Peruvian Onions

10-44: Precious Cargo Inbound

10-44: Precious Cargo Inbound

Consistency and quality are cornerstones of the transportation industry. A schedule needs to be adhered to, cargo needs to be secured, and services should be executed with perfection. These traits aren’t a wishlist, but rather a checklist for Allen Lund Company (ALC).

Whether it’s a standard flatbed or refrigerated tracking, the broker brings a suite of resources and talent to the road. How do I know this? Well, Matt Minthorn may have given me a few insights into ALC’s inner workings.

Lilian Diep: Matt, how long have you been with Allen Lund Company, and what makes the transportation broker stand out in the field?

Matt Minthorn, General Manager - Phoenix, Allen Lund Company: I’ve been with ALC for over 20 years now.

The transportation arm is an important part of the supply chain. Growers and farmers trust us to take care of their hard-earned products and deliver them on their behalf to cities, states, and even a country away. If it doesn’t make it to the end destination, that’s on us.

LD: Especially when it’s precious cargo like perishables! How does ALC ensure the freight is well taken care of during transport?

MM: We have several resources at our fingertips.

Keeping the temperature regulated and making sure the cargo doesn’t get damaged or stolen—as theft is reaching an all-time high right now—are always critical.

The trailers have attachable units, which provide different tracking methods through our ALC app, which funnels advantages through the rest of the supply chain. We’ve put a lot of work into developing our app; it also provides automatic updates, bill payments, locations, and more. It’s been exciting witnessing the progress, and we’re looking forward to continuing our development and providing value to our peer community.

Our partners and products help give peace of mind to customers, and that’s critical in our industry.

LD: Peace of mind and consistency—would you say this makes up the foundation of what Allen Lund provides?

MM: Correct. Our industry is a volatile business. Being able to provide accurate information through data and schedules helps everyone ensure better inventory control and store deliveries. Based on the customer’s needs, we can customize the type of device or service to their load, no matter where they’re going.

LD: Speaking of “where,” Canada is a new market for ALC. How has the recent acquisition of United World Transportation (UWT) helped solidify the company’s offerings?

MM: It’s opened a lot of doors for us. Not only have we created a much larger network, but we’re also adding over 20 people who are experts in moving perishables across borders. We’re now able to bring a full suite of services across North America, all the way up to Alaska—another lane that we’ve never explored.

“Our partners and products help give peace of mind to customers, and that’s critical in our industry.”

Matt Minthorn, General Manager - Phoenix, Allen Lund Company

LD: It sounds like a wide, open road for ALC! With this new avenue, how is the company preparing for the rest of the year now that we are in the swing of summer?

MM: Well, to look ahead, we’ve got to look back for a bit. The whole of the United States experienced a severe winter, and late rain and snowstorms dealt a heavy blow to a lot of production across the country. It looks like California’s Central Valley was able to get its full allotment of water resources due to the abundance of water.We should see a very solid and high-quality summer harvest of cherries, table grapes, stonefruit, and more from that area with potential for a bumper crop. Keeping that in mind, we could see an increase in demand for carriers to haul that increased freight.

We’re committed to helping our customers; there are still deliveries to make. The overall freight market on fresh produce may be lower than in the past couple of years, but ALC still needs to ensure a proper cold chain and quality produce. With the extra capacity from the acquisition, we now have better equipment and carriers and look forward to showing everyone what we can do.

The transportation leg of produce’s life cycle is a critical one, as the clock is literally ticking on flavor and quality. But, with Allen Lund Company’s firm grasp on both management and support, these precious fruits and vegetables are in safe hands.

So, blast your favorite podcast, have your largest drink on deck, and let’s hit the road.