Skip to main content

UNFI Deploys Platform to Reduce Fuel and Food Waste

Collaboration with solutions provider Samsara designed to improve efficiencies across operations
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
UNFI Workforce
By using new Cloud technologies, UNFI is making strides towards its goals of sustainability and safety.

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) is taking another step in its transformation strategy, enhancing efficiencies related to both operations and sustainability through a new partnership with a tech provider. The natural foods wholesaler is teaming up with Samsara Inc. to implement vehicle telematics, asset gateways, environmental monitors and video-based safety.

"The safety, efficiency, and sustainability improvements UNFI will make with Samsara will help us change our business for the better. A core part of UNFI’s customer and supplier-centric strategy is continuous improvement and better efficiency,” said Gregory Tieder, senior director of corporate logistics at UNFI.

[RELATED: UNFI Taps GE Vet Matteo Tarditi as New President and CFO]

Through this technology, in tandem with its electric vehicle (EV) blueprint, UNFI will work to cut direct emissions from its fleet, one of its major sustainability goals. The adoption of new vehicle telematics is expected to improve customer deliveries and reduce fuel-wasting practices like idling in existing combustion engine-powered trucks. 

In addition, UNFI will leverage Samsara’s Connected Operations Cloud to make progress in its effort to achieve zero waste in landfills by fiscal year 2030. Samsara’s environmental monitors will be used to gauge proper temperatures within trailers, thereby improving food safety and reducing waste from load loss.

Road and driver safety is another focal point of the systems, via asset gateways that allow UNFI to view driver locations in real time. The improved visibility can lead to higher utilization of assets, cost savings and timely service to customers. 

"UNFI operates 24/7 to meet the needs of our customers. They expect on-time deliveries despite poor weather, heavy traffic, and other challenges we face on the road. High-quality service creates complexity, but we won’t compromise on safety. Samsara helps us to reliably deliver for our customers while also strengthening our safety practices,” remarked Tieder.

Lara Caimi, president of worldwide field operations at Samsara, said that the partnership will streamline systems and broader ecosystems. “UNFI is taking incredible steps to improve North America's food system, accelerate its sustainability efforts, and increase associate safety,” she noted. “Every day, we see how transformative it is for large, complex organizations to use a single platform to manage and optimize their operations with Samsara. We can't wait to see what UNFI and Samsara accomplish together."

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to more than 30,000 customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds