Food Transportation Considered an Essential Service Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

Posted by VersaCold on Mar 20, 2020 4:49:47 PM

It will take more than an open border to ensure safe, timely food delivery

VersaCold appreciates that governments are recognizing transportation as an essential service.

In a news release put out by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quoted on Wednesday as saying, “Truckers will not be affected,” in reference to measures that will otherwise close the Canadian-US border to almost all other traffic.

This means that, despite the many evolving challenges presented by COVID-19, Canadians will continue to have access to food.

But keeping borders open alone is not enough to ensure food keeps moving. Critical government services such as commercial transportation licensing and permit offices need to remain open so that transportation providers can get new trucks approved.

Equally important is ensuring that drivers can deliver goods safely. Recently, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) announced that the Ontario Government is temporarily allowing trucks to make deliveries throughout the night. This will make it easier to practice social distancing, which will improve safety for drivers and help ensure they can continue to be available to deliver to customers as needed.

Company policies must also be flexible to allow drivers to deliver product. For example, many organizations are requiring visitors leave the premise if they have been outside of Canada within the past 14 days. However, such policies must provide clearance for truck drivers, who will continue to cross the border frequently, in their capacity as an essential service.

VersaCold’s transportation leadership, lead by Sandro Caccaro, SVP / GM Transportation Solutions continue to support the efforts of Canadian Trucking Alliance and provincial groups like the OTA to ensure all supporting elements are in place to keep food flowing at this time of need. Sandro also continues to work with VersaCold’s business units to ensure drivers are practicing ways to reduce the spread of germs, including regular wipe down of shared spaces and self-isolating during days off.

If you have any questions or want reach out to us about transportation needs, contact us at sales@versacold.com or 1-800-563-2653.

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Topics: VersaCold

Ship Fish Quickly and Safely Across North America

Posted by VersaCold on Mar 17, 2020 9:00:00 AM

CPX: Experts in expedited seafood shipments

Shipping seafood presents many challenges. The unpredictability of harvesting live fish means yields vary and transportation volumes aren’t readily known, which can lead to surpluses or shortages in transportation capacity. Different products often need to be shipped at different temperatures. And with fish losing value every day they are out of the water, producers face immense pressure to get their product on shelves as quickly as possible.

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Topics: VersaCold

The Easy Warehousing Solution for Costco Vendors

Posted by VersaCold on Feb 3, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Save time and control costs with VersaCold’s Costco Gateway Program

Any food manufacturer that ships to Canada knows Costco is a major player in Canadian retail. In fact, in 2019 it became Canada’s second-largest retailer.

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Topics: VersaCold

One Million Pounds of Food (and Counting)

Posted by VersaCold on Dec 19, 2019 9:00:00 AM

VersaCold’s Food Banks Canada partnership passes donation milestone

When VersaCold set out in 2018 to find a charitable partner with a strong national presence and real impact at the local level, we found one in Food Banks Canada (FBC). FBC represents and supports a network of more than 650 affiliate food banks and serves approximately 85% of people accessing essential food programs across Canada. With food at the core of VersaCold’s business and our coast-to-coast network giving us extensive reach, the match was obvious.

In addition to food donations, our partnership allows for VersaCold Logistics Services to provide FBC with $150,000 of in-kind services per year, including transportation and storage of food at any of our 29 warehouses across Canada. Now, less than two years into the VersaCold-FBC partnership, we have helped transport and store more than one million pounds of donations, ensuring good, quality food moves safely and efficiently from donors to Canadians who need it. It’s another opportunity for VersaCold to show the communities we serve how your food matters.

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Topics: VersaCold, Food Banks of Canada

4PL 101

Posted by VersaCold on Nov 28, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How 4PL can help improve your supply chain

In the world of supply chain management, fourth-party logistics (4PL) is a term that comes up often—but what does it actually mean for your company? How is it different from third-party logistics (3PL)?

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Topics: VersaCold, 4PL

Our Roads Lead to Success

Posted by VersaCold on Sep 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The top 5 reasons to drive for Coastal Pacific Xpress (CPX)

Coastal Pacific Xpress (CPX) is a Surrey, BC-based business unit of VersaCold Logistics Services with services including the shipping of temperature-sensitive products across Canada and the United States. Our customer base is comprised of some of North America’s leading companies, with a particular concentration on the food processing and grocery retailing sectors.

To ensure peak performance along the road, CPX puts a lot of emphasis on hiring—and keeping—the right people. We sat down with Jacinta Deol and Roman Brar, driver managers at CPX, to chat a bit about what it’s like to work for CPX and why drivers should want to. Here are 5 reasons they shared:

1) Work for an industry-leading business
CPX was established in 1986 and is now a division of VersaCold, one of North America’s largest supply chain companies focused exclusively on the handling of temperature-sensitive food products. The acquisition has enabled VersaCold to expand its reach and become one of the North American leaders in food-focused temperature-sensitive transportation solutions.

