Rescuing food supports circular supply chain for America’s food and beverage shippers
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Convoy, a nationwide Digital Freight Network, today announced a new collaboration with Feeding America®, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, to deliver consumable food and beverages to food banks across the country instead of disposing it in landfills.
Convoy’s Digital Freight Network will now use Feeding America’s MealConnect technology, which will enable truckers across the nation who find themselves facing rejected food and beverage shipments to immediately find the nearest food bank and reroute to deliver the surplus items. The Feeding America network of 200 food banks, which operate like warehouses, link with 60,000 localized soup kitchens and food pantries nationwide. The driver is compensated for the extra stop, and Feeding America provides receipts and reports to recognize the contributions.
FOOD WASTE IN THE US
The U.S. wastes edible food at an alarming rate. Each year, about 72 billion pounds of otherwise consumable food never make it onto dinner tables, according to estimates from ReFED. Annually, that amounts to roughly 40 percent of all food in the US.
In complex supply chains, not every delivery to a grocery store, wholesaler or food service provider is perfect, due to a number of factors that lead to massive waste:
- Overproduction leads to surpluses that distribution center spaces simply aren’t able to accommodate
- Miscommunication among supply chain partners pushes incorrect order quantities on facilities that aren’t expecting them
- Slightly damaged shipments result in products that are deemed commercially unsaleable but that are still fully consumable
- A food supply chain trained only to move goods in the forward direction may find it simpler to dump rejected products, rather than route them through a complex and mostly unfamiliar reverse logistics process
HOW THE PARTNERSHIP WORKS
Shippers work with Convoy to set their disposition criteria for rejected shipments. When individual shipments are rejected within the shipper criteria, Convoy routes the shipment through MealConnect to find the closest food bank.
- Dry, refrigerated, and frozen foods are all accepted.
- A food bank in the Feeding America network accepts the shipment within 90 minutes, 90% of the time.
- The closest food bank is usually less than 40 miles away from the truck driver’s location.
When the shipment arrives at the food bank, the trailer is unloaded by food bank staff and the driver is on their way to their next job. To close the loop, the shipper receives individual receipts to recognize their donation.
Shippers that opt into this new partnership program reduce landfill waste and contribute to supply chain circularity.
- Rescue food in the supply chain – consumable food and beverages are sent to a food bank instead of a landfill.
- Improve the lives of truck drivers – The proactive disposition reduces the hassle for drivers and gets them to their next job faster. When food is rejected by the receiving facility, truckers on a tight schedule often have no choice but to pay to dump the rejected shipments in landfills. This has resulted in tons of edible food being dumped into landfills. But that doesn’t have to happen anymore.
“We are excited to partner with Feeding America to eliminate waste in trucking while redirecting vast quantities of food to those in need,” said Jennifer Wong, Convoy’s head of sustainability. “We are already optimistic about the progress we have made in partnership with our food and beverage customers who are eager to adopt innovative sustainability practices.”
This partnership is nationwide and effective immediately. Email [email protected] to learn more. Every shipper can opt into this program today. Food banks around the country will benefit from the rescued food immediately.
About Feeding America:
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Convoy is the most efficient digital freight network. We connect shippers to carriers to move millions of truckloads, saving money for shippers, reducing hassle for carriers, and eliminating carbon waste for our planet. We use technology and data to solve problems of waste and inefficiency in the $800B trucking industry, which generates over 76M metric tons of wasted CO2 emissions from empty trucks. Shippers like Anheuser-Busch, CHEP, and Waiākea trust Convoy to lower costs, increase logistics efficiency, and achieve environmental sustainability targets. For more information, visit www.convoy.com.
Mark S. Peterson