Want to meet the world’s growing food needs and perhaps snack on inflation at the same time? Try to digitize the supply chain to reduce food waste, says Said Oman, founder and CEO of a digital platform supplier for fresh food Hwy Haul.

With experience in supply and distribution chains at Walmart, Oman has seen a lot of food waste and inefficiencies in stores and transportation.

He founded Hwy Haul in 2018 with a mission to eliminate waste when transporting food from farms to consumers.

Santa Clara, CA, takes a multi-faceted approach to this issue:

  • Temperature and humidity monitoring.
  • Ensuring full visibility from start to finish.
  • Course correcting if there are problems.
  • Supply chain digitization.
  • Provide reliable capacity all year round.

According to Oman, access to refrigerated truck capacity is a key part of the puzzle. “Reliability is a question mark” when a broker works with 6-10 companies, he said. Only 5% to 8% of brokerage work is currently done digitally. This suggests that automation has ample opportunities for growth.

Hwy Haul digitally combines workloads with carriers and can balance changes in supply and demand. The company works with hundreds of shippers, including multibillion-dollar companies. Oman said it has access to nearly 10% of the country’s 500,000 refrigerated drivers.

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Operator program type (Photo: Hwy Haul)

Although the number of rejections in tenders in the refrigeration market has been declining over the past few months, Oman said companies still expect to lose money from discarded cargo.

Shippers with large volumes can save 20% to 30% in costs annually by working with Hwy Haul. “We have already demonstrated that we have saved 80% of food waivers” in the number of deals the company has made so far, Oman said.

The incentive for carriers to use the Hwy Haul platform is that they can receive money immediately after uploading a delivery confirmation photo to the app. Drivers can also book downloads directly from the app. Oman said word-of-mouth transmission among refrigerated drivers is spreading and attracting more and more people to Hwy Haul.

Humanitarian and climatic impact of food waste

Up to 40% of food in the U.S. is never eaten, however one in eight Americans has difficulty putting food on the table. Council for the Protection of Natural Resources. That’s about 400 pounds of food that is thrown away every year in the United States

Waste happens at almost every stage of the supply chain. Some of the food remains in the fields; some do not meet industry standards in size, shape or color; some are not stored properly during transportation or in warehouses; some sit on shelves in grocery stores for too long; and some linger in consumers ’refrigerators before throwing them away.

When food rots in landfills, it emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, trapping heat in the atmosphere. Environmental Protection Agency.

Landfills are the third largest methane emitter in the United States after natural gas and oil and livestock systems. The EPA said.

Food waste is also a major problem given the expected population growth in the coming decades. Oman said that by 2050 the world will need 60% more food to feed the population. “One way is to produce more food, but it’s like eliminating the symptom, not the root cause. We need to get to the root cause. “

How distance traveled affects food waste

Products in the U.S. typically travel long distances and spend about half of their lives by truck, Oman said.

“Because we are shortening the distance [food travels], the probability of spoiling it is reduced, ”he said. Consumers are starting to demand more food that has been produced closer to home from places like vertical farms or public gardens.

Read: Want your own farm? This one comes in a shipping container

But Oman stressed that the products should be treated well and maintained at the right temperature, regardless of the distance traveled.

Said Oman (Photo: Hwy Haul)

While he was in Walmart, Oman worked on the last mile delivery platform to deliver the goods within 60 minutes of their order. He learned that even traveling short distances of 5 miles or less requires careful handling, especially with very temperature-sensitive foods such as milk and ice cream.

Every jump in the supply chain “adds a dollar value to the price of a product,” and consumers are often delayed by this bookmark, Oman said.

Rising food prices, shortages of things like that baby formula and concerns about global food shortages are influenced by global and local factors.

in april Products worth $ 240 million rotted in trucks on the U.S.-Mexican border while drivers waited in long lines due to heightened pre-passage controls. Whether it is a pandemic, war, climate change or other problem, food supply chains are likely to be face ongoing challenges.

“We need to build a more sustainable supply chain to address this,” Oman said. “The supply chains of the future need to be rethought and reconstructed.”

Click here to get more articles about FreightWaves from Alice Sporer.

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