The FreightWaves Shipper of Choice award is presented in partnership with ArcBest and recognizes retailers, distributors and manufacturers that are keeping the U.S. economy moving by improving efficiency along the supply chain, providing accessible facilities and fighting driver detention.

Among the top 25 Shippers of Choice for 2021 is … The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO), which ranked 11th. 

About Coca-Cola

New York Stock Exchange ticker


2020 revenue
$33.01 billion 

2020 net earnings
$8.435 billion

Shipper of Choice history
2019 – 16th

Nomination notes for Coca-Cola

In Coca-Cola’s Q4 earnings call, company executives noted the lessons it learned during the pandemic and the collaboration necessary to achieve a better supply chain for its end consumers.

“Thinking about 2021, there is no doubt the near-term trajectory of our recovery will still be impacted by the presence of the virus in most markets,” said Chairman and CEO James Quincey. “While our overall market share performance continued to be impacted by channel mix, as our higher share away-from-home business remains pressured, we did gain underlying value share in both at-home and away-from-home channels. We are poised to emerge stronger in both channels, due to our actions to support customers and to ensure seamless execution from a supply chain perspective.”

Quincey noted that enhancing supply chain resilience would take visibility and collaboration with its bottling partners.

“Ultimately, we have to have the most efficient and effective supply chain between ourselves and the bottlers to satisfy the consumers,” he said.

To become more responsive to changes in consumer habits, Coca-Cola invested in two key partnerships.

In October, the IT service for its North American bottling business, Coke One North America (CONA Services), built out its Blue Yonder planning solution for 12 of its domestic bottling companies led by the supply chain services provider Plantensive. This created a viable end-to-end solution for the company to be agile to meet customers’ needs, planning more than $21 billion of revenue a year.

Related article: CONA Services partners with Salesforce for real-time tracking

To improve processes outside the United States, Coca-Cola leveraged its multiplatform venture Wabi to connect store owners to end consumers, including connections to other consumer products, creating a complete inventory solution for the company’s distributors.

Quincey explained that experimenting with different ways to interact with its bottling partners, distributors, storefronts and end consumers will allow the company to improve on its execution process, including delivery.

“We continue to see ongoing digitization of the interaction of both the consumer with the retailer and the retailer with the suppliers,” he said. “We think the Coke system globally with our bottling partners is in the tremendous position to expand the depth of our relationship with the retailers, and we are being open-minded as to exactly what form that takes and working with them to drive a whole set of experiments to see what works. More to come.”

View the Shipper of Choice top 25 winners here.

Shipper of Choice related links

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The 6 characteristics of a Shipper of Choice

Becoming (and staying) a shipper of choice in a volatile market

About Shipper of Choice partner ArcBest

With a relentless focus on meeting customers’ needs and unique access to guaranteed transportation capacity, ArcBest creates solutions to even the most complex supply chain challenges. The company focuses on providing the best customer experience possible with seamless access to a broad suite of logistics capabilities, including truckload, LTL, ocean and air, ground expedite, managed transportation and warehousing.