by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Hanson Joins the Lineage Family

Novi, MI – August 4, 2021 – Lineage Logistics, LLC (“Lineage” or the “Company”), the world’s largest and most innovative temperature-controlled industrial REIT and logistics solutions provider, today announced it has acquired Hanson Logistics (“Hanson”), one of the most respected cold storage organizations in the Midwest. Hanson currently ranks as the twelfth largest temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics provider in North America, according to the International Association of Refrigerated Warehousing (IARW). 

Founded in 1954, Hanson’s network includes seven distribution facilities spanning over 46 million cubic feet of capacity across Michigan and Indiana, which are strategically located to reach over 60% of the U.S. population. Their integrated business segments in warehousing and transportation solutions along with Hanson’s frozen food consolidation program, Velocities, provide customers with a full suite of services at every step of the supply chain. 

“Hanson Logistics is another great example of a family-owned business that has served its customers with excellence for generations. Now, they’re joining the Lineage family of companies to help accelerate their growth and customers’ reach,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, President and CEO of Lineage. “Their dedicated, customer-focused team also represents an awesome cultural alignment with our own, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the One Lineage family.”

“For decades, we have worked to build the best possible supply chain logistics program in order to support our customers through every step of the food supply chain,” said Ken Whah, President and CEO of Hanson Logistics. “In joining the Lineage family, we are better positioned than ever to continue serving not only mid-market food processors but also large global customers. We couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter of growth, and I am confident our strong cultural fit will only enhance our team members’ ability to make a difference every day.”

The acquisition of Hanson follows Lineage’s announcement of five other North American acquisitions earlier this year. The Company has since welcomed two additional cold storage providers to strengthen its domestic operations, including:

  • Marc Villeneuve, a direct-to-store distribution service in Montreal
  • Orefield Cold Storage, comprised of three locations in Eastern Pennsylvania

In total, Lineage’s North American facility network consists of more than 250 facilities in 35 states and two Canadian provinces spanning over 1.7 billion cubic feet of temperature-controlled capacity.

About Lineage Logistics 

Lineage Logistics is the world’s largest temperature-controlled industrial REIT and logistics solutions provider. It has a global network of over 350 strategically located facilities totaling over 2 billion cubic feet of capacity which spans 15 countries across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and South America.  Lineage’s industry-leading expertise in end-to-end logistical solutions, its unrivaled real estate network, and development and deployment of innovative technology help increase distribution efficiency, advance sustainability, minimize supply chain waste, and most importantly, as a Visionary Partner of Feeding America, help feed the world. In recognition of the company’s leading innovations and sustainability initiatives, Lineage was listed as No. 17 in the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, the No 1. Data Science company, and 23rd overall, on Fast Company’s 2019 list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies, in addition to being included on Fortune’s Change The World list in 2020. (www.lineagelogistics.com)

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maintaining the Hanson Way

Out front, we are a fast-moving, quick-thinking frozen food supply chain company with what we call our “Yes, We Can” attitude. Hanson Teammates have earned an enviable reputation for food safety, order accuracy, and on-time delivery through hard work and dedication. Admittedly, the pandemic has placed incredible pressure on maintaining our standard of excellence, but in that, we’re not alone. I’m sure I echo the sentiments of my peers in the logistics industry when I say that on many days just getting it done is an accomplishment. As odd as it may sound, the pandemic has required those who work to work harder.

Behind the scenes, we are a close-knit family. And as a family, we share a vision of delivering excellence in all we do. It’s what we look for when hiring new Teammates. We have fostered a culture built on the Hanson Way Genuine Beliefs, a set of core principles of family, safety, trustworthiness, always improving, collaborative, and thinking ahead. Hanson Logistics focuses on adding value to our customers’ brand by leveraging our expertise, cultivating partnerships, and empowering teammates through the Hanson Way.

We encourage open communication between the executive team, managers, and teammates. All Hanson Teammates throughout our organization are valued for their input and contribution to problem-solving.

Today’s greatest challenge is finding and onboarding qualified, like-minded men and women who value the Hanson Way. The demand for our services continues to grow as we return to a post-pandemic economy, and we’ve never been more aggressive in our recruitment efforts.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, millions of adults say they aren’t working for fear of getting or spreading Covid-19. Businesses are reopening ahead of schools, leaving some parents without child care. Many people are receiving more unemployment benefits than they would earn in the available jobs. Some who are out of work are unwilling to switch to a new career.

