Welch’s, a leading producer of juices, jams and jellies, has signed a three-year contract with Weber Distribution, a leading logistics and supply chain management provider, to serve as its West Coast distribution center, effectively immediately.
From Welch’s Lawton, MI manufacturing plant, more than 100 different flavors and sizes of juices and jellies are shipped via rail to Weber’s La Mirada, Calif.-based facility. The 203,000-square-foot distribution center contains six on-site rail doors where roughly 260 inbound loads or nearly 450,000 cases of Welch’s products are received each month. Some of the product is stored in a 75,000-square-foot section of the warehouse, while much of it is immediately processed and labeled for distribution to Welch’s customers across the 11 Western states. Welch’s customers include mass retailers and grocery chains such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway and Vons, as well as convenience, food/drug, and specialty stores.
According to Bruce True, Welch’s manager of distribution planning, Welch’s hired Weber because of its expertise in handling grocery and solid distribution network. ‘We closed our plant on the West Coast, so we needed to find a third-party logistics (3PL) company that could handle warehousing, order consolidation, and delivery to our customers,’ said True. ‘Until Weber, we were shipping 95% of the product from our plant warehouses directly to our customers.’
Weber processes, picks, labels and transports an average of 425 orders or more than 350,000 cases per month for Welch’s. ‘Welch’s obviously has great brand recognition on the West Coast and we are very excited to be part of its West Coast supply chain strategy,’ said Bill Butler, Weber Distribution’s senior vice president, client solutions and marketing.
As part of the agreement, Welch’s is taking advantage of Weber’s comprehensive vendor compliance program, which manages all of the major retailers’ specific routing, shipping and labeling requirements. At the heart of the compliance program is a custom-designed internal web site that allows all of Weber’s warehouses to quickly reference every major retailers’ most recent routing and shipping requirements, without having to individually review and interpret routing and vendor guides.