It gets difficult to keep track of the ever-mounting list of vulnerabilities COVID-19 has uncovered, but near the top of the list in manufacturing is supply chain woes. A new logistics solution from Schreiber Foods is designed to address some of those problems.
In February, the Green Bay-based private label dairy products maker debuted Schreiber Logistics, a subsidiary of the company that provides redistribution solutions to other food manufacturers and aims to relieve some of the pains of managing the end-to-end supply chain.
“What you see now is that very rigid supply chains no longer work. You have to have solutions that are responding to customer demand changes and products and regions, and you have to have organizations and supply chains that can adapt at a much faster rate and offer a lot more flexibility in the supply chain,” says Jeremy Koskey, director of Schreiber Logistics.
The solution consolidates deliveries through other food manufacturers adding their products to Schreiber’s trucks. It offers another alternative within the food supply chain and is ideal for dry refrigerated items that need to get from a manufacturing location to a store shelf or restaurant, Koskey says.
The pandemic has brought many changes for food manufacturers. Volume has moved away from foodservice and restaurants and toward retailers. Warehouse and refrigerated spaces have become more of a commodity, and organizations may get penalties and fines for failing to meet service levels and targets. Schreiber’s scale helps neutralize that because its volume is stable and predictable and it has longstanding relationships with carriers and transportation providers.
“Transportation, in general, is just very volatile, whether that’s the (number of) trucks on the road, the available drivers, the costs associated with that,” Koskey says.
Schreiber moves more than 2 billion pounds of refrigerated product to U.S. retailers, foodservice businesses and contract manufacturing customers each year. Schreiber Logistics, which serves the entire U.S. supply chain, allows other companies to take advantage of the scalable systems and processes Schreiber has built.
Koskey says Schreiber Logistics is a good fit for regional manufacturers that need national distribution and provides a tool for smaller or growing organizations that might not have the same talent or resources to devote to logistical solutions as larger firms. In addition, it could help manufacturers that are only in one segment of the food industry and are looking to break into others.
“The traditional supply chain model has trucks … taking products from one location to another. You have warehouse providers that store product. Because we’re a manufacturer and have privately held goods going to several restaurants around the country and retail using our supply chain, we can leverage it in all different ways,” he says.
Unlike many other solutions, Schreiber Logistics offers manufacturing, warehousing and transportation capabilities through one service as well as providing access to customers including grocery and club stores and foodservice providers. Because Schreiber’s goods are on each load, the company also has a vested interest in ensuring other manufacturers’ goods reach their destination on time.
With Schreiber’s scale, the odds are good that the company is already shipping to a manufacturer’s customers, and Schreiber Logistics means manufacturers can work with just one entity rather than multiple warehouses or carriers.
The benefits for companies that work with Schreiber Logistics include improved service through product reaching its destination more quickly, lower transportation costs, fewer penalties and the ability to reach new markets.
Koskey says interest has been strong among manufacturers and Schreiber Logistics will continue to expand its capabilities and efficiencies.
“At the end of the day, we’re trying to reduce costs, get product to make sure it’s on the shelf or at the restaurant on time for fresher product and at a lower cost, and hopefully allow those manufacturers to grow their business and also help those foodservice providers and those retailers to have more efficiencies on their inbound products,” he says.