself, where UV is known to degrade such materials. This new class of antimicrobial lights cleans continuously, in contrast to the episodic sprayand-wipe approach. Once the

to-day work, rather than allotting significant time to cleaning. Reduce the amount of chemicals used for episodic cleaning. Chemical cleaners can be costly. An added layer of cleaning technology reduces the need for money spent on chemicals. Fewer chemicals are inherently healthier for staff and consumers, creating a cleaner overall environment. Reduce chemicals in wastewater. LED lighting is more sustainable and “green-friendly” than harsh chemicals, which are typically



8/27/2020 11:08:32 AM


packaged in single-use, non-recyclable plastics. Lighting technology lasts several years and rarely needs replacement. This decreases the potential risk for fines and helps contribute to the environment’s wellbeing. Reduce equipment and machinery exposure to harsh chemicals. Using chemicals can severely degrade and permanently ruin rubbers and plastics. Reduced chemical use decreases the need for part replacements and scheduled maintenance to counteract the corrosive impact of chemical cleaning. Less need to remove mold and biofilm. With continuous antimicrobial light, mold and biofilm will be less able to form, potentially eliminating removal costs altogether. Less product discarded. A continuously clean environment equates to improved yields by limiting product loss caused by inadequate cleaning methods.

Once the lights are in place, this creates a layered approach to cleaning, meaning, after surfaces are wiped, the area is still being cleaned.

Reduce or eliminate risk for potential recalls. Managing a product recall is expensive in direct costs associated with distribution. Eliminating recalls maintains brand integrity and reputation, all while keeping relationships solid with suppliers, distributors and consumers.

A new foundation to a layered antimicrobial defense system Food and beverage manufacturers can benefit from an enhanced layered approach to cleaning by leveraging the continual cleaning power of antimicrobial light technology. Once in place, these lights work continuously, creating an ideal foundational layer to keeping production environments relatively free from bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and other microbes. By apply-

ing these lights, episodic spraying and wiping can be reduced, and there are fewer toxic chemicals, all while having a cleaner environment over time, and of course, money saved. In a world where one bad headline can amount to millions of dollars in lost market capitalization, it’s worth taking a closer look at how this new type of continuous protection can further protect workers’ health, reduce the headaches of contamination and directly impact the bottom line. In 2019, the FDA issued approximately 350 recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts. Of that number, 111 were attributed to potential or confirmed microbial contamination, data that demonstrate that the incidence of bacterial growth is the leading cause of market disruption for the food and beverage industry. Regardless of the resolution of each occurrence—whether a fine, forced or voluntary recall, quiet self-directed market withdrawal or alert—a few things are certain—production in each instance was stopped; products had to be discarded; and specialized cleaning needed to be arranged as quickly as possible.

Vital Vio



FLOG0920_30-33_Warehousing.indd 32


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P Dosanna Wu product marketing manager TomTom

Here are Top 3 location tech features every urban delivery service should have.


re-Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, ordering groceries or dinner felt more like a luxury or a weekend treat for many consumers. Now, fast forward six months into a COVID-19-conscious world, and many households have adopted a delivery-first lifestyle to skip stores and restaurants in order to practice social distancing. Urban deliveries are not an easy task for on-demand and logistic services—they face hectic city streets, road closures and multi-unit homes. Without the right location services, weekly groceries can end up at a neighbor’s house or that ice cream ordered for dessert can melt in the car if the driver receives a bad route. While a bad delivery experience is tough on the customer, this challenge extends beyond end-users, as it can affect each person in the supply chain of on-demand and logistics services. The core of a good downtown delivery service starts with the right


FLOG0920_34-35_Transportation.indd 34

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location technology—from business to doorstep. End users, drivers and suppliers should be able to track their product from order to delivery to ensure overall success. To power a delivery service or logistics application that brings a product along the last mile and to the front door of customers, you’ll need three key basic location features—routing, geofencing and geocoding.

