- Fresh Del Monte has been able to circumvent the recent congestion facing West Coast ports by utilizing "non-traditional" ports that are not fully containerized, according to Francis McCawley, head of commercial at Network Shipping, Fresh Del Monte’s ocean logistics arm.
- McCawley told Supply Chain Dive the produce company calls on the Port of Hueneme instead of the Port of Los Angeles; the Port of Galveston instead of the Port of Houston; and Gloucester Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, which typically handles breakbulk cargo.
- Fresh Del Monte has also taken advantage of Network Shipping to maintain greater control over its shipping as as Fresh Del Monte meets rising consumer demand, SVP & CFO Monica Vicente said in the company’s Q1 earnings call.
The pressures from port congestion and unreliable schedules have pushed shippers across industries to adjust their logistics tactics in a bid for greater stability.
For Fresh Del Monte, control over its its own ocean logistics operations means that it can avoid the volatility that continues to plague much of the ocean freight market.
“We control our destiny, and we're not bound to the fluctuations of the market," McCawley said.
Network Shipping has also grown as a business beyond Fresh Del Monte, expanding its external customer base from 100 to about 350, McCawley said. Customers include industry competitors such as Dole and Chiquita.
The shipper has also benefited from good timing, having ordered six vessels at the start of 2017 that arrived when the pandemic was underway during Q4 2020. The fleet expansion was the first step for Network Shipping to become more prevalent in the food industry, McCawley said.
"Our fleet of vessels has enabled the expansion of our commercial cargo services, which are benefiting from elevated shipping rates and demand due to the current supply chain environment," Vicente said during the earnings call.
Fresh Del Monte has prioritized Network Shipping’s expansion by rebranding its platform to enhance the digital interface. The new interface will help “offer fast reply with less mistakes” and track cargo, McCawley said.