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Efficiency, relationships key for Shipper of Choice winners Costa Farms, Syngenta

Companies named winners of FreightWaves’ Shipper of Choice Awards are among the best in the nation.

Costa Farms and Syngenta are both FreightWaves Shipper of Choice winners because they strive to create productive supply chains through investments in technology, while maintaining great relationships with carriers and drivers.

Sponsored by Transflo, the Shipper of Choice Awards winners were chosen out of nearly 400 companies nominated by FreightWaves’ readers on social media. 

“We are extremely proud and humbled by the recognition of the Shipper of Choice Award and truly satisfied that we are able to make the lives of the thousands of drivers that pass through our farms yearly just a bit more pleasant,” said Willy Maurer, Costa Farms’ director of logistics.

Roger Herzog, head of North America logistics at Syngenta, said “relationships with carriers is a priority.”

“Syngenta has a culture of continuous improvement with a strong focus on enhancing our customers’ experience,” Herzog said.

Nominees for Shipper of Choice completed a survey addressing operational data, including dwell times, overages/shortages and damages, hours of operation, communication protocols, and facility attributes, including the availability of showers, bathrooms and break rooms for drivers.

With freight ranging from pet foods to bottled water to washing machines to plants, the 12 companies that were named as winners of FreightWaves’ Shipper of Choice awards are among the best in the nation.

The winners were announced during FreightWaves LIVE @HOME on May 6:

Best Overall:




Costa Farms was started in 1961 and has become one of the largest horticultural growers in the world, with transportation teams loading over 32,000 trucks and 180,000 store deliveries to destinations across the United States and Canada.

With a current “on time in full” loading percentage of 91%, Costa Farms makes the quick loading of trucks and dispatching of drivers one of its primary priorities, company officials said.

“Our transportation and shipping teams utilize multiple resources to maximize transportation and logistics efficiencies,” Maurer said, “including loading time scheduling (A, B and C loading schedules selected by the carrier on a first-come, first-served basis), unitized shipping methods (pallets and racks), routing optimization, and strong relations with our customers that facilitates the quick and safe unloading of our freight.”

Syngenta has also been using technology to add value and efficiency to its supply chain, enabling farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources, officials said.

Syngenta, based in Basel, Switzerland, is one of the world’s leading agriculture and seed companies, operating in more than 90 countries with 28,000 employees.

“Our business is time-critical. We need to move a lot of products, so farmers have it when they need it for spring planting and throughout the growing season,” Herzog said. “We utilize several technology components to ensure drivers can get in and out of loading facilities as quickly as possible.”

Herzog said focusing on improving customers’ experience has also helped Syngenta stand out among other shippers.

“Several years ago, when the truck driver shortage became more challenging to the industry, we expanded our efforts to improve the ease of doing business,” Herzog said. “We fully understand the importance of drivers being on the road and not waiting at plant gates or loading docks.”

Syngenta has also focused on open and accurate communications with carriers to keep its supply chain moving.

We provide forecasts to our carriers or fourth-party logistics provider partners in advance and confirm shipments 48 hours ahead of all planned pickups,” Herzog said. 

To get trucks in and out as quickly as possible, Costa Farms implemented “staggered loading scheduling,” Maurer said.

“It consists of shifts A, B and C. The carriers pick their loading shift when communicating ETAs to our logistics team. If the driver arrives within the preset time frame, the turnaround time is well within the industry norm,” Maurer said. “We maintain solid relationships with our carriers, enabling good communication to resolve any issues while en route.”

During the busy spring season, Costa Farms provides weekend loading options, and locations are usually open six to seven days a week. In the offseason, facilities are open Monday through Friday.

Costa Farms currently has a three-acre truck and trailer parking area adjacent to the main packing house at its headquarters in Miami. The company is also expanding its parking facilities. 

“All locations have accessible restroom facilities and the main location in Miami also has a driver’s area/lounge complete with sleeping rooms, showers, kitchen and dining area, office space, and a large-screen television for relaxation,” Maurer said.

Syngenta can also provide onsite parking for truckers when needed.

“At many of our locations, limited parking is available, and we can usually accommodate drivers if the need arises,” Herzog said.

Click here to learn more about Transflo’s new Electronic Bill of Lading for Shippers.

Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact