Posts Tagged “Keeping It Fresh”
By Ben Batton, ALC Des Moines
After a scorching hot summer ravaged much of the country, let’s think about something cool, sweet, and juicy. Watermelon, that iconic summer fruit, holds a special place in our hearts as the ultimate thirst-quencher and sweet treat. In this edition of Keeping It Fresh, we’ll take you on a refreshing journey through the world of watermelons, exploring fascinating facts, their growth areas, consumption, and the logistics that bring these luscious, lycopene-laden fruits to our backyards and tables.
Watermelons have a long history dating back to ancient Egypt, where they were not only consumed, but used as containers for water storage. There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelon, ranging in size, shape, and color. The most common types include the classic red seedless and yellow-fleshed varieties. Watermelons are aptly named, as they are composed of over 90% water. This makes them an excellent hydrating snack, especially during the hot summer months. Plus, they are rich in vitamins A and C, and antioxidants!
ALC Des Moines office has worked with Capital City Fruit since 1969, managing hundreds of watermelon loads every year. Keith Brooks, Capital City’s watermelon buyer, has been in the melon business since 1991 and has built strong relationships with growers nationwide. He works to guarantee the availability of fruit for his customers and sources watermelon all year long, especially during the peak season of April through August. Keith is active with the National Watermelon Association (NWA) and has been on the board for eight years. Allen Lund Company has been a member of the NWA for nearly 15 years.
“Back in the day, we used to load bulk watermelons on the floor of the trailers on top of straw or shredded newspaper,” Keith remembers. “But today, watermelons are shipped in bins triple-stacked on reefers or dry vans with produce vents.” All the growers he buys from are good partners who follow food safety requirements and communicate well. “However, some of the characters out there are lower than a snake belly in a wagon wheel rut, so you have to pick your partners wisely,” reminds Keith.
All fresh produce is heavily affected by weather, but watermelons present an added challenge because they are not typically cooled before shipping. Most produce is harvested and transported to a cooling shed where it is brought down to temp before being shipped across the country. Many growers use converted school buses to haul melons from the field to the packing shed, where they are sized and placed in bins. This means there can be a lot of “field heat,” so it’s common for drivers who transport watermelon to open the front and rear vents when first loaded in order to circulate air through the trailer during the first couple hours.
As we savor the sweet, juicy taste of watermelon on hot summer days, it’s worth appreciating the global effort and logistics that go into bringing this delectable fruit to our tables. From the fields where they are grown to the logistics networks that transport them, watermelons truly represent the essence of summer. So, the next time you bite into a slice of watermelon, remember the journey it took to reach your plate. Cheers to the summertime staple that keeps us cool and refreshed!
|Ben Batten is General Manager, ALC Des Moines.|
|Ben graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Transportation and Logistics from Iowa State University and joined DMTB in January 2004. Over the next decade, he worked as a broker, account manager, and sales executive before being promoted to VP of Sales and Operations in 2015. In 2017, he became a partner in the business, and the Allen Lund Company acquired DMTB in February 2020, where he served as the assistant general manager of the ALC Des Moines office before being promoted to general manager in 2022.|
By Makenna Christensen, ALC Logistics
Today, there are no container ships waiting offshore of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a far cry from the 109-vessel queue in January of last year, but this doesn’t mean we have solved the problems that led to the backup. It’s easy to blame the pandemic for these problems, but the reality of the situation is these ports were bottlenecks long before COVID-19. The explosion of demand during the pandemic simply exposed these weaknesses. Now, with cargo volumes down, we have an opportunity to review our game tape, identify our weaknesses and areas of improvement, and find innovative new ways to fix our broken system.
