Resources

Understanding Food-Grade Transportation

When shipping any type of freight, manufacturers want to ensure that their chosen carrier will get their products to their destination safely and securely. Ensuring that all products reach retailers’ shelves in prime condition is part of a transportation and distribution company’s responsibility. Whether shipping food products, consumer packaged goods (CPGs), or other items, customer satisfaction is on the line if the goods are spoiled or damaged in any way. The risks are even higher for food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals.

Storing and transporting consumable products requires extra diligence, ensuring that the goods are stored at required temperatures, handled properly, and not exposed to contamination. Compliance with industry regulations is essential. But what is food-grade transportation? What characteristics determine who is an expert on food-grade transportation?

What is Food-Grade Transportation?

Food-grade transportation is the shipment of food and consumable products from the manufacturers to the retail shelves. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 states that specific sanitary practices must be followed when transporting human or animal food to prevent adulteration.

While food transportation refers to the general shipment of food, whether by water, air, rail, or road, the majority of food and consumables goods move across the country via trucks. Transporting consumables is complicated and requires strict compliance with food transportation standards. Businesses that don’t follow regulations face hefty fines, risk damage to their brand’s reputation, and a loss of trust from their customers.

Why is Fast and Safe Food Transportation so Important?

Delivering food quickly and safely enhances product quality for manufacturers and retailers and protects them from any possible compliance violations and customer dissatisfaction.

Maintaining efficient delivery lines also ensures retailer’s shelves are never empty. Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping is ideal for food and beverage shipments as it allows retailers to place smaller orders more frequently. LTL shipping helps retailers maintain a reasonable balance of inventory in their distribution centers to ensure shelves are always stocked, reduces spoilage or expiration, and enables businesses to deal more effectively with demand fluctuations.

Food Transportation Standards

To avoid compliance fees, loss of customers, and damaged freight, several essential factors must be considered when warehousing and transporting food and beverages:

  1. Temperature requirements: Many consumables have specific storage requirements that vary according to the products. Failing to keep temperature-sensitive goods in the right conditions can result in spoilage, increasing costs, postponed fulfillment, loss of customer confidence, and possible contamination in the public domain. So, ensuring consumables are transported correctly at the right temperature is paramount to a smooth-running supply chain. Temperature-controlled carriers are equipped with the technology to maintain the ideal environment for the food products, regardless of the external conditions. Where warehousing is required for products, ensuring the facilities are temperature-controlled and have a robust pest control program is essential so that from the point of off-loading to reloading again, goods are never at risk.
  2. Training: Beyond monitoring temperature controls, employee training is required to ensure that the food handlers who off and on-load freight not only carefully inspect the products for damage or contamination but also verify product codes, expiration dates, best-by-dates, or other means of ensuring proper product rotation. Ensuring that quality procedures are followed, thoroughly inspecting the products, matching them to the shipping or receiving documents, and communicating effectively with the shipper and receiver helps maintain the integrity of the products.
  3. Records and Documentation: When transporting products with specific shelf lives, maintaining accurate records and documents, and following established procedures is a requirement. An experienced 3PL provider will transport food products safely and efficiently, stay in compliance with all quality requirements, and ensure the records and documents are completed and maintained.
  4. Updated and Maintained Vehicles and Equipment: A well-maintained vehicle is essential to ensure on-time deliveries, avoiding unexpected delays and in-route downtime. Keeping the fleet and the food-grade equipment up-to-date helps maintain compliance.

Colonial Cartage: Best Practices for Food-Grade Transportation

Correct handling, packaging, transporting, and storage are all crucial elements of a safe food supply chain. Following best practices helps ensure businesses avoid compliance and contamination risks.

Colonial Cartage has been transporting food and beverage shipments for over 69 years. We value accountability and integrity in our team and ensure that every team member receives training and supervision to be best equipped to handle our customers’ products.

For more information about how Colonial Cartage can help your company transport its freight efficiently and securely, contact us today.

What is Manufacturing Plant Support?

Operating an efficient food processing and manufacturing plant requires a well-oiled supply chain of reliable suppliers and vendors, production personnel, and a network of additional skilled resources.

Often working within tight schedules and in busy areas such as the outskirts of major cities, manufacturers rely on a smooth chain of interconnected processes and operations to get their finished product to customers, with no delays or damages incurred along the way.

