Kenny Lund Discusses Current Supply Chain Outlook, Challenges, and Optimism
LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE, CA - One of the most dynamic challenges of this year for our industry has been the supply chain’s fluidity and rates. While we may lack a crystal ball, we do have bellwethers, and one helping us detect a change in the winds is Kenny Lund, Executive Vice President of the 45-year-strong family owned and operated Allen Lund Company.
“While we are watching the economy quite closely, I think we’ve hit the high,” Kenny tells me, pointing to record rates in May and June as what he is confident was the peak, and sharing the silver lining to that estimate. “We’ve already gotten through it, I believe. Class 8 truck sales, both new and used, have been good, which means truckers are buying more trucks and adding capacity. That, in turn, means they have drivers, which is a good sign.”
As we reported recently, rates saw an increase upwards of 30 percent this year and supply chains have been, and still are, significantly challenged in getting products to market. As a family company which sees both its employees and customers as an extension of itself, Kenny previously shared how the “family” has been strained.
“We have a tagline that says ‘we treat your loads, your product, like its family,’ and it has been a very challenging year for all,” Kenny reflects, telling me that a bright takeaway from those hurdles shines through—one that sounds familiar. “Relationships matter more than technology. Technology is great; it’s a strong aid, but it’s people that get things done. Through high prices and challenges, through the ups and downs, it’s relationships that will mean a successful recovery.”
Additional signs for hope that we are closer to this than we might think, Kenny points out, are increasing loads in Texas as the population and business have expanded.
“In the produce world, there’s a lot more churn in location in terms of product origin,” Kenny observes, sharing that California policies, on the other hand, continue to put stress on the chain. “California is continuing it’s war on diesel engines, but we are watching closely what happens as the state approaches its recall vote this fall. The good news is that, for better or worse, the pandemic has reminded people how important the supply chain is.”
As we continue to monitor this and other areas impacting the produce industry, AndNowUKnow will be sure to report the latest.