2023 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Frank Manfredi Jr.

Age: 39

Vice President
The Manfredi Companies
Toughkenamon, PA

Hometown: Kennett Square, PA
Hobbies: Boating, Cars
Family/Community: Married, 3 Children, Kennett Community Cupboard (source and purchase food to feed over 500 families for Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Motto in life: It all starts with family.

Manfredi has been a part of the family business since before he was in double digits. During his upbringing, he worked in the company warehouse doing odd and end jobs, loading and unloading freight and spent time in the truck service shop repairing trucks. After graduating college, he officially entered the produce industry in 2005 as a truck driver for Manfredi’s newly formed drayage company, Inland Transportation Corp. He hauled break bulk and containerized produce from the Delaware River Ports to the company’s cold storage facility in Kennett Square, PA. He drove for four years, until moving full time into the office as a dispatcher/operations manager.

His time spent driving paid off, as he began to implement drop and hook programs and dispatching based on specific terminals, and their hours/loading times. This led to routing trucks in a new way and increasing truck utilization upwards of 50%. Over the next five years, the fleet grew from three trucks to roughly 20. Inland Transportation is now moving 60 plus loads of produce from the waterfront to its warehouse every day and continuously growing.

In 2016, the Manfredi Companies began exploring the expansion of its footprint into New Jersey. Manfredi was directly involved with locating a property suitable for a new facility and was tasked with seeing the project through land development with engineers and the local municipality. Through his efforts, this site was transformed into an approved facility that will undergo its third expansion in as many years, bringing the facility to 250,000 square feet and storing 12,000 pallets of fresh fruit.

Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
Efficiently moving freight from the waterfront to our warehouse in Kennett Square. Finding a way to do it better and more cost competitive than anyone else in the industry. The goal is to constantly drive for more efficiency, while simultaneously improving the service level. Often copied, never duplicated.

Q: What would you like consumers to know about the industry?
That produce moves through the supply chain with lightning speed. You better have the appetite to meet deadlines on a daily/hourly basis.

Q: How has the industry changed during your tenure?
Early on in my career, imported fruit came from primarily two countries in minimal varieties. Currently on an annual basis, we receive numerous varieties of fruit from over 15 countries. Multiple shipping lines, shipping schedules and different ports all contribute to the complexity involved in the current produce industry.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
Being part of the development, and overall success, of The Manfredi Companies. Being solely responsible for the site selection, permitting and overseeing construction of a now 200,000+ square foot addition to Manfredi Cold Storage.

Q: What do you see as a critical issue facing the industry in the next decade and why?
Consolidation. Moving product in a more efficient and cost-effective way, reducing excess space on trucks, resulting in less greenhouse gas emissions per delivery.