Due to the needs of an expanding agricultural presence along with other products, including seafood, Tippmann Innovation, Fort Wayne, Ind., partnered with The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C., to assess current and long-term needs for growers and processors throughout Northeast Maine.

The Tippmann Innovation consulting team will focus on how to create a logistics market for regional shippers.

The need to create a smaller scale food logistics hub may be the answer in solving the lack of cold storage, reefer carrier availability and the need for other logistic services, according to Nick Pacitti, consulting lead for Tippmann Innovation.

“As we have experienced in the past, there is a growing need for ‘coopetition’ where competitors and peer companies have to collaborate and combine their volumes while sharing services and space that would be available in a regional food hub,” he adds. “The lone ranger strategy for mid-size shippers is transforming into more of a shared concept where regional cold storage facilities can be designed to accommodate similar needs, while shippers can enjoy their own smaller and more flexible space. In addition, the high functionality of these new food hubs will have quick freeze and chill capabilities where cost will become a variable rather than fixed. For seasonal growers and processors, this is the difference between profit or loss.”