GSCW chat recap: Logistics warehouse space for CPG startups


This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food and CPG.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Challenges of launching CPG brands and the importance of on-demand warehousing options

DETAILS: Sourcing logistics tools and assets is tough for small and midsize companies. Owners and operators of traditional warehouses want long leases, large footprints and personal guarantees from tenants. From leadership trends to customer perspectives, hear how companies are navigating the CPG and warehousing challenges of 2021.

SPEAKER and INTERVIEWER: Ernie Manansala Jr. is the chief marketing officer at premium beverage maker BRÈINFÚEL and Grant Langston is the CEO of digital warehousing marketplace Warehouse Exchange.


Manansala has more than 20 years of success growing consumer brand companies with both large multinational and midsized entrepreneurial organizations. He’s the founder of Ninjas and Masterminds, an incubator of beverage brands like Fuze, NOS, Core and Bodyarmor. His expertise includes multiple CEO roles revamping both healthy and distressed companies. Building and restoring brand value has been a hallmark of his leadership history.

Langston has spent most of his 25-year career looking for ways to better connect people through marketplace technology. He recently took the helm as CEO and director of Warehouse Exchange, applying his deep experience of marketplace technology to the logistics sector and helping buyers and sellers of warehouse space come together in an online platform.


On the logistics challenges facing CPG startups: “The challenges I face in the CPG [world] as a leader, as an officer is simply 3PL. The less people that can touch it, the less you move the product in pallets and cases, the more margin you have.”

On premium beverage margins and cost structure: “We’re playing in the penny world. We’re playing in the $3 to $4 realm. It’s very difficult to play in that space. That’s why you’re going to start seeing products start to go into the $6 realm.”


On the void Warehouse Exchange fills and working with CPG startups and inventors: “They have their hands in the patient every day. They want to be in the space with their product picking and packing it, dealing with it. It’s one of the reasons that third-party logistics warehouses are not good solutions for a lot of these smaller companies, because they don’t let the employees get in the space and handle the merchandise.”

On adapting and being flexible in 2021: “You want a 10-year tenant who will pay you market rate, who has a triple-A credit score. You want all those things. That’s not what the world is going to give you anymore. People don’t want to sign a 10-year lease, they don’t want to be obligated. They want a short window, not because they want to move all the time, but because they just want to keep their options open and I think that’s the theme of this coming year.”

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.


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