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Pathfinder Logistics in L.A. hires new transportation head

by Rand Green | July 12, 2009
Pathfinder Logistics in Los Angeles, which has been in the transportation business for 40 years and just recently changed its name from Pathfinder Trucking after acquiring a cold storage and warehouse facility and expanding its logistics services, has just hired a new general manager for the transportation side of its business.

Ken Adams, formerly transportation manager for Ralphs Grocery Co., started recently with Pathfinder after more than 20 years with Ralphs, according to Steve Timmons, logistics general manager at Pathfinder.

In the past, Pathfinder has "always had one overall general manger," Mr. Timmons said. But "since we took on the whole logistics parameter, I am mainly the facility general manager," overseeing "all of the duties that we can offer through this facility." The company brought Mr. Adams on to keep business steady and bring in new business on the transportation side, he said.

The new direction for the company came in September 2008 when "we purchased and moved into our own building," a 27,000-plus-square-foot facility with refrigerated cold storage and dry storage, located on Bandini Boulevard in City of Commerce, CA, seven miles south of the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market and 18 miles north of the port of Long Beach.

It is "a beautiful, clean facility," and it is Primus-certified, Mr. Timmons said. In the refrigerated area, "we have three different coolers that we can set for three different climate zones," he added. Each climate zone is monitored through an alarm company, so management is notified immediately if temperatures go above or below their designated settings.

The rooms are equipped with three 16-foot fans that "get the air flowing really good" and that do a great job of drying onions or of keeping humidity down as needed.

During the Mayan onion season, "We dry them out here," keep them refrigerated, and then "ship them out," Mr. Timmons said.

At the other humidity extreme, one room has the capability of maintaining asparagus at "the proper humidity settings, up to 95 percent humidity on a consistent basis," and asparagus "just loves that," he said. "We are a fantastic place to store and ship asparagus out of." The company handles "quite a bit of asparagus in our facility" from Peru, Mexico, Washington, California and Idaho.

"We store all kinds of items from all over our country" as well as imported products, he said. But "we are ... primarily produce storage."

The company has "changed our whole business model now so we can provide the whole gamut" of logistics services. "We can have the product come in, we can store it, we can cross-dock it, we can consolidate it, we can replace pallets, ... we can ship it out, we can deliver it wherever they want," he said. In Southern California, "we offer very, very competitive LTS service" as well. "This is not new to us, but we have put a greater emphasis into it recently," he said. "Whatever the needs are, now we can provide all that to a customer" at "very competitive" pricing, Mr. Timmons said.