CUSTOMER STORIES

Super Starr: Monitoring & Protecting the Fruits of Their Labor

February 5, 2024

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Super Starr International and its sister company, Red Starr and Starr Produce, grow some of the world’s juiciest and most flavorful papayas and melons. This grower-owned operation has built a stellar reputation for using advanced growing techniques that produce high-quality varietals from the volcanic-rich soil of Red Starr and Starr Produce’s farms in the Colima region of Mexico.

“Our customers find that working directly with us—the grower—is the best way to save money and ensure the highest-quality fruit is shipped each time,” said Lance Peterson, CEO of Super Starr International, the operation’s Texas-based seller to retailers and wholesalers across the U.S. and the world. “They know that the papayas, watermelons, and winter honeydews they receive have been grown with high integrity by people they can trust.”

Strict temperature control and monitoring of each shipment in transit from the farms in southern Mexico to Super Starr’s headquarters warehouses in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas—and point-of-sale locations worldwide—is a foundational piece of that trust. And to help maintain that trust, Super Starr International trusts Tive.

Old-School Ways Ripe for Change

Red Starr and Starr Produce’s growers have always understood that any temperature excursion—even for a few minutes—can significantly reduce a fruit’s shelf life. They traditionally used single-use disposable trackers to monitor a shipment’s temperature and conditions during transit.

But much has evolved over 25 years

  • Trucks and their cooling systems are more sophisticated
  • The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has tightened regulatory guidelines
  • The demand for fresh fruit year-round has skyrocketed
  • Customers expect constant visibility and communication regarding load statuses

In 2022, Super Starr International realized the need to leverage emerging technologies to better track its loads, trucks, and drivers. However, Red Starr and Starr Produce’s growers and drivers were wary of change. They wanted to stay “old school” in their comfort zone, and not be supervised constantly. Peterson said convincing them to embrace change came down to this:

If we get the product in pristine condition, sales are going to be better for the grower—and profits will be higher.

Lance Peterson
CEO of Super Starr International

Tive’s Solo 5G Trackers: A Fruitful Solution

Super Starr International is a leader in Sustainability and Fair Trade practices. In fact, they produce the only Fair Trade-certified papayas available on the market. Tive Solo 5G trackers provide the traceability and transparency that make this possible, and they ultimately help protect the driver’s reputation by assuring that steps are taken to keep temperatures within acceptable levels during the entire trip.

We chose Tive because it had a mix of everything: the best-in-class trackers, all the metrics and analysis tools they provide, and the product’s overall value.

Lance Peterson
CEO of Super Starr International

Tive Solo 5G trackers and platform help Super Starr International assure customers:

The Tive solution demonstrates our growers and drivers did everything needed to protect a shipment.

A Bountiful Harvest of Benefits

Super Starr International ships papayas 365 days a year—usually 25 to 30 loads per week. During melon peak season in January and February, that number increases to as many as 40 loads.

Solo 5G trackers capture every detail of all shipments, resulting in:

  • Fewer “hot loads” = less risk of load rejections
  • More effective management
  • Enhanced communication
  • Improved accountability

Using Tive is a win-win for us. We help the growers maintain the excellent quality of their product, and we have some management oversight to help ensure our customers are getting the product at peak condition. Coupled with Tive’s great customer service and communication, this solution is the best thing a business can hope for.

How Tive Helps Supports Drivers

A lot can happen once a shipment leaves the farm in Mexico with a load of fresh papayas or melons bound for the U.S. With Tive along for the ride, it’s like having an extra set of eyes, ears, and sometimes even voice in the truck with the driver.

The driver must always focus on the road—not answering the phone to handle status inquiries. If the driver doesn’t answer the phone, the grower can see the truck’s real-time location and condition status by checking the Tive platform.

Configurable real-time alerts triggered from data collected by Solo 5G trackers not only inform all stakeholders, including drivers, when temperature or humidity excursions occur but also when the truck’s doors open unexpectedly—indicating a potential theft risk.