Add to that the fact that we need to ensure continued alignment without company culture and brand. It’s critical that we attract the right Teammate. As part of our talent acquisition strategy, we look for candidates that reflect values that resonate with our company culture and values. We can’t put our culture at risk by allowing the pressure to hire to interfere with the need to maintain, if not strengthen, the Hanson Way.

Hanson Logistics is fortunate to have a family of Teammates willing to step up to the task of returning to a robust economy. We will emerge from these challenging times a stronger company only by maintaining the Hanson Way.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Hanson Logistics Steps Up Transportation Services with Hirschbach

Cold Chain 3PL Transitions to Robust Dedicated Fleet

St. Joseph, Michigan – Hanson Logistics, a leader in temperature-controlled supply chain services, announced today that Hirschbach Motor Lines will assume the company?s private fleet transportation activities through a dedicated fleet services agreement.

“We arrived at a critical point when the growth of our national frozen food distribution and consolidation program began to outpace our own transportation capacity,? said Ken Whah, President and CEO, Hanson Logistics. “To assure our customers a safe, best-of-class supply chain, we determined the optimum solution was alignment with a carrier that shared both our cultural and operational vision.?

The new dedicated fleet partnership is designed to strengthen Hanson Logistics’ customer service by adding significant on-demand capacity. Hanson will continue to provide transportation management services as a complement to the company’s warehousing and distribution offering.

“We are excited about our partnership with Hirschbach,” said Whah. “We’re confident our customers will experience the next level in transportation service and visibility while allowing us to devote our resources to further developing our strategic plan.”

“We’re honored to be selected as Hanson Logistics dedicated transportation provider,” said Brad Pinchuk, CEO, Hirschbach Motor Lines. “We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working closely with Ken and his outstanding team to provide world class transportation into and out of their cold storage facilities.”

“Our People First cultures at Hanson & Hirschbach mesh extremely well together,” said Pinchuk. “The Hanson drivers are top notch and will be welcomed with open arms to the Hirschbach family. We look forward to building a strong partnership that lasts well into the future.”

About?Hanson Logistics:
For more than 60 years, Hanson Logistics has been a leading third-party logistics provider in temperature-controlled supply chain services. With a seasoned management team, state-of-the-art transportation services, and one of the largest privately-held refrigerated warehouse networks in the country, Hanson designs, executes, and manages best-of-class logistics solutions.

About Hirschbach Motor Lines
Founded in 1935, Hirschbach Motor Lines is an industry leading transportation carrier. Hirschbach offers experienced, refrigerated truckload services to all 48 states. In addition, Hirschbach offers clients a complete range of dedicated transportation solutions and a wide range of innovative specialized services. The business continues to grow. The company now has a fleet of 2000+ trucks and 3,500+ trailers, multiple terminal locations, and continues to expand into new service areas. For more information, visit www.hirschbach.com

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Knowing What It Means to Stay Strong.

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO ?


No matter your occupation, you are likely feeling stressed, anxious, or even depressed at work these days. You?re not alone. According to a recent study from Eagle Hill Consulting on the COVID 19 impact on the workforce, nearly 50% of employees suffer burnout. There?s no getting away from the pandemic, work or home. 

We consider our fellow workers, in our case Teammates, to be family. It?s the first and foremost tenant of the Hanson Way. And it?s not hard to notice when a family member is feeling down. 

Ten months ago, when supply chain personnel were designated as essential workers, there was a certain bravado among our family. We were on the front line to ensure the food chain kept humming, even with all the stops and starts. Today, it requires a bit more fortitude and commitment to deliver excellence day in and day out. Especially not knowing when schools will fully reopen, when the numbers of cases will fall well below dangerous levels, and when Hanson Teammates can start planning rejuvenating vacations or celebrating important birthdays like we used to. 

The pandemic is a catalyst for change. COVID-19 and all its disruption have sharpened the pencil of our Continuous Improvement Program. Now, more than ever, we need to listen to the voice of our customers, to deliver value as promised, and to continue to eliminate any waste along the way.

Stay strong. I?m proud of each and every Teammate in our family.

 

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Outrunning the Bear

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO??

Innovation, transformation, collaboration. . . do it well and do it now.?

Like virtually all businesses, the ?normal? pre-pandemic day in the life of a temperature-controlled supply chain always included its fair share of challenges. Our leadership team focused on continuous improvements while Hanson Teammates did the heavy lifting to make sure the right product is delivered to the right door at the right time. We encouraged new ideas and improvements that drove value in the eyes of the customer.?

Then the whole world changed.?

Many believe the pandemic has pushed e-commerce five years into the future. At first, the sudden growth in online meal delivery was an obvious solution to social distancing. Now consumers, including those 55 and older, have become accustomed to the channel, citing convenience as a benefit of online shopping. Channels for foodservice and DTC frozen foods have been pried open by the pandemic and are not likely to close anytime soon, if ever.?