One way to ease the pressure is for manufacturers to outsource certain services to third-party logistics (3PL) companies specializing in plant support operations. But what does this look like in action?

How Does Plant Support Benefit Manufacturers?

Third-party plant support partners can serve many functions that help manufacturers avoid soaring warehousing costs and carrier rates while eliminating the need to hire in-house operational warehouse staff or trailer drivers.

Outsourced plant support services can include:

  • Outsourced Warehousing: 3PL companies offering transportation and distribution services can provide manufacturers with intermediary warehousing options and real-time inventory management.

  • Outsourced Logistics: They can transport the plant’s inbound raw materials and outbound freight, warehouse manufactured goods, and manage the flow of orders and deliveries from storage through distribution centers to retail shelves.

    Turning to a third-party logistics (3PL) partner for plant support provides a processing and manufacturing company with access to additional equipment and vehicles, such as tractors and trailers, without extra overheads. Purchasing, renting, and maintaining equipment and transportation is expensive; hiring and training staff to operate the machinery also requires time and resources. A reliable transportation and distribution company has a fleet of vehicles and drivers trained in transporting goods efficiently and securely.
  • Outsourced Packaging: A 3PL plant support partner can also provide co-packaging services, a valuable resource, and a time-saving service for manufacturers needing help with intermediate or final product packaging. Packaging goods typically requires specific machinery, line space, and skilled workers; outsourcing this service saves a manufacturing plant valuable real estate and reduces labor costs.

Extra Benefits of Outsourced Plant Support

Beyond cost, time, and labor-saving benefits, choosing the right plant support provider allows a manufacturing company to enjoy the following:

  • Increased Capacity: Many manufacturers need help to meet orders, constantly experiencing bottlenecks in deliveries or storage. Outsourcing transportation and warehousing frees up the deadlock, expanding the plant’s capacity.
  • Reliable Transportation: Hiring a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping partner means knowing your orders can be shipped as soon as they’re ready. A conveniently located carrier can also transport inbounds (raw materials) to processing plants to streamline production, allowing operations to run more efficiently.
  • Lean Manufacturing: As a business grows, facilities also need to expand. Increased storage space, packaging areas (and more) are required to process raw and finished goods. Increasing a facility’s footprint is expensive. Plant support takes the pressure off, transporting and storing goods in dedicated warehouses, freeing up a plant’s capacity while keeping costs down.

Colonial Cartage: Expert Plant Support in Georgia

Colonial Cartage supports food processors and customer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, helping them transport and store their goods along their supply chain. We provide LTL services so our customers can ship their finished goods as and when needed without committing to a full truckload.

Temperature-controlled LTL carriers ensure temperature-sensitive freight (such as pharmaceuticals or beverages) travels securely, and ambient and temperature-controlled warehouses at Atlanta Bonded Warehouse provide innovative storage solutions for temperature-sensitive products.

We have the assets, resources, and expertise to help you keep up with demand at your manufacturing plant so you can increase your capacity and optimize your efficiency.

Learn more about our solutions on our service page, and if you think a plant support partner will benefit your business, contact us today.

Colonial Cartage Prioritizes Safety for Drivers & Deliveries

A reliable and experienced shipping partner is a critical link in a manufacturer’s supply chain. Whether transporting pharmaceuticals, food products, beverages, or other consumer packaged goods (CPGs), the modern-day transportation and logistics company must take extra precautions to comply with federal safety regulations, protect drivers and their valuable freight, and protect the driving public sharing the same roadways.

Tracking high-volume deliveries nationwide is complicated and detailed work. Maintaining product quality and security, keeping drivers safe, and orders on schedule are paramount to achieving on-time delivery and satisfied customers, as well as recruiting and retaining a dedicated team of drivers. Here’s how Colonial Cartage gets this right.

Driver Training

With a long history as a transportation logistics provider, we know that the drivers lead the charge in keeping the supply chain running smoothly and efficiently. Our drivers are integral to the team, so we hire only the most qualified candidates with safe driving records. Experience is a given but we expect more from our drivers to meet our stringent loss prevention and safety measurements.

