Hey, have you ever lent a helping hand at a food bank or soup kitchen or helped pack up takeaway meals for kids needing a meal over the weekend? If so, you know firsthand how amazing it feels to be able to help feed those who might otherwise go hungry. Unfortunately, hunger remains a pervasive issue nationwide, with over 30 million individuals facing food insecurity yearly. Yet, we also waste an incredible amount of food. Although several factors contribute to this problem, ensuring an efficient and resilient food supply chain is one way to reduce food waste. At Hwy Haul, we made it our mission to tackle food supply chain challenges.
From farm to fork, there is no shortage of food industry supply chain issues. The food industry supply chain can be challenging to navigate, with its complex web of production, manufacturing, transportation, and handling requirements. With limited trucking and shipping capacity, top food supply chain companies struggle to meet consumer demands while ensuring their products arrive on time and in good condition. Unfortunately, these issues are often overlooked, underestimated, or rely on outdated processes.
Fortunately, Hwy Haul’s digital freight platform offers a solution for shippers looking for ways to address these issues effectively. By providing data-driven insights into the current state of the market and delivering innovative solutions tailored specifically to each customer’s needs, Hwy Haul’s platform helps ensure that goods get where they need to go quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality or safety standards along the way.
The Top Six Food Supply Chain Issues
The food industry faces numerous challenges as it strives to meet rising consumer demands for fresh, healthy, and safe food. From food safety to labor shortages, these issues can cause delays in getting food to consumers. Here are the top six food supply chain issues:
Food safety is a top priority for consumers, and any contamination or foodborne illness issues can have devastating consequences for companies and the general public. Contaminants like E. Coli and Salmonella are hazardous; outbreaks can cause widespread illness and even death. These contaminants can enter the food supply chain anywhere the opportunity presents itself, from farming and production to transportation and storage. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires farmers to implement preventative controls throughout their supply chains to reduce the risk of contamination and improve safety.
An estimated 48 million individuals annually suffer from a foodborne illness known as food poisoning. This illness results in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 individuals losing their lives each year. These statistics should serve as a wake-up call for all humans to prioritize safe food-handling practices for our well-being and health.
Have you ever walked into a public restroom and noticed one of those sheets indicating when the bathroom was last cleaned and inspected? And you wonder, what year? Those sheets don’t always instill a lot of confidence, do they? We’ve all walked into “clean” restrooms only to discover they’re more disgusting than a dumpster behind a fast food joint. And yet, these same monitoring methods are still in place for monitoring the temperature and humidity of food along the food supply chain. It’s an outdated and unreliable process that does not instill confidence. They leave too much room for error and ultimately put consumers at risk.
Traceability is a significant challenge in the food supply chain, particularly regarding produce. The FDA’s final rule on Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods establishes traceability recordkeeping requirements for persons who manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods included on the Food Traceability List (FTL). This new rule is critical to identify and rapidly remove potentially contaminated food from the market.
Lack of traceability within the supply chain makes it difficult for companies to track their products from source to destination, leading to costly mistakes and delays due to miscommunication between partners in the supply chain. A transparent and traceable supply chain can increase efficiency and ensure that products are delivered on time and in good condition.
Food waste is a massive problem in the supply chain, with billions of pounds of food going to landfills each year. It’s shocking that nearly 40% of all food in America goes to waste, with a staggering 119 billion pounds of food thrown away annually. The USDA and EPA have set a goal to cut food waste by 50 percent by 2030, but a lot still needs to be done to address this issue in the food supply chain.
To fulfill our mission of eliminating food waste, our team created a digital platform to minimize risks and improve quality while providing full transparency of the haul during transportation by using unique technology. Data logging allows our platform to predict unforeseen issues and correct them proactively while monitoring the quality of the shipped produce. It uses sensor data to record information such as temperature and humidity levels during transport, resulting in on-time deliveries and fresher produce.
The peak season for produce can be a make-or-break time for those involved in the supply chain, from farmers to processors to retailers. With certain foods only available during specific times of the year, managing the supply chain during peak requires precise execution. Peak season challenges include disrupted deliveries, reduced capacity, and longer lead time. These events can disrupt the supply chain and result in a shortage of certain products and increased demand for others. Capacity issues occur as volumes increase during peak season. If farmers aren’t proactive, they cannot move their harvest, leading to food waste and devastating financial impacts.
Monitoring the temperature and humidity of the products at every stage of the journey is crucial to ensure quality control. Ensuring that products meet quality standards is critical for maintaining consumer trust and brand reputation. Quality control measures such as temperature monitoring and on-site inspections can ensure that products arrive to the customer in the best possible condition.