In April, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) voted unanimously to adopt the Advanced Clean Fleets rule. This legislation works hand in hand with the state’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule to “end the sales of traditional combustion trucks by 2036, creating a path to 100% zero emission medium and heavy-duty trucks on the roads in California by 2045.” This legislation also bars non-zero emission “legacy” drayage trucks from registering into the CARB online system after December 31st of this year. So much for learning from our mistakes…
Rather than collaborating with the private sector to bring about meaningful change, California is intent on forcing trucking companies to comply with unreasonable demands. Not only does the state lack the 157,000 chargers required to charge the estimated 180,000 medium and heavy-duty ZEVs expected to be in use by 2030, but it also lacks the energy required to support those chargers. The Wall Street Journal’s Jennifer Hiller explains, “As fleets add trucks they may need to draw an additional 6 to 8 megawatts of power or more”. Supporting this level of output would require infrastructure improvements that could take years. In the meantime, some electric fleets have turned to diesel generators to charge their trucks, while others are ordering legacy rigs that will be delivered before the January 1st cut-off.
One of the industry’s greatest weaknesses during the pandemic was a lack of flexibility. The ports were weighed down by labor disputes and overregulation slowed down the nation’s supply chain exponentially. I understand the value of reduced carbon emissions, but we need a chance to fix the current supply chain before we rebuild it.
Rather than leaning so heavily on electric trucks, California needs to focus on alternative green solutions, like hydrogen fuel, that do not rely on California’s already strained electric grid. While California’s regulations do recognize hydrogen fuel cell options, it widely follows the ‘electrify everything’ mentality. Further, California energy officials need to partner with the private sector to find innovative ways of cutting down our emissions while fixing the broken system that contributed to our nation’s supply chain crisis. If not, we have a recipe for disaster.
Makenna Christensen graduated from Marquette University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Human Resources. She started working at the Allen Lund Company in July 2022, as a Software Sales Coordinator for ALC Logistics, the software division of ALC.
By Nora Trueblood
Before diving into this very tenuous subject of immigration, I wanted to share some history to bring us to 2023.
The United States has always been considered the great melting pot, welcoming immigrants from all over the world. From the late 1800s until 1965, immigration was just a matter of something we always had, accepted, and were proud of. We welcomed those from all points in Europe and Russia and then more and more from Asia and Latin America. The early immigrants were attracted by jobs in building and manufacturing industries, and as time went on the needs in agriculture became more obvious for immigrant workers.
The U.S. had allowed immigrants at a large pace, admitting an average of 250,000 immigrants a year in the 1950s, and 330,000 in the 1960s.
Beginning in the early 1960s, immigration became more and more of a talking point, and the idea of establishing a policy to monitor and control entry to the U.S. was on the minds of both sides of the aisle – both in Congress and with the Senate. Quotas that had been established based on census information since the 1920s were out of date, and those quotas were challenged as to their fairness. John F. Kennedy took up immigration reform prior to his assassination.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965
Considered the first legislation of its kind passed after Kennedy’s death, with support and passage by Congress and in the Senate. However, the water-downed version of the legislation was thought to have very little real consequence in immigration reform. In the three decades since its passage, it is estimated that over 18 million legal immigrants entered the U.S., with the highest number from Mexico. The roots of this legislation remain in effect.
The Refugee Act of 1980
This legislation’s focus was on raising the annual admittance of refugees to the U.S. from 17,400 to 50,000. It also created a better process to review and adjust to the huge influx of refugees from war-torn countries where individuals needed to show a “well-founded fear of persecution” if they stayed in their home country. It also provided assistance to immigrants to achieve financial self-sufficiency. This legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate and was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. Parts of this legislation remain in effect.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
The intention was to create a better way of enforcing immigration and the first amnesty programs, creating more chances for legal immigration. It also made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants. This was passed and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. The effect was specific to a new visa process to allow immigrants to work temporarily in mostly agricultural settings, with some non-agricultural visas extended as well. This Act remains in effect.
The 1990 Immigration Act
This legislation amended the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, by raising the total level of immigration. Reportedly 20 million immigrants were permitted over the two decades since its passage to enter the U.S. Additionally, entrants could stay in the U.S. until situations in their home countries improved. A new area addressed in this Act was that employers could contract with foreign laborers to come to the U.S. and pay for their passage in exchange for the worker’s wages (up to one year). What resonates with me specifically about this legislation is the fact that it was introduced by (D) Ted Kennedy and signed into law by (R) President George Herbert Bush. It seems like the last time a bipartisan piece of immigration reform was passed.
