Belarusian Entrepreneur Denis Primakov Is Developing an Efficient System for Transporting Perishable Products

Despite the fact that the transportation of goods by car in the United States has always been and still is a leader among other modes of logistics, there are a lot of problems in this sphere, especially related to the logistics of perishable products. Entrepreneur Denis Primakov decided to share his experience in transporting goods by refrigerated vehicles in the USA, which he has been accumulating during more than 15 years of practice in Belarus. Denis’s professional management in the Belarusian company Prima Logistics made it possible to increase the company’s profit from 16 to 25%, and increase the cargo capacity of vehicles by 68%, approximately from 33, which is considered the average to 54 pallets.

What Is the Essence of the Problem?

Logistics is one of the largest economic industries in the United States. Numerous logistics companies transport approximately 12 billion tons of cargo per year, generating more than $700 billion in annual revenue. More than a half (68%) of domestic transportation in the United States is carried out by trucks, and the number of trucking companies in the country is about 1.2 million.

Denis Primakov

Denis Primakov

Despite such impressive performance, companies face a lot of different challenges. For example, 91% of companies have fewer than six trucks. There is also an insufficient number of truck drivers. According to ATA (The American Trucking Associations), by 2028 the driver shortage will reach 160 thousand people.

A number of other difficulties are associated with the transportation of perishable products. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned about potential risks of food contamination during such transportations and disease outbreaks as a result of it. Several episodes have occurred already. There is a well-known case, which happened in the late 1980s, when trucks hauling trash from New York and New Jersey to Midwestern landfills were subsequently used to transport meat, poultry, and other food products.

There is more current incident, which happened in 2007, when Michigan State Police received reports of 22 food violations, including the following:

  • Lack of a refrigeration unit in the refrigerator;
  • The temperature in the refrigeration unit is not set to the desired mode;
  • Raw poultry hung from the roof of the cargo bay, juice dripping onto open food crates.

In 2005, Congress passed the 2005 SFTA (Sanitary Food Transportation Act), which required the Secretary of Health to establish sanitary transportation standards that must be followed by shippers, carriers, and recipients. Despite this, various problematic situations may occur during cargo transportation till present days.

Owners of logistics and trucking companies around the world face such issues. Therefore, it is important to adopt their best practices to strengthen the US transportation industry. This is how Denis Primakov, who is the entrepreneur from Belarus, developed and successfully implemented a number of measures in the Prima Logistics company, which help avoid spoilage of perishable products and reduce the cost of their transportation. These methods and solutions have stood the test of time and helped Denis’s company achieve a leading position in his country. Today, the entrepreneur has developed a project based on the similar system for the United States and intends to implement it.

We had a conversation with Denis Primakov about how he managed to overcome industry challenges and find optimal solutions that satisfy both the client’s requirements and the objectives of the logistics company, regardless of its geography, be it Belarus or the USA.

Efficient System of Cargo Transportation

Denis Primakov is an entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience. After graduating from the university, where he studied “Traffic Organization and Transport Management”, he got qualified as a control engineer. From 2008 to 2013 he worked as a logistics specialist at the transport company Prima Logistics. Subsequently, he became the director of this enterprise in 2013, which is one of the leaders in the field of cargo transportation in Belarus.

Achievements as Director of Prima Logistics

Prima Logistic is a Belarusian automobile transport company that specializes in the fast delivery of perishable products. The company was founded in 2007. To deliver perishable products all across the territory of the Republic of Belarus, Prima Logistic widely uses a fleet of both road trains and single trucks with refrigeration units.

During his management, Denis Primakov was able to bring the company to a leading position, improve the transportation system, and increase the company’s revenue by 8 times. To achieve all this, he set a new direction for the company’s activities, so instead of general transportation, he decided to concentrate on the transportation of perishable products, which allowed him to acquire special equipment and provide greater opportunities to customers.

Denis also conducted a deep research on the base of potential clients, identified their needs and was able to provide such commercial proposals that made it possible to conclude contracts with the largest manufacturers in Belarus. Among them are the following: LLC Santa Impex, OJSC Savushkin Product, LLC Santa Retail. These are leading Belarusian manufacturers and retailers of food products with a wide geography of supplies.

One of Denis Primakov’s signature innovations as director of Prima Logistics is the introduction of an innovative double-tier loading system in trucks.

Double-Tier Loading System Development by Denis Primakov, Innovative Results, Problems in the USA

One of the main achievements of Denis Primakov is the development and implementation of a double-tier trailer loading system. Pallets with products are loaded into two tiers and secured using guides in the walls of the van and movable crossbars. This is especially practical in cases where the load cannot be stacked on top of each other.

The solution helped optimize transportation, reduce client costs, and avoid damage to the cargo. Over time, this approach helped Denis bring the company to a leading position in the industry in Belarus and sign contracts with the country’s largest suppliers.

