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James Alden is Dole's 'Featured Hero' in their Spring Issue of Dole Tech Times

Reference: The April 2021, Spring Issue of Dole Tech Times - a monthly newsletter distributed by Dole

Tell us about yourself! I have been married for 2 years to my best friend and we just had a baby boy 6 months ago. I have been in logistics and transportation for 5-6 years, most of which has been managing transportation for Dole. I started out scheduling the appointments and tracking the shipments but over time took over managing the account directly.

What is your job like? We handle a variety of lanes for Dole and our job is to keep their customers happy by providing excellent service. Our goal is to deliver the fruit on time and maintaining the cold chain while providing

updates along the way. I am lucky to work for a great group of people at Dole that believe in teamwork by going above and beyond to make things happen for their customers.

What is your favorite part of the job? My favorite would be the fast multi-tasking and dealing with the professional drivers that work hard to make sure that things keep rolling. We talk to all kinds of people in this job and getting things done when it is a difficult situation is very rewarding.

Any tips you’d like to share? Stay ahead of things and be ready for anything, it is never a dull moment in transportation. Maintain good relationships with the truck drivers that are out there working hard on the road to get these loads delivered. Stay calm, work hard and be respectful.

What do you like to do for fun? In my free time, I like to play guitar, read books and take our dogs on walks through the neighborhood. We like to go camping in Northern Arizona with the whole family when the weather is nice. My wife and I keep a garden with rotating fruits and vegetables throughout the year that aren’t going to win any awards, but we enjoy it.

Class 8 Orders in January Clear 40,000, Supply Chain Issues May Loom in Q1

Reference: Transport Topics, Written by Roger Gilroy, Senior Reporter - February 4th, 2021

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – February 4, 2021 – North American Class 8 orders kicked off the year by reaching 42,200 in January, up 146% from a year earlier when they were 17,204, ACT Research reported, citing truck makers’ initial data.

“These orders were kind of a continuation of a theme: surprise to the high side,” said ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam. “We as an industry need to recalibrate our expectations. Maybe we need to look higher.”

The preliminary net total also was down 17% compared with 50,739 in December, and 19% from 52,104 in November, according to ACT.

Fresh Freight operates 15 Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft models and plans to add another 15 of the same model this year. (Fresh Freight)

He said the January orders reflected a “competition” for remaining build slots as the order board fills and production “tries” to ramp up to meet that.

At the same time, Class 8 build rates on a per-day basis have been “pedestrian,” Tam said. “We finished the year at just over 1,100 units a day, which is OK. But if you annual that, based on 235 build days a year, it’s a 258,500 market. Clearly, the industry has the capacity to go higher.”

He said even with the ramping up truck makers have in mind to meet demand, backlog will continue to mount until things revert a little bit after the first quarter when order rates are likely to cool.

ACT is looking for a 40% increase in production in 2021 compared with 2020.

And production faces some potential challenges, he added, including availability of steel, tires and microchips, although with chips, these may be more in the automotive and consumer sectors. “I was talking with one supplier and they said the price of steel has doubled in the last six months, and there is a lot of steel content in a Class 8 truck.”

Tam said truck makers may have agreements that hedge against price increases.

Both Meritor Inc. and Cummins Inc. separately said the supply chain is stressed.

“But clearly, it is going to be a good year. Underlying fundamentals support that,” Tam said.

One fleet executive said ordering new trucks has two main benefits.

They enhance driver recruitment and “show our customers that we have the premium equipment they can rely on as part of doing business with us,” Matt Heroux, founder and president of Phoenix-based Fresh Freight, told Transport Topics.

Fresh Freight operates 15 Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft models and plans to add another 15 of the same model this year through its relationship with Rush Truck Centers in Phoenix.

He said he has reconfigured the company’s preferred spec on his upcoming new trucks that will haul produce across the West and Northwest. Safety and performance features are always the first things he looks for, but in conversations with drivers, the biggest thing they sought was increased personal storage. “We changed our spec to go from a double bunk being we don’t run a lot of teams. So we converted to those with a single-driver occupancy in mind. We got rid of the top bunk and replaced that with overhead storage,” he said. “We reconfigured the power inverter a little bit to get them storage and added an extra door to the jockey box, the exterior storage compartment. And we extended the closet a little bit just trying to find a way for the driver to feel a little more comfortable.”

Heroux delayed an order in 2020 “with all that was going on with the pandemic.”

FTR pegged preliminary net orders at 42,833.

Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR, agreed the market may face some supply chain restrictions in the first quarter.

“If you can’t build everything people need in the first quarter, then that [production] just keeps moving out into the year,” he added. “It keeps capacity tight and keeps rates elevated, especially spot rates.”

Experts say the Class 8 replacement level in North America is 19,500 orders a month One large fleet pointed to the driver shortage as a means of understanding what the orders reflect.

Click the link below to read the Transport Topic story on their site:

RELEASE: Fresh Freight, LLC - Fresh Freight Honors US Foods with their 2020 Shipper of Choice Award

Shipper of Choice award presented in recognition of supply chain leadership

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – January 29, 2021 – Fresh Freight, LLC, the industry’s premier full-service provider of food transportation services, announced today that US Foods, a leading foodservice distributor, has been chosen to receive its first annual Shipper of Choice award for supply chain leadership.

“Our Shipper of Choice award recognizes a partner who strives for operational excellence,” said Matt Heroux, CEO of Fresh Freight. “The people of US Foods are some of the hardest working, and most respectful and skilled in food logistics. This is a relationships business, and we’re

thankful for the partnership we have with US Foods. Their efforts have been critical to our success and together we can contribute to the betterment of our industry.”

The annual Fresh Freight Shipper of Choice award celebrates organizations that help advance higher performance standards for carriers and drivers. Some of the key elements of an award winner are communication, collaboration, and the development of opportunities for growth, respect for drivers, and a spirit of partnership.

For US Foods, Fresh Freight provides truckload service throughout the west coast for national account and broadline customers, including fresh, frozen, dry and multi-temp shipments.

Ernest Herrera, director of supply chain solutions at Fresh Freight, noted that US Foods personnel routinely put in long days and nights to achieve common goals, and their leadership team frequently reaches out to discuss projects and industry challenges. Their emphasis on reducing receiving dock time, for example, allows Fresh Freight to more effectively plan loads and optimize utilization.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, Herrera added, the two companies worked closely to manage very challenging load planning dynamics. “By March of 2020, eight weeks of our foodservice load inventory with US Foods had been changed or cancelled,” he related. “The US Foods team did a tremendous job of creating new opportunities through retail redistribution, inventory transfers, and engineering new vendor combinations to service their customers, and help keep our trucks running.”

Fresh Freight, as a premier partner to US Foods, also handles special projects. For example, when the US Foods distribution center in Houston was damaged by storms, Fresh Freight assisted with disaster relief efforts. In 2020, after US Foods acquired Food Services of America, Inc. (FSA), the carrier managed warehouse inventory transitions. In past years as well, it has supplied needed capacity by utilizing drivers to make customer direct deliveries in markets where operations were impacted by labor issues.

About Fresh Freight, LLC
Fresh Freight, the industry’s premier provider of local, regional and national food transportation services, is a trusted partner of food service companies, grocery retailers, food manufacturers, and produce growers and distributors. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and founded in 2016, the family-owned company is committed to excellence in food transportation with a fleet of premium tractors and refrigerated trailers operated by highly experienced, salaried company drivers. As a food transportation focused company, Fresh Freight also provides logistics management and brokerage services through a network of partners, including experienced independent operators and small fleets, to meet specific shipping requirements at industry leading service levels. To experience an upgrade to your supply chain with Fresh Freight, call 602-777-7795, or visit www.freshfreight.com.

Fresh Freight’s dedication to partnerships with customers and suppliers is driving its ongoing success

Reference: Fleet Equipment Magazine, Written by Seth Skydel, Senior Contributing Editor - November Issue, 2020

It’s hard to say whether Matt Heroux chose a career in trucking or it chose him. In one sense, trucking is in his DNA. Hailing from a family that’s been in the freight transportation industry for the past 100 years, he’s been surrounded by trucking for his entire life. Some of his earliest childhood memories, he says, involve heavy-duty trucks.

It was 2016, after working in the trucking industry for more than 20 years that Heroux and his wife and business partner Lisa decided to start Fresh Freight, their own brokerage and logistics company. Today the partners run

the operation together, where Lisa— whose family heritage includes a California-based produce operation— manages the company’s finances.

Heroux’s ultimate goal, though, was to eventually transition the operation into an asset-based carrier, a trucking company of his own. In 2019, that dream became a reality when he began adding company owned equipment to the Phoenix-based provider of food transportation solutions.

