Cultivating a Successful Produce & Logistics Brokerage with Adam DeGroot
Adam DeGroot discusses the evolution from farm to tech in produce logistics on the latest FreightCaviar Podcast episode.
Adam DeGroot comes from a long line of produce farmers, but these days, the family spends less time with muddy hands and more time tapping innovative tech solutions for produce logistics.
The FreightCaviar Podcast sat down with Adam to discuss his family's journey from a humble farm stand to helming a dynamic produce brokerage and logistics company with new products in the pipeline.
Here are some key standouts from our talk with Adam.
DeGroot Logistics Handles Transport Best
DeGroot Logistics just celebrated its 10th anniversary. The company operates by handling the transportation aspect of produce logistics, all in-house. They have an edge due to their deep understanding of the intersection between farming and logistics, what can go wrong, and how to solve it.
4D Farm Product Sales: The Produce Brokerage Arm
Separate from DeGroot Logistics, 4D Farm Product Sales operates as a produce broker, sourcing commodities from farms. Cultivating relationships with carriers is key to their operation.
Potatoes are Dirty Business
The DeGroot farms mainly deal in potatoes, and it isn't easy. They are "heavy, dirty, and come with many material issues." Here's what the company has to contend with.
- Not just a transactional job: cultivating carrier relationships is key.
- Frequent product rejections, up to weekly occurrences. Things like fry quality, sugar content, and visual appeal can lead to load rejections.
- Potatoes can't be easily offloaded, leaving drivers in a bind.
New Product Coming: FreightSOS
DeGroot Logistics has built a new platform called FreightSOS to address frequent issues that arise within the produce industry, especially in the cases of product rejections. It provides carriers with a "routing guide for exceptions."
For example, if a bulk trailer of potatoes is rejected, instead of heading to a landfill, which would cost thousands, the carrier can redirect this produce to nearby livestock farms with the means and motivation to unload these bulk trailers.