Employee Spotlight: 10 Things to Know About Jose Ibarra, Shipping Supervisor

Jose Ibarra joined the  Ocean Mist Farms' Shipping team about 2 years ago. Keep reading to learn more about Jose and what his team does each day to ensure our field fresh vegetables leave our cooler on time!

1. How did you get started at Ocean Mist Farms?

I joined Ocean Mist Farms in April 2019 as a Shipping Supervisor. Before Ocean Mist Farms, I was a shipping manager at a local foodservice processor  for 10 years. I wanted to transition into the ag industry and was thrilled to join Ocean Mist Farms when this position became available.

2. How is the Shipping Department structured?

The Shipping department includes our manager, Rene Cardona (view his Employee Spotlight here), 4 Shipping Supervisors, 2 Shipping Coordinators and our large team of forklift operators who load product from our cooler. We are broken up into two shifts- an opening crew and a closing crew. Each crew has two supervisors, 1 coordinator, and 10 forklift operators.

3. Your team is responsible for shipping. Can you provide more detail on what this means?

Shipping is responsible for shipping domestic and international orders from our cooler. Our office staff handles the corresponding Manifest and Bill of Lading paperwork for every order, and coordinates with other internal and external teams to provide timelines. Our cooler staff - the forklift operators- are responsible for pulling the right product from inventory, staging orders on the loading dock, and loading the correct product onto the correct truck. Consistent communication between the office team and cooler team on the floor is critical!

4. What internal departments and external people does Shipping work with?

Internally, we work with the Cooling & Receiving Department, Sales, and Logistics. Logistics is responsible for managing the appointment loading schedule for when trucks are expected to load, whereas our Shipping department is responsible for fulfilling every order. Externally, we work with carrier dispatchers and the individual drivers who are onsite.

5. What does your typical work day look like?

During Castroville's peak season, our typical Monday through Saturday is action-packed with a full dock mid-morning into the late evening. During winter, most of our growing, cooling, and shipping operations transition south to the Coachella growing region, but our Castroville office shipping staff is still working to load product transfers between Castroville and our other winter growing regions.

6. What are some challenges for Shipping?

Our Castroville cooler operates as an appointment-loading pick-up facility, meaning truck drivers must call ahead to schedule a pick-up. This system is incredibly efficient and effective for reducing wait times for truck drivers. However, unexpected weather or mechanical delays can occur. Even with this unlikely challenge, our team always rises to the occasion to ensure appointment times are still honored and our product is delivered on time with the best customer service! 

7. Three words to describe your role?

Busy, rewarding, fast-paced. To add a fourth word, it's always fun, too!

8. What do you like to do in your free time?

I always spend my free time with my family. I also enjoy watching the NFL. I've been a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys!

9. Any hobbies you picked up during COVID? 

Yes, I started working on a 1964 Chevy Impala project.

10. Anything else you'd like to add, Jose?

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of this great team and look forward to more learning and growth here at Ocean Mist Farms!

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Julie Criswell
Julie has been connected to Ocean Mist Farms for half of her life! When she was 9, she participated in the Artichoke Festival’s Agro-art competition for the first time, and every year until she went to college in Chicago. Now, two years after her summer internship with us, she’s officially aboard our marketing team full-time. Enjoy her perspective of life in the produce lane!
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