Routing, an urban delivery essential One of the most basic requirements an on-demand or logistics platform needs is routing. It’s a fundamental tool that enables an essential feature for companies and end users—estimated time of arrival (ETA). Accurate ETAs are imperative for all parts of the operation, especially in city centers, as they enable companies to schedule deliveries accordingly based on supply and driver availability. Additionally, it allows end-users to prepare for product arrival. There are numer-

ous factors that go into calculating a precise ETA, but the more detailed a route is, the more accurate the ETA will be. So, what are the route details needed to ensure a precise ETA? To calculate an accurate arrival, several factors need to be considered: time, vehicle details, road details and traffic data. Traffic is a large component of the routing puzzle, specifically predictive traffic, which applies minute-to-minute traffic condition updates. But, let’s not stop with just traffic, as there are more components to consider. Road and vehicle details are a requirement for an accurate arrival time as well. Routing uses gradience, curvature, road conditions, hills and historical speed data to calculate an ETA. Routing should also consider vehicle details, such as type, weight, cargo and height. These details are what stop truck drivers from going on weight-restricted roads and are the same details that help drivers navigate


8/27/2020 11:04:18 AM

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Having critical road data can be the difference between a good and bad delivery experience for a customer.

through road closures due to construction or bad weather. The last piece of the routing puzzle is speed profiles, which use millions of aggregated GPS measurements to help further predict roadway slowdowns and result in greater ETA accuracy. Speed profiles go beyond traffic information, and work with the large amount of data already layered to ensure that packages arrive to customers when expected. Routing is easy to take for granted, but having critical road data can be the difference between a good and bad delivery experience for a customer.

The power of geofencing One of the simplest and most effective location technologies for a delivery service is geofencing. A geofence is a virtual boundary, or fence, on a map that can be any size or shape. Traditionally, geofencing is popular in geomarketing. Companies create geofences near their locations, so that when customers enter the virtual fence, an action is triggered. Geofencing has been highly




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successful in marketing, but it’s also a powerful tracking tool that can be used in urban deliveries. Fleet managers can use geofences to track driving behavior by placing a fence around a route or a delivery hub. Then, they can live-track their drivers to ensure they stay on route, or alert a hub when they are a mile away. Notifications can also be set up to reduce any friction between each part of the supply chain— getting a “Driver is approaching!” notification enables all parties to plan and prepare effectively. There is also value in creating geofences for on-demand users. Alerts could be made when a driver leaves the store and when they arrive to their home—it’s a simple solution that creates peace of mind for customers.

Geocoding addresses and entry points Routing a driver to a location and submitting a notification of arrival through geofencing is one thing, but what about that last-mile problem of getting product to the right doorstep? Luckily, location technology not only gets the delivery to the front of a home, but also has the capability of navigating where it should be left if there are multiple entry points or entrances. The hardest part for a driver is navigating multi-unit buildings—think large apartment complexes, retail spaces, offices, basically any building with multiple entry points is where your drivers are close to calling it a day. This is also where most deliveries end up at the wrong doorstep or are left closer to the curb for pickup. Good address

points mean that all of the entry points of a building are mapped out, so that the delivery person knows where to go. In general, mapped entry points are beneficial to more than just deliveries—they help map out where emergency exits are, where visitors enter, where employees enter, and of course, where to receive parcels. Clear address points mean not only that your driver knows where to go, but also that they are provided with the most optimal route. If a building is sitting on a corner of a one-way street with multiple points of entry, it can affect how they navigate to the building in the first place. One of the easiest ways to navigate addresses and entry points is through geocoding, which can be used to transform addresses into latitude-longitude coordinates to create readable formats that plot routes for delivery. By geocoding entry points, it provides certainty that deliveries will arrive in the right location and at the right time.

Equipping logistics with location technology Being an on-demand or logistics service in an urban environment can have many pain points for every person in the supply chain who has to navigate the city. The easiest way to alleviate those frustrations is to make sure companies are using a location technology provider that enables routing, geofencing and geocoding. These three basic location features will change the entire delivery experience for the team to customers. You don’t need to be a location expert to understand that ETAs or tracking will create a smoother delivery process for all parties, but being knowledgeable will ensure you know what to ask for from your fleets service provider to optimize operations.

