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Hauling Heritage

21 Aug 2023
Category: Blog
Author: David Vidri

Image source: Masienda

Jorge Gaviria started Masienda in 2014 with a simple mission — to make a better masa.

Today, it’s safe to say that the mission is well underway. Masienda consistently earns praise from loyal consumers and elite chefs while driving a high-impact value chain that includes more than 2,000 smallholder farms throughout Mexico.

From creating a market opportunity for smallholder farmers’ harvest surplus to practicing ancestral techniques to make authentic products that delight masa enthusiasts everywhere, Masienda is building a thriving business and breathing new life into the rich heritage of this timeless cultural food staple.

The Challenges of Building a Viable Value Chain

Of course, with so much on the line from both a business and impact standpoint, building a strong and sustainable cross-border supply chain has long been essential to Masienda’s success.

Chief Operating Officer Danielle Dahlin oversees sourcing, purchasing, inventory control, and other crucial operational components. Every day, she tackles an endless list of logistical complexities while working proactively on long-term solutions to drive shipping precision and efficiency.

“Our biggest challenge is that many of our partner farms are in remote rural Mexico communities,” says Dahlin. “That means carriers often have to traverse mountain passes or search unmarked roads to pick up a load, so ETAs can be miscalculated and deliveries can very easily get delayed, which impacts every facet of the business.”

Image source: Masienda

Getting to and from the farms is only half the battle, though. Dahlin says that carriers often face additional challenges once they arrive on site.

“The farms may not have traditional loading docks and equipment drivers are used to, which can complicate the process,” she says. “They also tend to run tight on labor, which means we may pay for extra hands or equipment to assist in the loading process, making it even more imperative that drivers arrive on time.”

Downstream Impact

Shipping delays are bad for any business, but they can be devastating for Masienda.

“Quality is the first thing to suffer the downstream impact of shipping delays,” says Dahlin. “Corn is highly susceptible to pests, and because we use a hermetic storage process and don’t employ fumigants post-harvest, delayed pick-ups can quickly become a breeding ground for insects.”

Masienda’s products are irreplaceable as far as their deeply loyal customer base of passionate foodies and top-tier chefs is concerned, so the stakes are high for Dahlin and her team to ensure shipments arrive on time and intact.

“For most of our customers, it’s Masienda or nothing,” she says. “We have restaurants who refuse to use anything else, so if we’re out, they’re not happy, which puts pressure on the team. But it’s also the beauty of what we’re doing — and why our supply chain is so important.”

Forging the Right Partnership

Finding a partner capable of solving Masienda’s unique set of shipping challenges is what first motivated Dahlin to work with Forager in 2019 — and why she decided to continue the partnership following Arrive Logistics’ 2022 acquisition of the cross-border brokerage. Today, our cross-border team and carrier network handle the full scope of Masienda’s truckload shipping.

With strong lane and carrier density near the high-volume border city of Laredo, we can consistently offer Masienda plenty of reliable and readily available capacity at competitive rates. Plus, with expert teams on both sides of the border providing 24/7 support on every load, Masienda gets the personal service they want and the scale they need to ensure shipments run smoothly.

“I don’t take the decision to change our service providers lightly, especially across borders and in these rural areas… with Arrive, there is this spirit of hospitality and constant communication, so we always feel supported,” says Dahlin.

ARRIVEnow™: Tech With a Human Touch

We deliver that efficiency at scale and personal service through the ARRIVEnow™ copilot model. By using tech to automate processes and provide Masienda and our carriers with digital tools that make it easy to do business, our teams can focus on service, problem-solving, and other work that requires a human touch. It’s the best of both worlds for Dahlin and her team.

“It’s helpful being able to access updated load information online, especially when we’re busy, or I just need a quick update for a customer,” she says. “Still, there are times I might need more details about a shipment and need them fast. I want to reach a human who can tell me what’s happening in those moments. Arrive makes both possible, and it’s great knowing I’m covered either way.”

Learn more about

ARRIVEnow™ Shipper Portal

More Than Words

“We Deliver, So You Can.” is the mission that drives the Arrive team to relentlessly pursue perfection for all of our shippers and carriers, and it truly comes to life in our work with Masienda. Because while our partnership is built first and foremost upon a foundation of outstanding service and execution, moving Masienda’s products also gives us the privilege of helping them accomplish their mission.

“Our purpose has always been to open up a market for this incredibly important food, creating long-term economic stability for traditional farmers while preserving the biodiversity that makes Mexico so unique,” says Dahlin. “Our work on that front will never really be done, but we are proud to continue doing it.”

And for as long as Masienda continues working to fulfill that mission, we will be proud to help them deliver.

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