Brar shares a bit about CPX’s reputation: “We’re a large organization that maintains partnerships and relationships with some of the largest shippers of produce, protein and seafood, ensuring good, reliable work.” Our reputation in the industry allows us to attract and retain top employees who want to gain knowledge and experience from the best in the business.

2) Surround yourself with great people
When we asked Deol and Brar what they value most about working for the CPX division of VersaCold, the people were at the top of their lists. According to Deol, it’s the “friendly, professional atmosphere, great people and rewarding work” that keep drivers around. Brar echoes this sentiment, adding, “The company has fostered a culture that values people,” something that is sometimes difficult to come by. “They’re committed to retaining drivers for the long term, and it shows. Enjoying who you work with makes all the difference in the world.” Building a great team is something we pride ourselves on. We live our values and work as a team to build relationships that deliver on our customers’ expectations at every turn.

3) Earn a competitive salary and employee benefits
When we take care of our drivers, they take care of us. The CPX team is a crucial part of our company and we always want them to feel valued and respected. That’s why we offer a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits packages. We also offer paid vacation, tuition reimbursement and employee and family assistance plans. We recognize hard work and we always ensure it’s rewarded.

4) Take advantage of a flexible and reliable work schedule
Along with good pay and employee benefits, CPX offers a flexible schedule with steady miles. “We are committed to retaining drivers for the long run,” says Deol. “That means finding the right drivers and providing them with job stability and security.” Drivers can make their schedule work for them to ensure they can return to what matters most—their families. Our flexibility facilitates great work-life balance and vacation time when needed.

But the flexible nature of the transportation industry can also lead to one of its pain points—downtime. Recognizing the fact that journeys can drag out over weeks, CPX always goes above and beyond to find return loads to ensure every trip maximizes time and efficiency. “CPX offers drivers good, long miles and year-round routes to ensure good work is always available,” adds Brar.

5) Do work that’s rewarding
Above all, CPX offers work that’s rewarding and fulfilling. “We provide a variety of lanes and scenic routes. We give our drivers new challenges to keep them engaged and working together as a team. This includes the opportunity to assist customers with high-touch needs and help load or unload product. Plus, our onboarding and training processes are well designed with continuous support throughout,” says Deol.

CPX also offers drivers peace of mind in knowing they’re always safe and protected. “As a 24/7 dispatch operation, CPX ensures timely communication between drivers, dispatch and customers. Our satellite-equipped power units and proactive repair and maintenance program keep drivers covered.” So drivers can focus more on the parts of the job they enjoy—like transporting and handling the product—and less on their equipment.

Each year, our drivers handle and ship millions of pounds of temperature-sensitive products. That’s why we strive to hire—and keep—the best, most dedicated drivers who always ensure the safety, quality and freshness of the food families eat. Our people are our biggest advantage, and your food is our biggest priority.

We are currently hiring owner-operators, company drivers and teams. If you’d like to become a team member with Canada’s leading food-focused logistics company, or if you’d like to learn more about CPX, please contact us at Jeromy.Vindevoghel@versacold.com.

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Topics: VersaCold

Autumn Grilling Season: A must-read food handling guide for your next fall cookout

Posted by VersaCold on Aug 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The weather is cooling down, but the grill is still heating up. For many Canadians, barbeque season doesn’t end just because summer does. With the right tools, it can be a yearlong event. All it takes is a little determination—and maybe a toque.

But while outdoor gathering is a treasured time with friends and family, it can present some food safety challenges. When it comes to handling and preparing items that have been away from the fridge for a prolonged period, the safer the better. As with any cooking, it’s important to follow simple food handling guidelines at your next cookout to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Quick Tips

Tip #1:
Always use a digital thermometer to ensure meat is safe for eating. It’s possible for meat to change to a colour associated with doneness before all harmful bacteria have been removed, which makes the colour of meat an unreliable indicator that it’s safe for eating. Using a digital thermometer is key to any BBQ experience.

Tip #2:
Always marinate meat in the refrigerator in a sealed container and be sure to store it in a spot that will not contaminate other products in your fridge. Never marinate on the counter.

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Topics: VersaCold

CPX, Highly Expedited: East to West, North to South

Posted by VersaCold on Jul 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

A Q&A on shipping refrigerated food from Eastern Canada to Western Canada and the US East Coast

With Canada Day and American Independence Day fresh at our heels, we thought it made sense to acknowledge the world’s longest border—and discuss our expertise in shipping fresh food across it.

