WICHITA, KS…. If you have spent any amount of time hauling processed meats, chances are that you hauled into or out of one of Cargill’s processing plants. The company has a worldwide footprint when it comes to agricultural products and, in particular, protein in the form of beef and turkey. From grain transported on ships to salt moved from beneath the Great Lakes and moved by rail, and even chocolate, Cargill is involved in consumable products. However, beef and turkey here in the United States is a large part of its business portfolio.
Cargill has processing plants all across the USA and hauls its own freight 80% of the time. When they have to find a load from someone else, they use one of their own vendors, usually hauling to points near a Cargill plant. The company is a 100% owner-operator, 48 state carrier. The Cargill Meat Logistics Solution (CMLS) or “Protein Division” was created to provide transportation for processed meats from Cargill plants to retail distribution centers and logistical support for Cargill processing plants. Currently 200 contractors across the USA are leased to the Cargill fleet. The company also maintains a much smaller fleet of livestock haulers that supply the processing plants.
There are many advantages to leasing to Cargill. First there is very low deadhead in the Cargill fleet. Trucks are loaded both ways and the large freight volumes guarantee steady year-round work. Because most of the freight hauled belongs to Cargill, there are few brokers to take a cut of the revenue. Cargill owns an enormous pool of refrigerated trailers, but you are welcome to lease on with your own refrigerated trailer if you like, earning extra revenue. Most contractors take advantage of Cargill’s no rental fee trailer fleet, letting the company handle purchasing and maintaining the trailer and refrigerated units. Cargill purchases the fuel for the reefer units and covers all cargo insurance for their owner-operators.
Cargill has something for everyone when it comes to freight. Contractors can choose from plant-to-plant hauls, irregular route hauls and dedicated runs. Dedicated 2-way hauls are available from Cargill plants in Dodge City, Kansas; Springdale, Arkansas; Friona, Texas and Schuyler, Nebraska. Dedicated contractors on these runs leave early in the week and getting through the house several times during the week. There are also dedicated container runs from Schuyler, Nebraska and Fort Morgan, Colorado hauling processed, meat to Oakland, California and bringing produce and wine back. Owner-operator settlements are processed twice weekly and contractors earn percentage pay of 72-85%. Cargill offers substantial sign-on and referral bonuses to their drivers. The company has some of the industry’s best freight rates as well, with no broker fees deducted.
Cargill launched an initiative in 2018 to grow their fleet, adding 100 additional owner-operators. They are selective, requiring an excellent driving record and late model power unit to qualify for employment. However, you will work for a company with one of the nation’s top safety ratings and very low CSA scores. Cargill’s driver turnover rate is 60% less than the national average. Cargill welcomes all contractors and will train to do refrigerated work. Teams are also welcome. Contractors average 2,500-2,700 miles per week hauling direct for the shipper with no company trucks to compete with.
For more information about a career with Cargill, call Jeff, Rebekah or Andrew at 800-835-3119.