In 1949, the average grocery store carried less than 4,000 products. Today, an average grocery store carries nearly 40,000 products. A great variety of fruits and vegetables are among the options; consumers now enjoy year-round access to fresh produce, thanks to the global food supply chain. Nearly 20% of all food consumed in North America is imported, including 35% of all produce.
Metro, Inc., the third largest retailer in Canada with nearly 600 stores in Quebec and Ontario, is a leading importer of fresh produce. Unfortunately, Metro was experiencing delays, inefficiency and higher costs for produce sourced from American, Mexican and South American growers. The retailer knew what the problem was: The pallet used by the growers to move their goods wasn’t completely compatible with Metro’s supply chain operations. The produce had to be transferred from the originating platform to another pallet at distribution centers, leading to longer shipping timelines and higher labor costs.
To address the issue, Metro called on CHEP, a supply chain partner with expertise in global markets. CHEP moves goods in countries with 90% of the world’s GDP and 70% of its population.