(Oct. 16) Los Angeles-based Giumarra Cos. is taking more control over the way its produce is delivered.

“The bulk of product has been sent f.o.b. in the past,” said Giumarra senior vice president Tim Riley. “As we go more into the service side of the business, we want to deliver more loads ourselves to make sure of food safety and food security.”

Giumarra has partnered with West Valley City, Utah-based Central Refrigerated Service Inc. to create Giumarra Central Services, a supply chain management company. The partnership aims to provide customers with procurement, trucking, cold chain management, inventory replenishment and category management services.

Financial terms of the partnership were not released.

“They’re the largest refrigerated carrier in the U.S., and we’re a major produce supplier,” Riley said. “We’ve combined their strengths and our strengths.”

The deal was struck in 2004, but Riley said the companies haven’t made a big marketing push for the partnership until now. Giumarra will be promoting the new division Oct. 20-24 at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in San Diego.

Riley said the company’s PMA push would include a promotional video that will play on shuttle buses.

“We wanted to make sure everything was working well and we had all the bugs out of the system,” Riley said. “Now we’re really ramping it up.”

In the past, Giumarra Bros. Trucking brokered freight to move the company’s produce. That division of the company continues to operate, brokering short hauls for Giumarra Cos. and others from the Port of Los Angeles.

Riley said Oct. 13 that Giumarra Central Services had handled about 83,000 loads for Giumarra Cos. so far this year and about 17,000 loads for other customers. Giumarra Central Services has a dedicated fleet of about 1,500 tractors and 2,500 53-foot trailers serving North America and also has relationships with other carriers.