Arrive Fresh, targeted at reefer business, rolled out by Arrive Logistics

Arrive Logistics has rolled out Arrive Fresh, a service dedicated to a higher-end level of service for the refrigerated sector.

As the Austin, Texas-based company said in its announcement, it is “dedicated to solving the challenges of moving produce, meat, fish, dairy and other complex fresh freight.”

With an announcement like this, the question inevitably comes up: How is this different from the reefer business at other brokerages or at what Arrive Logistics was doing previously?

Executive Vice President Tony Hammonds, who will head Arrive Fresh, had some views on what will separate Arrive Fresh from other reefer-related brokerage businesses.

“The first thing we identified was that there was a lot of capacity out there that I would call a reefer carrier,” Hammond said. The term is not a compliment because he also said Arrive identified a next level of reefer trucks that he called “fresh carriers.”

“What we did was identify a process to really move those reefer carriers to becoming fresh carriers,” Hammond said.

Part of that involved setting up what Hammond called “partnerships … trying to get them more consistently on the fresh shipments so they understand the expectation of the wait time and what can go wrong.” The goal was to get these carriers in the Arrive network to recognize the difference between “one day you’re moving a frozen load of TV dinners and then the next day you’re trying to ship a fresh load of apples. It’s dramatically different how that’s going to be executed.”

As Arrive said in its announcement heralding the launch of Arrive Fresh, “every Arrive Fresh team member goes through a rigorous training program to learn the nuances of moving perishable products to provide customized carrier solutions.”

Hammond said Arrive Fresh has hired several executives with experience in the business of moving fresh foods. A decision to proceed with Arrive Fresh was made in March 2019.

Why not announce its launch then? Hammond said Arrive Fresh wanted to be sure it had spent adequate time “investing in the back-end processes and the people to make sure we could sufficiently execute the promises we make. We wanted to be sure we could deliver on that.”

One practice Arrive Fresh touted in its announcement: the use of drop trailers. In the prepared statement, Hammond said drop trailer service is generally “unheard of in the perishable food space.”

In fairly open criticism of what he sees as typical brokerage activity, Hammond said that “a lot of brokers just look at shipments.” The philosophy of Arrive Fresh is that there is a promise the shipper or customer makes to their own customers, “and we’re trying to help them execute on that.”

Hammond said in the transportation business, it’s difficult to concurrently serve two masters: service and price. The goal will be to deliver on both, he added.

At present, a lot of reefer drivers are hard pressed to service a more complex perishable load, or as Hammond described it, “a three-pickup, two-drop apple shipment and you don’t know if you’re shipping until the day before and it’s going to take 10 hours to offload.” Better training and preparation that Arrive Fresh is shooting for will “better prepare them … so they can meet the expectation of those shipments.”