Consider that it wasn?t too long ago that the health of the frozen food industry was based on USDA reports for the volume of product stored 30 days or longer. Today, the frozen food industry is measured in part by Per-capita Receipt Index, the total of transactions, as measured by consumer receipts, that occurred in each online shopping channel indexed to a pre-crisis baseline.

Equally important, I believe, is that both shippers and 3PLs agree that their relationships are evolving from transactional to strategic. According to the 25th Annual 2025 Third-Party Logistics Study, published by Penn State, CSCMP, and others, the future success of 3PLs ?will be the ability to understand, anticipate and respond to factors and trends that may impact customers? supply chains in a general sense. This will require not only the ability to act quickly and appropriately but also to become core competent in being able to innovate, change, and transform. Success will require an ability to ?outrun the bear,? but also an ability to determine when the bear may not be the most significant threat.?

Like e-commerce, our agility and responsiveness have also been pushed into the future by the pandemic. Until someone gives us the all-clear, we are focused on helping our clients outrun the bear.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Moving the Needle

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO ?

Staying on course is an accomplishment for virtually any business during a pandemic. Still, it?s not a time to set aside laying the groundwork for improved post-COVID operations. Our annual Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, for example, went out as planned to our customers last month, the results of which help benchmark and guide our continuous improvement initiative. Our simple two question questionnaire is sent to everyone in a customer organization, asking them on a scale of 0 to 10 would they recommend Hanson Logistics to a friend. NPS is an important score in measuring year-over-year our customers? experience, allowing us to assess how well (not so well) we?re meeting our customers? expectations. 

Respondents are grouped by the following:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

This year, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement and the excellent feedback from our customers. Our score confirmed that incremental, front line improvements suggested by customers and implemented by Hanson Teammates are having a positive impact on the Hanson customer experience. Yes, we have a few detractors; we view their input as an opportunity to zero in on their feedback and improve our service accordingly.

In statistical terms, our 2020 NPS improved significantly, up 20% from last year. This dramatic improvement was achieved not only in our traditional warehousing and transportation, but also in our newer service lines, such as frozen food ecommerce and single inventory national distribution. What?s more, our customers voted Hanson Logistics in the higher percentile for service levels during COVID, when the frozen food supply was reeling from rollercoaster changes in demand, and we all were working ? and continue to work ? under strict safety protocols.

Hanson Logistics Teammates deserve all the credit for not only making things happen, but making things happen better. 

Yes We Can!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Rising to the Challenge

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO??

History will look back at this period as a time when farmers and ranchers, processors, distributors, truckers and grocery staff came together like never before with the unified purpose of keeping America fed. It?s a remarkable story of service beyond self during one of, if not the most challenging times the world has ever endured.

With gratitude to all on the front lines, I express my personal appreciation to the unwavering commitment of all Hanson Teammates for their important role in staying the course. Their resolve, their ability to rise to the challenge is a test that every Hanson Teammate is passing with flying colors. We are Hanson Strong.

Consumers are buying frozen foods at record levels. Frozen pizza, ice cream and frozen novelties are all seeing increases from 20% to nearly 60% compared to last year. Cookie dough shot up a record 439% in April, according to COVID-tracking articles in Refrigerated & Frozen Foods.

Another study, this one conducted by the American?Frozen Food?Institute, shows that after a 94% surge in March,?frozen food?sales are continuing to see 30% to 35% increases?in April 2020 versus a year ago. The survey also found that Gen Z consumers and high-earning millennial households with children, who were previously not big frozen food buyers,?increased their buying of frozen products substantially during in the past month.

This combined result of closed restaurants, stay-at-home orders, stockpiling and the increased need for comfort food has created higher volume throughput in Hanson Logistics facilities. We?ve increased our capacity to meet the greater demand, but it?s our Hanson Teammates that are making it happen. The eye on food safety never blinks. Increased volume requires more hours on the job and more diligence in keeping it all moving.

Yes, We are Hanson Strong; watch the below video and see for yourself. Thank you Hanson Teammates!

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

Siloed logistics approaches don?t work in today?s cold chain shipping environment. Here?s how to centralize those functions and get back to doing what you do best.

With organizational silos rapidly giving way to more open and collaborative business styles, being able to ?flatten out? the logistics function and bundle multiple services with a single provider is becoming more and more important.

?For both small and large transit companies, maintaining multiple locations or expanding into new markets involves lots of variables,? FleetOwner reports. ?Exploring costs and service-bundling options could mean greater efficiencies and money saved?and a better chance of success.?

