Aggregation and Distribution

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Digging into and comparing recent research and data with Rose Wilson

Attached are the four studies that we brought up during our discussion.
To reiterate some key business planning tools or information from these
studies that I find very useful:

1) The NCIC /Feasibility for a Leased Vegetable Storage Facility/
provides a case study business model with income and expense projections
and start up capital needed to operate a shared use vegetable storage

2) The NVDA /Agricultural Transportation Feasibility Study/ provides key
guidance on a) the capital and operating costs one needs to factor in
when considering transportation expenses. b) the pros/cons of owning vs
leasing: one should definitely consider leasing vs owning if you are
traveling more than 15,000 mi/yr or your total cost of ownership
(operating costs + capital invested) are greater than $1.30/mi) (see
page 6).  c) a comparison of VT vs national fleets (national small scale
truck fleets average $0.78/mi, whereas VT small scale truck fleet
operators average $1.30/mi (see page 16); and d) a handy margin matrix
to help readers gain a sense of how much value a truck would need to be
carrying depending on what rate the shipper was charging for its service
in order to cashflow. For example, a shipper going from Hardwick to
Boston charging a 2% margin would need to have $35,700 worth of product
on the truck to cashflow (assuming a $1.30/mi cost to break even based
on VT average), whereas if they were charging a 15% margin the truck
would only need to have $4,670 worth of value on the load in order to
break even (see page 30).

3) The CAE-NVDA /Storage and Distribution Report for Local Food in the
NEK/ provides our pyramid/stages of business or "distribution readiness"
which delineates the pros and cons of different methods of
transportation along with consideration of the capital expense (see page

5) The CAE-NVDA /Storage and Distribution Report for Local Food in the
NEK/ and the NCIC /Storage, Aggregation and Distribution Report for
Local Food in the North Country/ both provide the "communication tool"
list of contacts who said they were interested in collaboration, and if
so, what service they either had to offer or were looking for, (see
tables in the appendices) however, as Sarah and Katelyn mentioned, when
individuals were contacted as follow up, most if not all ended up as
dead end leads, so some skepticism may be needed when assessing the
degree to which people say they are in need of a service or willing to
offer a service. Which reinforces the idea of supporting these needs by
sharing information on what services are available that producers can
make use of when they are ready to engage, but not invest state or
regional level time, energy and funds in building infrastructure be it a
distribution and aggregation system or a shared use storage facility to
service a "need" which is perhaps more of an "interest."