Enhanced road safety training helps protect our drivers and improves the general public’s safety out on the roads. Everyone needs to arrive at their destination safely. Our drivers are taught to anticipate possible distractions and hazards on their journey and improve reaction times.

Colonial Cartage’s safety measures exceed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) safety standards, which include:

  • Break Requirements: Drivers must have a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes after driving for eight cumulative hours.
  • Minimum Off-Duty Time: A driver needs ten consecutive hours off duty before they can drive a truck. Seven of the ten hours can be spent in the berth of the truck but drivers must spend the remaining three hours outside.
  • Maximum On-Road Hours: Drivers can operate a truck for a maximum of eleven hours before taking a ten-hour break.

We’ve built a culture of safety and trust; we assess every load we carry, ensuring our drivers are equipped and comfortable to transport our client’s goods quickly and smoothly.

The award results of our safety initiatives for the past two years are:

2023 – 1st Place LTL Division Georgia Motor Trucking Association

2022 – 1st Place LTL Division Georgia Motor Trucking Association

Shipping and Vehicle Tracking

We provide further security layers to our carriers and drivers by equipping all Colonial Cartage trucks with electronic logging devices (ELDs) that monitor the location and routing of the vehicles. Our transportation management system (TMS) is customized. It allows us to manage and optimize the movement of freight we ship, ensuring we know the location of our clients’ cargo should the unexpected happen.

Besides increased visibility and security on the roads, our TMS facilitates data analysis to provide better business insights, more accurate and rapid paperwork and documentation completion and visibility, and order tracking to measure on-time arrival, and many more.

Cutting-Edge Tools

Our staff and drivers have extensive experience in the movement of goods. Still, we also believe in equipping our power units to protect our drivers, our assets, and our customers’ products. Beyond ELDs, our tractors and trailers are equipped with cutting-edge tools to make the journey easier and to better ensure the on-time and safe delivery of your orders throughout the 26 states in our service area.

Our trucks use safety technology, including collision avoidance, lane departure, and anti-rollover systems. All-wheel disc brakes and adaptive cruise control provide even more safety to our drivers and your freight. Colonial Cartage vehicles have rear and front-facing cameras, so our drivers have a full view of the road and their load at all times.

Transport Your Goods, Safely

We’ve earned our record for unparalleled safety and on-time performance. Because we value our team and our customers, we have built relationships that have lasted decades. To learn more about how our LTL and TL transportation services can help your business grow, speak to a Colonial Cartage team member today.

Choose Logistics Services to Optimize Your Supply Chain

Whether you’re a manufacturer, supplier, or buyer, a reliable supply chain is critical to your business success. In an increasingly competitive market, ensuring customers receive goods on time and in perfect condition is non-negotiable.

A high degree of customer satisfaction is rapidly becoming the golden standard of supply chain success. Approximately 83% of businesses recognize just how essential the supply chain is in enhancing the customer experience and are aligning their goals to prioritize 3PLs as a key partner in their business success.

So, how do businesses set themselves up for success with so much customer satisfaction at risk via the businesses’ supply chain? While sourcing a reliable transportation and warehousing provider is the first step, it is only through working through the details of the requirements that you can ensure their logistics services will adequately meet your needs.

Innovative shipping solutions, warehousing, and plant support services are integral to a successful supply chain. Here’s how each of these services can save your business time and money and ensure your products arrive as ordered every time.


An infographic detailing Colonial Cartage's temperature-controlled LTL services


Temperature-Controlled LTL Shipping

Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight consolidation allows clients to ship smaller orders to their destinations without paying the full cost of full truckload shipping. This cost-effective solution consolidates orders from several customers for the same destination.

Freight consolidation works just as well for temperature-controlled carriers transporting LTL orders as it does for ambient programs. There is little operational difference except for maintaining the cold chain custody from dock to dock.

LTL freight consolidation reduces overall costs, pro-rating the cost of transport with other shippers to the same destination, and provides a platform for getting your orders to their destinations more quickly and with less handling.

Cross-Docking

Cross-docking is the process of transferring products from one trailer, container, or rail car across a staging area to another in a short space of time. This service is appropriate if your products need to change the mode of transport or use similar equipment with a different carrier in order to get to the next or final destination. Cross-docking reduces inventory holding times and warehousing costs if executed properly.

Traditional warehousing requires the multiple handling of your goods as they’re unloaded, received, put away, then flipped to be picked, staged, and loaded. Cross-docking simplifies this process to unloading, receiving, staging, and loading, in turn reducing warehouse dwell time and additional handlings.

Facilities that offer cross-docking services streamline your supply chain, avoiding unnecessary storage dwell time. The process can expedite your orders to get your products to your customers faster than conventional warehousing means.

Warehousing

Not all products, particularly food products, can be stored in the same temperature environment or in proximity to other products that might contain allergens, so choosing the correct warehouse facility for your products is essential. Ambient and temperature-controlled warehousing protects both ambient and temperature-sensitive food-grade products like confectionery, snacks, food packaging, dry grocery, pharmaceuticals, beverages, and consumer packaged goods (CPGs).

The carrier’s Transportation Management System (TMS) provides transportation order management and real-time access to order status so customers can track deliveries and on-time performances to communicate with other vested parties.

Plant Support

Plant support services that help processing and manufacturing plants transport their freight – whether raw materials, packaging, work-in-process destined for the processing plant, or finished products destined for distribution centers or end-users/buyers – are an essential link in the supply chain.

Asset-based providers with trailers, tractors, personnel, and the expertise needed to move materials in coordination with production schedules and execute shipping requirements allow manufacturers to focus on their production, not on material handling outside the plant.

Why Choose Colonial Cartage?

For over 70 years, Colonial Cartage has specialized in transporting temperature-controlled and ambient food-grade products. With a fleet of over 200 temperature-controlled trailers, warehousing facilities, and a state-of-the-art TMS, Colonial Cartage has the resources, experience, and personnel to provide customers with excellent transportation and warehousing services.

However, our assets and skills are not the only things that separate us from other logistics providers.

Our family-owned organization builds client relationships on trust, vision, and shared values. We don’t simply provide services; we create connections with our clients to become their long-term, dependable logistics partners.

Our business is built on providing customers with direct access to our decision-makers should they need rapid solutions to sudden problems, and our operational approach favors making the biggest impact with the least amount of noise so our clients can focus on their business first.

If you want to optimize your supply chain, enhance your customer’s experience, and reduce transport time and costs, contact us by phone or email. You can find our details on our Contact page or simply complete the short form you find there. At Colonial Cartage, we’re all about finding the best solution for you.

Colonial Cartage Named a Top Carrier for 2022 by Inbound Logistics

ATLANTA, GA., September 7, 2022 – Colonial Cartage Corporation (CCC) has been named by Inbound Logistics magazine as one of the nation’s Top 100 Truckers for 2022. The Top 100 List will appear in the September issue of Inbound Logistics.

“For the 9th consecutive year, Colonial has been recognized as a Top 100 national motor carrier,” said John Bolla, general manager of Colonial Cartage Corporation. “We are honored that an industry standard such as Inbound Logistics magazine recognizes that commitment.”

“One thing is certain about the uncertain economic indicators; shippers will be looking for new carrier partners for the rest of this year and for all of 2023,” said editor Felecia Stratton.

The Inbound Logistics audience depends on our Top 100 Truckers and market research to help identify the sector leaders,she added.

How Scheduled Freight Consolidation & Cross-Docking Saves You Time & Money

If there is one thing we have learned over the last two decades and, more specifically, the last few years, it is that even small changes on one end of the supply chain can significantly impact other participants upstream or downstream. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted vulnerable parts of the U.S. supply chain network. Two years from the onset of the pandemic, the national and global supply ecosystem is still struggling to recover from the pandemic’s crippling impact.

Third-party logistics providers (3PL) in the food and consumer product goods (CPG) industries are no strangers to adapting processes due to changes in supply and demand. Colonial Cartage, for one, began more than 65 years ago as a local DSD carrier helping our warehousing clients (quite literally) get their products to retail shelves.

Our less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier services evolved due to changes in the scale of retail store operations, the efficiencies gained by consolidating multi-vendor store deliveries, and more sophisticated inventory management technology.

This blog looks at some of this history. It also explains how Colonial’s LTL freight consolidation and cross-docking services can help food and CPG brands reduce transport costs, shorten their delivery cycle, and minimize handling in transit. All of which are improvements for businesses operating in this post-pandemic environment.