There was additional reform passed in 1996, and then after 9/11, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 took over much of the immigration enforcement.
President Biden is trying to push through more immigration reform, however the Republicans currently control the House and the Democrats the Senate. And the divides in this country have never seemed so wide.
Our agricultural businesses need seasonal workers as do other non-agricultural businesses like the hospitality/hotel industry. They rely on immigrants (legal and other) to keep their businesses afloat. I have read and heard the statement “no one wants these low-paying hard-working jobs.” I always thought it would be interesting to require high school students in an agricultural region/state to work in the fields for one week. While I have not done so myself, I understand working in the fields, just as working as a housekeeper at a hotel, is very hard work. So, we Americans won’t fill these jobs? That is another topic altogether to think about.
How do we get our Congress and Senate to work together to bring about humane and fair immigration reform? Where those in the U.S. who are here illegally, but are working and paying taxes have a road to citizenship. Where the Dreamers that are here because their parents wanted a better life for them, may stay and become legal citizens. And the flip side, how do we remove the immigrants that are criminals, prevent entry to those with records of violence and gang affiliations, those that are moving fentanyl through our schools and communities, and those who do not work and expect our government to take care of them?
I do not have answers to all of these questions, but I do know that the transportation and produce industries employ a lot of very smart people. We need to speak up, get involved and be the conduits of change. Let’s have more conversations.
By Jake Diana, ALC San Francisco
When it comes to the rapid advancement of AI and automated technology, there are few topics more controversial than autonomous vehicles. Many states are not only utilizing, but actively encouraging the implementation of autonomous trucking technologies. From Elon Musk’s Tesla line featuring autopilot mode to the seemingly endless supply of Waymo driverless vehicles throughout major California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, it seems that autonomous transportation is becoming less and less avoidable in today’s society.
For some folks, it is evidence of the state’s willingness to change with the times and adapt in ways that allow for a more streamlined future. For others, autonomous vehicles represent a threat to the economy, potentially taking the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working industry veterans by eliminating the need for truck drivers.
On May 31, 2023, the California State Assembly voted to ban driverless trucks from operating within state lines, mandating the presence of a safety driver within these vehicles. Should this bill (AB 316) pass in the California State Senate, California would fall further behind in terms of implementing autonomous technology into the trucking logistics industry. Jeff Farrah, executive director of the AVIA (Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association), stated directly after that “AB 316 undermines California’s law enforcement and safety officials as they seek to regulate and conduct oversight over life-saving autonomous trucks” in reference to the often utilized argument that the use of self-driving vehicles actually increases road safety and causes a regression in transportation-related deaths. Industry veterans strongly refute this argument, believing that their experience and human characteristics allow for better results.
Fernando Reyes, Teamster Local 350 member, advocated for trucks needing drivers, stating: “…the thought of it barreling down the highway with no driver is a terrifying thought and it isn’t safe…”. He goes on to elaborate further into the safety risks posed by a lack of drivers, saying, “…I know to look out for people texting while driving, potholes in the middle of the road and folks on the side of the highway…”. Clearly, this is a divisive issue featuring some strong points on both sides, yet how does it affect freight brokerage companies?
The answer is that a potential monopoly on trucking due to utilizing autonomous trucks could be just as devastating for brokerages as the carriers themselves. Automated transportation would have a cascading effect on the industry as a whole, as the need for drivers would be eliminated. If there were no drivers involved, there would be no dispatchers. Therefore, shippers would likely come to the conclusion that they would be better served purchasing automated trucks and their accompanying tracking/logistical management systems. Most, if not all, brokerages would be forced to end operation given that much of the moment-to-moment load management would become obsolete as driver error would be eliminated. Rate negotiations would cease, as shippers would own their own fleets in entirety and therefore have no reason to seek outside guidance or management.
