Burris plans more growth initiatives in 2019
Burris Logistics started in the produce industry more than 93 years ago providing transportation to local farmers and distributors. Since then, the Orlando, FL-based company has been heavily involved in the produce industry as a distributor of fresh and finished goods, transportation provider and cold storage provider.
“Burris believes we are uniquely positioned as a provider for the produce industry as we have the knowledge, history and processes needed to deliver across multiple parts of the supply chain — from raw goods to storage, transportation to distribution of finished goods to consumers,” said Nick Falk, president of Burris Freight Management. “In addition to the competencies and experiences necessary to be a major player, Burris has the tools and resources including 15 cold storage facilities, more than 250 trucks, 10,000+ carrier partners and five regional service centers.”
With all it does, leadership at Burris feels the keys to being successful in these areas surround visibility and highly accessible customer service. As a 3PL Burris provides 24/7 live tracking and support for its customers and offers the visibility to each shipment no matter the time. Understanding the flows and how produce products move around the nation has also been key.
“Our business has grown significantly over the last year, both through organic growth and through acquisition,” Falk said. “The increases have been about 60 percent organic growth and a total of 137 percent year-over-year growth including acquisition.”
Within the organic bucket, Falk has seen customers looking to simplify and seek out dependability instead of being as price sensitive. Burris also works to find solutions that are mutually beneficial and can be committed to by both customers and carrier partners. This allows shippers to know their products will deliver on time and complete the sale safely, which is ultimately the most important thing to the continuation of business.
“Customers are also looking for partners that can complete more work to simplify their lives. Burris is uniquely positioned across all aspects of the supply chain, which allows us to make the lives of shippers easier,” Falk said. “The key on the customer side is to provide high touch and real time customer support.”
Burris Logistics works with top produce companies such as Del Monte, Fresh Express, Taylor Farms, Ready Pac and others.
“We have also recently developed a customer-specific produce inspection tool within our Burris Supply Chain portal to help with the processing of inbound produce inspection for our Warehouse customers,” Falk said. “This tool allows for real-time sharing of information, pictures, grading and feedback for all fresh produce being brought in to our buildings and can help with clear, concise and immediate feedback between shippers and receivers.”
Falk noted consumers seem to be leaning toward produce options that address their desires for health and speed. He sees an increase in healthy and quick options such as ready to eat or cut/prepackaged options gaining popularity.
The company is excited about the growth it has seen over the last year. In addition to the acquisition of Streamline Logistics last May, which helped grow its transportation and freight brokerage footprint across the United States, Burris recently opened a building in the Atlanta metro area, and are starting construction of a major facility near downtown Philadelphia.
“From a service offering standpoint, we have developed very strong direct to consumer e-commerce solutions for temperature controlled product,” Falk said. “We are shipping to customers direct from our facilities across the contiguous 48 states. Now and are growing these great relationships with multiple customers and multiple product lines.”