ColdStar Freight Systems

Quality all the way

When it comes to transporting goods from point A to B, it is all about meticulous quality—or at least, that’s what ColdStar Freight Systems Inc. believes.

ColdStar Freight Systems Inc. is in the business of picking up fresh and frozen food on the mainland and delivering overnight to all points on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. In 2005, ColdStar became the third-largest major refrigerated supply chain and Vancouver Island’s first and only HACCP-certified refrigerated trucking company. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a program used to find the points in one’s production process where loss of control could result in biological, chemical or physical harm to the consumer.

Understandably, one of the biggest issues facing food processors is food safety. As such, companies of all sizes must look to their production and distribution plans to ensure their customers are buying a safe product. Although it’s not mandatory yet to have a HACCP program, it is an advantage for companies who do. Distributors and retailers may not choose to deal with suppliers based on sluggish food safety programs. And that’s exactly why ColdStar stands out. Specializing in transporting temperature sensitive food products and operating refrigerated-only trucks and trailers, ColdStar has a number of refrigerated warehouses located in Victoria, Richmond and Nanaimo, B.C.

On average, ColdStar makes over 200 pickups and deliveries each day, regardless of sizes. With over 88 employees, 33 trucks, 24 trailers and $10.3 million in sales, ColdStar reaching for a gold star in performance and customer service. Here’s how they have achieved their great reaches of business success.

Monitoring program gives competitive edge

With its combined preventative maintenance and food safety program, ColdStar follows strict sanitation procedures, including monitoring and recording temperatures, as well as regular inspections. And the investment has clearly paid off.

“With us being the only one in western Canada, it certainly gives us an edge for the suppliers that it matters to; there are many others that don’t want to have pay the extra, but I would say the big suppliers make it their priority,” says Kelly Hawes, CEO and President of ColdStar Freight Systems. When Hawes started this business 10 years ago, he and his buddy used one trailer to deliver their first shipment, and now it has grown into an efficient, safe food carrier with a solid safety track record and a strong dedication to quality assurance. And that’s what sets them apart.

His wife and business partner, Jennifer Hawes, says “We have a manager in place who is responsible for quality assurance. I don’t know of any other competitor that has a manager dedicated to talking with customers about quality control. He is awesome at what he does and he makes sure we don’t waiver from our standards,” she says.

“We started off by wanting to change the industry,” says Kelly, “and it’s been a tough slug. “The food safety industry has been evolving over the recent years, and ColdStar’s dedication to food safety has paid off.”

Leading the way

Looking to the future, ColdStar will make a significant investment in upgrading its facilities, especially on the north end of the island. “As our company has grown and become more stable, the concept of becoming a good community partner will also be a focus,” says Jennifer, who organized food donations in a fundraising program for the Neighborhood Houses.

As a proud recipient of the Ethics in Action Award in 2004, ColdStar continues to celebrate businesses and individuals whose community social responsible has a positive impact on the local community. “As we secure a sponsorship for a cause we believe in we will continue to grow our community presence, and it will a force to reckon with, both at the community and business level,” she adds.

No doubt, ColdStar will continue its journey to educate the consumer as a market leader.</p>