Routing, geofencing and geocoding are essential to powering a delivery service or logistics application that brings a product along the last mile and to the front door of customers.



8/27/2020 11:04:20 AM




A SMART COLD CHAIN The Internet of Things in the cold chain may intimidate some, but the benefits can mean high return on investment in the future.

Smart assets can be controlled by mobile devices.


s with all parts of the supply chain, the cold sector gets smarter as technology advances. Data, machine learning and artificial intelligence move the cold chain forward, but on the ground in the warehouse and logistics, smart assets physically move the product forward on a more advanced level. Today, pallets, conveyors and robotics all have sensors and technology embedded into the assets themselves, which helps those in the cold chain gain a firm grasp on the product’s status and more. But, the concept is more complicated than simply tracking a pallet. In the cold chain, it is more common to see a higher number of assets in the warehouse and the environmental factors that comes with keeping temperature-sensitive food safe

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FLOG0920_36-39_SoftwareTech.indd 36

complicate matters even more, among other elements. “High-efficiency cold chain operations lend themselves to be asset heavy when compared with traditional distribution and fulfillment,” says William Leet, senior product specialist for Honeywell Intelligrated. “Additional environmental design considerations, more equipment and system integration are required. To make matters more challenging, these complex systems need to be designed and crammed into a smaller footprint to limit energy wasted on climate-controlled dead space as well as bring down costs for installing long runs of conveyor. “As a result, these systems have more components in the critical path that upon failure, can cause considerable downtime to repair in a difficult-to-access space. The greater system efficiency and throughput certainly worth the risk and necessary to compete and meet

demand in cold chain markets. But, make no mistake, the risks of complex cold chain systems are higher,” adds Leet. “Take a motor failure on a third-floor sortation system; it takes two technicians, a spotter, fall protection, rigging and a scissor lift just to reach the motor. That scissor seems to always block a fork truck aisle and impede traffic necessary for other parts of the building. Depending on the downtime, you don’t just miss customer orders and the associated margin; you lose sellable product that spoil, adding [to] the cost of goods sold.” In addition to the constraints that the temperature factor presses upon smart assets, the intrinsic nature of connecting these devices for a seamless operation can also be daunting. “Putting the Internet of Things (IoT) to work and connected solutions to work in the supply chain requires the expertise to put the right data to work for practical, targeted insights—it’s not about just plastering facilities with sensors from dock to door,” says Dave Trice, vice president of business development for lifecycle performance services at MHS. “This requirement emphasizes the need for a strong maintenance partner, who has done their homework with asset modeling to establish thresholds for critical data points, which in turn drive actions based on data, such as service requirements. These targeted insights enable the most targeted, effective deployment of technicians to keep facilities moving as efficiently as possible.”


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FLOG0920_36-39_SoftwareTech.indd 37

from day-to-day operations to determine pain points in the system and come up with a better solution. “Smart assets also alleviate challenges with having a complex system,” Leet adds. “Gathering data from separate islands of different parts of the building or different machinery can provide insights into operational enhancements to better balance overall building performance to free up additional capacity or target costly error rates eroding your performance.” When it comes to the advancement of technology in the cold chain, another other area of concern is the lack of consistency between partners and levels throughout the chain. There are many different forms of technology that do not always interact with each other, making it difficult for third-party logistics providers and other partners in the transport chain to stay on top of the numerous different platforms that every different company uses. But, even that is changing, as IoT in the cold chain becomes more prevalent. Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) published IoT connectivity interface standards for shipping containers that can be implemented by vessel operators and owners as well as ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers and other third parties to ensure interoperability between smart container solutions at the radio interface level. [Check out Food Logistics’ August 2020 issue to learn more]. A set of standards can help unify the industry and allow for a more seamless use of technology and asset tracking. The DCSA has numerous other initiatives to help the acceleration of digital throughout the supply chain

and has many contemporaries doing the same. Today, the cold chain is smarter than ever, and that intelligence only increases as more and more standards are set and more partners adopt smart assets. The challenges that come with IoT-enabled equipment in cold warehouse have only lessened and will continue

