Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 101
TraFon Group Inc.
tions. We provide a differentiated value proposition from a
cost standpoint and are able to share the benefit of economies of scale with our customers," Pietrantoni explains.
"We can do that because of our volume, size and processes.
If you are in the logistics business, besides being able to
provide excellent service and deliver a high-quality product
in a timely manner, the only other differentiator is cost. We
maintain our cost at a level that gives us a competitive edge."
If the Jones Act were not in place and TraFon Group could
utilize any carrier, Pietrantoni says it would cost companies
and the end consumer less for the products purchased. "Puerto Rico imports about 90 percent of what it consumes, so the
Jones Act creates an unnecessary inflationary cost," he adds.
"Today, ocean freight rates from China are almost half when
compared to ocean freight rates from Jacksonville, Fla."
TraFon Group, through its Packers Provision business, has
been the island's exclusive distributor of Chobani since
January 2016 and by June, sales had already exceeded
the company's expectations. "In Puerto Rico, there wasn't
a developed Greek yogurt category," Pietrantoni explains.
"There was a clear market space for consumers craving a
As the population's attitude toward food changes, Packers
Provision is focused on identifying - from a sociographic
and socioeconomic perspective - where the opportunities
are in the market. "That's how we go about evaluating the
different brands we distribute," Pietrantoni says.
Packers Provision partnered with Chobani after seeing
how the Greek yogurt brand took over the category over the
past six to seven years in the United States and felt the model could be replicated in Puerto Rico. "We invested heavily
on the launch of Chobani by hosting promotional and sponsorship events, tastings and media investments," Pietrantoni
says. "We launched in January and in June it covered our
sales plan for the year. It doubled our expectations."
recognition system allows pickers to call out an order number and the system will tell them where in the warehouse to
go and the number of cases to pick. "It makes the process
paperless and efficient," Pietrantoni says. "Our error rate is
reduced to basically zero and we have eliminated the cost of
The truck management system allows Trafon Group to optimize cases or pallets in its trucks for delivery, which is vital
because the company's fleet is almost at full capacity. "All
those different pieces and parts make the operation more
efficient," Pietrantoni says. "The processes and systems are
in place for a very versatile and effective system."
Moving forward, TraFon Group looks to continue expanding its customer base and portfolio of brands focusing on
healthy, natural and organic products. The company expects
volume to continue to increase and plans to expand or move
into a larger facility. TraFon Group also plans to increase its
fleet of 50 trucks by about 30 to 40 percent. "We are almost
at 100 percent capacity," Pietrantoni adds. "All 50 trucks go
out every day, so we need to expand our capacity."
TraFon Group and its Packers Provision, Caribbean Cold
Storage & Logistics and Star Meat business operations rely
heavily on its warehouse and truck management systems.
"The system provides us with all the necessary data to be
efficient," Pietrantoni says.
Trafon Group operates on a first-in or first expiration date/
first-out system. Once all the product information is entered
into the warehouse management system, product moves in
and out depending on those details. Its hands-free voice
food & drink international * spring 2017 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com