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Keith Connell expands staff, focuses on service

RIO RICO, AZ — Veteran truck broker Leo Perez joined the staff of Unlimited Logistics, here, in mid-January. Unlimited Logistics is a truck brokerage owned by Keith Connell Inc., which has offices in Rio Rico, as well as its Kansas City headquarters.

Working with Perez on the trucking side in the Rio Rico office is Danny Sanchez, who is also involved in produce sales. Also on the Rio Rico produce sales desk is German (Junior) Gallego Jr.

Heading the Rio Rico office of the family business is Danny Connell. The 31-year-old has worked in Rio Rico for 11 years. He lives here year-round.

Connell said his office serves customers throughout North America — but particularly in the Midwest — as a buying broker. The firm’s customers are primarily wholesale distributors, “but we’re working on retail customers.”

The Connell sales staff goes to the many warehouses of Rio Rico and nearby Nogales, AZ, to shop for the right Mexican product. Each Connell salesman is the quality-control person for his individual customers. They are present for inspect every shipment leaving the Connell warehouse.

“We consolidate almost every order,” he noted. “If it’s not a straight load, we bring it here” to handle before shipping.

This warehouse recently received a 96 percent food-safety score from PrimusLabs.

Of his Rio Rico neighbors, Connell said, “We buy from them and compete with them.” His firm’s competitive edge is the advantage of offering consolidated loads. “Our customers have a one-stop shop.” Furthermore, its transportation leverage enables Keith Connell to make five or six drops off one trailer. “We provide a lot of shorts for people, he added.

Connell said the exception to his firm’s buying broker rule is being the sales agent for a Missouri watermelon grower who ships 700 acres of watermelons each summer. Michael Meyer manages the watermelon category for Keith Connell from the Kansas City office.

Also in the summer, Connell ships product from Baja, Mexico. In the winter, the firm markets offshore cantaloupes through a Pompano Beach, FL, facility.