Food Distributor Plays It Cool

January 08, 2019

Golden State Foods warms up to a cold chain performance monitoring solution that meets customer compliance requirements.

When McDonalds, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-A are your main customers, expertly monitoring in-transit fresh, refrigerated, and frozen food temperatures is a valuable competitive asset.

Food services distributor Golden State Foods (GSF) feels that pressure every day. The company operates 26 dedicated distribution centers across the United States. It ships frozen, refrigerated, and dry food, along with packaging and operating supplies, to 9,361 restaurants. GSF makes 38,600 weekly deliveries with its fleet of 800 tractors and 1,000 trailers.

"Our customers are high volume and rely heavily on our just-in-time routing," says Tim Bates, corporate quality systems director, logistics.

To meet these demanding requirements, GSF invested in a telematics solution from Coretex to monitor air and food product temperatures inside the trailers, and to better understand cold-chain performance from order pickup at the distribution center to delivery at the restaurant.

In 2012, Golden State Foods Distribution, a division of Golden State Foods, a $9-billion company based in Irvine, California, faced a dilemma. Its existing Hours of Service (HOS) platform was being sunsetted, and dedicated customer McDonalds, which it has served since the 1950s, kept upping its already high standards for food safety from warehouse pickup to restaurant delivery.

To keep pace with the industry's food monitoring compliance requirements, GSF needed more in-depth visibility into the trailers' air and food product temperatures, as well as temperature fluctuations in the frozen and refrigerated trailer compartments.

Improved monitoring and compliance were baseline requirements, but GSF also wanted to find ways to improve overall efficiencies and operations. After reviewing various options, the company shortlisted five solutions providers. Coretex was on that list.

At the time, Coretex, a fleet management services provider headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, with U.S. operations co-based in San Diego and Fort Lee, New Jersey, was building its North American presence. Its relationship with Gateway Industrial Power, a refrigerated equipment dealer, earned it an introduction to GSF, and helped the solutions provider win the contract, recalls Craig Marris, executive vice president of mixed fleets for Coretex.

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