Niche player East Coast Warehouse and Distribution delivers the goods every time
Finding the right supply chain partner can ultimately determine a manufacturer’s success or failure. When it comes to providing best-in-class 4PL services for niche food and beverage markets, East Coast Warehouse and Distribution (ECW) is the partner of choice for some of the world’s most recognized packaged goods manufacturers.
With state-of-the-art facilities in port proximate locations in New York/New Jersey and Philadelphia, ECW delivers comprehensive, end-to-end solutions that include integrated temperature-controlled warehousing capabilities, distribution management services, and customs examination services. In a typical year, ECW handles 11 million cases of beer, 13 million pounds of candy and confections, and unloads 75,000 container loads in New York/New Jersey alone.
“Our model is based upon our ability to be knowledgeable, experienced, and to execute on a daily basis, providing flexible, seamless, end-to-end solutions that provide long-term strategic value to our customers,” CEO James Overley said.
“Many of our customers in the confectionery, beverage, and food products industry are Fortune 1000 companies,” he continued. “A typical customer is a sophisticated producer who needs expertise in a particular given port-centric market, and we provide distribution to the final customer for them. We call it one-stop shopping. We arrange for a whole suite of services to get that product off the ship to its ultimate destination.”
ECW maintains the SQF (Safe Quality Food) certification from the American Sanitation Institute, which is the gold standard by which food is stored, handled, and transported. “The requirements are stringent to be certified, and it indicates to our customers the quality of our operations and differentiates us from our competitors,” Overley said. “We believe in the food and beverage industries. We like those vertical markets because of the consistency in the product offering in those markets. We believe that to be best in class, this certification is appropriate for us.”
ECW handles finished packaged goods that must be kept in temperatures ranging from 40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as products that require ambient space. “There are unique shelf lives associated with food and beverage, as you might imagine, and we have a robust warehouse management system that allows us to ensure proper rotation,” Overley pointed out.
As a leader in temperature-controlled logistics, their approach to maintaining performance in any circumstance or condition relies on their close partnerships with their customers. “As you know, disruptions in supply chains for our customers are major issues. They can disrupt cash flow, earnings, and sales, so we work very closely with our customers and are in lockstep with them,” Overley confirmed.
“As experts in the vertical food and beverage markets, we understand our customers in the markets in which they compete, and we believe that we give them a strategic advantage.”
Consistency is also key. “We have 1.7 million square feet of temperature controlled space in New York/New Jersey and Philadelphia, and are one of the top 100 trucking carriers in the United States via our transportation arm Safeway Trucking, so we have the breadth to meet ebbs and flows in the marketplace. To maintain that consistency we have to be flexible, and our size and our knowledge make that flexibility possible,” he continued.
“We are very metrics and execution driven. We agree with our customers on a set of performance indicators, and we meet frequently to evaluate performance and make sure we’re in sync with their needs. This ensures we’re accomplishing the goals that have been set, and that we are meeting their expectations in terms of creating a competitive advantage for them. We hope to do that at a fair price as well.”
ECW customers are a loyal bunch; on average, customers have been with them for 20 years. “We're very proud of our relationships. We have wonderful customers, and we have a great team here. Together we put an infrastructure in place that allows us to be successful by executing on a day-to-day basis,” Overley said.
The connections ECW builds extend well beyond their four walls to collective efforts at every touchpoint. According to Rich Coppola, company vice president of sales, “We are just one component to the supply chain, so establishing strategic working partnerships with our business partners such as shipping lines, terminals, and equipment providers is critical … if one component of the supply chain comes to a halt then the whole thing shuts down. Jamie has challenged all of his leaders to make sure that we're building and developing those relationships so that if anything starts to go sideways we can get ahead of it by communicating with the terminals.”
From recycling programs to power conservation and eco-friendly lighting, ECW prides itself on its sustainability initiatives. “We’ve done a lot of these initiatives not because they became buzzwords. We’ve been doing these things for 10 to 15 years. It's something that’s part of our long-term strategy, and it’s an important priority that we continue to build on. Because we’re located near the ports we are able to minimize traffic time and therefore waste. Most importantly, we're in the process of completing a $3 million solar energy project that will allow us to supply 15 percent of our overall power usage from solar power,” Overley said. The project is due for completion in Q4 of this year.
“Everyone in our company is centered and driven toward customer satisfaction and the customer experience,” he proclaimed. That drive has boosted ECW to double in size in the past five years, and plans are in place for expansion into markets in Savannah, Ga., and Los Angeles-Long Beach in the near future.
In addition to robust market penetration, he credits ECW’s growth push to an opportunistic mindset combined with the ability to execute flawlessly with the right team. “Success breeds success. Once you start winning, it's contagious. We've been on a track year after year of winning, and it's a team approach.
“We have a great leadership team and a great group of employees. Obviously, we have wonderful customers to help us along this journey, but we're always looking to improve upon our existing company. It’s a desire of mine and the leadership team here to simply be the best in class.”
East Coast Warehouse & Distribution is proud to be a pre-eminent leader of integrated temperature-controlled logistics services to the food and beverage industry. Its state-of-the-art facility strategically located in an overweight zone on the Port of New York/New Jersey, expedited U.S. Customs and Border Protection Exam services, and transportation capabilities offers a 4PL, end-to-end solution that is sophisticated and seamless.
East Coast Warehouse's comprehensive approach, combined with strong corporate values and an unwavering commitment to customer service, is why it boasts many of the world's most recognizable food and beverage brands as customers, and why it has an average employee tenure of nearly 20 years.
East Coast Warehouse offers a full range of strategic 4PL services, including:
● Drayage of import & export containers
● Food grade & certified organic temperature-controlled warehouse capabilities & distribution management
● Public & private refrigerated warehousing
● Bulk warehousing
● Cross docking
● Full technology functionality, including EDI, RF, RFID, bar-code labeling & web-based inventory management systems
● Supply chain optimization business reviews with KPI reports
● Co-pack / re-pack & kitting service
● Full service managed transportation, including temperature-controlled regional and nationwide truckload (TL), temperature-controlled regional and nationwide less than truckload (LTL), truckload brokerage, dedicated contract carriage, direct store delivery & final mile delivery
● Expedited U.S. Customs & Border Protection Exam services
● USDA & FDA inspections - Intermodal services, including rail & rail/truck load trans load
● Inventory services, including inventory management, vendor managed inventory, inventory/cross accounting & multi-vendor consolidation