In the US, there is a problem with inefficient loading, and taking in consideration the long delivery distances within the country, it is easy to understand that with the standard approach of loading a truck body in one tier, the delivery cost is almost twice as high when compared to the two-tier loading, which Denis Primakov developed, implemented, and effectively tested.

The implementation of a similar project in the USA will help reduce the cost of transporting products in refrigerated trucks, increase their reliability, and optimize delivery time. All this is extremely important due to the wide geography of automotive logistics in North America.

Other Solutions at Prima Logistics, Implemented by Denis Primakov

It goes without saying that modernizing truck bodies alone is not enough to comprehensively improve the freight transportation industry. Transportation of perishable products requires compliance with many nuances. Starting from transportation conditions, temperature characteristics, and ending with the state of transport and even the weather conditions. On the one hand, there are strict regulations of the state, sanitary and epidemiological requirements, traffic rules and labor law. On the other hand, there are several tons of perishable products, such as milk, that must be delivered on time.

With the shortage of drivers and the problems some companies have with the installation and proper operation of refrigeration units, Denis’s experience is extremely important in the realities of the United States, and that is why he decided to create a transport business in North America.

To increase the efficiency of a logistics company and minimize the occurrence of unforeseen situations, Denis identified several main tasks of transporting perishable products, associated problems and their solutions. Denis successfully applied all these methods in the Belarusian company Prima Logistics and will also use them in his American project, which he is currently working on.

Documents, Selection of Transport, and Technical Equipment

Before sending a food truck to the point of destination, special attention should be paid to documentation. Detailed preparation at this stage will help to avoid inconsistencies, downtime, and violations. The logistician must take into account sanitary requirements for transportation, legislative acts, and also have high communication skills.

Also at this stage it is important to choose the right means of transportation for the needs of the cargo. For one category it is necessary to observe the temperature regime, for another one to think of careful handling, and sometimes all together.

Such an approach requires certain technological equipment. Standard refrigerator specifications and a van’s U-value may not be sufficient. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in more powerful equipment.

All the described measures, which Denis Primakov intends to implement in the USA, will improve the quality of delivery and help avoid a lot of problems that the industry still faces. The introduction of an integrated approach at the level of drivers, logistics, and transport technology is a reliable way to increase the efficiency of cargo transportation.

Route Planning, Regular Technical Inspection and Driver Work

A critically important indicator is the speed of transportation. In this case, it is necessary to take into account and comply with all applicable legal provisions. For example, one driver cannot be behind the wheel for more than the allotted time, in the USA this is 11 hours. And to avoid downtime, a team of two drivers must be used for transportation. Then transportation will be carried out practically without stopping, and drivers will have the opportunity to rest.

Despite the fact that while transporting perishable products, the delivery time is shorter compared to other types of cargo transportation, it is important to comply with all speed limits and road rules. Despite the fact that this will help to avoid emergency incidents, in the long run it will reduce the likelihood of vehicle breakdowns.

This can be achieved by training your drivers to drive economically and safely, as well as by introducing special monitoring systems that will transmit information about violations to the operator.

Essential Details To Consider:

  • It is important to inspect your vehicle on a daily basis. Some companies may neglect this rule by contacting services when a breakdown has already occurred. And if an accident occurs during transportation, this will lead at minimum to missed deadlines, and at maximum, a traffic accident.
  • An equally important point is route planning. Even if everything is in order with the documents, the transport is in good working condition, the drivers are rested and well-trained, there is a possibility of getting caught in bad weather or on a blocked road due to a traffic accident or repairs. To avoid this, you should regularly analyze the weather and follow the news regarding the roads along the route.

Logistics is all about careful planning and the willingness to flexibly rearrange your plans to suit emerging circumstances. According to Denis Primakov, in order to create a successful logistics company, it is essential not only to develop yourself, but also to train your team, introduce modern monitoring systems, and get a reliable fleet of vehicles.

Therefore, when developing a project to create a transport company in the USA, Denis pays considerable attention to the driver training system and modern telemetric transport monitoring systems, since telemetry and professionalism of drivers, especially on long-distance routes, are one of the most important aspects of competent logistics not only in the USA, but all around the world.

Conclusion

US trucking requires solutions that will modernize the industry. There are still companies that have problems complying with prescribed sanitation standards, a lack of experience while working with refrigerated equipment, and work conditions that force drivers to leave the profession. However, thanks to specialists from other countries who have successfully overcome these challenges in their companies, there is a chance for a new round of industry development in the United States.

So, one of the main achievements of Denis Primakov is the organization and installation of refrigeration units from scratch throughout the company, as well as the transition from standard refrigerated trailers to refrigerated trailers with a double-tier loading system, which will help to significantly increase the cargo capacity of transport, which, taking into account long distances in North America will reduce shipping costs.

His vision, as well as his ability to provide job opportunities to people, can significantly improve the perishable cargo logistics industry in the United States. The main thing is to competently project successful solutions onto North America, with its vast geography and one of the most developed transport systems in the world.

By Alexander Monroe


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