New market uses state of the art produce handling capabilities

09/07/2011 10:19:00 AM
Doug Ohlmeier

“Before the truck would leave the market on a warm day like this, the trailer’s refrigeration unit would not stop for the driver’s hourlong trip,” Richardson said. “Today, it stops before the driver hits the highway. There are so many efficiencies right there in fuel.”

Another big improvement, Richardson said, involves the large quantity and volume of pick places on each wholesalers’ floor area where customers can receive their produce. In the old market, wholesalers often had to store customer product in the unit’s rafters. Today, instead of being limited to 30 pallets, vendors can store up to 70 pallets, Richardson said.

“This place is so customer-friendly,” he said.

Working in a modern facility has its advantages, said Chip Wiechec, president of Hunter Bros. Inc.

“There is not a distribution market environment like this,” he said. “You have big-box distributors that operate similarly but no one will have the quality and the variety and the service that you find down here at this market.”

Now that the market has the ability to become certified with best operating practices and comply with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point as well as primuslabs.com standards and good agricultural practices, Wiechec said there is no other place as modern as the Philadelphia operation.

Todd Penza, salesman with Pinto Bros. Inc., said he thinks the building is trendsetting.

“There is more room for customers to set up their orders before they load them on their trucks,” he said. “The building helps bring people here. But it’s the salesmen and the business owners themselves who can attract and maintain these customer relationships. But the new building certainly helps.”


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