Food Logistics Challenges and Trends

Cross-docking continues to grow, paper-based approaches are the most common method of picking orders, and the vast majority of food and beverage companies outsource some or all of transportation. So says the2007 Food Logistics Industry Report, a new white paper on the state of the food logistics industry. The report is based on a survey of more than 100 executives and was sponsored by Saddle Creek Corp. (Lakeland, Fla.), a third-party logistics provider.

Research highlights include:

  • Capacity is the biggest logistics challenge of survey respondents, followed by the driver shortage and the struggle to meet customer demands.
  • Food manufacturers and retailers continue to devote considerable resources to integrate information systems with their trading partners using both EDI and web-based internet systems.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents outsource some or all of their transportation.
  • Order pick methods are still mostly paper-based, but both RF and voice-directed technology are growing.

Researchers surveyed executives involved in the warehousing and/or transportation of food and beverage products in the United States. The majority of respondents were grocery companies, food and beverage processors or 3PLs.

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