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It's Time to Rethink Your Network and Improve Efficiencies

pigs in a pig pen

The past few years haven’t been easy for the pork industry. Producers have found themselves caught in the crossfire of economic pressures and biosecurity concerns. Running a profitable operation in such conditions isn’t easy, and it’s leading many to take a closer look at how they run their business.

In the short run, finding ways to cut costs may seem like the best option to achieve better margins. But in the long run, optimizing your operation and streamlining production is better for your business. This includes evaluating your supply chain, transportation, and logistics for optimum efficiency.

Optimize your routes

As production expands and your business grows, so does your network of haulers. It’s easy to add another hauler here and there along the way to “get the job done.” But as trucking schedules evolve over time, your live haul network can turn into a tangled web. Taking a step back to gain a holistic perspective on your entire operation can reveal cost-saving opportunities. Restructuring truck routes and schedules to optimize your network is a smart way to increase margins, especially in periods when they’re already tight because of market conditions outside your control. You can’t control the market, but you can control your own network and logistics.

Invest in the right haulers

Agricultural carriers are facing a lot of challenges right now. Insurance premiums continue rising as nuclear verdicts against trucking companies become increasingly common. Unfortunately, this financial pressure is becoming too much for some haulers and is even forcing some out of business entirely. Other haulers can struggle to keep pace with regulations that are often changing, which can put them at a disadvantage in terms of efficiency or safety. Just because a network of haulers has served you well in the past, it does not erase the need to regularly reevaluate how these same haulers are currently meeting your needs. Can they maintain insurance coverage? Can they source the equipment needed for your operation? Can they stay ahead of changing regulations? Producers need to continually assess their live haul network and determine if their current haulers are prepared to face these challenges and continue delivering the service and equipment they need.

Follow best practices in biosecurity

Live haul transportation in the pork industry is not a walk in the park. The consequences of a biosecurity breach with so many trucks entering and leaving the farm every day could be catastrophic. You need haulers with a proven track record of commitment to following biosecurity protocol and best practices. Drivers and managers should receive training and certification in proper handling of hogs to avoid breaches or contamination issues.

Outsource to J.B. Hunt Ag Services and optimize your network

Our Ag Services team has a track record of finding efficiency opportunities from farms to plants and back again. Our unmatched density and diversified business model brings you flexibility that you can't get with anyone else.

We have the engineering expertise and manpower to optimize truck schedules and help you take advantage of opportunities to save time and money. We employ biosecurity experts and keep trained managers on site to ensure all SOPs are consistently followed. Our drivers are TQA certified on safe handling of hogs and are regularly trained and briefed to help prevent biosecurity breaches. You can have peace of mind knowing you’re backed by a stable company that won’t lose insurance coverage and can build the live haul network you need.

J.B. Hunt Ag Services can help you stay competitive by giving you new insight into your operation’s logistics and transportation functions. Together, we can find what optimum efficiency means for your business. Contact us for a consultation at 800-723-3101 or agservices@jbhunt.com