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Gills’ transportation elements include: transporting onions from the fields to our processing facility in Oxnard, transporting onion waste, and transporting onions to approximately 30% of our customers who are within a 300 mile radius. We learned that in 2008 we consumed 155,000 GJ of energy – 40% of that energy was consumed by diesel primarily as the result of transporting onions from the fields to our Oxnard processing facility. 155,000 GJ is the same amount of energy consumed by 2,400 households in Southern California in an entire year. So, 40% of that energy used for transportation equals the same amount of energy consumed by 960 households.
By converting our fleet of trucks in 2009 and 2010 from generic trucks to Freight Liners with DD-15 engines, and using “Super Single” tires, Gills has been able to reduce the energy used for transportation by 20%. The more efficient engines account for 10% and the “Super Single” tires save an additional 8% -10%. Additionally, the reduced weight of 1,000 pounds per new truck allows us to ship more pounds of onions per mile.
Gill Onions developed new Delivered Programs for our retail and foodservice customers to eliminate the hassle of setting up shipping and delivery and to increase the efficiency and reliability of our shipping and delivery operations. By integrating services with CH Robinson, the supply-chain and transportation partner of Western Growers, Gills is able to combine shipping tonnage for better pricing, greater efficiency, lower costs and reduced GHG emissions by cross-docking with other Western Grower members at our Oxnard location as a ship point.
Retail and Foodservice customers now enjoy the flexibility of F.O.B. with Just-in-Time delivery to their dock, with one call and one invoice. By reducing duplication of shipping through integration with existing services, Gills has been able to further its stewardship of the planet while increasing its customer focus – a true Win/Win result for everyone! For more information, download our Sustainability Fact Sheet about Transportation & Shipping.