Where''s the Boxed Beef? Ask Sunco

Where''s the Boxed Beef? Ask Sunco

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

Colorado Boxed Beef, a meat wholesaler based in Auburndale, Fla., turned to Sunco Carriers, Lakeland, Fla., to solve an interstate distribution problem: its lack of backhaul freight to the Sunshine state.

Sunco will take responsibility for interstate shipments from Alterman Transportation Group, a transport division of Colorado Boxed Beef, allowing ATG to focus on intrastate refrigerated transport.

Both ATG and Sunco bring something to the table in this deal, said Joe Whitlock, Sunco''s president. ATG has several distribution facilities in Florida that can handle Sunco''s growing LTL traffic, while Sunco has sources of backhaul freight for interstate runs returning to Florida.

"The alliance gives both our customers what they need," said Whitlock. "Our customers have been after us to expand our LTL services; however, adding the infrastructure to do that was not part of our business plan.

"ATG, on the other hand, has the infrastructure," he said. "We provide the cost-effective interstate transportation because of our strong backhaul market, while ATG provides the infrastructure to grow the LTL business."

In addition to Auburndale, ATG has operations in Miami and Jacksonville. It offers next-day and second-day LTL refrigerated service within Florida, as well as a full menu of logistics services. Sunco Carriers, founded 23 years ago and headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., became a wholly owned subsidiary of Watkins Associated Industries in 1997.

Colorado Boxed Beef, founded 28 years ago has seven operating divisions focusing on transportation, logistics and branded programs. It specializes in the distribution, sale and marketing of perishable products, particularly boxed beef, pork, poultry, lamb, veal and seafood, primarily in the South, Caribbean and Pacific Northwest.

Colorado Boxed Beef recently purchased the distribution division of Houston-based PREFCO from Atlantic Premium Brands. The company now operates as PREFCO Distribution, serving several markets in Texas.

Boxed beef is beef that a packer cuts into relatively small pieces, seals in vacuum packs, and ships in cardboard boxes, often ready for retail sale. Prior to the 1970s, most beef left the packer as partial carcasses.