Trucks, Trains, and Cargo Ships: How Rexius Delivers the Goods
Believe it or not, Rexius is 80 years old. (Here’s where you say, “What?! You don’t look a day over 79!”) We like to think that all of that time has established us as a trusted part of our local community, as well as the larger community of gardeners and growers out there. So, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that while we’re based here in Eugene, Oregon, we ship our organics all over the country — and sometimes, even beyond its borders.
According to Rexius Senior Vice President Dan Sutton, most of our orders are sent via common carrier trucks, all over the U.S. “If you want to ship two or three pallets of product, they have a particular rate that they charge you for that,” Sutton says. “They’ll come in, grab your pallets, and then they send it down to, let’s say, a California distribution center, [which will] ship it to the customers in that particular zone.”
Sometimes, we ship specialty products (like our premium Opus Grows potting soils and orchid bark) one pallet at at time. Other times, we ship entire containers full of Rexius products. In that case, we typically use intermodal freight or “piggyback rail,” which is when the container starts its journey on a truck, is transferred to a train that travels across the country, put back onto a truck, and then delivered to the customer.
“That’s how we can afford to ship as far as we ship, across the U.S. and into Canada,” Sutton explains. “I have customers in Quebec, Ontario, [Florida, and Texas,] and in order to get our products that far, those [containers] all typically end up on rail. Just about everybody past the Rocky Mountains all goes on piggyback rail.”
Wondering if our products ever cross oceans? Yes, in fact, they do. Sutton says that in the past, Rexius products have been shipped as far as Japan and Australia. Currently, we have a customer in Germany who regularly orders our orchid bark. Interestingly, this product is designed for use by the orchid industry, but this customer uses it for reptile bedding. Even more interestingly, this is not the weirdest application of our products: Another one of our customers buys hemlock bark by the bag for use in organic cosmetics.
“A couple of years ago, there was [an order] that was just outside of our normal industry,” Sutton says. “It was just something that was kind of weird, but you know what? We had the raw materials, and we did it. That’s just what we do. If we can source the raw material and use our facility to blend, ship, and package [it], we’ll do it.”
Anyway, for this customer in Germany, we ship containers of orchid bark to a port like Houston, where they’ll then board ships bound for Europe and, you know, disembark (no pun intended) before being delivered to the customer.
“[The same thing] happens when we ship to Hawaii,” Sutton says. “There’s a barge shipping service up in Washington that we ship the pallets up to. They offload our truck and put it on the barge, and then it’s shipped to Hawaii over the water.”
Whichever shipping method we use, customers can rest assured that they’re getting fair deals because our relationships with freight companies allow us negotiate for better rates.
Finally, of course, we also deliver locally with with those recognizable green trucks. We do bulk delivery with dump trucks and pallet delivery via flatbed trucks, and we can even put product in place using blower or conveyor trucks.
The bottom line is this: No matter what kind of organics you need, where you need them, or how you need to get them, Rexius can make it happen.