When people go to a white tablecloth restaurant, a private club, or an elegant event, the food can make or break the experience. That’s why, in the food distribution industry, timing and reliable refrigerated vehicles are critical. If something goes wrong – products not delivered on time, food spoilage, delivery truck breaks down – it can ruin a wedding night, an anniversary celebration, or a simple night out. And, create a significant financial loss.
For Fortune Fish & Gourmet, a company that specializes in getting fresh seafood out of the water and onto a plate as quickly as possible, being able to deliver on its customer promise depends heavily on the reliability of its fleet. That’s why it chose to partner with Ryder for a fleet leasing and maintenance solution.
“We process more than one million pounds of seafood per week, and offer more than 10,000 products to our customers ranging from seafood to meats and gourmet cheeses,” says Sean O’Scannlain, President and CEO of Fortune International, the parent company of Fortune Fish & Gourmet. “Being able to get these products to our customers on-time and fresh, depends a lot on the reliability of our fleet.”
Founded in 2001, Fortune Fish & Gourmet serves more than 6,300 customers including white tablecloth restaurants, private clubs, and special events, as well as more than 100 retail partners from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Its complete menu of products includes hors d’oeuvres, entrées, and desserts.
When the company began, it leased its fleet from a local provider. However, as the company grew so did its need for a fleet leasing and maintenance partner that provides reliable refrigerated trucks and has a national footprint to help Fortune Fish & Gourmet expand its presence.
Fortune Fish & Gourmet has a fleet of 85 vehicles through Ryder ChoiceLease Full Service. The vehicles are custom spec’d refrigerated trucks with dual temperature capabilities. This ensures the vehicles are able to transport frozen foods, fresh fish, and live seafood such as lobster, oysters, clams, and mussels. Ryder also worked with Fortune Fish & Gourmet to brand the vehicles with the company’s logo and colors.
“Fortune Fish & Gourmet is such a recognizable name in the food service industry in terms of high quality products and customer service,” says Jenna Boyle, National Account Manager at Ryder. “Not only did we customize the inside of the box for them, but we branded the outside of the vehicles for them as well. The logo and branding on the vehicles is a driving force behind their marketing efforts.”
“Every single truck of ours is a rolling advertisement,” O’Scannlain adds. “That’s why we want the logos and the decals on the truck. And, the trucks looking clean. Working with Ryder, we’ve been able to maintain our fleet in a consistent form and design. It’s been a big advantage for us.”
Built in to the Ryder ChoiceLease Full Service, Fortune Fish & Gourmet receives expert bumper-to-bumper maintenance, which includes preventive maintenance on every vehicle twice per year to minimize breakdowns and maximize uptime. It also has access to Ryder’s more than 800 service facilities across the nation, as well as immediate substitute vehicles to avoid product loss and missed deliveries.
Through its built-in maintenance solution, Ryder performs 170 preventive maintenance services annually. As a result, Fortune Fish & Gourmet has achieved 99% fleet uptime, 100% DOT & FMSA compliance, and zero product loss due to vehicle breakdowns.
“We deliver six days a week, and most of our orders have to be turned around in less than 12 hours. Having a fleet that is able to keep up with these demands, and a partner like Ryder who knows how important our fleet is to us, ensures our customers are satisfied,” O’Scannlain says.
Through the Ryder ChoiceLease Full Service solution, Fortune Fish & Gourmet saves more than $100,000 annually on its transportation spend. The company has also benefitted from Ryder’s preferred fuel rates, which has resulted in more than $15,000 in annual fuel savings.
And, just as the Fortune Fish & Gourmet and Ryder partnership began in 2008 to allow the company to expand its business, O’Scannlain expects both the partnership and thebusiness to grow even more in the near future.
“We are looking around at other opportunities to expand our footprint,” he says. “That’s why it’s vital for us to have the right fleet and logistics partner. Ryder is that partner for us.”