In the language of today’s younger generation, it’s time we give some props to the warehousemen and women in the nation’s food cold supply chain.
It’s more than fair to say that these hardy souls are the unsung heroes in the fight for food safety. They form not just the first line of defense against food contamination and spoilage, but the last line of defense as well. We count them among the many groups of professionals who work hard— often in less-than-ideal conditions— to make eating and drinking a pleasurable experience for us and not a big worry.
Consider the typical responsibilities and working conditions of warehousemen in the temperature-controlled food supply chain. They:
- Physically verify transportation/cargo seals against bills of lading (BOLs).
- Physically verify and inspect (for damage and temperature controls) products and product count against BOLs.
- Unload and transfer pallets of food and food products from a truck or container to designated warehousing rack slots.
- Retrieve pallets and select cases to fulfill pull orders.
- Physically count outgoing orders.
- Maintain an industry leading order pull-efficiency rate.
- Work in sub-zero temperatures eight to 10 hours per day with 15 pounds of freezer gear— and smiles— while operating specialized $50,000 electric forklifts and other material-handling equipment.
We can’t speak for the productivity and efficiency of warehousemen elsewhere, but we can speak for ours at Adams Cold Storage. During the last 12 months, ACS warehousemen have received and shipped 6.7 million units of food products— involving more than 24,000 orders and 163 million pounds of product— with an order-fulfillment accuracy rate of 99.998 percent.
We love these guys and we thank them for their vigilance in the very important work to keep our foods safe to eat.
column by BEN ADAMS, JR.
This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage.
BIO: Ben Adams Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage LLC in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion project currently under way.