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Initial investment into IoT in the warehouse and logistics space intimidates some. However, it is not all cost and pain. There are real and clear benefits when it comes to investment in a smart warehouse, the biggest one being a smaller bottom line in the end. This is especially true now, during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. “Traditional risk mitigation approaches like building extensive inventory or contingency planning are still costly and less and less effective as systems become more heavily utilized, which has been a common COVID-19 trend for many companies experiencing a sustained ‘peak’ throughput to meet new demand for home delivery or prepared meal delivery services,” Leet continues. “Turning to smart assets and IoT offers a new approach to risk mitigation. Using sensor information to track system health through vibration, temperature, sound and associated meta-data can enable condition-based monitoring or advanced pattern recognition (machine learning) to mitigate troubleshooting and often completely avoid catastrophic downtime events by intervening before serious system degradation. “Sensors can be deployed in hard-to-reach locations to monitor these complex assets continuously and remotely, enabling some workers whose jobs might require a constant physical presence for in-person inspections to afford some time to safely work from home until an anomaly is detected requiring an onsite intervention,” adds Leet.

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to lessen as more minds discover ways to alleviate them.

Warehouses modernize with technology growth.



8/28/20 8:40 AM





Glenn Jones global VP of product & marketing Blume Global

By incorporating supply chain visibility technology into the cold chain, leaders can drive greater efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs brought on by food waste. Supply chain technology gives cold industry leaders the ability to monitor conditions of perishable goods during transit.

he cold chain for food and beverage is having to adapt to significant changes in supply, limited capacity and high expectations from customers. Across the United States, several meat processing facilities have had to close down for a period due to outbreaks of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amongst employees, making supply difficult to predict. In addition, blank sailings have hit record levels. This means cold chain leaders can no longer depend on their cargo being exported on time or even being notified by ocean carriers that their cargo’s shipment was delayed. In addition, the cold chain is generally complex. In order to address these issues, industry leaders can begin by tackling a commonly problematic area within the cold chain—lack of visibility and challenges that arise by transportation from ports and ocean carriers. By incorporating supply chain visibility technology into the cold chain, leaders can drive greater efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs brought on by food waste.

Visibility within ports With a rise in blank sailings, it has been difficult to even transport perishables, as capacity is extremely limited and sailing schedules are inconsistent. In the world of perishables, this is significant.



FLOG0920_40_OceanPorts.indd 38

Traditionally, within ports, it has also been difficult to track when containers are ready for pickup, whether they have cleared customs and still ensure that temperatures stay within a specific range. Furthermore, even once perishables arrive at ports, congestion can lead to greater delays to pick up the containers.

Cold chain challenges for perishables shipped over the ocean Most perishables are transported by reefers, which tend to be the source of many challenges for the cold chain. Reefers need to connect to a power source on the ocean carrier and within ports in order to keep perishables cool. In utilizing reefers, it can be difficult to determine the quality of the cargo as it moves across the ocean and arrives at the port. For instance, while on route for 15-20 days or longer, the reefer can become unplugged due to turbulence or other unexpected issues. Depending upon how long the temperature stays out of tolerance, the cargo could spoil.

To address cold chain challenges within ports and ocean carriers, industry leaders can invest in technology that will give them greater visibility into their cold chain, enabling them to take action and make better business decisions.

