Archive For The “In-Transit Issues” Category
With Rich Macleod’s pending departure from TransFresh Corporation June 30th, he leaves a legacy of being one of the most important individuals making immense contributions to in-transit perishable hauling since refrigerated truck transportation was invented following WWII.
It was 40 years ago that Rich joined TransFresh based in Salinas, CA, a company barely 10 years old focusing on perishables transportation.
Having known Rich much of this time and before that having covered a number of presentations by one of his mentors Dr. Bob Kasmire, Rich has always had a “soft spot” for produce trucking and the drivers of the big rigs delivering fresh fruits and vegetables.
“One thing that is critically important to anyone working in this trade is to respect every single level of those people that are feeding the retail chains and the consumers,” Rich says. “A lot of respect for the drivers comes from hanging out on these docks taking pulp temperatures, or atmosphere readings, or doing these studies on what’s going inside these trucks from a temperature standpoint.”
During this time Rich often spent a lot of time talking with truckers.
“They are a good group of professionals for the most part,” Rich says.
He also believes over the years produce shippers have started showing more respect for the men and women hauling those perishables. He also sees fewer incidents of lumpers at unloading docks “messing” with drivers.
Likewise, he is observing more receivers following the Costco model. In other words, if the truck arrives on time, it will be unloaded on time. By no means does he see a perfect world in this regard as there are still claims and “monkey wrenches” thrown into situations.
“But for the most part there has been a gradual improvement in the attitudes towards the drivers,” Rich states. “I don’t know how you run a business without making sure the transportation piece is being well taken care of.”
Rich adds one doesn’t get to where they are in a career without a number of mentors. A very important influence was Dr. Kasmire. He worked very closely with Dr. Kasmire as a research assistant at the University of California, Davis on transit issues. When Rich left for a career at TransFresh the two continued to working on projects together.
“A number of things in his publications are actually ideas that he and I generated together,” Rich recalls. “That’s why I have a soft spot for transportation. It is clearly generated by what Bob Kasmire taught me and what we’ve done together over the years. It’s really some of his passion coming through in my career.”
Rich still sees opportunities for progress that can be made with equipment and with drivers for the safety of our food. At the same time, it can’t be done by cutting corners.
“The reality is the drivers know when people are cutting corners. They know when they stuff (over load) a trailer there is a risk. They know when the buyer puts things on the truck that’s a risk. These guys know and they keep their mouths shut because that’s where they are on the job. They could actually be efficiency experts,” Rich says.
Meanwhile, nearly 30 years after Rich created the Fresh Produce Mixer & Loading Guide, he still receives probably 100 requests a year for it. The ground breaking in-transit research on berries at TransFresh will continue.
Rich seems very comfortable with the fact Michael Parachini, whose been with TransFresh 27 years, will continue his work. He describes Michael as his “right hand arm” for the past 20-plus years, working with the shipper base, Techrol process and equipment that plays a key in longer shelf life for fruit. He also names Reilly P. Rhodes, who has been with company over 20 years, saying he will have expanded roles that include marketing. Rich says Reilly has been instrumental in developing storage solutions for blueberries.
While retiring as the director of the TransFresh Pallet Division, Rich isn’t one to be complacent in a rocking chair. He will devote more time to helping the family with his aging parents, being more a part of the family grape and wine business, Macleod Family Vineyard in Sonoma County, CA, plus playing music in a local band. Rich also hasn’t ruled out sharing his vast knowledge through consulting.
By Cargo Data
The Food and Drug Administration has released final rules for “Sanitary Transportation” of food products that will be used for human and animal food.
This paper highlights passages from the FSMA text which shippers, carriers, and receivers will need to study as they formulate their SOPs, specifically with regard to in-transit temperature monitoring procedures when transporting perishable food products covered by the Sanitary Transportation subsections. The focus here is on the movement between the shipping point of the finished product to the distribution center or point of sale.
