SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The transportation link in the industrial hemp supply chain is more complex than shipping corn or soybeans.
“Addressing proper transport procedures and protocols as part of a supply chain management strategy will prevent the costly — and potentially traumatic — results that can occur when companies wing it on transportation and logistics,” said Kevin Schultz, 357 Hemp Logistics co-founder and president, at the Illinois Hemp Summit.
357 Hemp Logistics, a division of Illinois-based The 357 Company, is dedicated to educating policy makers and hemp businesses throughout the supply chain on logistics and proper preparation and protocols for hemp transport to support the growth and stability of the hemp industry.
357′s compliance and operation teams actively seek out relationships and have daily communication with state and federal officials ranging from the Department of Agriculture to the State Police for the latest information on state laws and license requirements to safely transport hemp.
“Anybody can move freight. You can do a really good job at it and you can really do a crummy job at it. When there’s so many different rules and regulations, not only at the federal level, but also at the state level, and licensing to keep up with, you have to have a team of experts that are constantly working on the optimizations of routes and understand the laws and the licensures that are needed depending on the state you’re going through,” Schultz said.
“Hemp is never just another commodity to us, although we all hope it gains the respect it deserves as a commodity in the world. I think we’re getting there. We have a ways to go with some rules and regulations to open it up a little bit, but we treat this much differently.
“This is not just freight for us. We take tremendous pride in understanding what the product is, the on-boarding process, the documentation collection and, ultimately, our relationship with law enforcement and local state officials to make sure when we’re coming through we’re good to go.
“We work with everybody from genetics folks to the nurseries to farmers to drying companies. We’re working with a lot of processors, various wholesale marketplace platforms that we’ve vetted and we think do a good job of consummating deals.”
The company provides a customer portal for 24/7 real-time visibility, track and trace technology, instant messaging, on-demand analytics reporting, integrated billing and invoicing, and sortable historic data.
“Our mission statement is we listen and executive. I think it’s really important in logistics in general, but especially important in hemp. We really want to understand your business model, what your needs are and then how do we customize our solutions to fit your needs to be a true partner with you along the way,” Schultz added.