Here?s how cold chain shippers can benefit from bundling:

  1. Focus on your core competencies. No more running around, trying to oversee and micromanage multiple providers and getting them to ?talk? to one another. When it?s all under one roof, your central transportation, warehousing, and logistics provider will handle it all for you and allow you to focus on what you do best: supply customers with refrigerated and frozen goods.
  2. Use your provider?s infrastructure to save time and money. Delegating multiple company functions?such as warehousing and distributing?to a single service provider can result in significant time and cost savings. “Bundling these services together with one provider serves to reduce the resources required for oversight as well as provides for economies of scale,? FleetOwner notes, ?as a transportation and distribution provider can often utilize their infrastructure and purchasing power to reduce distribution and fleet cost.?
  3. Have a single point of contact. Bundling logistics services with a single provider means you need only make one phone call, send one email, or schedule one meeting to get everything you need. Because this provider will serve as your focal point, you?ll avoid the wasted time, effort, and cost associated with tracking down multiple providers to get your questions answered or problems solved.
  4. Get consistent results. If you?ve historically used multiple providers for your cold chain transportation and warehousing needs, then you probably understand pains like inconsistent service levels, fluctuating rates, and unpredictable outcomes. By bundling these services with a single provider, you can avoid these uncertainties and focus on getting consistent results from one business partner.
  5. Create a win-win partnership. When companies skip around from supplier to supplier, they never really get the chance to create true, lasting partnerships with those providers. By putting the time and effort into working with one logistics provider, companies can create win-win collaborations that can help them shepherd their cold chains through even the toughest logistics environments (i.e., the current driver shortage and capacity crunches).

Demand for next-day delivery, the driver shortage, and rising transportation rates are all pushing cold chain distributors to find ways to work smarter, better, and faster in today?s transportation environment. In their quest to manage more volume and deal with more complex customer demands than they?ve ever faced in the past, more shippers are bundling fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping with single providers that can meet all of their current needs while also helping them prepare for the future.

To improve your cold chain shipping efficiency, contact us today to learn how Hanson can help.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Reasons to Use Continuous Improvement in Logistics

Cold chain shippers can gain efficiencies and save money by paying closer attention to the art of continuous improvement.

Whether a shipper wants to save money on transportation, lower employee turnover, develop more competitive products, improve customer service, or operate at a higher level of efficiency?or, all of the above?the path to getting there usually includes at least some type of continuous improvement.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Continuous improvement helps improve employee engagement. Also called operational excellence, lean transformation, Kaizen, or any other number of names, the act of continually honing and perfecting a company?s operations has become an imperative in today?s business environment. For example, it?s a particularly good tool for improving employee engagement. ?At its core, continuous improvement is designed to empower employees to solve problems that bug them and gradually improve the efficiency of their work processes. Lean lets employees know that their ideas are important,? Nawras Skhmot points out in 5 Benefits of Continuous Improvement. ?When an employee makes a suggestion for improvement, the idea can be carefully tested; and if successfully implemented company-wide. This changes the employee?s role and responsibilities from being a passive actor to being an active participant in the business processes.?

2. It drives waste out of costly processes. Commonly known as Kaizen, continuous improvement is defined as ?a method for identifying opportunities for streamlining work and reducing waste.? Formalized by the popularity of lean/agile/Kaizen in manufacturing and business, continuous improvement helps companies identify cost-saving opportunities and work better, smarter, and faster.

3. Your competitors are probably already doing it. Facing steep competition, pricing pressures, a tight labor market, and various other challenges, companies that don?t continually step up their games often find themselves left in the dust and scrambling to catch up to their competitors. ?While there are numerous ways in which businesses can compete, logistics ranks high among them. Improving logistics to a point and then taking a passive approach to the system allows competitors to gain advantages in terms of cost savings, improved quality, and production capacity,? Dennis Hartman writes in Why Is Continuous Improvement in Logistics Important? ?Even incremental improvements in logistics can translate into significant savings over time and lay the foundation for further improvements in the future.?

4. The benefits of continuous improvement are well documented and immediate. For shippers, improvement opportunities not only within their own operations, but also across their logistics operations, transportation networks, and end-to-end supply chains. In fact, by taking an all-encompassing, supply chain-wide view on continuous improvements, companies can see significant benefits from their efforts, including improved productivity, lower costs, decreased delivery times, and other strategic gains.

