The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

case study

Fresh Foods Distributor

This current customer – one of the largest produce distributors and fresh-cut processors serving the Southwest region – relies on its equipment to get products where they need to be, when they need to be there. For the company's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), reliability is key. "We're dealing with a perishable commodity," he says. "I need my trucks to run 99.9% of the time."

He turned to Penske Truck Leasing to help him manage his fleet. "I look at Penske as a solution," he said. "The reliability and the consistency; that is the biggest value that I see."

At first, he was reluctant to lease, but quickly realized it allowed him to focus on the core aspects of the business. "I want my team focused on buying the right product and having the right inventory and not on maintaining trucks," he said. "Internal operations is our focus, and that is the value of having the lease take care of the transportation-related headaches. I'm not a trucking company, I'm a wholesale produce distributor. You want the crucial thinking in your business to be focused on what makes the company money."

Utilizing leases has helped the company reduce a number of risks and given the company's CFO increased flexibility.

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Frozen Food Distributor

For Cold Front Distribution, a direct-store delivery supplier of frozen products, temperature is crucial. And it isn't always easy to find rental units that can maintain temperatures of 20 below zero. So when Kevin Hocum, chief financial officer for the Denver-based company, needed multiple high-quality reefers on short notice, he reached out to Penske Truck Leasing for help.

"They jumped on it," Hocum says. "Within two days they had units and delivered them to our site in West Texas. That was our first experience with Penske."

Those units performed well. "Historically the rental units we get don't keep ice cream at a cold enough temperature," Hocum says. "The Penske units are much better maintained, better quality reefers. They have always been very clean and ready to go. From a safety standpoint, that is a big deal."

Based on that experience, Hocum and his team chose to rely on Penske for future leases. "Penske had no skin in the game," Hocum says. "But they came in and said they wanted to earn our business, and they did."

Cold Front Distribution currently uses a mix of full-service leases and finance leases, but Hocum says he will only use full-service leases going forward. "We don't have the bandwidth to have a group of people only managing the trucking. Time is money," Hocum says. "We've decided the only way to go is full service."

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Large Poultry Supplier

Poultry producers, navigate a complex array of supply and delivery challenges to ensure their food arrives fresh, wholesome, and on-time. When transporting poultry products, drivers must adhere strictly to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Drivers must be highly trained in food safety and compliance with expertise in material handling and storage. Further, the proper refrigerated trailer or refrigerated truck temperature must be maintained and monitored throughout the trip.

Given the need for highly trained drivers, well-maintained refrigerated trucks and trailers, and continuous trailer temperature monitoring, some producers are shifting transportation of their products from an in-house model to an outsourced transportation model run by a third-party logistics provider like Penske Logistics to what is called dedicated contract carriage (DCC).

Penske Logistics works with a leading poultry producer and handles transportation to and from up to seven processing plants, as well as a wide number of plants who perform the cutting and trim processing. The supplier has a 24/7 operation to ensure their customers receive the freshest poultry products possible. The poultry producer needed a partner that was dependable, versatile, and able to handle time-sensitive deliveries, as well as adhere to food safety, quality and FSMA requirements.

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This global quick-service restaurant (QSR) is intently focused on how customers experience their retail stores and their products, which must be consistent and engaging each and every time. They seek logistics partners who share their high-performance standards—a 3PL who is flexible and willing to take a journey with them. Penske Logistics provides delivery of fresh goods, baked goods, dairy, frozen, and merchandise to restaurants throughout North America.

Since the relationship began, senior leadership from the QSR and Penske focused on aligning supply chain departments to uncover opportunities. Penske Logistics started with in-store delivery services in a single market. It has expanded to include transportation elements and the operation of cold chain storage and ambient distribution centers.

Supply Chain and Logistics Tools

With more than 500,000 deliveries a year for this QSR, having the right software and technology in place is critical for success.

According to Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions, Penske Logistics, a proprietary system helps design the most efficient routes with a route algorithm. Dedicated staff constantly redesign this QSR's routes for absolute optimization.

"We also invested in an entirely new fleet—new trailers with multi-temp units—and we rebuilt every single one of our distribution centers with larger coolers and freezers to support this restaurant's expansion.

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