Archive For The “In-Transit Issues” Category
Tampa, Florida – IFCO, the leading global provider of reusable packaging solutions, has announced the company’s new, innovative Wood Grain Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) have entered the produce supply chain and the first of an anticipated 30 million Wood Grain Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) have been shipped to fresh produce growers as partial fulfillment of an agreement reached between IFCO and Walmart. Kings River Packaging of Sanger, California, was the first Walmart supplier to receive IFCO Wood Grain RPCs.
“We were delighted to be the first Walmart supplier to receive Wood Grain RPCs,” said David Hines, President of Kings River. “These RPCs represent everything we’ve come to know and appreciate about IFCO RPC quality. The IFCO Wood Grain RPC features of additional vertical ribbing and enhanced latching are first-rate, and detailed wood grain texture really looks great. We think the retail customer will love it once in store.”
Last October, IFCO and Walmart announced IFCO will supply the world’s largest retailer with newly designed Wood Grain RPCs for its wet and dry produce, initially including apples, potatoes, onions and citrus items.
“Walmart customers deserve the very best shopping experience,” said Dorn Wenninger, Vice President of Produce for Walmart U.S. “That means the best possible quality at the lowest possible price. Wood Grain RPCs are one of many changes we’re making to improve our overall fresh produce customer experience.”
IFCO has invested millions of dollars in the development of its Wood Grain RPCs. They have undergone extensive, months-long real world and laboratory testing to verify their functionality and product protection capabilities. They were designed to Walmart specifications and incorporated feedback received from the grower community. IFCO’s Wood Grain RPCs are the product of decades of manufacturing expertise and superior industrial design, brought to market in record time.
“IFCO has designed an innovative and unique fresh produce packaging solution that benefits growers, retailers and ultimately consumers,” said Daniel Walsh, President of IFCO North America. “Wood Grain RPCs have all the benefits of traditional RPCs with aesthetic appeal that helps them transition seamlessly from transportation and storage to in-store display.”
IFCO’s RPCs are more efficient, protect and cool product better and are more environmentally sustainable than one-way packaging.
IFCO has a strong commitment to supporting local economies, local companies and local workers in the marketplaces where it does business whenever possible. In the United States, IFCO’s Wood Grain RPCs are 100% sourced and manufactured in America and meet the Federal Trade Commission’s standard for its “Made in the USA” country of origin label. In addition, IFCO Wood Grain RPCs are cleaned and sanitized at one of six US service centers throughout their life cycle.
After 40 years of dedicated service, continuous innovation and unparalleled customer service, Rich Macleod, director of the TransFresh Corporation North America Pallet Division, will retire effective June 30, 2016, it was announced today by Ken Diveley, president and CEO, TransFresh.
Macleod will be succeeded by long-time TransFresh veteran Michael Parachini and will remain available to Parachini, the Tectrol Service Network and TransFresh customers for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition.
“For many years, Rich has been the guiding force behind the success of the TransFresh Pallet Division and a wide range of pioneering services and operational innovations that have enhanced the efficiency and efficacy of the Tectrol Modified Atmosphere Packaging System, offering growers and shippers a system for increased marketability of their fresh berry products and retailers a potential for greater returns on their investment,” Diveley said. “Although we will miss Rich and wish him a rewarding retirement, I am confident that the experienced TransFresh Tectrol Service Network, under Michael’s leadership, will carry on Rich’s legacy of exceptional technical know-how and commitment to customer service without missing a beat,” Diveley said.
Macleod earned his Master of Science degree in Postharvest Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis, and worked as a research assistant in the UC Davis vegetable crops division. In 1976, he joined TransFresh Corporation as a lab assistant and rapidly became involved in evaluating the commercial relevance of Tectrol Technologies across a wide range of commodities, ultimately helping to develop a range of new applications utilizing controlled and modified atmosphere packaging.
During his 40-year tenure, Macleod secured several key patents, led critical internal R&D initiatives, spearheaded proprietary research and partnered with prominent universities, federal agencies and produce trade organizations to study and quantify the economic efficacy of Tectrol Modified Atmospheres and cold chain control leading to improved retail shelf quality. Throughout the years, MacLeod has consistently maintained that any technology developed by TransFresh or the trade must have a measurable economic impact on the retail front end.