However, the need for truck drivers for produce and perishable products is an entirely different conversation. Most of these loads are multi-pick, where a human is needed, so they will probably not see driverless vehicles in the future. As of now, it seems that fully autonomous freight transportation is still decades away from being viable – seemingly in step with the gradual implementation of autonomous technology across all sectors of the world.
Jake Diana graduated in 2020 from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Social Sciences. Diana joined the ALC San Francisco office in August 2022 as a broker’s assistant, before being promoted to carrier sales representative, and most recently to carrier sales manager. He is a high-energy individual with a passion for competition, teamwork, and tech.
By Bill Bess, ALC
It’s no secret that organized crime, scammers, and thieves are actively working to upset the legitimate flow of freight across the US and Canada. This type of crime has been going on for years, but in the last 12 months thieves have intensified their efforts. Cargo security is a major concern no matter what your role is in the food supply chain. We are all in this together and together we can tighten up our security and make a huge difference.
Allen Lund Company has taken a pro-active approach to identify and eliminate potential security breaches. We have made changes to our on-boarding process, which is closely monitored by our Carrier Resources department. Education and training for brokers has given them the tools to evaluate the potential risk that a carrier might exhibit and react accordingly. Our Accounting department scans thousands of bills of lading and invoices monthly, looking for any inconsistencies. In addition to the internal measures ALC has taken, we share information and best practices with the Transportation Intermediaries Association, CargoNet, Carrier411, and other transportation companies. These policy changes, information sharing, and additional training will continue to make a difference.
What can a shipper or a warehouse do to help prevent your product from being compromised?
- Prior to loading, have your broker give your shipping department the driver’s name, company name, and trailer number. If the information doesn’t match call the broker.
- Whenever possible use a temp recorder that has a tracking device built in. These devices have the ability to monitor temps and location.
- Don’t rely on the pick-up number to verify the carrier.
- Verify the driver’s name with their license. Insist that the bills are signed legibly by the driver and include their company name. If necessary, have the driver print their name and company name.
- Driver should arrive with a pre-cooled trailer. Driver should acknowledge that they understand the desired temp and that it is in continuous mode.
- Most importantly, use a transportation service provider that has the experience and protocols in place that are necessary to protect your product.
We are all in this together with the same basic goal…to deliver the safest and freshest product to our customers.
Bill Bess, Director of Carrier Development, was previously the manager of ALC Orlando, FL, and has been with the Allen Lund Company for 39 years. With over 45 years of experience transporting perishable products, Bess’s expertise includes perishable supply chain protocols, claims resolution, and developing carrier-specific programs for the company.
By Charlie Fabricant, ALC Nashville
In the last few years transportation professionals have been increasingly asked what technologies they are using to reduce freight-related carbon emissions. According to recent polling, 65% of U.S. consumers “worry about climate-change” when purchasing goods, and 71% of workers say that they want to work for a sustainable company. These factors have caused many shippers to look for more sustainable transportation solutions. However, battery-based energy storage is not yet advanced enough for us to solely rely on renewable energy or electric vehicles for our energy and transportation needs. This technological gap has left a market space open for a temporary energy solution in the form of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) biofuels.