Lean Retail Practices & COVID-19: The Perfect Storm

In the early 2000s, U.S. retailers began shifting their stock and inventory management processes to accommodate more variety and rotating brands. Bulk ordering from their suppliers proved costly from a speed-to-market, carrying cost, product quality, and storage cost perspective. New lean retail practices – ordering less stock but more frequently – put the pressure back onto processors and manufacturers. More frequent shelf replenishment opened shelf space for line extensions and new brands, offering consumers more choice. All of this required more agility by the food processors and CPG manufacturers.

Due to the “just-in-time” nature of lean retail practices, brands now had to move faster and more frequently to replenish stock orders but often with smaller orders. Transportation and logistics costs increased, as did the handling costs of moving items and materials in and out of storage locations in smaller quantities.

And Then Along Came COVID-19…

When the pandemic hit, the nature of lean retailing left many retail vendors and retailers vulnerable and exposed to pandemic inefficiencies. Lean retailing works on the assumption of an “always-on” responsive and proactive supply chain. That did not hold up in a COVID-19 reality.

For retailers needing replenishment, the COVID pandemic effectively eliminated flexibility in the supply chain. Container shortages, port closures, limited transportation capacity, labor shortages, and other supply chain challenges reduced inbound raw material and component inventories, making it difficult for many manufacturers to produce and deliver products based on retailer demand.

Suddenly lean retail practices meant empty shelves, leaving retailers scrambling to access stock from other sources. The lean nature of retail stock replenishment left vendors with inventory deficits and low supply. 2021’s panic buying by retail stores put even more pressure on retailers to replenish the goods they needed; this has created the ongoing deficit between demand and supply that continues to be exacerbated by pandemic-influenced circumstances as much as two years later.

How Can LTL Freight Consolidation and Cross-Docking Help?

Numerous manufacturers and food processors have turned to their 3PL partners to help ease the pressure created by lean retail practices and the global supply chain crisis. Freight consolidation and cross-docking are examples of creative solutions offered that deliver numerous benefits for CPG companies.

Freight consolidation, which combines multiple LTL orders to the same destination into a single trailer or truckload, is more cost-effective than shipping straight LTL. Additionally, in today’s environment, LTL services are over-subscribed, leaving many orders on the origin shipping docks to be picked up “whenever we get capacity to pick it up.”

A common challenge faced by LTL carriers is not having sufficient volume to make a route or load profitable, leading to shipping delays and longer delivery lead times. Colonial Cartage, however, never traps freight. If we have an order, our trucks depart as scheduled for the destination.

Cross-docking, which uses a staging area for transferring goods from one truck to another, removes the need for unnecessary storage dwell times and product handling. It helps shorten the delivery cycle, lowers expenses, and increases efficiency and reliability. While it requires coordination among multiple parties, cross-docking is a practical way to reduce operational costs and streamline order fulfillment.

Why Choose Colonial Cartage?

At Colonial Cartage, we believe today’s supply chain must be able to manage shorter lead times, maintain product quality, and offer reliable, on-time services. When shipping food and CPG products, our number one priority is ensuring their timely delivery in perfect condition. We are also steadfast in our ability to meet retailers’ compliance metrics.

As a temperature-controlled and ambient LTL service provider, Colonial Cartage offers comprehensive and reliable LTL freight consolidation services. We have one of the nation’s largest, most extensive refrigerated LTL freight consolidation programs with weekly deliveries to retailers across 26 states throughout the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, Upper Midwest, and the Great Plains.

We have also cultivated the skills and technology necessary to implement speedy, seamless cross-docking and have the experience to manage cross-docking transfers in their drop sequence.

Food and CPG companies with experience in high-velocity shipping ready to experience faster and more reliable transportation services can trust Colonial Cartage to handle their business. For cost-effective and dependable LTL and cross-docking solutions to meet all your shipping needs across Colonial’s service area, look no further than Colonial Cartage. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

What Are LTL Solutions?

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is an indispensable tool for businesses of any size, thanks primarily to its convenience and cost-efficiency. LTL solutions can utilize a pooled distribution model. Multiple shipments for the same destination are combined and routed through a hub or routed and sequenced by drop order on a single trailer. Instead of hiring an entire trailer, a shipper only needs to pay for the portion of the truck they use.