Last month we talked about VersaCold’s premium shipping service, Coastal Pacific Xpress (CPX), and why CPX should be your first choice for moving temperature-sensitive food from the United States to Canada. But the roads go both ways, so we’re following up this month to highlight CPX’s expertise in delivering highly expedited shipping from the True North to the Home of the Brave.

CPX is a Surrey, BC-based division of VersaCold Logistics Services, and while it still services the western half of Canada and the US, CPX is no longer as exclusively “Pacific” as it once was.

Since merging with VersaCold in 2016, CPX has been able to expand its network, with full capabilities to offer this premium service to companies in the East, as well as those on the West Coast with operations and needs in the East. We recently sat down with Zoran Maksimovic, Vice President of Operations at CPX, to discuss what this has meant for shipping highly sought after, specialized foods like fresh fish, seafood and produce along the Eastern Seaboard.

Q: How has CPX been able to move from the West Coast to the East Coast?

ZM: VersaCold has long offered services from coast to coast, and CPX is now offering similar coverage. We’ve been able to bring our expertise from the West Coast to the East with our existing customers and for potential new customers as well. No matter if it’s to ship product down the US East Coast, into the heartland or across Canada, we can serve those routes.

Q: Why do Eastern Canadian companies require this premium shipping service?

ZM: There’s a high demand for Canadian perishable food products—including fish, seafood and produce—along the American East Coast and beyond. For these very temperature-sensitive products, we run a highly expedited service that ensures product arrives at its destination fresh and with the longest shelf life. It’s extremely important to work within the timelines our customers require in order to ensure the products are always fresh when they arrive.

Q: How do you manage the time-sensitivity and ensure freshness?

ZM: Our entire system is built around non-stop service. We use sleeper teams all throughout the US and Canada, with one driver behind the wheel while the other is sleeping. That means the truck runs 24 hours a day. Plus, with our fleet (700 refrigerated units), our technology (three-way multi-temperature trailers no older than 36 months, equipped with satellite communications) and our dispatch, we are truly open 24/7/365. So that’s exactly what we now offer throughout the East Coast to get the product onto the shelf as fast as possible.

Q: Where does CPX typically ship in the American East, now that you have a presence there?

ZM: All major cities down the East Coast. Some of our prime cities include Boston, New York and Miami, but we ship to many others as well. We also ship inland to key markets, such as Chicago.

Q: VersaCold’s signature to its customers is Your food matters™. How does CPX live up to this statement with regard to shipping highly perishable food, including seafood and produce, from Canada to the US?

ZM: It’s important to make sure that, even with different types of perishable food, they are being shipped at the best possible temperatures. With our trailers, we can ship food at three distinct temperatures. For example, in one compartment we’ll have fresh fish, like halibut or salmon (at 28° F), in a second we’ll have frozen fish (at -20° F), and in a third we’ll have live shellfish and oysters (at 34° F)—that’s what we do daily. This service also comes in handy with produce, since items like potatoes need to be stored at a different temperature than, say, berries.

Q: How do your trailers accommodate different temperatures?

ZM: Each trailer has three refrigeration units that can be set to varying temperatures, as well as two cold walls that can be moved to segregate different products. Many transportation providers only have one reefer unit and a blended temperature. Our multi-temperature system keeps food at its ideal temperature to ensure prolonged safety, quality and freshness.

Q: What makes CPX an expert in cross-border shipping?

ZM: First of all, our experience. We’ve been shipping across the border in the West since 1986. But we have specialized staff that are working all the time to proactively compile paperwork, clear the shipments, and ship the goods to the United States. These people are trained specifically for cross-border shipping and receive constant training. We also work closely with customs brokers to make sure we are as efficient as possible and avoid getting held up too long at the border.

Q: What’s the biggest difference for CPX since becoming a division of VersaCold?

ZM: The merger has really allowed us to focus on our customer service and food safety. CPX can now tap into a larger network of temperature-sensitive, food-focused logistics assets and expertise. Together with VersaCold, we’re able to cover any customer needs all over Canada and the US.

As a North American leader in refrigerated food transportation services, CPX continues to focus on premium service, expedited delivery and custom solutions, while expanding their transportation and warehousing network all over the United States and Canada—and meeting all customer needs.

If you’d like to partner with a leading provider of food-focused logistics from the United States to Canada, please
contact us at
Sales@VersaCold.com or 1-888-563-2653.

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Topics: VersaCold

Shipping North with CPX

Posted by VersaCold on Jun 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Why CPX should be your first choice when shipping from the United States to Canada

Coastal Pacific Xpress (CPX) is a Surrey, BC-based division of VersaCold Logistics Services. CPX offers perishable truckload (TL) transportation from the US to Canada.