Biofuels have been championed by sustainability, agricultural, and national security leaders as a way to decrease carbon emissions, strengthen demand for feedstock crops, such as corn and soybeans, and reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels. In addition to the listed benefits over traditional diesel, biofuels can be used in diesel engines without costly capital investments. Unfortunately, early biofuels (FAMEs) like ethanol were found to be corrosive to engines and have conflicting economic and environmental effects. Given these limiting factors, biofuels appeared to have a minimal impact until the emergence of second generation biofuels, or HVOs. HVOs are created using a different process than FAMEs, which produces a more sustainable and stable fuel. HVO biofuel is chemically identical to traditional diesel with the added benefits of reducing emissions by 40-60% and having greater resistance to freezing temperatures. In addition, although HVO fuel is currently 10-20% more expensive than diesel, government incentives exist to make it cost competitive while production is scaled to meet the growing demand. Given that gen I biofuels are now cost competitive with diesel, it will only be a matter of years before HVO prices decrease to similar levels. Finally, and arguably most importantly, biofuels give the United States a greater level of energy independence from the Middle East and Russia since they are mostly produced domestically
Although HVOs seem to be a “silver bullet” for transitioning the USA’s transportation sector to a cleaner future, there is a big catch. Not all HVO fuels are created equally! As with almost any emerging market, academic research and government regulations have not kept pace with technological changes. This delay in knowledge, further exacerbated by budget cuts for important investigators like the EPA, has led to acquisitive corporations pushing dangerous chemicals through regulatory processes under the guise of being “cleaner” than diesel. HVO biofuel is a very promising new technology, but there are certain manufacturers to be wary of. When navigating a new market with such variations in fuel quality and production practices, it is crucial to have a trusted transportation partner like the Allen Lund Company with 47 years of experience building resilient supply chains while supporting our local communities. ALC is currently in conversation with one of the US’ largest energy companies to bring legitimately clean HVO fuel to interested shippers and carriers. Please reach out with any questions. We are excited and ready to start meeting your green shipping needs!
Charlie Fabricant graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2021 with a double major in Economics and Human & Organizational Development with a minor in Environmental Sustainability. He joined the Nashville office as an undergraduate intern in 2021 and has become a Transportation Broker along with the company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Coordinator.
By Patrick Prior, ALC Los Angeles
The unpredictable weather patterns in California this year have profoundly impacted many industries, particularly the produce industry. Prior to January 2023, 80% of California was listed as having severe drought conditions or worse. Now, the Salinas Valley, known as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” has experienced devastating floods and crop damage, resulting in shortages, increased market prices, and substantial financial losses for growers. The flooding has impacted the readiness of spring produce such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries. Some areas of the Salinas Valley have received 600% above historical rainfall amounts. Additionally, the rainfall has raised many concerns about California’s ability to properly store water. A significant amount of the rainwater gets washed into the ocean. To better enhance water storage capacity, California is investing in projects such as constructing underground reservoirs and replenishing aquifers. Many feel an underground storage system will be a much more effective way to capture water as opposed to existing reservoirs. California will also be looking to promote more effective water conservation policies. A resilient water storage system will provide a huge relief to California growers, not only to protect from flood damage but to have more water resources available during heavy drought periods.
The Salinas Valley holds roughly 450,000 plantable vegetable acres and supplies 80% of the country’s vegetable production from April to July. The total crop and infrastructure damage is estimated to exceed $500 million, per the Produce News. Many planted crops have been lost, and the fields need time to dry out before farmers can replant. This has added significant complexity to operations, and growers still have customer requirements to meet. Many growers have responded quickly to combat these challenges. Some have increased production in other growing regions, including Yuma, Florida, and Mexico. California growers have continued to collaborate and show adaptability to ever-changing conditions.
In the end, many expected that the supply chain would recover, and market prices would drop to normal and we are already seeing progress. While the floods and crop damage in the Salinas Valley have caused a noticeable ripple in the supply chain, the California produce community will adapt and adopt innovative technologies and water management strategies to continue to handle drastic weather issues in the future. This is not the first or the last disruption that California farmers have faced. Whether it’s a drought or a flood, California growers will continue to bounce back and move forward.
Patrick Prior graduated with a BA from the University of Portland. After graduation, he commissioned as an active duty officer in the US Army. After serving as a Transportation Officer for 4 years, he joined the Allen Lund Company in the Fall of 2019 and currently works in the LA Sales office as a Transportation Broker.