Full Truckload vs. Less-Than-Truckload Freight Services

LTL shipping refers to shipments that do not require an entire trailer and can be as little as 150 lbs. or up to 15,000 lbs. The shipment’s weight and dimensions (cube) will determine freight class, impacting rates. The higher the density, the lower the per hundredweight rate.

Full truckload (FTL) or truckload (TL) are at the opposite end of the spectrum. TL shipments range from 16+ pallets to a maximum of 44 to 48 pallets (depending on the height of the pallets and length of the trailer) or a total weight of 44,000 lbs.

The Cost of Less-Than-Truckload Freight Services

Many factors determine less-than-truckload pricing, the most important being:

  1. Location & distance: Most LTL carriers serve a specific region, usually around major metropolitan areas. If your freight needs to travel outside their coverage zone, it could be passed to another carrier at an increased cost.
  2. Dimensions & weight: Base LTL rates are calculated according to freight class (determined by the density of your cargo) along with its value, need for special handling, and how it fits in the trailer with other freight. Lower classes have higher density and less fragile cargo and, therefore, get charged less per weight and vice versa.
  3. Expedited or Guaranteed: By default, LTL shipments come with a delivery window that can be fluid and based on the carrier’s capacity and current lane volume. There are two additional services available at extra fees if you need to move your freight quickly: expedited shipment (which arrives faster than a standard shipment) or a guaranteed shipment (with a guaranteed delivery date and time). These rates can approximate the cost of a TL order.
  4. Special handling needs: LTL offers optional services not available from FTL carriers, such as liftgates for locations without a forklift and residential pickups or deliveries.

Industries That Rely On LTL Shipping

While many industries benefit from utilizing LTL as part of their supply chain system, there are a couple of specific markets that have been the main driving forces behind the explosive growth of LTL shipping in recent years:

eCommerce

LTL plays a significant role in moving freight securely and cost-effectively from suppliers to distribution hubs of major online retailers. Streamlined shipping processes automate most eCommerce tasks: from getting quotes, scheduling a pickup, and live tracking, all the way to automated delivery notification and online invoicing. LTL offers the flexibility, timeliness, and advanced technology required by eCommerce, plus it can also deliver heavy and bulky orders much more efficiently than small package carriers.

Food-grade products, consumer package goods (CPG), pharmaceuticals

The nature of fast-moving products with a high turnover rate, such as CPG, food-grade products, and medications, makes them an ideal match with LTL’s distribution reach and delivery capabilities. Partnering with an LTL carrier with scale, capacity, and a service area to handle time and temperature-sensitive cargo can enhance efficiencies further.

Freight Consolidation

As effective as LTL shipping is, there are additional ways to improve its model, especially in today’s competitive landscape, with rising costs and tighter delivery windows. One of the biggest challenges of LTL is that carriers must build enough volume in their trailers to make the loads profitable, leading to longer waiting times and delayed deliveries during low-volume periods or on less frequently used routes.

In most cases, the solution is freight consolidation through a 3PL provider. Freight consolidation alleviates these issues by combining multiple LTL shipments into a single full truckload or multiple-stop truckloads. The shipper of each LTL shipment benefits from lower costs by sharing an entire vehicle while reducing the risk of damaged products from less cargo handling. Most importantly, customers enjoy increased reliability and on-time deliveries.

LTL Services Through Colonial Cartage

Colonial Cartage is a full-service, asset-based carrier providing one-stop food-grade dry and temperature-controlled LTL solutions and TL distribution services. Our service area covers 26 states. We have a fleet of over 260 temperature-controlled, food-grade trucks and trailers and 70+ years of providing dependable warehousing and transportation services to local and national enterprises. We have the experience, expertise, network, and scalable capacity to help you grow your business.

Contact Colonial Cartage today to learn more about our LTL services. Check our brochure.

FAQs

What are consumer packaged goods?

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are fast-moving products used daily by average consumers that require routine replacement or replenishment. CPG examples include fresh produce, packaged food, beverages, cosmetics, toiletries, paper and storage supplies, and other consumables.

What is reefer shipping?