Macleod served in increasingly senior positions at TransFresh until he was ultimately appointed as head of the Pallet Division in 1990. Most recently, Macleod championed his team’s successful development of the new TransFresh Tectrol Storage Solutions for Blueberries. The Storage Solution marries the Tectrol Technology with a unique zipper-sealed pallet closure system and a precision application of Apio’s patented BreatheWay® Technology to balance package permeability, resulting in stable atmospheres that are maintained over longer periods of time.
“I am grateful to have had a truly rewarding career in an industry that I love,” said Macleod, “and I am confident I am leaving behind a strong team that, with Michael at the helm, will continue to service our customers and the fresh produce industry with sound technical capabilities and dedicated effort. I look forward to seeing their many achievements in the months and years to come.”
Parachini, who will shortly celebrate his 27th anniversary with TransFresh, brings to his new position an illustrious history with the company. From operational and technical services management to R&D initiatives and from critical process improvements in support of customer needs to advanced equipment design and implementation, he has been deeply involved in the delivery and expansion of TransFresh and Tectrol Technologies throughout North America. A third-generation Californian, Parachini received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Management from California Polytechnic State University.
TransFresh is a pioneering and established global entity with 50 years of experience in perishables transport – recently recognized as a milestone achievement by America’s fresh produce hub, the City of Salinas, California. Tectrol® is the trademarked brand name for the TransFresh family of proprietary modified and controlled atmosphere systems and processes developed and owned by TransFresh. The Tectrol Service Network™ services, markets and supports the Tectrol® pallet and storage systems operations and technologies. Since inception, TransFresh’s innovations in packaging, equipment and sealing processes have established Tectrol® as the industry standard.
Digi International has introduced a wireless temperature monitoring system for perishable foods.
The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company’s trademarked Digi Honeycomb is marketed as an easily deployed, reliable and cost-effective service that continuously monitors product temperature and alerts users if the proper temperature is not maintained.
Transportation companies, restaurants, retailers, convenience stores, and warehouses can use the system to prevent spoilage and loss, lower labor costs and comply with public health requirements and food safety regulations, according to a news release.
A subscription-based service, Digi Honeycomb is comprised of handheld probes, wireless sensors, gateways and software that allows temperature data to be monitored, logged and retrieved and be easily integrated into back-office systems, according to the release.
The product encompasses a businesses’ front and back-of-house environments and allows organizations to address major challenges including food safety, chain-of-custody verification, loss prevention, proof of compliance and labor costs, according to the release.
With the Bluetooth-enabled system, automatic alerts can be set for all types of temperatures, including refrigerated, ambient, hot-holding and frozen.
Sensors can be installed in a variety of office equipment including walk-in refrigerators and freezers, under-counter coolers, showcase units and sandwich lines.
The Honeycomb gateway collects and uploads temperature data for processing, eliminating the need for staff to manually record or enter temperatures into a computer at a later time.
Increased loading opportunities for imported produce at Philadelphia are becoming available with a new SeaLand refrigerated sea trade route now operational between the east coast of Mexico and Philadelphia.
Produce haulers should benefit as more fresh produce companies in the Northeast become direct distributors of fresh Mexican fruits and vegetables. The new trade route has been in the works for the past two years spearheaded by Ship Philly First and related Philadelphia trade groups. The first avocados and limes arrived on a SeaLand ship February 4th from Mexico. Ramped up operators are now occurring.
When SeaLand formally announced the service on December. 17th, it indicated the SeaLand Atlantico refrigerated containership route would debark on Tuesdays from the Port of Veracruz. It will then take two days to arrive in Port Altamira, a Mexican port to the north of Veracruz. The ship will leave on Thursdays — the same day as arrival — and then arrive at Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal on the following Wednesday.
The six-day transit time from Mexico to Philadelphia means trucks will be delivering Mexican produce up to 40 percent of the U.S. population within a day’s drive.
SeaLand has indicated that 100 containers shipped aboard SeaLand Atlantico would save 31,487 gallons of fuel versus what trucks would burn on the same delivery. 600 containers will save 188,821 gallons of fuel.
Mangos are a very important commodity for this service. Truck transportation will continue to be the primary way Mexican produce is hauled with product grown within a certain distance of Nogales, San Diego or South Texas. However, Mexican growers to the south and east can gain a great deal by looking toward the ocean link. Still, trucks will be required, once the boats arrive at port, and boats certainly can’t handle nearly all of the Mexican volume, not matter where it originates.
While TransFresh Corp. devotes plenty of resources to preparing fresh berries for in-transit travel to destinations far and wide, it also has specialists at the docks to evaluate product when it is ready to come off the truck.
