The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

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Penske Truck Leasing is adding its first electric truck from REE Automotive Ltd., an automotive technology company and provider of full by-wire electric trucks and platforms. Penske intends to employ the software-driven P7-C EV to interested customers.

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Penske Transportation Solutions and ForeFront Power have formed a new joint venture named Penske Energy LLC. The new venture aims to help commercial fleet operators plan, design, and deploy optimized EV charging infrastructure capabilities that support and safeguard their operations.

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Penske Transportation Solutions is taking part in this year’s Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Las Vegas. Billed as the largest advanced commercial vehicle technology show, the conference will be held from May 20-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where another year of record attendance is expected.

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A record number of travelers are expected to drive to Memorial Day holiday destinations to celebrate the unofficial start to summer.

Joining them will be thousands of do-it-yourself movers heading to new hometowns and professional truck drivers, working hard to keep the supply chain moving.

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Powering America’s Commercial Transportation (PACT)
, a coalition focused on education and advocacy for accelerating the construction of nationwide infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty (M/HD*) zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), today announced the addition of Penske Truck Leasing as a Charter Member.

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With the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season just a month away, now is the time to get ready for potential storms, as preparation is key to keeping you and your property safe.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 5-11, provides an opportunity to review your safety plans and make any changes long before a storm arrives.

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Revolutionizing Fleet Management with Real-Time Fleet Comparisons

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Road construction and maintenance projects are the keys to maintaining healthy roadways. Yet, these work zones can provide challenges to drivers.

New speed limits, traffic patterns and rights of way, as well as worker and vehicle movement, can all impact work zone safety.

National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 15-19, shines a spotlight on ways drivers can keep themselves as well as work zone workers safe.

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For millions of drivers – including many Penske DIY movers and professional truck drivers, anticipation is building for Monday’s first visible total solar eclipse in the U.S. in seven years.

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Temperatures are not the only things expected to rise this spring and summer. Soon, more do-it-yourself movers will begin to share the road with professional truck drivers.

The added vehicles on the roadway are among the distractions all drivers face and challenge their ability to remain safe when behind the wheel.

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Sue Maier, vice president of sales systems and analytics for Penske Truck Leasing, has been named to the Women in Trucking Association’s (WIT) 2024 list of Top Women to Watch in Transportation. This prestigious list recognizes top performers who go the extra mile to advance gender diversity in transportation.

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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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With its blush pink exterior, the Blush Spray Tan Studio casts a signature silhouette as it travels across West Virginia, providing more than just spray tan services to customers.

The repurposed high-roof cargo van, purchased from Penske Used Trucks in 2021, fulfilled the entrepreneurial dreams of Amber Steele, the van’s new owner, who was motivated in part by the pandemic.

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A new year can bring several unknowns, especially in transportation and logistics, which are navigating increased volatility and operational pressures. To help those within the industry prepare for the year ahead, we sat down with several industry experts to get their thoughts on capacity, operations, sustainability and how to prepare for 2024.

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As a grocer, food purveyor or foodservice provider, you know that if you don't deliver the freshest food in the safest manner and shortest time possible – with built-in cost efficiencies to boot – you're going to have some pretty unhappy customers. And customer expectations are increasing all the time.

There's a call for longer product shelf life, a consumer demand for the freshest offerings and a growing desire to know exactly where food came from. There's also a need, driven by multiple sources – including the Food Safety Modernization Act – to provide transparency and monitoring of every product from the moment it's harvested until it reaches the consumer's plate.

These are some tall orders, and the pressure is only increasing. But there is good news, and it comes in the form of a refined combination of human expertise and advanced cold chain technologies.

How Do You Ensure Fresh Foods Arrive as Planned?

It's all about process, procedure and reliability. Leveraging the right level of technology is key to creating efficiencies.

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Unexpected spikes in food and beverage demand can cause far-reaching supply chain disruptions that affect everything from production lines to grocery store shelves, but challenges can also bring opportunities. Visibility and agility can help you respond to changing market conditions and flex up to meet evolving customer needs.

Adding Transportation Capacity

When transportation demand spikes, there are several ways you can ramp up your trucking capacity depending on the expected duration of the increase. Rental trucks and reefers can provide immediate supplemental equipment for a short-term or seasonal peak. They can also be a useful resource if you want to test a market before making a longer-term commitment.

Leases are another option if you're looking to add to your private fleet. You may even purchase used vehicles. We offer a comparative value analysis, which compares the cost of leasing with that of buying so fleet operators can make the best financial decision for the business.

You may also choose to partner with a third-party logistics provider, such as Penske Transportation Services, to expand your reach and capabilities. In addition to having our own dedicated fleet of trucks and drivers, we have an extensive freight brokerage operation with an expansive network of preferred DOT-authorized for-hire carriers to provide additional nationwide trucking coverage. Even if you're unsure of how much capacity you’re going to need in specific markets, a partnership with us allows you to react when opportunities arise.

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Today's busy customers demand fresher, more appealing offerings from their grocers and convenience stores. To meet these needs, shippers must guarantee that deliveries will be on time, with built-in flexibility to respond when volumes spike.

To improve operations, shippers can utilize a mix of technology, equipment and expertise to leverage the supply chain, which works to reduce spoilage, offer a wider range of items than they may have had in the past and provide the freshest food products possible, and as a result, focus on their core competencies and better compete within the marketplace.

Maximize Your Food Supply Chain

1. Develop a Separate Cold Supply Chain

Freshness drives the food business. To accelerate that freshness, some companies create separate supply chains for the different segments and profit centers within a store. Here's how this separation works:

  • Pull highly perishable items out of traditional distribution channels and put them in more rapid-replenishment distribution channels, often called fresh or cold chains
  • Use smaller, more agile trucks to make more frequent, speedy deliveries
  • Give the grocer the fuel efficiency benefits of smaller trucks for the rapid-refill items
  • Build smaller warehouses, closer together for quick, easy access
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