Frito Lay Canada, the largest and fastest growing snack food company in Canada recently replaced their Montreal cross-dock facility with the Warehouse on Wheels System by Demountable Concepts, Inc. based in Glassboro, New Jersey, USA.

In 2006 Frito Lay Canada had approximately 365 separate facilities distributing snack food to retail centers from six factories across the country. This large number of distribution centers led company decision makers determine that retooling their distribution systems would increase efficiency and result in significant savings.

Most of Frito Lay’s facilities were cross-dock operations being serviced by larger distribution centers. Trucks would arrive at the regional cross-dock and product would be unloaded, sorted and loaded into local delivery trucks that made retail deliveries.

While researching ways to make their cross-docks more efficient Frito Lay discovered the Warehouse on Wheels System by Demountable Concepts, a truck based alternative to cross-docking widely used for hub and spoke retail distribution throughout North America.

With Warehouse on Wheels multiple demountable truck bodies are long-hauled to a regional market on semi-trailers and demounted at a pre-determined location. The bodies are then mounted by local straight delivery trucks that make the retail deliveries. In the meantime, the semi-trailer is returns to the distribution center with empty bodies from the previous round of deliveries.

Frito Lay saw potential in utilizing demountable truck bodies and in early 2007 a small-scale test was put into operation to servicing their Montreal facility. Both companies hoped the test would validate the following advantages of utilizing the Warehouse on Wheels:

  • Cross docking would no longer be necessary because snack food could be shipped directly from the distribution center to the retailer in the same cargo body.
  • Frito Lay could eliminate the cross-docks and their operating costs.
  • Product would be touched less, and inventory tracking and loading would be centralized at the distribution center for increased efficiency.
  • The stem portion of the route could be driven during off-traffic times when there is less congestion on the roads.

Next Frito Lay and Demountable Concepts collaborated on implementing a plan for servicing the entire Montreal market. In 2008 the cross-dock operation was replaced with the Warehouse on Wheels System.

Demountable Concepts, Inc. President, Rustin Cassway is excited about the possibilities for both companies, ‘The Warehouse on Wheels system has proven itself effective in many industries. The Frito Lay operation represents an entry into the snack food industry for Demountable Concepts and Warehouse on Wheels is an excellent cost control tool for Frito Lay.’

Frito Lay Canada is currently monitoring the Warehouse on Wheels System’s performance to determine the next best market for implementation.

Established in 1989, Demountable Concepts, Inc. is North America’s premier manufacturer and supplier of Warehouse on Wheels and ‘Swap-Body’ straight-truck delivery systems. They have a network of installation and service centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.