The labor shortage is a significant concern for the food industry supply chain as companies struggle to meet staffing and demand needs for food products. One of the biggest challenges the food industry faces is the limited trucking and shipping capacity available to meet consumer demands and ensure that products arrive on time and in good condition. Digitalization and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help improve efficiencies and make logistics more responsive to real-time challenges, ultimately addressing the labor shortage.
Hwy Haul’s digital freight platform provides an innovative solution for transportation managers, food companies, produce shippers, frozen food shippers, and other temp-controlled food shippers looking to address these issues effectively.
Facing Food Supply Chain Issues, Shippers Turn to Technology to Safeguard Operations
As the food industry navigates labor shortages, transportation capacity restraints, and other food supply chain problems, shippers are turning to technology solutions to safeguard their operations and ensure their products reach their destinations safely. Hwy Haul’s digital freight platform offers powerful tools and analytics to help shippers manage their operations more effectively.
In the food industry, time is of the essence, especially for shippers of perishable goods like fresh produce. Once harvested, the clock starts ticking, and shippers must act fast to ensure the products reach their destinations promptly and safely. Waiting for days for a return email or making numerous phone calls to book a truck is not an option for shippers trying to meet customer demands while ensuring the produce stays fresh.
Outdated systems and manual processes can be a significant roadblock to reliable capacity, slowing the booking process and decreasing efficiency. For produce shippers and other perishable food shippers, its imperative to have reliable capacity at the right time to meet market demand and reduce waste.
Innovative solutions like Hwy Haul’s digital freight platform offer real-time visibility of available capacity and allow for the quick booking of trucks. Hwy Haul’s cloud-based digital freight platform ensures reliable capacity by providing shippers with a broad network of carriers and streamlined logistics management tools to meet their specific needs. This streamlined approach ensures that produce shippers can instantly access capacity to streamline their supply chain and meet consumer demand.
In addition to reliable capacity, Hwy Haul’s platform utilizes tech-enabled reliability measures such as temperature monitoring, trailer humidity, and shift monitoring to help ensure products remain in pristine condition throughout the supply chain journey.
Ongoing food supply chain problems require technology-driven solutions to ensure the quality and safety of food products. In many cases, outdated inspection processes, such as those used in cold-chain transportation systems, can create unnecessary inefficiencies and contribute to supply chain challenges.
Fortunately, emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) devices offer reliable and efficient solutions to manage the cold chain process. These devices provide a range of benefits, including visibility, assurance, tracking, and alerts that allow shippers to make proactive decisions about their shipments. By using temperature loggers and route optimization, shippers can accurately monitor the temperature and humidity of the cargo, ensuring that products remain fresh and safe during transport.
Furthermore, using advanced analytics tools can help shippers identify potential issues in the supply chain before they become significant problems. Access to this information enables proactive adjustments, such as rerouting shipments that may be in danger of being delayed or compromised.
Overall, technology-enabled reliability is a powerful solution to the problems encountered in the food supply chain. Shippers can streamline their operations by embracing innovative tools and systems and ensure the safe and timely delivery of fresh, high-quality products to consumers.
Route optimization and seasonal elasticity are critical components of effective supply chain management, especially for perishable products such as produce. Hwy Haul’s platform offers actionable analytics that optimizes routes and improves forecasting to mitigate issues caused by seasonality and other factors.
Hwy Haul’s digital freight platform offers much-needed solutions to address the top six food supply chain issues. The reliable capacity, tech-enabled reliability, and actionable analytics offered by Hwy Haul’s platform ensure shippers can streamline their supply chain, reduce waste, and meet market demands to ensure the safe delivery of their products. With Hwy Haul, shippers can stay ahead of the curve and effectively manage the challenges of the modern food industry.
Hwy Haul is Leading the Charge in Solving Food Supply Chain Issues
There are tremendous opportunities within the entire food supply chain to eliminate waste and fight hunger. Fortunately, Hwy Haul’s digital freight platform offers robust solutions to address these challenges head-on. Our services provide comprehensive logistics management for transportation managers, food companies, produce shippers, frozen food shippers, and other temperature-controlled food shippers. With features such as a cloud-based digital freight platform, temperature monitoring, trailer humidity, and shift monitoring to ensure products remain in pristine condition throughout the journey.
In summary, Hwy Haul’s innovative solutions are revolutionizing how businesses manage their transportation services, addressing the top six food supply chain issues. Get a quote from Hwy Haul today to see how we can help you meet the challenges of the modern food industry and stay ahead of the curve.