“I didn’t see a lot of people who were looking to become fleet owners,” Heroux says. “Everyone wants to be tech driven. They want to develop an app or software. I wanted to use the best technology to provide the most efficient fresh food transportation and logistics services.”

Blended capacity model
Today, Fresh Freight transports only food and food products for a variety of well-known brands in food service, produce and grocery retail businesses. To meet their supply chain requirements, the company employs what Heroux describes as a blended capacity model of company-owned equipment, carrier partnerships, and exclusive private fleets. As a logistics company, it also offers warehousing, consolidation and special project services.

“The food logistics industry is fast-paced and constantly changing,” Heroux states. “We’ve thrived by being able to rapidly respond to our customers' dynamic needs, by being agile, adaptable and responsive.”

Emphasis on partnerships
“We’re big believers in uniformity,” Heroux says. “That means we place a lot of emphasis on partnerships with OEMs. The same way that we don’t win over customers based on price, but rather on service, we don’t invest in the least expensive equipment on the market because you get what you pay for in this business.

“Premium equipment also drives reliability,” Heroux continues, “and that is a major factor in our continued success. A shipment delay caused by an equipment failure can cost our customers thousands of dollars in shelf life value. They depend on us to deliver on time, every day. Our rapid growth and our reputation are built on providing consistently high service levels.”

As a selling point for customers, Fresh Freight also has an exclusive partnership with a company that provides equipment that cleans and sanitizes the air within its trailers during transport. By removing airborne bacteria, mold and allergens, Heroux explains, the food stays fresh and has a longer shelf life.

Best-in-class resources
“Our insurance underwriter, Great West, has also been a valuable asset,” Heroux says. “They have been a key part of developing our safety training program. Their comprehensive resource library allows us to provide best-in-class training resources to our drivers.”

Fresh Freight’s drivers are considered a big part of the company’s ability to offer high quality service. “Our premium equipment gives our drivers pride and comfort while running over-the-road,” Heroux states. “Attracting and keeping great drivers is much easier once the word is out that you only have top of the line tractors.

“Our driver compensation practices, which include full time weekly salaries in place of traditional mileage based pay, company paid medical and dental benefits, consistent home time and paid time off, remove many of the driver retention obstacles that frequently arise in over-the-road trucking operations,” Heroux adds. “And Fresh Freight drivers are safer because they are not chasing extra miles.”

Integrated systems
Heroux is also quick to compliment Fresh Freight’s fleet managers, John Murphy and Molly Cash, for ensuring that the fleet’s equipment is running reliably and efficiently. “Through our integrated systems, we receive real-time fault code alerts and focus on upcoming preventive maintenance needs,” Heroux relates. “For trailers, we utilize Coretex iBrite software to remotely operate and monitor reefer units, and have instant visibility into a comprehensive list of health metrics and maintenance records.

A huge benefit to the Fresh Freight fleet, according to Heroux, has been its partnerships with Rush Peterbilt and the entire Peterbilt dealer network. Through the RushCare Service Connect program, he notes, the fleet has assistance for sourcing in-network coverage for any unscheduled service needs. All maintenance records are also managed in their portal, and the company has immediate access to in-depth information and unit service histories.

Growing up in a large family of farmers, grocers, and food transporters, Matt Heroux learned at an early age to understand what it takes to be successful in transportation. A high school job working for a transportation company, and a focus on logistics and supply chain management in college, also contributed to the foundation of his commitment to excellence at Fresh Freight.

“We take pride in providing services that are a class above our competitors,” Heroux states. “All of our resources are dedicated to the food shipping community, and our understanding of the complex dynamic of food and produce logistics management helps guarantee our customers have the best, long-term supply chain partner in the industry."

Fresh Freight Tractor Specifications
Model: Peterbilt Model 579 UltraLoft
Wheelbase: 250 inches
Engine: Cummins X15, 450 HP
Transmission: Eaton Endurant EEO-17F112C12, 12-speed automated manual
Driveline: Meritor RPL20
Front Axle: Hendrickson SteerTek
Front Suspension: Tenneco shocks
Power Steering: Sheppard HD 94
Rear Axle: PACCAR
Rear Suspension: Peterbilt Low Air Leaf
Brakes: Bendix ESP
Wheels: Alcoa aluminum steer
Tires: Bridgestone 295/75R22; R284 Ecopia steer, M760 Ecopia drive
5th Wheel: HOLLAND FW17
Air Dryer: Bendix AD-HF
Fan Clutch: DM Advantage
Batteries: PACCAR
Starter: PACCAR
Alternator: PACCAR, 160 amp
Block Heater: Immersion type
Mirrors: Peterbilt Aero rear view mirror, motorized
Lighting: HID Xenon headlamps
Seats: Peterbilt ST
Fuel Tanks: aluminum, 150- and 120- gallon
Paint: Axalta

