Food Manufacturing Headaches? Let’s Solve ‘Em!

06/13/2024 by Christine Morris

Food Manufacturing Headaches? Let’s Solve ‘Em!

It’s a simple fact. People can’t survive without food. When times are tough, we can certainly make sacrifices in other parts of our lives, like our online shopping habits or a remodel we wanted, but not food. This makes food manufacturing a reliable and even diverse industry to run a business in. Yet, it doesn’t come without its own set of unique challenges, especially with its logistics. 

Today, the demand for fast and reliable shipping is higher than ever. Food and beverage companies need to meet the rising pressure to provide quicker turnarounds and deliver their products at optimal freshness to stay competitive. With already complex supply chains, how can a company keep up? Not to mention, what if there’s an issue found or a delay? Don’t stress. We’ll cover logistics challenges that commonly hurt food manufacturing businesses and how working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company, like Trinity Logistics, can solve and simplify your processes for shipping food.

Common Shipping Challenges Faced by Food Manufacturing

Diversity in Scheduling Applications

One of the biggest headaches for food manufacturers is self-imposed. Each shipper or distributor could be using a different scheduling portal or application. Some even just use Excel spreadsheets. Because of this, scheduling conflicts and communication gaps are often seen when shipping food. This can be very frustrating to the logistics departments arranging the shipments. 

Furthermore, the carriers they aim to work with may not know how to use the application or might not even have access to it. This inefficiency can cause issues with them scheduling their pickup or delivery appointments. It also can limit access to capacity, something that is truly needed for those requiring temperature control during peak produce season!  

Plenty of Time-Sensitive Freight in Food Manufacturing

As previously mentioned, food manufacturers face a growing demand for products that are at peak freshness, especially for those needing temperature control. It’s not unusual for these time-sensitive shipments to be last-minute orders requiring immediate action. Some of these can come in just the day before or even the day before and need shipping right away. Sometimes to help manage the influx of shipments, freight can be assigned with a “Must Arrive by Date” (MABD). This can put pressure on food manufacturers, and missed delivery windows can result in costly penalties. These fees, called chargebacks, usually get pushed back onto the customer and impact your bottom line and service.

Visibility Gaps When Shipping Food

With many time-sensitive and temperature-control requirements, it’s important for food manufacturers to have complete visibility into their shipments. Food shipments often involve multiple stops, so it’s critical to understand where your product is and when it’s expected to arrive. Even though it is valuable, many food manufacturers find they have limited visibility of their shipments. This creates a lot of uncertainty, causing additional gaps in communication and possible delays or disruptions. Most importantly, it can jeopardize the safety of your food product, an important piece to meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulation.

Keeping Logistics Budget in Control

Carrier selection for shipping food products can be a puzzle for food manufacturers to figure out. On one hand, you want to work with high-quality carriers to ensure your food products arrive at peak freshness. On the other hand, they cost more. One certainly wants to budget and find balance. Look to pay too little, and you may not find the quality service your products need. Finding that balance between the two can be difficult.

Market trends can also cause unexpected price fluctuations, further challenging their logistics budget. This can really hurt those needing to meet peak freshness as it’s not like they can’t ship their products as they may perish. Instead, they’ve got to adjust and pay the current price.

Food manufacturers must be creative and find solutions to keep their costs down but their quality up. They can consider other transportation modes as options to manage costs, but understanding which one makes the most sense for their product can be overwhelming.

Embracing Sustainability

Sustainability is on everyone’s minds, including consumers. With global food and beverage production causing roughly 34 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, consumers are holding food manufacturing companies to higher standards. They’re researching more about the companies they purchase food products from. They want to know what positive practices they implement, such as sustainable fishing, the use of ecological pesticides, reforesting, fair trade, or the use of compostable packaging.


With over 45 years of serving customized logistics solutions to thousands of food manufacturers, we’re fairly confident in our ability to help you overcome any of these challenges.

We Speak Your Scheduling Language

We’re in tune with most if not all, scheduling portals that food and beverage shippers use. You don’t have to worry about training us! Yes, we could even say we know how to navigate those scheduling apps “with our eyes closed.” Even if we have a newer Team Member who is unfamiliar with it, we can guarantee that at least one of our 400+ Team Members or 135+ Authorized Agents know it and can assist.

Time-Sensitive Titans: We Deliver When It Matters Most

At Trinity Logistics, we understand the urgency of time-sensitive food deliveries. Our Team excels in handling quick turnarounds, making us the “emergency room” for your time-critical freight. We are acutely aware of the potential repercussions of missed deliveries and leverage our strong carrier relationships to secure the capacity you need. These established partnerships allow for better planning and ensure that carriers are familiar with the specific needs of food commodities, pickup, and delivery locations.

Furthermore, in the unfortunate event that fees do arise due to carrier issues, Trinity acts as your advocate. We hold our carriers accountable and ensure that any associated charges are passed along to the responsible party. Our meticulous investigation process guarantees that only the root cause of the problem bears the financial burden.

Expand the View into Your Shipments

We’re champions of end-to-end visibility, great communication, and transparency because we know you deserve it. Our commitment to People-Centric service isn’t just our slogan; it’s our philosophy.

We leverage a combination of cutting-edge technology and a dedicated Team Member to keep you informed every step of the way. Use our Customer Portal to see real-time tracking of your shipments. If you’re looking for even more transparency, there’s our Managed Transportation service, offering you a customized Transportation Management System (TMS) solution that works for your business. Between our technology and our Team Members, you’ll find this proactive approach ensures you’re not left in the dark until delivery.

Find Balance in Your Logistics Budget

Starting out, our established carrier relationships not only gain you access to capacity but to leverage our competitive rates. Additionally, we have multiple modes to choose from and our Experts can help you explore which one suits your product and budget.

Now, we understand balance isn’t easy to obtain, so that’s why Trinity Logistics goes a step further in our service to help you find it. For those food manufacturers that build a shipping history with us, we’re able to review your data and conduct a comprehensive review of your logistics. This will give you a clearer insight into your logistics to find room for improvement. We won’t come empty-handed, either. We’ll make recommendations to add efficiencies and see if we’re on the right track for your company’s success.

Adding Sustainability into Your Logistics

We understand the importance of sustainability and are committed to helping you implement it throughout your supply chain. This includes connecting you with carriers that prioritize eco-friendly practices, finding sustainable shipping options, and exploring carbon offsetting programs. If you need further proof, Trinity currently holds a bronze medal rating by EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of sustainability ratings.

Learn more about Trinity's sustainability initiatives

Bonus Benefit for Food Manufacturers! Trinity’s Relationship with Honor Foods

As a Burris Logistics Company, we have a direct relationship with Honor Foods. Honor Foods is a leading foodservice redistributor with locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions of the U.S. They have access to thousands of reputable brands and can simplify your purchasing process. Honor specializes in frozen, refrigerated, dairy, and dry products with over 3,000 stocked items from 300+ trusted suppliers. Speed up your lead times and increase profitability with no extra storage space needed. Working with Trinity and Honor, you can get the best of both Burris Logistics brands and gain additional success in your business.

Operating in food manufacturing can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Try Trinity Logistics for your shipping and see just how easy it can be.
Discover how Trinity exceptionally serves those in food and beverage Get a quote to see if our solutions are right for your business