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2022 Shipper of Choice Profile: Tyson Foods

Tyson’s ‘5 C’s’: Caring, candor, creativity, collaboration, commitment

(Photo: Shutterstock/Eric Glenn)

The Shipper of Choice award, presented by FreightWaves in partnership with TriumphPay, recognizes manufacturers, distributors and retailers that do the best job of keeping the American economy moving by fighting driver detention, providing accessible facilities and understanding what it takes to remove inefficiencies from the supply chain.

Among the top 25 Shippers of Choice for 2022 is … Tyson Foods. 

About Tyson Foods

New York Stock Exchange tickerTSN
HeadquartersSpringdale, Arkansas
FY 2021 sales$47 billion
FY 2021 net income$3.06 billion
Employees137,000 (as of Oct. 2, 2021)

Why Tyson Foods made the cut

Tyson was nominated because “they care about their carriers and the drivers, and they’re working hard to ensure drivers want their freight.”

 According to Chris Kozak, associate director of contract carriers at Tyson Foods, “Being awarded a Shipper of Choice is a great honor for Tyson Foods. We have a very demanding business, and our carriers and private fleet really come through for us each day. We annually recognize anywhere from 30-40 of our suppliers as Premium Carriers.”  

Kozak told FreightWaves that he attributes his company’s Shipper of Choice recognition to “the adoption of our ‘5 C’s’ culture. Our five C’s are caring, candor, creativity, collaboration and commitment. They drive what we do and how we do it.”

Managing the supply chain through the pandemic

Tyson Foods, founded in 1935, is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Its brands include Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Sara Lee and State Fair. Of the company’s $47 billion in sales in fiscal year 2021 (through Oct. 2), 37% was beef, 29% chicken, 19% prepared food, 11% pork and 4% international sales and other products.

As with all producers, Tyson faced logistics challenges during the COVID era. The company said its supply chain “stayed largely intact” due to “contingency plans for redundant supply for our production facilities as well as our external suppliers.” On the trucking side, Tyson said it has “been able to leverage our extensive distribution network and large private transportation fleet to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.”

Part of that is about treating truckers right, and thus, being a Shipper of Choice. In March 2020, as a way to say thanks to its employees and truck drivers that were “feeding the nation” during the pandemic, Tyson allocated around $60 million in bonuses to “frontline workers and Tyson truckers.”

Beyond the people, it’s also about planning and using data and technology to fine-tune logistics operations.

During the company’s latest quarterly conference call on Aug. 8, Tyson CEO Donnie King explained, “We’re continuing to accelerate digitalization across Tyson through supply chain planning and execution processes.

“We expect to put forth a great deal of effort in our supply chain [into] those things we can control. The productivity program, for example, is huge for us in the way of automation and technology. We’ve been investing now for over a year, and we’re starting to see some of those things bear fruit, not only for this quarter but as we move forward.

“Some of the things that we’ve done around autonomous planning and trying to improve forecast accuracy and eliminate distress — we’re much better today than we were a quarter or two quarters ago.

“There are still things to do, but the supply chain is improving. We’re running it right. We’re just looking for opportunities to continue to get better.”

About Shipper of Choice partner TriumphPay

TriumphPay is the transportation industry’s premier payment network trusted by leading shippers, brokers, factors and carriers. Its innovative and highly automated fintech payment solution brings cost savings and efficiencies to antiquated transportation payment processes for network participants. Integrated financing options leverage the strength of TriumphPay’s parent bank and can provide liquidity and cash flow visibility.

TriumphPay is a division of TBK Bank, SSB, Member FDIC, and a member of the Triumph Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: TBK) group.


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