5. If you?re not improving, you?re stagnating. Continuous improvement helps cold chain shippers enhance their processes and products in ways that traditional business approaches can?t match. ?In the modern workplace, knowledge, and technology quickly becomes obsolete over time. If you are doing business in the same way that you did five or 10 years ago, your company will quickly go out of business,? Skhmot concludes. ?Continuous improvement gives organizations a framework for reaching the next level of excellence.?

If you?re looking to gain efficiency and save money, contact us today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

U.S. Growers Thrive as Consumers Load Up on Fruits and Veggies

Spring planting time is here and as the produce season kicks into full gear it looks as if 2018 will be another good year for the nation?s food growers. With consumer tastes continuing to tilt in the direction of fresher, local, and more wholesome meal options, the companies that supply fruits and vegetables are in high demand. According to Packaged Fact?s Fresh Produce: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities report, consumers’ consumption of fresh produce grew steadily?albeit modestly at about 1.3%? between 2011 and 2016. Those moderate annual gains are expected to continue over the next several years through 2021. “Fruit and vegetable producers benefited from steady growth among the U.S. population, as well as from the fact that all age groups have high usage rates, especially Gen X adults,” says Packaged Facts? David Sprinkle in a press release. “Fruits and vegetables are expected to continue experiencing growth in niche areas as consumers persist in seeking out novel flavors from around the world. Increases in disposable personal income will support purchases of premium fruits and vegetables, including non-GMO, organic, and locally grown types. Also, marketing strategies focusing on health and the delicious taste of fresh produce will help fruits and vegetables to expand their appeal and per capita consumption.”

Millennials Love Frozen Foods

Frozen foods are on a tear this year, and both fruit and vegetable growers are benefitting from consumers? renewed interest in frozen options. Forty-three percent of Millennial shoppers said they have purchased more frozen foods this year than last year, according to a new report from Acosta. The frozen food revival also crosses generational lines, with 27% of GenXers, 19% of Baby Boomers, and 19% of the Silent Generation are also buying more frozen this year. Acosta attributes the growth to several industry trends, including:
  • Convenience drives prepared meals, and frozen meals enable consumers to have a stock of meals whenever they are out of time/ ideas/ fresh ingredients
  • Health and wellness ? frozen food enables companies to offer longer shelf life without preservatives; textures are maintained without the use of artificial ingredients, and manufacturers are able to offer niche products at a better price point, including vegan options.
  • Better value for the money ? hectic, unpredictable meal consumption leads to a staggering amount of food waste, and frozen food decreases the amount of food spoilage.
  • The rise of breakfast ? with the search for new breakfast options, consumers are warming up to breakfast sandwiches and other frozen baked goods.

Nutritious and Natural Both Rank High

Right now, Food Industry Executive says grocery shopping preferences are ?trending heavily toward nutritious, natural foods from transparent manufacturers that share their health goals.? Successful manufacturers are following suit, the publication reports, while convenient and healthy frozen options from restaurant-style appetizers to full dinners and desserts are ?revitalizing the frozen food aisle, despite the common belief that fresh trumps frozen.? Packaged Facts points to the Green Giant brand as a good example of how frozen food marketers are getting back on track. The brand changed hands in November 2015, when B&G Foods purchased it from General Mills for $765 million and began breathing new life into the brand. In less than a year it was rolling out a series of new and innovative Green Giant frozen products, including veggie tots, a ?kid-friendly, mom-approved alternative to potato tots and French fries that are filled with vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli instead of potatoes; riced veggies, made from 100% vegetables and with no sauce or seasoning, are positioned as alternatives to traditional rice; and mashed cauliflower, an alternative to the typical potato side dish. ?Since the acquisition of this iconic brand, we have been working tirelessly to meet consumer desire for new, delicious ways to incorporate more vegetables into their daily lives,? Robert Cantwell, chief executive officer of B&G Foods told Packaged Facts. ?This consumer desire has inspired the creation of new Green Giant frozen innovations, as well as the brand?s modernized persona, with the intention of bringing back the Green Giant with a purpose ? adding more vegetables to America?s plates.?

Addressing Logistics Challenges

As produce season heats up, both manufacturers and their logistics providers are keeping an eye on capacity, rates, regulatory changes, and other issues that could impact their supply chains. With U.S. crop volumes growing between May and July?and due to the time-sensitivity of such shipments?expect available frozen and refrigerated capacity to shrink and rates to rise accordingly. ?Tight U.S. truck capacity and rising rates marked the first quarter of 2018, and the outlook for the remainder of the year is more of the same, if not worse,? JOC reports. ?That is the dilemma for shippers of perishable goods, especially food, who are seeing growing demand from buyers, on the one hand, tempered by a capacity crunch on the other.?