Black Gold Farms, Grand Forks, N.D., formed Horizon Logistics, LLC, an independent, full-service, asset-based transportation company serving Black Gold Farms and other grower shippers.

Horizon Logistics is part of a vertically integrated farm-to-forklift operation.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen the transportation deal be as up and down as ever, and that was affecting our customers. Our No. 1 objective is to make sure we get our potatoes to our customers, when they want them and how they want them. Trucks have a major influence in that,” says Eric Halverson, chief executive officer of Black Gold Farms.

Black Gold Farms maintains an internal team that focuses on transportation through a brokerage-style business.

“Our current system has worked well in the past, and we know that our transportation team is the last line of defense in order to create the most value the farm can to our customers. We’ve also seen that drivers are hard to come by because of regulations, time away from home and other factors that are beyond our control. By verticially intergrating and really focusing on resolving the transportation piece, by having our own assets, we are able to take some of those factors out of the equation,” says Matt Jahnke, director of transportation for Horizon Logistics.