Primary responsibility for determining appropriate transportation operations now rests with the shipper, who may rely on contractual agreements to assign some of these responsibilities to other parties. Shippers must develop and implement written procedures to ensure that equipment and vehicles are in appropriate sanitary condition. Shippers of food transported in bulk must develop and implement written procedures to ensure that a previous cargo does not make food unsafe.
And shippers of food that require temperature control for safety must also develop and implement written procedures to ensure that food is transported under adequate temperature control. If a covered person or company at any point in the transportation chain becomes aware of a possible failure of temperature control or any other condition that may render a food unsafe, that food must not be sold or distributed until a determination of safety is made.
The shipper and carrier can agree to a temperature monitoring mechanism for foods that require temperature control for safety.
The original proposal specified that a compartment must be equipped with a thermometer, temperature measuring device, or temperature recording device. The agency agreed with commenters that there are a number of effective ways for ensuring temperature control that parties subject to this rule should be able to use. The agency also agreed with commenters that carriers need to demonstrate they maintained requested temperature conditions only upon request, rather than as a requirement for every shipment, as previously proposed.
1. The Shipper (or shipper’s representative) now assumes formal responsibility to ensure the conveyance (trailer, truck, container, etc.) meets the suitability requirements for the Sanitary Transportation of food products as defined by the Act.
2. These guidelines also expressly promote necessary cooperation between the Shipper, Carrier, and Receiver (customer) to ensure and confirm effective temperature control throughout the loading, transportation, and receiving/acceptance of subject perishable food products.
3. Expensive “real-time” temperature monitoring technology is NOT required.
4. Electronic temperature monitoring and/or recording devices are acceptable.
5. Carrier must provide, upon request, proof that requested temperature conditions were maintained during transit.
Cargo Data Corporation recommends shippers, carriers, and receivers each study the FSMA text to determine their responsibilities as mandated by the Act. Clearly, accurate temperature records, ease of use, cost effectiveness, transparency, and easy data archiving features will be important aspects of any in-transit temperature monitoring program.
Cargo Data’s Lightning NFC temperature monitoring system is designed specifically to be a Turn-Key system to meet the needs of most shippers, carriers, and Receivers to achieve FSMA compliance for in-transit temperature monitoring.
Visit the website (LightningNFC.com) to view a brief video presentation highlighting Lightning NFC operations, features, and benefits.
For the Shipper:
Lightning NFC instruments are easy to activate and place. Shipping clerk simply notes (or scans) the instrument serial number for inclusion in shipping documents, order passing, and BOL. Cargo Data also recommends the shipping clerk write the shipment’s PO number and other shipping details on the instrument label as a backup in the event the instrument becomes separated from its intended shipment.
For the Carrier:
No action is required by carrier beyond confirmation that Lightning NFC instrument has been placed in the shipment and the instrument’s serial number is listed on shipment BOL/Manifest.
For the Receiver:
Lightning NFC temperature monitoring instruments are provided in a high-visibility moisture resistant pouch which simplifies locating the instrument within the shipment. Lightning NFC is also available with a free optional locating beeper which sounds intermittently to provide location assistance (not recommended for export shipments).
Lightning NFC instruments use NFC wireless technology to transfer all temperature data to a smart phone or tablet. The Receiver/Inspector can instantly view the temperature data, make arrival quality notes, document internal (pulp) temperature, and even add photographs of the shipment to the temperature record. All temperature data, notes, and photos are automatically sent to Cargo Data’s UpLink cloud server for permanent archiving.
UpLink Online Temperature Data Review:
Shippers, Carriers, and Receivers can view the shipment’s temperature data online as soon as the Receiver transfers data from the instrument to the smartphone or tablet. Simply navigate to LightningNFC.com or cargodatacorp.com and enter the instrument serial number into the UpLink data retrieval field on the homepage. A free and fully detailed temperature report is available for viewing, printing, and/or downloading.
Cargo Data Corporation’s Lightning NFC temperature monitoring program is a simple turn-key program which brings easy FSMA in-transit temperature monitoring compliance for shippers, carriers, and receivers. Contact Cargo Data Corporation at 800-338-8134 or email@example.com for more information.
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.)