By Michael Tanaka, ALC Phoenix
There has been a long foretold narrative that a driver shortage, along with other concerning factors, are leading toward a long term deficit in the truck-to-load market balance. Today it may seem that there is no longer a looming crisis. Due to supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, conflict in Ukraine, fuel rates, inflation, and fluctuations in consumer spending habits, volumes have seen significant decreases overall. For customers and brokers alike, this has led to temporary alleviation, but when the market inevitably stabilizes, we may see that these trends are still problematic. The core issues remain with the driver market: average age, more available/flexible/safer employment options, unpredictable market, legal risks, etc. Experts are predicting that the driver shortage will grow to 160,000 drivers by 2030. There has also been a decline in the ability to keep up with semi-truck production and an increase in carriers leaving the market. While there was a slight ease in 2022, due to raises in driver pay that are not sustainable in this market, we still face an uphill battle and a vacancy of 78,000+ drivers.
One significant way the industry is trying to help close the gap is by adopting and implementing self-driving trucks. While there have been autonomous trucks tested and implemented on the road to some success, we have a long way to go before significant adoption. The majority of self-driving trucks making deliveries are running short, simple, light runs with smaller trailers. Currently, only 24 states allow autonomous semi-trucks (most states do allow testing if a backup driver is present). Interstate usage has yet to be approved by the federal government.
Due to the remaining legal, technological, and financial (cost of production not yet scalable) issues combined with the costs and challenges of replacing and upgrading the fleet, it is hard to see a significant percentage of adoption within the next few years. In 2021, 91.5% trucking companies were made up of six trucks or less. Expecting the hundreds of thousands of small carriers and owner-operators to replace and upgrade their fleets is a big ask. In 2021, there were 4.6 million semi-trucks in the U.S. The nature of the industry, legally and culturally, means major changes are typically implemented and standardized slowly. Lobbyists and unions often curtail progress further. Additionally, there are currently issues in the production of semi-trucks. Even in this extended soft market, a multi-year parts and worker shortage has limited the ability to keep up with orders.
It may be safe to assume that supply chain and consumer patterns will begin to stabilize before the adoption of autonomous trucks are significant. Carriers have had to work with lower rates and higher costs for years, causing an increase in bankruptcies and closures. As volumes increase and the supply and demand paradigm flips, expect to see the remaining carrier market use all of their leverage to offset their losses. While the development of self-driving trucks is progressing, it’s not going to save the day in the near term. Therefore, we must rely on our own preparation to weather the coming storm.
Michael Tanaka graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 with a BA in Business Communications. Upon graduation, he began working in the transportation industry. He started off as a Business Analyst in the private emergency services sector but eventually pivoted to the OTR freight industry. He has spent time on both the asset and brokerage sides of the industry gathering experience through his roles in Operations, Carrier Sales, and Account Management. He began working for the Allen Lund Company in September of 2021 as a Transportation Broker and is now an Account Development Manager.
By Sarah Stone, ALC Atlanta
Q&A Interview with Kyle Reinhard, Transportation Manager. The Peach Truck
While preparing for the upcoming season, I reached out to Kyle Reinhard, Transportation Manager at The Peach Truck, for his perspective on the market and their unique business model.
They operate over 60 booths across Nashville, TN, and run a 25-state tour of pop-up markets, plus a mail order delivery service to get you the tastiest peaches you’ll ever have drip down your chin. The peaches are picked in the morning, processed and packed in the early afternoon, and on a truck by early evening. For the past five years, we’ve managed the truckloads from the farm to a designated cross dock location. The pallets are immediately transferred to a branded ‘show truck’ and sent to the pop-up sales locations. We asked Kyle to dig into The Peach Truck’s promise of delivering fresh-picked peaches direct to the consumer.
What are the biggest challenges to this system?
The unknown – from forecasting sales projections to the natural unpredictability that is fresh produce harvest. Building out what our season will look like with so many unknown variables presents a wide range of potential scenarios, and that can certainly be challenging. Our biggest hurdle will potentially be something that is totally out of our control – supply.
When looking for a logistics partner, what are your top three requirements?
1. Price – Cheap doesn’t necessarily equate to good. And, on the contrary, neither does expensive. Ideally, finding that happy medium is where you want to be when identifying quality transportation partners.
2. Performance – How a carrier provider consistently performs is a good indicator of the overall health of their operation. How they react to and resolve these inevitable incidents, then work to prepare themselves to avoid any such incidents moving forward, really shows me how dedicated they are to their performance.