“We continue to be involved with tracking the product and how it is doing upon arrival,” states Rich Macleod of TransFresh Corp., known for its Tectrol® Service Network that provides covering for palletized product infused with CO2 (carbon dioxide), extending the quality of life for perishable items such as berries.
With of the projects of TransFresh is partnering with the Scotland based company, Insignia Technologies that manufactures temperature sensitive labels that go on cartons.
“What’s really intriguing about their technology is rather than it being a temperature switch, i.e., if a particular carton senses a temperature of 50 degrees F. or higher at anytime, it will change color,” Macleod observes.
For example if a carton of berries is unloaded off the truck at destination, and it is showing a little warmer temperature verses other cartons, it can be put another truck for faster store delivery before other product with cooler temperatures. The same theory applies even at the retail store level. If a produce manager sees a color change with a carton, he knows it should be put in a display case to be sold before other products.
“This can help maintain quality and reduce shrink with product, and the customer ‘experience'”, Macleod says. “So we have been doing a lot of work in this area to improve the technology. Lots of people are wanting to try it, but it is still in its infancy. It usually requires me, or one of my associates to be there for the testing. We’re probably another year away from announcing something on this.”
This research is unique, Macleod notes, because the visual color change with the carton reveals any “abuse” of the product, anywhere along the shipping point to destination.
“In the transportation (in-transit) portion, we’re going to give them (drivers) a lot of leeway. The color changes won’t be changing until the product hits the retail store,” Macleod says. “So this is a product we are working on and it is coming. I see a huge upside to that, because there are concerns about food safety and temperature. This may allow us to identify that random carton,” he concludes. — Bill Martin
(This is last of a III-Part series based on an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp, Salinas, CA. He has been with the company 40 years and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)
Berries have always posed one of the higher risks for produce truckers because of in-transit perishability. However, because of research and technology the chances of a retailer being pleased with quality upon arrival at the dock are much better. That can mean fewer problems for the driver at destination.
TransFresh Corp. of Salinas, CA has been at the forefront for decades in studying ways to extend the shelf life of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, among other items.
Some of the technology research at TransFresh is resulting from the way strawberries are now being marketed, Rich Macleod of the company relates. Just take a look in the produce department at your local supermarket and chances are you’ll see more two-pound and four-pound strawberries in clamshell packaging being promoted, with less emphasis on one pounders.
At the same time, raspberries, which are among the most perishable of berries, has been receiving extra attention.
“We still need to learn how to correctly ship raspberries. At TransFresh we’ve had to make adjustments a couple of times for shipping raspberries,” Macleod releates. Much of that learning process relates to the Tectrol program where palletized fruit is sealed in a bag with CO2 (carbon dioxide) that slows product deterioration and extends the life of the product.
“Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries all use the same common denominator,” Macleod observes. “But what happens is we customize the pallet bag we put on each product. So at the time the strawberry pallet or raspberry pallet moves across our conveyors (at the packing house), the people (working there) approve a bag (for shipping).”
Much of that approval is based on the color of the palletized bag, which determines on which load the product will be shipped.
For example, raspberries may be in a green bag, strawberries in a red bag, etc. Additionally, all the bags are numbered.
Macleod adds, “There is some sophistication even among the colors of the bags. The two pounders (clamshell packs) have a different color from the four pounders and one pounders. We are always training the operators of the machines for the pallets, which bags to select.” — Bill Martin
(This is Part II in a III-Part series based on an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp, Salinas, CA. He has been with the company 40 years and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)
Among the most perishable produce items refrigerated haulers transport are berries. But a produce trucker’s risk of a claims or rejected load at destination is certainly reduced thanks to TransFresh Crop., the widely recognized leader of in-transit, pallet modified atmosphere service.
The Salinas, CA based company, now approaching its 50th year of operation, offers fully automated pallet service systems which tailor the specific atmosphere mixture for each pallet unit. Benefactors of TransFresh’s Tectrol® Service Network range from shippers, to truckers, receivers, and ultimately the consumer. It is a process whereby pallets of berries are sealed with bags and infused with CO2 (carbon dioxide), a process that extends shelf life of the fruit.
Rich Macleod of TransFresh says the Tectrol process continues to dominate the market share in the produce industry, but says there will always be competition.
“If you want the modified atmosphere or the CO2 blanket for your berries at retail, it has got to be sealed and it has got to be at the right (CO2) level,” he states.