The need for supply chain visibility in the cold chain Supply chain visibility has become a necessity in any organization that needs to transport cargo, especially for the cold chain. Visibility within ports is particularly valuable for the cold chain, as blank sailings and inconsistent schedules have made it hard to know whether cargo was shipped when expected. UnSplash By gaining visibility into the container’s status and availability, as well as the sailing schedules, cold chain industry leaders are enabled to improve planning and execution and leverage this data for coordinating pick-up and drop-off appointments and predicting ETAs for all shipment legs. In addition, by having visibility into whether the port is congested, leaders can automatically schedule container pick-up times, which are optimized for both the marine terminal and motor carrier, ensuring that perishables are picked up and delivered before they spoil. Moreover, supply chain technology can give cold industry leaders the ability to monitor the conditions that their goods are transported or stored in. This type of technology


8/27/2020 10:56:19 AM

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relies on Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor environmental factors and provide regular updates. Examples of this type of monitoring include: • Temperature monitoring for cold storage and transport of products like agricultural goods or certain pharmaceuticals. • Atmospheric monitoring to detect changes in atmospheric composition, humidity or other factors. • Other types of sensors for radiation, pollutants or other factors. Typically, these types of monitoring devices will be paired with software that provides alerts and alarms if thresholds are breached. Due to the important role of IoT sensors, leaders should seriously consider adapting them into their cold chain.

the years, they are still a significant financial investment. Additionally, to mount them on all containers is a large investment of time. Lastly, to maintain them also takes a lot of resources as they often break and run out of batteries. Without a good ROI, IoT sensors may not be worth the re-

sources and money. The cold chain industry is quickly changing and needs to adapt in order to continue to meet the demands of their customers. Incorporating supply chain visibility technology will play a crucial role in ensuring customers are satisfied and demand is met.

The value of IoT sensors in the cold chain Investing in IoT sensors is one of the most reliable ways to monitor the temperature within reefers. It is the only way to tell if the temperature of the container fell outside of tolerance and how long it did. The sooner a potential issue is detected, the sooner companies can take action. This gives executives options of attempting to solve the issue while in transportation, make revisions for another source or even to let customers know ahead of time to make alternate plans. In addition, with IoT sensors, users can send signals over satellite, which may prove useful for tracking important cargo. When considering how to set up sensor technology, it is also important to use a technology platform that interfaces with sensors, especially if working with multiple vendors to know which container is on which sensor and system. Though IoT sensors are an important technology, there are several reasons cold chain leaders are hesitant to deploy them. For starters, although the price point has decreased over


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VISIT FOOD LOGISTICS ONLINE FOR: • Digital editions of the magazine • Channels of content specific to technology, cold chains, 3PL/4PL, and risk/compliance and more • Upcoming educational webinars • Nomination information for the following industry awards: Food Logistics Champions, Top Green Providers, Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers, and FL 100+ • E-newsletter subscriptions • And more!

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8/28/20 10:08 AM


THE FUTURE OF FOOD SAFETY IN A POST-COVID-19 WORLD F Nikos Manouselis founder and CEO Agroknow

Many of today’s food safety professionals are seeking ways to understand, measure, monitor and prevent food safety risks during the context of a global pandemic.

ood manufacturers, distributors and retailers have always had to ensure the food products that drive their business are healthy and safe. The food safety management industry relies on visiting manufacturing plants to conduct safety checks, ensuring that producers, manufacturers and providers follow strict regulations and standards. These days, as a result of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the global lockdown, many food safety auditors are prohibited from doing so. The most important tool to assess risk to date has been on-site audits— something not fit for purpose to food safety and quality assurance experts in a COVID-19 world.

The evolving supply chain hazard landscape


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Technology is the key to food safety If food safety professionals are not able to assess risks on-site, how can they ensure the safety of food across the global supply chain? Those working in the field must take a digital-first approach, using emerging technologies available to gather information through remote risk assessment and abandoning on-site assessments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A robust remote risk assessment needs a combination

of data management, analytics technology and predictive models. Accurate data about the supply chain, predictive models of pathogens growth, toxins and chemicals contaminants, awareness of continuously evolving microbial, chemical, allergen and fraud risks matter to food companies and require detailed information to enable them to assess risk effectively.