The use of temperature-controlled trailers to transport freight, including fresh and frozen foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and more, is referred to as reefer shipping.

What is the difference between LTL and TL?

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is for shipments that do not require an entire trailer and a payload as small as 150 lbs. or up to 15,000 lbs. Truckload shipments are usually more than 16 pallets and up to a maximum of 44 to 48 pallets (depending on the height of the pallets and length of the trailer). Their total weight is 44,000 lbs.

What is freight consolidation?

Freight consolidation combines multiple LTL shipments into a single full truckload (FTL), which is more cost-efficient than pedal-run LTL deliveries, which have frequent delivery stops. Even with numerous stops, by combining several LTL shipments into a single full truckload going on the same route, the shipper of each LTL shipment benefits from lower cost, faster transit time, and reduced risk of damaged products.

What is cross-docking?

Cross-docking is the transfer of products from a truck or rail car to one or more outbound vehicles across a staging area within a short amount of time — eliminating the additional handling and storage required in a standard warehousing process. This strategy helps reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

What does a freight broker do?

A freight broker is an intermediary between a shipper and a transportation provider (over-the-road, rail, or ocean). According to the terms brokered, the broker arranges agreements and cost terms between the two parties to ensure the freight is picked up and delivered successfully.

What is a 3PL?

Third-party logistics (3PL) is the one-stop solution for outsourcing all or part of your warehousing, transportation, and fulfillment services to a professional supply chain provider.

What is breakbulk service?

Breakbulk service is a distribution model where outbound orders are picked directly from inbound cargo received in bulk at the loading dock. This service allows the shipper to bypass one aspect of the fulfillment process, making their inbound shipment to the breakbulk facility more cost-effective.

What is Colonial Cartage’s service area?

We operate in 26 states throughout the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, Upper Midwest, and the Great Plains.

What kind of plant support do you offer?

We can assist with inbound transportation of raw materials to plants and outbound transportation of finished products from plants back to our other 3PL or private warehouses.

How extensive is your fleet?

We have more than 70 Peterbilt, Kenworth, and International power units, as well as more than 200 temperature-controlled trailers — all of which are company-owned, food-grade, and state-of-the-art safety equipment. In addition to our trucks and trailers, three mobile service vehicles can be dispatched both on-campus and throughout our service area.

Where is your headquarters?

Colonial Cartage headquarters’ is located at 3000 Cobb International Blvd in Kennesaw, Georgia.

How do you track shipments?

All of our trucks are tracked and logged with ELDs by KT and Brickhouse Security.

LTL Solutions for Consumer Packaged Goods

When handling time-sensitive consumer goods, both manufacturers and retailers rely on Colonial Cartage to deliver efficient, dependable service on time and within budget.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are items used daily by average consumers, requiring routine replacement or replenishment. Examples include packaged food, beverages, cosmetics, toiletries, and other consumables. CPG covers a wide swath of essential products that play an unassuming yet vital role in our daily lives and are stocked in every grocery store, pharmacy, big-box chain, or local convenience store.

Due to their high volume, competitive landscape, and sometimes short shelf life, speed and cost are critical to cover an extensive distribution network and meet an ever-tightening delivery window. Consumer taste has also evolved to demand more variety, greater sustainability, and a more effortless shopping experience.

CPG companies have responded with more SKUs, shorter lifecycles, and improved customer service levels. All this places an even greater emphasis on maximizing supply chain efficiency to drive growth while keeping costs in check.

What are the benefits of LTL?

Under these pressing demands, CPG manufacturers have turned to LTL shipping, often working in conjunction with 3PL services, to address their most significant needs, such as:

1. Timely delivery

To create more variety on limited shelf capacity and keep shelves stocked, retail stores are reducing their on-hand inventory with a more frequent delivery schedule that offers shorter lead times and narrower delivery windows. Suppliers unable to comply with the stricter guidelines face steep fees or penalties or even loss of distribution. An experienced LTL carrier with a large fleet, broad shipping network, and relationships with the receivers can make the deliveries on time to stay compliant.

2. Reliable capacity

Due to rising freight costs, an acute driver shortage, and fluctuating volume demands, CPG shippers face the (increasingly complex) task of securing reliable shipping capacity. An asset-based carrier can dependably meet the capacity demand if they have the necessary experience and resources. Streamlined operations anchored in expertise and technology are a must.