CPX has served the US since 1986 and has become a trusted, reliable, long-term partner for American companies. We sat down with Derril Hackl, VP and General Manager at CPX, to ask him to share some of the reasons why CPX is often the first choice for US companies when shipping to Canada.

Scale
CPX is one of the largest transportation carriers in the US, with an asset-based fleet of 700 refrigerated units—enough of which are consistently in the US to meet customer needs. CPX primarily operates along the West Coast (I-5 corridor) and throughout the Southwest, resulting in adequate capacity to bring loads back to Canada from those regions.

According to Hackl, the large scale of CPX provides customers with more options. “We have a large network that enables us to create a customized solution for almost any customer need—whether it’s a really fast or specialized delivery,” says Hackl.

Flexibility
The large scale and wide network allows CPX to right-size to meet various customer needs. While CPX specializes in expedited delivery of perishable food products using team drivers, standard delivery using single drivers is also offered.

With in-house customs experts, CPX is a full-service, worry-free solution. This is especially valuable for small or medium-sized shippers who require products to get to Canada but lack the customs know-how to get them there. Hackl reinforces this statement. “We have great border-crossing expertise, and because of our supply chain network, CPX operates 24/7/365. So all customers—big and small—are always taken care of.”

Technology
CPX has 700 refrigerated units, each equipped with satellite communications. All trailers are late-model food-grade (less than 36 months old) and are equipped with the latest refrigeration and cold chain technology. Hackl shares more on the value of advanced shipping technology: “With real-time temperature and location tracking, we can ensure all products get to their destination safely and efficiently—with the customer’s eyes on them every step of the way. We also have multi-temperature trailers and multiple trailer specs available that can accommodate different temperatures and geographic needs.”

Relationship to VersaCold
CPX is a division of VersaCold Logistics—a food-focused integrated supply chain company with over 1,700 refrigerated trailers and 126 million cubic feet of refrigerated warehouse space. To support VersaCold’s focus on food safety, most warehouses are BRC certified. This connection gives CPX customers access to a company with core abilities to warehouse and distribute products in the Canadian market and access to a team of supply chain professionals who can provide global solutions.

Hackl shares why the partnership has flourished: “CPX can leverage the VersaCold warehouse network across Canada. Between our warehouses and our local network with trucks across the country, we are always ready and able to accommodate any and all of our customers’ needs.”

As a North American leader in transportation services and Americans’ first choice when shipping to Canada, CPX continues to focus on premium service, expedited delivery and custom solutions while expanding their transportation and warehousing network and meeting all customer needs.

If you’d like to partner with a leading provider of food-focused logistics from the United States to Canada, please
contact us at
Sales@VersaCold.com or 1-888-563-2653.

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Topics: VersaCold

Less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation. More capacity and reach.

Posted by VersaCold on May 31, 2019 9:00:00 AM

VersaCold temperature-controlled LTL

Ensuring the safe transportation of temperature-sensitive food is our biggest priority. That’s why VersaCold offers a variety of services that help create a customized transportation solution to suit all needs, big and small.

The backbone of VersaCold Transportation Solutions is refrigerated less-than-truckload transportation (LTL). With the widest network of temperature-controlled, food-focused LTL in Canada, we have the capacity and reach to efficiently distribute products for both global food companies and regional processors.

But with all the transportation solutions out there, it can be tough to determine which one is right for you. As the market leader in Canada, we’re breaking it down for you.

Overview and benefits of LTL
LTL is a transportation service that combines small orders from various sources to ship to a customer. Some transportation providers offer regular scheduled service, relying on a steady volume of product from various shippers to make the service viable.

By consolidating several LTL shipments from multiple sources, shippers can move smaller amounts of product more frequently and more cost-effectively, making it ideal for smaller businesses and/or shipments. Utilizing a regularly scheduled service, shippers also ensure frequent stock replenishment and avoid inventory stockouts. LTL also allows for delivery volumes to be flexible with each shipment, making it easy for the shipper to flow with fluctuations in customer demand.

What types of LTL services does VersaCold offer?
VersaCold provides LTL transportation solutions for many types of temperature-controlled products, with deliveries to all points in Canada. Through our CPX division, we deliver LTL quantities direct to the United States. In addition to our regularly scheduled standard LTL services, we also offer our expedited multi-temperature service with the ability to cost-effectively split fresh and frozen goods in the same trailer. All services are available domestically and cross border, delivering both north and south.

VersaCold is the leader in temperature-controlled LTL
As a one-stop food logistics solution, VersaCold offers the highest capacity and highest frequency of refrigerated LTL service in Canada. But what makes VersaCold the best choice for temperature-controlled LTL delivery?

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Topics: VersaCold