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Cold Chain Summit: Refrigerated carriers adapt to new food purchasing habits

Long-haul refrigerated moves remain essential to food supply chains

This fireside chat recap is from the FreightWaves Cold Chain Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How refrigerated carriers are adapting to new buying trends

DETAILS: Danny Christner, chief executive officer of John Christner Trucking (JCT), describes changes in food habits and how carriers can stay agile to meet customer expectations. Christner explains the difficulties of modifying food supply chains and his thoughts on whether these changes in habits are here to stay.

SPEAKER: Danny Christner, CEO of JCT

BIO: Christner started with JCT in 1989 after studying finance at Oklahoma State University. He has worked in various operational roles at the company including chief commercial officer for 20 years, prior to becoming chief executive officer in 2019. He has served on numerous civic boards in the Tulsa area and is active in the local community, as well as the transportation industry.


“Consumers were starting to use online delivery and some of the other services that were available, but [after pandemic shutdowns] this accelerated into warp speed and suddenly everyone adopted different modes to get their groceries or to get their food. As quick as it shifted all to retail, when restaurants, some schools and other institutions started reopening, our suppliers and customers had to shift back to food services.”

“The need for long-haul replenishment moves and distribution hasn’t changed from where the food sources are, over time. The technology, the just-in-time ordering practices, inventory management [have changed].”

“There is a lack of demand for office space, as workers stay home and don’t return to the office, but there is a big demand for industrial and warehouse space. … Certainly I think there are some trucking companies, carriers and 3PLs that have tried to take advantage of those [warehousing] markets, but there is much larger, institutional money that is moving that direction as well.”

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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at [email protected]