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

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

Why Our SQF Certification Matters to Your Business

Last week, we announced that Hanson Logistics has been awarded the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification, Edition 8, by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a globally trusted, recognized, and accepted food safety and quality program.

This farm-to-fork food safety and quality certification helps food producers assure their buyers that food products have been grown, processed, prepared and handled according to the highest possible global food safety standards. It can immediately improve your standing in the eyes of new partners and deals.

For everyone at Hanson Logistics, this achievement is a great validation of our hard work and our team?s commitment to quality operations. For you, it means increased protection in the event of recalls, improved operational efficiencies in our work together, managed risks, and peace of mind with certified due diligence.

The SQF Certification Process

Hanson Logistics? Hartford, Michigan temperature-controlled facility received the certification, the first of our eight warehouses to become SQF Certified. There are a variety of requirements that our facility had to meet to achieve certification associated with safety and quality, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement.

The process can take between six and nine months and is a significant investment. We believe the practices it checks for and encourages are a smart way to assure food and perishable safety across the entire supply chain, including sourcing, processing, packaging, and delivery.

A core component of the certification is something that?s mission critical for your business: effective management of food safety hazards. When you hear that Hanson Logistics, or any other partner, is SQF certified, it means that they have a demonstrable commitment and processes in place to create, monitor, and manage a safe environment for food production.

SQFI provides a global, consistent certification process that is one of the most trusted in the world for food safety. The certification is important for every partner in the food supply chain, and we like that the body requires annual reviews to ensure that we are compliant and always follow best practices.

Benefits of SQF Certification

Achieving SQF certification requires that we develop process and business improvements that allow us to proactively identify and manage threats to the products we store and ship for customers like you. In the Hartford facility, these requirements apply to all of our operations, including long-term storage and outbound transportation designed to save you money and deliver your product to their destination as required?

Pairing SQF certification with the ability to fulfill larger, higher-frequency orders can also protect your bottom line by giving you access to a larger market. Not only will you be able to address order demands, but you?ll meet the increasing demand for supplier certifications coming from partners and buyers. Having a certified partner ensures that your operations can support the demands of larger retailers and chains.

You can also reassure your leadership that your products are in good hands.

We see certifications like SQF as a smart way to ensure we stay on top of food safety regulations and requirements. It is in concert with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), designed to improve safety from farm to fork.?

At the end of the day, SQF certification is a demonstration of our commitment to food safety, quality, legality, and support for all of our partners. Or, as our CEO Jim Riets says, ?SQF Certification speaks to our team?s effort to meet and exceed that which is expected of them as logistics professionals. It?s recognition of our ?Yes We Can? attitude, and we commend our Hartford team for a job well done.??

Get to Know Our Michigan Facility

Our Hartford location is nestled in the heart of West Michigan?s fruit and vegetable farmlands. Consisting of 7 million cubic ft. of temperature-controlled space, we support a significant part of the regional grower community with offerings including blast freezing, racked storage, transportation management, and an unparalleled commitment to service quality.

Goods shipped from Hartford are labeled with the SQF certification, giving our partners a credibility boost as soon as those boxes and pallets arrive at their next destination.

Today?s consumers have increasingly complex demands for food management and safety. Those concerns are readily visible in the requirements from retailers and vendors. Give your products the best chance to exceed expectations, regulations, and requirements by partnering with an SQF Certified logistics company.

Learn how our certification might even save you money with a more efficient operation by?contacting us?today.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Cultivating the Next Generation of Supply Chain Leaders

Three strategies cold chain shippers can use to ensure strong supply chain leadership today and in the future.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 4%, the supply chain field is in the same quandary that many other industries are in right now?namely, finding skilled and available talent to fill their employee pipelines.

Going a step further, identifying and cultivating individuals who can lead the supply chain of the future is even more difficult, what with the abundance of jobs and opportunities that experienced professionals literally have at their fingertips online.

?Manufacturing, retail, logistics, and a range of other companies are scrambling to find supply chain professionals amid a severe talent shortage that threatens those companies? very livelihoods,? Margaret Harrist writes in Supply Chain Talent Shortage: What’s an Industry To Do?

