JJ Distribution LLC in Nogales, AZ, a produce brokerage formed about seven years ago, has become increasingly involved in logistics over the years and somewhat less focused on buying and selling produce, according to Jose (Joe) Maytorena Jr., managing partner.
It got to where the company was doing more with transportation than with produce, so the decision was made to launch a new subsidiary company, Eastbound Logistics Co. The new entity was launched in early February.
Jose Maytorena Sr. is manager of the new company.
"Our number one deal is going all the way to the Northeast," the younger Mr. Maytorena told The Produce News. "We do Maryland, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Connecticut," for example.
Mr. Maytorna said that JJ Distribution started handling transportation logistics for its own produce sales, but saw the need to provide a service for buyers other than its own customers as trucks became increasingly hard to find, freight rates became increasingly steep and some of the existing truck brokers didn't offer the kind of service customers needed.
"I saw a lot of people struggling for equipment" and saw an opportunity, he said.
"We offer, first of all, service," he said. "Service is all we sell." He quickly found that there was a lot of demand for the kind of service the company was offering.
Some truck companies put "a lot of new people behind a desk" who don't understand produce. "They're learning," he said. But produce is perishable, and "there is a time limit for produce to be picked up."
When there is a problem, such as an equipment breakdown or other delay, "we notify customers immediately," he said. "A lot of people don't do that. They are afraid. But actually it helps if you tell the truth immediately."