Darigold Inc. is bringing its fleet in-house for direct store delivery of finished goods as part of what the company says is an investment in its future. This strategic change will facilitate better service to customers and an increased focus on connecting local farm families with local consumers of fresh dairy products, according to Darigold.
“We are excited to bring this capability in-house, as we will soon celebrate our 100th anniversary and start our next century of business,” President and CEO Stan Ryan said. “We are making this investment to upgrade our local delivery capabilities and maintain control throughout the value chain. Doing so makes us better equipped to more quickly provide farm-to-market delivery.”
Estenson Logistics had been Darigold’s dedicated carrier for finished goods since 2009, until this summer when that company was sold. This presented an opportunity for Darigold to make a strategic decision about the fleet.
The fleet operates out of Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Bozeman, Montana, where Darigold has processing plants. The company is hiring about 200 employees to conduct delivery of finished goods going forward. Darigold drivers will be able to provide a better service experience for customers, the company says. The change also includes 100 tractors and 180 trailers.
According to Darigold, making this investment allows it to create a more sustainable supply chain and gain better control over its transportation. The company will maximize utilization of fleet assets and optimize routing and scheduling. Darigold’s professional drivers and modern fleet will provide safe and efficient delivery to customers, who in turn offer fresh dairy products to local consumers.
Headquartered in Seattle, Darigold is the marketing and processing subsidiary of Northwest Dairy Association (NDA), which is owned by nearly 500 dairy farm families. NDA members ship approximately 8.4 billion pounds of milk annually from farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Darigold produces a full line of dairy-based products for retail, foodservice, commodity and specialty markets, and is one of the largest U.S. dairy processors. The company operates 11 processing plants throughout the Northwest.