TULSA, Okla. -- Affiliated Food Stores here recently inked a deal to outsource its entire transportation fleet to a third-party transportation company.
Over the last three years, Affiliated has outsourced more and more aspects of its transportation operations, according to Bob Rippley, president and chief executive officer of Affiliated.
"It's more professional [outsourcing transportation]," he said. "We're not transportation specialists, we're in the food distribution and marketing business."
Although Affiliated had seen savings through outsourcing parts of its transportation system, Rippley said outsourcing its entire fleet would ultimately result in even bigger savings for the wholesaler.
"It's a significant savings," Rippley told SN, but would not comment on the size of immediate or projected financial gains. "We're very pleased with it so far," he added.
Under the new outsourcing agreement, Ryder System, Miami, will handle all aspects of transportation for the wholesaler. Affiliated plays Ryder a fixed expense, plus mileage. Drivers will be employed directly by Ryder, and will wear uniforms. Affiliated's drivers had never worn uniforms, Rippley noted.
Under an earlier outsourcing agreement, also with Ryder, Affiliated sold its transportation equipment to Ryder and then leased it back, which resulted in maintenance savings and allowed the wholesaler to use new, technologically advanced transportation equipment to increase efficiencies. Ryder also handled driver certification and safety training for drivers under the previous contract.