Money flowing through the cold chain to fund logistics real estate expansion projects continues as pandemic-induced stay-at-home lifestyles have become the new norm. Several large operators in the space continue to grow their networks through acquisition and expansion. The smaller companies are getting in on the action as well.
Founded in 2016, temperature-controlled e-commerce fulfillment provider Perishable Shipping Solutions (PSS) announced it has just closed on a Series A funding round providing it with $8.7 million in new capital.
PSS helps food providers fulfill online orders. The company receives full pallets of food product from its customers, which are then broken down into smaller parcels for delivery. While it works predominately with small and midsize companies it has a few large clients too. The company’s CEO Mark Nelson told FreightWaves, “if you were to purchase Cheesecake Factory on Amazon – PSS does the fulfillment.”
PSS plans to use the funds to add new fulfillment centers and hire new associates in several states in efforts to bolster its direct-to-consumer service. Some of the funds will be allocated to further develop its shipping and analytics platform, and repay its Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act loan, which it credits for providing liquidity during the “COVID-19 credit crunch.”
Currently, the company operates out of two locations, which provide fulfillment logistics for perishable cold and frozen foods: its headquarters in Youngstown, Ohio, and a facility in Reno, Nevada. The two warehouses offer direct-to-consumer and direct-to-retail fulfillment services, reaching 93% of the U.S. population using two-day ground service.
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“Digital grocery and specialty food purchases are here to stay. Cold, frozen and foods without preservatives require our specialized handling operations, from receipt of the order to the consumer’s table,” stated Nelson in the press release. “We’re thrilled that our investors recognize PSS’ critical role in this cold supply chain and are partnering to further accelerate our growth.”
PSS has seen significant growth as more and more of the population gains comfort ordering food online and trying new brands. Its services have also allowed its clients to adapt to new distribution models, providing last-mile delivery to the consumer, now that some food companies have seen their traditional marketplaces fall by the wayside. Smaller food providers are able to access consumers directly using PSS’ order-to-delivery service for a fraction of the expense it would cost to perform fulfillment services in house.
“Shipping foods that are frozen or require continuous cold are the hardest to get right — there’s no margin for error. Growing e-commerce brands can now focus on their food and beverage products, while PSS handles the back-end logistics for fast delivery to their customers,” commented David Griest, managing director at SJF Ventures.
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