In today’s volatile hauling environment, one large Midwestern dairy cooperative was experiencing a worsening situation involving hauling and plant-to-plant operations.
In particular, the cooperative’s largest balancing plant offered a considerable hauling challenge. Loadouts from the plant were swinging between three and 30 loads per day, and most were shipping hundreds of miles, usually with less than a 36-hour notice. The cooperative had hauling rates as high as 14% above regional averages.
Furthermore, driver shortages wreaked havoc on hauling capacity, and a lack of transparency in processing and transportation endangered the cooperative’s ability to account for costs. Although they worked with a third-party logistics provider to solve hauling procurement and daily dispatch problems, the collaboration resulted in visibility gaps. Redundant schedules maintained by both parties were out of sync and caused significant loading delays, detention, cancellation charges, and hauler pay validation gaps.
The situation reached a critical point where cooperative leadership was determined to improve service and minimize costs for its 1,000-member farms.
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