NEWPORT, R.I. — Ocean Spray Cranberries reduced its carbon dioxide emissions along with transportation costs through a pair of supply chain changes to Florida, a company official told a trade and transportation conference.
Edward T. Poloway, the agriculture cooperative’s director of supply chain for North America, described the initiatives in a panel discussion at the annual Newport, R.I., conference sponsored by the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade.
Ocean Spray reduced costs 15 percent and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 18 percent by opening a Lakeland, Fla., distribution center nearer the home of the Publix supermarket chain, an important customer, Poloway said.
Adding a DC sounds counterintuitive from a cost standpoint but made sense by reducing trucking miles to customer facilities, he said. Saddle Creek Corp. operates the DC.
Ocean Spray achieved even larger percentage savings — 40 percent on costs and 65 percent on CO2 emissions — when it switched from trucks to intermodal rail, using southbound capacity on the backhaul routes of Tropicana’s shipments from Florida, Poloway said.
Both changes were implemented about three years ago. Poloway said the “Tropicana train” required a brief adjustment to longer lead times for delivery, but that operational savings showed up within months, and that the intermodal service is achieving company goals for on-time delivery and product fulfillment.
He said the reduced carbon emissions contribute to Ocean Spray’s goals of reducing non-renewable energy use and carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2015.