TransFresh has a group of technicians conducting inspections at retail operations upon delivery of some loads.
“We are pretty unique in this area. The driver shouldn’t be too surprised to see a technician standing at the back of his trailer taking readings of the atmosphere,” Macleod says.
Feedback from produce truckers is appreciated by the technicians and those drivers appreciate what is being done, once the process is explained to them, he notes.
Still, there are challenges. For example, there may be turnover at retail and a new produce buyer may be looking to cut costs, or a new strawberry salesman may be wanting to increase profit margins. However, Macleod says if part of that decision involves not using the controlled atmosphere bags on the pallet, that retailer is not going to get the pay back he expects.
If you haul California strawberries, perhaps you have noticed some consolidations with some companies and down sizing of operations by others. Strawberry growers have been faced with increasing production costs and there has been a trend to focus more on growing raspberries, blueberries, etc.
At the same time, Macleod believes a few of the larger berry shippers who have successful marketing programs, appear to be doing quite well. — Bill Martin
(This is Part I in a III-Part series based on an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp, Salinas, CA. He has been with the company 40 years and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)
The 2016 California strawberry market, evidenced by decreased acreage, an early fast pace and predicted volume resilience, bodes well for growers, shippers and retailers – especially those who protect their investment by choosing Tectrol during berry in-transit, according to Rich Macleod, director, TransFresh Corporation.
The California Strawberry Commission Acreage Survey for 2016 reports that total acreage is down due to increased pressures from production costs and regulators but that despite the downward shift, volume is predicted to be resilient and consumer demand strong.
“Now more than ever, growers, shippers and retailers must protect the quality of their berry products so that every pallet, tray and clamshell achieves the greatest return on investment possible,” said Macleod. The Tectrol Modified Atmosphere Packaging System is scientifically proven to significantly decrease decay during transit and on-shelf, delivering a strong level of protection beyond industry low temperature management to help ensure the quality and marketability of fresh berry products.
Macleod pointed to a peer-reviewed joint research study from the University of Florida and University of California / Davis that compared cross-country shipments of California strawberries. Researchers found that strawberries transported using the sealed Tectrol pallet cover system in which CO2 levels were consistently held demonstrated a significant reduction in decay and better quality on arrival and on-shelf compared to other methods.
“The advantage of decreased incidents of decay and decay severity has a direct correlation to revenue potential,” said Macleod. “The financial implications are stunning
when you consider the hundreds of thousands of strawberry pallets shipped during the season.” The TransFresh website, www.TransFresh.com, includes a calculator function that allows visitors to view the financial benefits they could realize when using Tectrol.
Throughout the postharvest shipping process, TransFresh also provides full-service technical and quality assurance support and productivity management through the Tectrol Service Network.
TransFresh is a pioneering and established global entity with nearly 50 years of experience in perishables transport. Tectrol® is the trademarked brand name for the TransFresh® family of proprietary modified and controlled atmosphere systems and processes developed and owned by TransFresh. The Tectrol Service Network™ services, markets and supports the Tectrol pallet and storage systems operations and technologies. Since inception, TransFresh’s innovations in packaging, equipment and sealing processes have established Tectrol as the industry standard. For more information, please visit www.transfresh.com.
About the University of Florida and University of California/Davis Research Study
The study, Comparison of Pallet Cover Systems to Maintain Strawberry Fruit Quality during Transport, published in Hort Technology, August 2012, evaluated the efficacy of multiple different proprietary plastic pallet cover systems to maintain strawberry fruit quality during commercial shipment. The TransFresh Tectrol Modified Atmosphere system was one of those assessed. Non-covered pallets served as the control for the study. During the comparison, the different covers were placed over palletized California-harvested strawberries packed in vented plastic clamshells and cooled according to industry standards.
CO2 was injected into the sealed Tectrol pallet bag system according to TransFresh specifications. Pallet cover systems other than Tectrol remained open at the base and without the injection of pressurized CO2 prior to shipment. Six separate shipments of palletized fruit were transported to distribution centers in either Florida or Georgia, with transit times ranging from slightly over two to almost five days. After arrival, berry clamshell samples from each treatment were retrieved and evaluated for arrival quality. Samples were then held for an added two days at 68º F. to mimic post arrival distribution, after which, quality attributes were again assessed. Researchers concluded that “transporting fruit in the sealed Tectrol pallet cover system, in which CO2 concentrations were elevated at 11 to 16 percent, was most effective as it also significantly reduced decay development during subsequent simulated retail display.