3. Communication – Consistent and reliable communication is key. When it’s really running well, it can be a beautiful thing to witness and partake in – all parties working towards a common, mutually beneficial goal.
ALC’s team is proud to be a dedicated extension of The Peach Truck. The Peach Truck prides itself on delivering high-quality peaches to the customer, and ALC strives to provide the same, quality service to their customers. The key to our success is our partnership with the customer- including carriers as a customer. While we cannot control Mother Nature and how the crops yield, we can ensure that the peaches are delivered fresh and on time. Communication, flexibility, and assessing customers needs keeps it “fresh”, and keeps the relationship growing.
Be sure to order some fresh peaches this summer… www.thepeachtruck.com
Sarah Stone graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing). She started working at the Allen Lund Company in December 2010 after several years in the international air and ocean freight industry.
By Kenny Lund, Executive Vice President, ALC Logistics
Back in 1976, when Allen Lund went out on his own and established the Allen Lund Company, there was tight control on “regulated freight,” and brokers like him could only manage loads of vegetables and fruit, along with raw goods like bailed cotton. His very first load was a load of cotton.
Most other goods were tightly regulated. Regulations on carriers, rates, and government-approved truck brokers were numerous. Every non-exempt load had to have an approved filed tariff. Transportation was expensive and inefficient.
It all changed when deregulation was brought in under the Carter Administration and continued under the Reagan Administration. Within a few years, thousands of carriers, brokers, shippers, and receivers started operating in a new, freer transportation system. The government got out of the daily pricing of loads and let freedom through capitalism determine the rates. If this injection of freedom had not happened, we would still be hindered by over-regulation and government red tape. Fewer products would be available and they would be more expensive.
Capitalism is not perfect, but there has never been a better system to bring people out of poverty, create more businesses, and supply more products at lower prices throughout the country. Currently, there are more than 400,000 trucking companies, 10,000 transportation brokers, and our stores are chock-full of products from across the country and around the world.
It is easy to compare to the supply chains of communist and socialist countries. Every economic measure bears this out. Democracy and capitalism win every time.
In the early 90s, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the U.S.S.R., Allen Lund was asked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to go with a team to Moscow to help improve the produce supply chain that helped feed 11 million Russians in and around that city. For three months, he observed and tried to improve a system that allowed more than 50% of the fruit and vegetables coming into the area to disappear or be destroyed in transit. Drivers who did not care sold their refrigeration fuel on the black market and delivered rotten vegetables. The government paid them anyway. Allen Lund saw how badly a fully controlled economy operated with incredible lack of efficiency. He saw hope in the younger generation as they worked to build up the black market that began to operate with some capitalist principles.
Fast forward to today, it is painful to observe that socialism and even communism are on the rise with those under 30 in the USA. It is inexplicable…and yet there it is. Too many of our universities teach that businesses are all corrupt and that the government and centralized control are the answer. As a business involved in the great American supply chain, the Allen Lund Company has a front-row seat to see how well our nation’s distribution systems work. We must then take it upon ourselves to educate and, in many cases, re-educate the population. We must pass down to the next generations the information about how good we have it with a system based on freedom. We also MUST run our business with professionalism and integrity. Scams, collusion, and cronyism are a stain on the freedoms we enjoy and only paint targets on our free society. Capitalism is the system that allows all participants to achieve the high standard of living available to those who work hard. Freedom is the answer – not government over-regulation.
I’m ready to have a fresh conversation with you!
Kenny Lund graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Business Administration. He managed the Los Angeles, refrigerated transportation division of the Allen Lund Company for eight years, before shifting full-time into managing the Information and Technology Department in 1997; becoming the Vice President of the department in 2002. Lund was promoted to Vice President – Support Operations in 2005. In 2014, Kenny, in the position of VP of ALC Logistics, began working with that division of ALC to sell their AlchemyTMS software solutions. In 2019, Lund was promoted to Executive Vice President of ALC and ALC Logistics.