( Courtesy RLS Logistics )

As the COVID-19 crisis has reshaped how the distribution chain works, RLS Logistics has started a less-than-truckload (LTL) day-specific service for temperature-controlled shipments to select grocery warehouses nationwide with no upcharge.

As retail and foodservice chains seek ways to reduce inventory costs at distribution centers, they are applying just-in-time inventory strategies to perishables, according to a news release. Shippers of perishables are finding new rules at large retailers, and some are having to incur fines of up to 3%, according to RLS Logistics, Newfield, N.J.

“RLS is raising the bar for temperature-controlled LTL distribution by offering a service other carriers and transportation providers won’t because they’re not willing to risk it or upset their established schedules,” John Gaudet, vice president of business development, said in the release. “By committing to day-specific service, we’re making a commitment to our partners and putting skin in the game.”

RLS is relying on a business model it has been building for almost three decades, with cold chain experience. As retailers strive for more efficiency, RLS is banking on day-specific deliveries, according to the release.

“This is where the industry wants it to go, and there are many other retailers out there that are establishing similar policies,” Gaudet said in the release. “It took some time for the big ship to turn, but you’re going to see more and more retailers and foodservice organizations go that direction — including smaller ones.”

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