Inbound Logistics | January 2024

ITTOOLKIT [ IN PRACTICE ] About ve years ago, when Michael Lin joined Musco Family Olive Co. as senior director of supply chain, he “walked into a tight-running operation,” he says. At the same time, Lin sought to bring greater discipline and automation to many of the company’s logistics and supply chain processes. To work toward these goals, Lin enlisted the help of AFS Logistics, a third-party logistics provider.

Oiling the Wheels of Change

THE CUSTOMER: Musco Family Olive Co. is the country’s largest producer of black ripe olives. After more than eight decades in business, the third- generation, family-owned California company now works with more than 450 farmers and runs the first food- processing plant in the world to achieve a Level 2 Safe Quality Food ethical sourcing certification. THE PROVIDER: Founded in 1982, AFS Logistics, based in Shreveport, Louisiana, provides di†erentiated logistics services to more than 1,800 customers and employs more than 380 employees across seven locations.

these goals would also help Musco scale its operations and offset increasing logistics costs. Lin kickstarted a partnership with AFS Logistics, with whom he’d worked at a previous company. Based in Shreveport, Louisiana, AFS provides logistics services, including freight audit and payment, as well as parcel, less-than-truckload, and transportation management services to more than 1,800 clients. REVAMPING THE CARRIER DYNAMIC The two companies rst collaborated on a domestic managed transportation program, says Andy Dyer, president, transportation management for AFS. At the time, Musco was working with a number of incumbent carriers. While Lin didn’t want to drop them, he wanted to make sure they were meeting Musco’s business needs, had solid safety records, and were reliable and cost-effective. Through carrier reviews, Musco and AFS were able to conrm that the incumbent carriers would continue to provide optimal service.

Musco, which boasts eight decades of history, is the largest producer of black ripe olives in the United States. The company works with more than 450 California farmers, providing olives that are transported to four warehouses in the United States and then distributed to retailers across the country. Musco’s olive-processing plant in California is a near-zero-waste facility and the rst food-processing plant in the world to achieve a Level 2 Safe Quality Food ethical sourcing certication. Despite its robust operations, Musco is still a relatively small, third-generation, family-run company. It doesn’t have extra resources it can easily allocate to areas outside its functional expertise— namely, olives. Working within those constraints, Lin set several supply chain and logistics objectives: reduce manual processes, enhance the freight audit process, and boost the company’s ability to identify location and arrival times of in-transit freight so it could more proactively address customer questions and continue to provide quality service. Achieving

by Karen Kroll

January 2024 • Inbound Logistics 209

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