The biggest challenges facing the food industry aren't wilted broccoli or spoiled milk. They're actually problems familiar to supply managers in all industry sectors: truck capacity, a shortage of drivers, and demanding customers. A new white paper on the state of the food logistics industry reveals that when asked to identify their top difficulties, 43 percent of respondents cited capacity, 24 percent the driver shortage, and 20 percent customer demands.
The white paper, The 2007 Food Logistics Industry Report, contains the results of a survey of more than 100 executives involved in the warehousing and/or transportation management of food and beverages throughout the United States. Along with identifying challenges, the report outlines industry trends and developments. Among other trends, it shows that cross docking is increasing, that paper-based order picking is still the most common practice, and that nearly two-thirds of respondents outsource some or all of their transportation. The survey also indicates that respondents are spending big money to integrate their information systems with their trading partners' systems, whether they're using EDI, Webbased Internet systems, or e-market hubs/exchanges.
The report was put together by Saddle Creek Corp., a nationwide third-party logistics services company. To download a complete copy of the report, go to www.saddlecrk/fl.