?At the same time, the skills needed are changing rapidly,? Harrist continues. ?The challenge for employers is to find people with the necessary technical and operational competencies, as well as the ability to lead, apply analytical thinking, and innovate.?

Three Steps to Take Right Now

Here are three strategies that cold chain shippers can use to start shoring up their supply chain leadership pipelines for the future:

  • Define your company?s mission. According to the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives?not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs. This is a major oversight for any cold chain shipper that wants to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of supply chain leadership. ?To get started, define an organization or team mission that identifies the specific objectives of your vertical, then use that mission as the foundation of your succession plan,? Tisha Danehl points out in Supply Chain Quarterly. An example of a mission may be something like: ?Our goal is to provide quality service to customers while using technology to be sustainable.?
  • Position supply chain as a hotbed for new technologies. According to a recent industry survey, 70% of companies said that candidates? perception that the ?profession lacks status and opportunities for career growth have a high or very high impact on employers? ability to find, attract, and retain talented people,? Harrist writes, noting that in many cases, those perceptions sometimes are perpetuated by the employers themselves. To buck this trend, focus on how supply chain professionals use emerging technologies (i.e., the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics), and on how it ?allows professionals to focus on several areas that are attractive to young people: improving environmental sustainability and increasing standards of living.?
  • Look outside of your organization?s four walls. ?While it’s ideal to look internally, the truth is that sometimes you must go outside your organization to find the right person to lead your logistics or supply chain organization in the future,? Danehl suggests. ?With senior leadership potentially approaching retirement, partnering with outside resources, such as a recruiting firm, can help you fill important roles.? Social media (i.e., LinkedIn and the new “Jobs on Facebook” feature), professional trade organizations, and partnerships with area educational institutions are all good resources for shippers to explore.

?By hiring talent directly out of college,? Danehl writes, ?you can get an early sense of the candidates’ capabilities and build your workforce from the ground up to ensure that your future supply chain leaders have the right management skills.?

Are you interested in joining the Hanson Logistics team? We look forward to getting to know you, contact us today to learn about our current openings!

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

Thank You, Mr. Hanson.

Merlin Hanson was recently appointed Chairman Emeritus of Hanson Logistics, following a decades-long successful career in tool and die, logistics and automated equipment systems. Mr. Hanson was Chairman of the Board since he purchased the company in 1989. Hanson Logistics is just one of several thriving companies Mr. Hanson has built during his career. He shares that of all of his successes, he is most proud of the employees he has been able to work with over the years. ?We?ve been fortunate to build major companies into fine operations with great people, offering them good wages and benefits,? Merlin said. ?That?s overall what I?m as proud of as anything.?

A Tool Man at Heart

After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Merlin began learning the toolmaking industry as an apprentice. He soon worked his way to a supervisory position. During this time, he was able to continue gaining experience building a team of dedicated staff, which he grew from 20 to 100 employees under his watch.

A Logistics Company Bears His Name

?A toolmaker by trade, Mr. Hanson stepped out of the machining arena to purchase Southern Michigan Cold Storage in the late 80?s. Under his leadership, he drove a company rebranding to Hanson Logistics. The company has since grown to nine facilities in Michigan and Indiana, employing 300 Teammates, with a refrigerated transportation fleet and the country?s largest and most successful frozen food consolidation program located in Hobart, Indiana.

A Vision for the Future

?A key consideration for Merlin within his various organizations is the impact that they have on the surrounding community and to the families of current and potential employees. ?Our purpose is to create an environment that is comfortable to move into, with good schools. I think that?s part of the responsibility for people who employ others in the area,? he said.

Building for Upcoming Generations

From beginning his career as an apprentice to leading several successful companies, Merlin understands the importance of training future generations. With a passion for growing his companies and also supporting and encouraging his employees and bolstering the surrounding communities, Hanson continues to advocate for individuals and families in the area. Through apprentice programs and with upward growth within the organizational ranks, Merlin has established an ongoing legacy that will benefit many people for years to come.