Reynolds Nationwide provides regional foodgrade service
Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Mary Davis
Reynolds admits that today's trucking industry challenges are foreboding, particularly with the rising cost of fuel and the 38,000-40,000 gallons of diesel the company requires each day.
In addition to operating costs, the carrier must meet sanitary and security requirements. “Foodgrade transportation has always required specialized service with those regulations,” Reynolds says. “After the terrorists attacks in 2001, we faced even more security requirements.”
Another challenge is coordinating the varied products and services. “We couldn't have done it without constantly upgrading our computer systems,” he says. “As far as the fuel costs are concerned, our customers always have been sympathetic to our surcharges.”
More recently, he has made efforts to coordinate driver schedules more efficiently so they can reduce the number of times they drive their personal cars from homes to terminals. “Everyone is facing this fuel crisis,” Reynolds notes. “We are trying to help our employees as much as possible.”
In addition to Reynolds, company management includes Jim Lincoln, general manager; Ginger Reynolds, Reynolds' sister and milk division general manager; and Thom Reynolds, his brother and operations manager.
Together, they see that the complicated logistics required to serve a variety of customers runs smoothly. Two terminals in Houston, Texas, serve a brewery and milk processing plants. A terminal in London, Ohio, is near Columbus, and another is in Reno, Nevada. The operation in the Midwest transports product to pet food and candy processors.
“Both pet food and candy processors require strict product handling,” says Lincoln. “Tank trailers are dedicated to individual products and require strict foodgrade cleaning processes.”
In addition to the Midwest terminals, six drivers each are located in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania (dispatched from London for chocolate), and Fresno, California (dispatched from Reno for pet food products).
In the Southwest, terminals for milk transport are in Stephenville and Hereford, Texas. Trucks also are parked at facilities in Waco, Texas, for chocolate service and in Clovis, New Mexico, for milk transport. The Southwest operation is coordinated from the San Antonio headquarters.
Also receiving direction from San Antonio dispatchers is the tequila operation. Mexican carriers transport the 160-proof Mexican product to the United States border where Reynolds drivers take over to haul it to US and Canadian bottlers. The loads are destination specific to cities such as St Louis, Missouri; Lewiston, Maine; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Tequila is an extremely valuable product at about $160,000 per load, which means security is essential.
While the milk product values are not as high as tequila, there may be as many as 80 loads per day making their way throughout the service area, including backhauls. Typical service involves hauling milk from the farm to processors in the Texas Panhandle and from eastern New Mexico to San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Houston. Average distance for one trip is about 500 miles, Ginger says.
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