An Innovative Approach to Reducing Food Loss (And Increasing Customer Loyalty)

Food loss, especially produce, is typically the result of spoilage due to temperature excursion at an early point in the supply chain. Between 10% and 14% of produce loads are rejected because they do not meet temperature requirements. The supply chain has been plagued by poor visibility and limited data, contributing to rejected loads, which are very costly (millions of dollars annually), difficult to manage, and affect the shipper’s image.

When a load is rejected due to temperature abuse the options are limited. If the cargo is no longer edible, it must be dumped. If the food is safe to consume, the hunt begins to identify a suitable resolution. However, there are only a couple of options: find another buyer in the same vicinity (usually at a reduced price) or donate to a food bank.

In brainstorming solutions to customers’ rejected loads, DeltaTrak customer, Hwy Haul, evaluated several value-added products and services. The decision was made to provide clients with temperature monitoring devices, and the research began to identify the best option. Several products were investigated, such as Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), but declined, because they are costly and difficult to install. Further, ELD’s are typically not embraced by drivers.

Ultimately, Hwy Haul selected the DeltaTrak FlashLink RTL Prime In-Transit Logger. Real-time monitoring devices give shippers (and Hwy Haul’s operations team) the ability to see their load at all times, so temperature problems can be quickly addressed. According to Hwy Haul’s Product Manager, Ruby W., the DeltaTrak RTL is preferred because “everything is in one piece and the SIM card is inside. It’s portable and disposable.”

DeltaTrak’s RTL uses an on-line dashboard which allows effortless in-transit tracking of temperature and location, giving shippers and receivers a constant view of cargo conditions. A light sensor shows vehicle doors have been opened, indicating port inspection or possible tampering. Trip data is stored in the Cloud for compliance with HACCP and FSMA requirements. Extended battery life ensures the device will continue to operate on long trips.

Hwy Haul has been using the RTL for about two years. “We ship a bunch of loggers to our customers’ warehouses. When they have a load with us we ask the warehouse person to attach the device in the truck,” says Ruby. Both the customer and Hwy Haul are notified immediately when there is a temperature excursion, enabling timely corrective action.

Has this unique approach paid off? The industry standard for rejected loads is 10-14%. According to Ruby, when Hwy Haul began using DeltaTrak’s real-time loggers, their customers’ rejected load percentage was reduced by half. This saves shippers a tremendous amount of money and moves the world one-step closer to putting an end to food loss. But, for Hwy Haul, the benefit is more than financial. Ruby says, “I wouldn’t quantify it in terms of money saved. (The benefit) is the relationship with our shippers. If they don’t have rejections they feel we are more reliable. Our shipper retention is improving year over year. It is a combination of many factors, but definitely, the RTL plays an important role.”

DeltaTrak is a leading innovator of cold chain management and environmental monitoring solutions. If you (or your customer) are experiencing too many rejected loads, speak to a DeltaTrak account manager for a customized solution. Call 1-800-962-6776 for more information.

Author: Temesa Lewis

Temesa Lewis is a Marketing Communications Writer with DeltaTrak, Inc. Her professional background includes roles in sales/account management, human resources and training.

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  • DeltaTrak’s Real Time Loggers have been a game changer for our trucking program. Having the ability to monitor temperature while trucks are in transit has given us peace of mind knowing the quality of our product has not been compromised. The alert notifications, light sensors, and GPS tracking are just some of the great features that have allowed us to make pro active decisions that have strengthened the integrity of our product. The FlashTrak Cloud Service is easy to use and is a great tool to compare and analyze data. The FlashTrak App is super convenient as well. We have used other reliable DeltaTrak products for many years and we were excited to see these added to their lineup!

    Michelle Oetjens
    Senior Global Logistics Analyst-BFP
    Ball Horticultural Company

  • When it comes to making sense of data (in the supply chain) we have found a partner in DeltaTrak. The fact that I could recharge the real-time logger and the dual batteries made a lot of sense to me. It was user friendly and easy to use. With the uncertainty and complexity of today's supply chain, having an effective chain of custody system is not only a clever idea, but a requirement for effective handling of perishable goods.

    Henry Helms
    CH Logistics, Cape Town, South Africa

  • It is my pleasure to recommend DeltaTrak to your company. During these times of crisis, we were fortunate to work with DeltaTrak to source top of the line Non-Contact forehead thermometers and PPE supplies at a real market price.

    As a healthcare organization, we are a common target for price gouging and abusive practices from several vendors. With DeltaTrak, we found a partner that understands our needs and who always provide world class customer service.

    Luis Landgrave
    Procurement Manager
    Plum Healthcare Group LLC

  • Dear Fred, I would like express my appreciation for the good business relationship we have had during 2018. The excellent work of Mr. Jorge Hurtado has given me the confidence to continue maintaining our commercial relationship with the DeltaTrak brand.

    Mr. Jorge Hurtado's customer service efforts are outstanding, especially in finding solutions to the challenges that may arise in the commercial process. In my opinion Mr. Hurtado's professionalism is a model for any company, especially when the client is thousands of kilometers away from Modesto, CA. I look forward to strengthening our successful relationship into 2019.

    Valentin Bobadilla
    Valentin Bobadilla Centurion E.I.R.L.

  • We received the blankets yesterday and the quality was/is outstanding. Thank you for getting us a superior product, both our flowers and our customers thank you. :)

    Clint C.
    Aladdin's Floral

  • We have provided our trucks with your recorders for Walmart/Sam's and have not had any issues at all. Great recorders, small in size and easy to activate and place in the truck.

    Diego Calderon
    Delano Farms Company

  • Thank you Juan Solorzano for paying us a business call 4 years ago. The DeltaTrak brand is the majority of our Temp Recorder business. ALL our Walmart/Sam's orders carry the DeltaTrak Temp recorders for the past 4 years without a single problem with any Walmart DC. When you have a load of 18 different orders on a single truck and temp recorders on each order, WOW what a savings your DeltaTrak brand has save us. Yes, Walmart has accepted the DeltaTrak Model with no problems.

    Tony Contreras
    The Giumarra Companies, Reedley Cold Storage

  • This upcoming fall will mark our 4th full season using DeltaTrak recorders. They are competitively priced and the customer service is always exceptional. We have never had a customer issue with one of their units and we don’t expect to. We use a wide range of DeltaTrak products and we have been more than happy with every one of them.

    Bruce Densten
    Little Bear Produce