3. Cost reduction

As shipping rates and service fees continue to climb, CPG suppliers in a low-margin, capital-intensive industry must balance the need for innovation and higher customer satisfaction with maintaining a viable business model. Operational efficiency across the supply chain needs to be constantly and relentlessly optimized. The best optimization methods include utilizing modern 3PL services such as cross-docking, freight consolidation, and co-packaging.

Dependable and cost-effective LTL and 3PL solutions to meet all shipping needs for consumer packaged goods

In partnership with sister company Atlanta Bonded Warehouse, Colonial Cartage provides LTL solutions and 3PL services that empower CPG companies, both large and small, to succeed in today’s competitive market.

We have over 70 years of experience providing dependable warehousing and transportation services to national and local CPG companies. With a service area covering 26 states and a fleet of over 260 refrigerated, food-grade trucks and trailers, you can count on Colonial Cartage to help your business reach its full growth potential.

Our award-winning services include:

  • Freight consolidation: Working in collaboration with Atlanta Bonded Warehouse, Colonial Cartage’s LTL freight consolidation program is one of the largest in the country, with weekly deliveries to retailers, wholesalers, and distributors in 26 states. Benefits include lower cost, faster transit time, and reduced risk of damaged products.
  • Cross-docking: We have invested in our cross-docking process, technology, and infrastructure over several decades to eliminate unnecessary freight handling and storage. The results are shorter transit times, fewer damaged products, and lower cost.
  • Warehousing: With 6.4 million square feet of space across 15 facilities offering both shared and dedicated warehousing in five states, we have the experience and the scope of operations to grow with your business.
  • Co-packaging: Looking for packaging, re-packaging, and labeling services for your products for faster turnaround and scalability with no capital investment? We provide multiple co-packaging services, including eCommerce fulfillment, co-packaging (secondary), re-packaging, and reconfiguration to help you free up resources and focus on growing your business.

Contact Colonial Cartage today to learn more about LTL solutions for consumer packaged goods companies.

Colonial Cartage Named a Top 100 Carrier for 2021 by Inbound Logistics


ATLANTA, GA., September 17, 2021 – Colonial Cartage Corporation has been named by Inbound Logistics magazine as one of the nation’s Top 100 Truckers for the eighth consecutive year. The Top 100 List appears in the September issue of Inbound Logistics.

“We are honored that an industry standard such as Inbound Logistics magazine recognizes that Colonial Cartage is committed to providing excellent service to our customers during these challenging times,” said John Bolla, General Manager.

“Inbound Logistics recognizes Colonial Cartage as a 2021 Top 100 Trucker for consistently providing premium service, reliability, scalability – the watchwords of supply chain professionals who need to provide service to their increasingly demanding customers. Reliable transportation partners such as Colonial Cartage allow shippers to do more with less, and operate efficiently and cost-effectively,” said Felecia Stratton, Editor, Inbound Logistics.

Colonial Cartage Named a Top 100 Carrier for 2020

ATLANTA, GA., September 29, 2020 – Colonial Cartage Corporation has been named by Inbound Logistics magazine as one of the nation’s Top 100 Truckers for the seventh consecutive year. The Top 100 List appears in the September issue of Inbound Logistics.

“During these challenging times, we are especially honored to be recognized by Inbound Logistics,” said John Bolla, General Manager. “We strive to exceed our customers’ expectations with timely communications, orders 100% fulfilled, and on-time deliveries. This recognition is a result of the efforts of the entire Colonial team.”

“Strong transportation partners with innovative solutions help shippers gain a competitive edge. Colonial Cartage consistently identifies and shares ways to reduce the total cost of logistics ownership while keeping service to the end customer at the highest levels. That’s why Inbound Logistics editors have recognized Colonial Cartage as a 2020 Top 100 Trucker,” said Felecia Stratton, Editor of Inbound Logistics.

Inbound Logistics is the leading trade magazine targeting business logistics and supply chain managers. The magazine’s editorial mission is to help companies of all sizes better manage corporate resources by speeding and reducing inventory and supporting infrastructure, and better matching demand signals to supply lines. More information is available at www.inboundlogistics.com.