Support on Wheels: The Importance of Ground Transportation
By Merrill Bishop, Senior Director of U.S. Transportation, Cobb-Vantress
At Cobb-Vantress, transportation is vital to the success of our business. To safely and securely deliver our products, many of which are living, our team of drivers goes through extensive training on a variety of topics. Additionally, they must have a safe driving record and be a cultural fit as they often serve as the face of Cobb when delivering directly to customers.
In 1916, it all started with one truck delivering chicks across New England. Now, 103 years later, Cobb U.S. has 220 trucks and specialized trailers in its fleet. These trucks transport six types of products to the company’s hatcheries, contract and company-owned farms and to airports for shipping. These products include:
- Feed delivery: Cobb operates three feed mills in the U.S. All of the feed manufactured at the mills is delivered by company drivers on Cobb-leased equipment to facilities in 10 states. The feed trailers are equipped with custom-designed sample ports to test each load of feed delivered for Salmonella contamination.
- Local egg transport: Hatching eggs are picked up from contract and company-owned farms and delivered to the respective hatcheries in their area. Cobb owns and operates three different sizes of local egg trucks to better accommodate internal customers, guaranteeing a smooth and secure ride for the eggs.
- Long-haul eggs transport: Hatching eggs are transported to and from Cobb’s eight U.S. hatcheries to satisfy customer needs. Egg transportation can easily consist of 20 loads per week traveling intrastate. To protect our valuable products, trucks and trailers are equipped with the newest technology in air-ride and load securement features.
- Mature pullet transport: When grandparent pullets reach 20-21 weeks of age, the birds are moved from rearing housing to production housing in enclosed, temperature-controlled equipment. Cobb was the first company in the U.S. to purchase and employ this type of enclosed bird movement system.
- Pedigree bird transport: Mature pedigree pullets can be moved to a new pedigree farm for a variety of business reasons. These birds are also moved in enclosed air and CO2-monitored and controlled vehicles with constant conditioned air moving over the birds during transport.
- Chick delivery: Newly hatched chicks are delivered directly to customer farms or airports for transport to both internal and external customers. To move the chicks safely and securely, we use state-of-the-art digital equipment, that monitor environmental conditions in the trailer. These drivers go through extensive training to perform their duties, including biosecurity, animal husbandry and welfare, and equipment monitoring and operation.
Our drivers give impeccable attention to detail, from making sure equipment and loads are safe to providing the highest level of customer service. But, above all, our emphasis is on safety. Our drivers continually gain awards for their safe operation of equipment on the highway and farms, including a recent recognition as Ryder Driver of the Year.
Additionally, in a time when many companies are experiencing driver shortages, we are very fortunate to have a high retention rate. Our drivers take a great amount of pride in their jobs. This is the reason that we maintain > 99% on-time delivery rate to our valued customers. See our Cobb Road Map at: https://www.cobb-vantress.com/assets/bulkUpload/224a8f2933/Cobb-Road-Map.pdf