Forewarned is forearmed— better intelligence on the risks Data collected on the hazards across the global supply chain can help


COVID-19 has changed the food safety landscape for everyone. The pandemic is having a tremendous effect on the companies that buy food and agricultural ingredients, materials and products to then cook, package or sell to consumers. Supply chains have been disrupted with production cycles and transportation logistics facing delays or breakdowns. There have also been shortages in supplies, with availability or production reduced. And, some production, packaging, sales or service facilities have been locked down due to outbreaks, with localized lockdowns in the future bringing in additional complications as the mandatory checks will only be available in some areas and not others. That’s why many food safety professionals are seeking ways to understand, measure, monitor and

prevent food safety risks during the context of a global pandemic, leaving the food logistics industry facing unprecedented challenges. With numerous hazards already present, it’s important for food companies, manufacturers and suppliers to keep up to date with intelligence surrounding food safety, and monitor the hazards such as food recalls, border rejections and fraud cases, without putting themselves at risk of COVID-19.



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those working in the food and retail safety industry to carry out these tasks online. There are a number of digital tools that help companies manage product recalls for food and other products in the supply chain. In addition, it’s essential that data is not just collected, but also enriched into food safety intelligence to improve the decision-making processes of food safety professionals, so they can act on important food safety decisions with confidence. By using a comprehensive data platform, it is possible to generate historical insights and identify

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emerging trends related to specific food sectors or look at hazards for specific raw materials. Deep-dive analysis allows food safety professionals to keep an eye on the potential hazards, and well-organized and structured records with sophisticated taxonomies make it possible to extract tailor-made insights. Having access to data allows for predictive models and risk management tools that help enhance the safety and quality of food. This results in greater visibility across the global food supply chain, which makes for a better process and safer food.

The “New Normal” It will take a while for food production and supply chain logistics to return to normal—if that’s even possible. But, the technology that enables a radical digital transformation of the food supply chain is here to stay. There should be a global effort to ensure the resilience of food systems—through this pandemic and beyond. The digital era of smarter food safety and a radical shift in

the navigation of food supply chain combine to create a new landscape. The best way to respond to the challenges brought about by a global pandemic is to collaborate and share what we know across the food system, connecting, mobilizing and empowering all food supply data stewards. Data and information comes from a number of different sources, including official organizations, publications and announcements. It is about collecting, translating, combining and enriching this information to identify trends, patterns and risks. This is a time-consuming and error-prone task if done manually. Case in point: technology saves time and decreases the chance of mistakes. In addition to this, the integration of the Internet of Things across the global supply chain enhances the automation of data capture, enabling modern businesses to thrive in an uncertain environment while staying ahead of the potential risks and hazards. Everyone should have access to clean, healthy and nutritious food produced in a sustainable and ethical way. In the context of a global pandemic, the combination of data and food safety remote technologies have never been more relevant to address global food supply chain challenges. Emerging technologies across the supply chain make it possible for food safety professionals to collect, analyze, orchestrate and interpret large amounts of data to help companies manage the associated risks and build resilient food systems that work for everyone.


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October 14

Warehouse Automation Warehouse automation continues to transform the supply chain and logistics industry. From forecasting and inventory refill to visibility and end-to-end traceability, todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warehouse solutions are designed to improve the way companies track and trace product. But, how else do these solutions optimize the warehouse? Discover how warehouse automation helps boost companies to the next level.



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December 2

The Future of Food Supply Chains / Executive Outlook Automation, robotics and Internet of Things remain hot topics going into 2021. But, how do things like a global pandemic transform the way these trends are implemented? What are companies doing differently to mitigate risks and better protect their people, product and planet? This industry outlook details what the future supply chain looks like, and how cutting-edge technologies help companies better prepare for whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to come.



To become an expert panel sponsor, contact:

Jason DeSarle, Group Publisher | 440-476-9526 | jdesarle@acbusinessmedia.com


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One of the largest temperature-controlled fleets in North America, with year-round capacity.

Ship your temperature-sensitive cargo by CN intermodal and get up-to-the-minute temperature monitoring, door-to-door service, specialized equipment, a dedicated team and extensive reach into the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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8/27/2020 10:54:02 AM

Profile for Supply+Demand Chain/Food Logistics

Food Logistics September 2020  

Food Logistics September 2020