Fresh Freight Trailer Specifications
Model: Hyundai Thermo Tech
Length: 53 ft
Refrigeration Unit: Carrier X4 7500
Landing Gear: JOST HT421
Axles: Hendrickson Vantraxx
Suspension: Hendrickson
Oil Seals: Stemco
Brakes: Hendrickson
ABS: WABCO
Tires: General HT
Lighting & Electrical: Truck-Lite

Click on Fleet Equipment Magazine link below, then navigate to page 44.

Fresh Freight Participates In The USDA Farmers To Families Food Box Program

Reference: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture - October 10th, 2020

Fresh Freight, LLC, an industry leader in food transport and logistics, announced that they will be participating in the USDA Food Box Program. As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Secretary Perdue, announced on April 17, USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need.

Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional, and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels, and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $4 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from

American producers of all sizes. The program will supply food boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat products, and a combination box of fresh produce, dairy, or meat products. Distributors will package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community, and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

Fresh Freight Chooses Peterbilt Model 579 Ultra Lofts

Written By: Tim Olson - June 25th, 2020

As a company that prides itself on providing service that is a class above their competitors, Fresh Freight CEO Matt Heroux has been surrounded by trucking and the transportation industry most of his life. You could say it’s in his blood, as his family has been in the transportation space since 1920. So it should be no surprise that some of his earliest childhood memories are around big trucks. After spending 20-plus years working within the trucking sector, Matt decided in 2016 to branch out and start his own brokerage and logistics company with the dream of eventually transitioning to an asset-based fleet company.

“I don’t see a lot of guys like me out there that are looking to become fleet owners. Everyone wants to be tech driven. They want to make an app or a software technology.

Fresh Freight CEO Matt Heroux stands proudly in front of one of his 10 Peterbilt 579 UltraLofts that he relies on to transport the freshest food in the Southwest.

I want to provide my customers the freshest food using the best technology out there,” said, Matt Heroux.
In 2019, the dream became a reality with Fresh Freight adding the first 10 Peterbilt Model 579 UltraLoft trucks to their fleet. After spending decades managing fleets, Matt knew early on that he didn’t want to have a blended fleet with a variety of manufacturer’s trucks. A big believer in uniformity, whether it be in systems or processes, Matt wanted to partner with a premium truck brand and use it as a selling point to his customers and drivers. “From a driver recruitment standpoint, once the word is out that you only have Peterbilt 579 UltraLofts in your fleet, the rest is easy,” Heroux said. Fresh Freight’s drivers are big part of Fresh Freight’s premium package. Drivers are paid a base salary, versus the industry norm of mileage, and are expected to be over the road truckers capable of delivering a white glove treatment where service is critical.

“While Peterbilt’s might not be the cheapest trucks on the market, you get what you pay for. And, that is the exact same way I run my business. We don’t win much business based on pricing, but rather on service,” said Matt Heroux. “I tell my customers all the time if you want the cheapest truck, I’m not that guy. But if you want it done right, I am your guy.”

While most freight companies haul a variety of different goods, Fresh Freight is unique, only transporting food and food products. Another component that puts Fresh Freight a class above is their exclusive partnership with a company who provides equipment that cleans and sanitizes the air within their trailers during transport. By removing ethaline gas, airborne bacteria, mold, and allergens, the food stays fresh during transport and has a longer shelf life. Based in Phoenix, Fresh Freight works with a variety of big brands in the food service, produce, and grocery retail business.

One of the fastest growing logistic companies in the US, Fresh Freight is continuing to expand adding warehousing, consolidation, and special projects to their business.

Trucker Antonio Wynn enjoys Fresh Freight’s premium approach to taking care of their drivers. A shiny new Peterbilt Model 579 UltraLoft doesn’t hurt either.

It has been a real pleasure to help make Matt’s dream of adding Model 579 UltraLofts to Fresh Freight’s fleet become a reality. With Matt’s drive and how fast his company is growing, I know this is just the beginning of a strong relationship between Peterbilt and Fresh Freight,” said Robert Woodall, Peterbilt Assistant General Manager, Sales and Marketing.​

Read the Peterbilt news release article here: