We recently spoke with Janet Fortin from Global Fruit, the largest cherry exporter in Canada. The company partners with farms in British Columbia who grow and pack the cherries, and rely on Global Fruit to do the marketing and exporting. With roughly 125 orchards, Global Fruit anticipates that 2021 will be the best year it has ever had. According to Janet, “We’re estimating some trees will (have) over 100 pounds of cherries. I think this year we’re going to have 17 – 20 million pounds of cherries to ship. New customers coming on board, if possible, I would recommend DeltaTrak.”
Question: Can you describe your role?
Janet: I am the Logistics Coordinator. When the cherries come out of the packing house, I am the one who arranges the freight to go and pick them up, bring them to the airport, or bring an ocean container to (be loaded) and make all of the reservations with the airlines, steam ship lines and trucking of course. So, I have four months of full on work - like 24/7.
Question: How long have you been with the company? And what did you do before?
Janet: I’ve been here since November. I was the logistics manager for a steel manufacturer. They are a manufacturer of Splash Parks.
Question: How many shipments do you have each season?
Janet: This year we’re projecting between 15,000 and 20,000 pallets. Usually going to the U.S. we do full-load 53-foot reefers. And ocean freight would be a 40-foot container. And then air freight could be from one pallet to a whole freighter – to 100 pallets even. I like that I can go onto your website and track it and I get real-time data.
Question: So, where do you ship?
Janet: Internationally. We go to the U.S., Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and Europe as well.
Question: Let’s talk about DeltaTrak loggers. Are you using them for all of your shipments?
Janet: We use the FlashLink VU for U.S. clients. We use the RTL Prime 60-day on air freight and ocean. We use the FlashLink PDF loggers for our international shipments (because we prefer them). It’s not based on a customer request on the international side.
Question: Are you using DeltaTrak products exclusively?
Janet: We use (two other loggers) because (we have customers who want us to use them). But the person who had this position before me said if she could use the FlashLink (loggers) for everything, she would. She said you have great customer service. She’s very impressed.
Question: That’s good to hear!
Janet: Plus, we like the shelf-life of your FlashLink VU as well. Whereas (the loggers from the other companies) can be from 3 months to 6 months to 1 year max, you guys are 18 months so we like that. We’re kind of estimating when we order (loggers), so we’ll have leftover (loggers) at the end of the season, yet we can still use your product again next season. We enjoy the shelf-life that you have.
Question: Have you heard any feedback on the ease-of-use or operation of DeltaTrak devices?
Janet: The packinghouse puts the units in as they are loading the trucks, and from what I understand, your products are very easy to use. I’ve looked at it myself and it’s like (you just push) “Start”. And then I like the fact that you have (Shadow Log) on the FlashLink VU because you know that it’s still working and that the battery is not dead. Whereas with the other companies, they don’t have that kind of function. You just have to go off of their battery life, so you’re just kind of gambling.
Question: Let’s talk about the RTL. You mentioned you like the ability to see shipment location in real time. Why is that a benefit for you?
Janet: I’ll get an alert if the temperature has gone up. I like that because our product is very, very sensitive. And then I can see where it’s being transferred. I can make sure the quality of the product is intact and that it did not miss the vessel. We also give our customers the information for the shipments so they can track their own.
Question: How do your customers feel about the ability to see their shipments?
Janet: I think they absolutely love that service because they can see exactly where the truck is and how long it’s been sitting there. It’s a good tracing (system).
Question: What would you say is your favorite feature of the RTL?
Janet: The tracking capability and that I get alerts if the temperature rises too much. Yeah, the (GSM) is great.
Question: Is there anything you absolutely love about the RTL?
Janet: The shelf-life for me is the winner.
Question: Let’s delve into that a bit. Have you found that you’ve spent a lot of money on loggers that you couldn’t use because of the shorter shelf-life?
Question: So how much would you say you’ve lost? Are you able to quantify it?
Janet: For the last season, and it was a really slow season, I have about 70 loggers that I could not use. I’m going to say the cost is roughly $35 each, (give or take). That’s Canadian dollars. We’ve lost that money. We buy (loggers) on behalf of the packinghouses.
Question: Would you recommend the RTL to other companies?
We enjoyed the conversation with Janet! She is one of many happy customers who use DeltaTrak loggers to monitor the temperature of their perishable cargo. If you would like a customized solution for your business, contact your dedicated DeltaTrak account manager or call 1-800-962-6776.