Inbound Logistics | December 2022

near the East and West Coast ports. “A lot of seafood is imported into the United States and consumes a lot of that space,” Leuthold says. “And then ice cream is a massive consumer of that warehouse space.” Bellisio produces frozen foods under brand names such as Michelina’s, Boston Market, Atkins, and White Castle; it also provides contract manufacturing. From production facilities in Jackson and Archbold, Ohio and Vernon, California, it ships product to the distribution centers of virtually every retail chain in the country that sells groceries. Bellisio has avoided the worst of the warehouse crunch because, just before the pandemic distorted supply chains around the world, it nished building a large, automated frozen warehouse at the Jackson facility. The goal was to handle anticipated growth. “Utilizing third-party warehousing can be quite expensive, especially when the market is very tight,” Leuthold says. “Rather than rely on what would be available in the marketplace, we thought it best to have our own facility.” But Bellisio does rely on a third party—ODW Logistics of Columbus, Ohio—for efcient transportation. near “A lot United that Dippin' Dots, an ice cream snack created by flash freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen, relies on dry ice and insulated packaging to maintain an ideal -40 F in transit.

“We utilize their optimization technology to take a multitude of

less-than-truckload (LTL) orders and consolidate them into full truck orders,” Leuthold says. “This lls the gap in frozen transportation, where there aren’t reliable, true LTL carriers. We’ve leveraged their technology to make sure we’re building the best possible multistop loads for a truck to haul.” Those frozen food carriers do a good job of maintaining the cold chain. “Most refrigerated equipment on the road has improved in terms of technology quite signicantly in the last decade, with more efcient refrigeration, better real time monitoring of temperatures inside the trailer, and quicker adjustments to correct when things start to get out of line,” Leuthold says. DEEP-FREEZE DOTS No matter how efcient those reefers are, though, they’re not cold enough for Dippin’ Dots, the cryogenically frozen beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and avored ice sold in amusement and retail locations throughout the U.S. Dippin’ Dots, based in Paducah, Kentucky, relies on dry ice and insulated packaging to keep its product at an ideal -40 F in transit. The company manufactures in Paducah, ash freezing the beads at -320 F and then storing them in a freezer at -40. When it’s time to ship, workers pack the product with dry ice

transit, employees in the warehouse give those products special scrutiny. Agri divides its warehouse into several temperature zones to accommodate different products. “Certain lettuces require 36 degrees, while summer squash requires 50 degrees, and a tomato requires 50-plus degrees with a different kind of humidity,” Kaminsky says. Employees check storage areas continuously to make sure each one maintains the right temperature. Drivers check temperatures on Agri’s reefer trucks as they deliver orders to customers. The produce faces special challenges at delivery locations. “In the middle of the summer, if it’s 100 degrees out and the driver opens the back of the truck, the temperature will change,” Kaminsky says. “It’s important to close back up as soon as they get unloaded.” Whatever the conditions, everyone involved in a delivery plays a part in protecting the product. “It’s a collaboration between whoever is receiving the product on our customer’s side and us,” Kaminsky says. “It’s a 24-hour process.” FROZEN WAREHOUSE SHORTAGE For Bellisio Foods, a frozen food manufacturer based in Minneapolis, the biggest cold chain challenge of late has been a dearth of warehouse space. “There’s simply not enough of it in the United States to service the multitude of products that require frozen temperatures,” says Matthew Leuthold, the company’s logistics manager. Capacity is especially tight in areas

Agri Exotic Trading, a wholesale distributor of fresh produce in Clifton, New Jersey, divides its warehouse into several temperature zones to accommodate dierent products, ensuring freshness for customers.

36 Inbound Logistics • December 2022

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