Are Logistics Solutions for Perishable Products Time Bound?

With careful groundwork and effective management, food brands can improve transportation of perishable items and guarantee high-quality products to satisfy their customers’ demands.

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Perishable products deteriorate quickly over time—more so because of improper environmental conditions or poor storage temperatures. Poor storage conditions and handling of goods can impact the overall quality of such items, leading to spread of food-borne illnesses, or decaying of the consignment.

So, perishable food items should be handled with the utmost care and caution and efficiently transported to their target locations. This way, foodservice businesses can minimize wastage, costs and damage to their reputation and stay on top to grow successfully.

Safe ways to move perishables

Businesses can use these three key techniques to transport perishable goods, depending on the items and the location they come from…

§  Roadways. Roadways or ground transportation is the mode of transportation when a truck or train delivers products. When using this mode, the storage temperature is controlled with ice or dry ice. But, when trains carry perishable goods, they use isolated lining and have integrated refrigeration systems to maintain the temperature inside.

§  Airways. Transportation via airplanes is known to be the best option for moving perishables. Airports usually have a select area with refrigerated chambers and freezers to store perishable products. This area is always protected by special airport personnel who make sure the products remain at the best temperature. Mostly, frozen goods and fresh products, such as concentrated fruit juice, are transported by air.

§  Sea route. Perishable goods can also be moved using refrigerated ships equipped with systems that promote air circulation. Such goods can also be shipped in refrigerated containers known as reefers. While moving these products by sea, operators should complete a temperature requirement sheet to specify the appropriate temperature the items should be kept at.

5 key factors to be considered

To make sure that perishable items are properly and effectively processed and transported, managers should consider these key factors.

Share product knowledge

Carrier partners and warehouse personnel should be aware of the type of products they are handling and their detailed shipping needs. With detailed product knowledge, they will be able to keep the items safe and also make delivery smoothly. The most essential information that warehouse and transportation teams must know is about…

o  Best mode of transportation

o   Temperature requirements

o   Protocols to follow if temperature issues arise in transit

o   Optimal transit time

o   Standards for handling food products safely

Choose best carrier partner

It is very important to opt for a reliable transportation provider, since they will have to take the appropriate steps for maintaining product quality. So, executives must carry out extensive research to find a dependable and productive carrier partner.

Key questions for choosing carrier partners…

o   Whether they are experienced and have a good track record

o   Whether past clients were happy with the service they rendered

o   Whether they maintain and clean their equipment regularly

o   Whether the transportation staff is properly trained in handling perishables and managing high-end equipment

o   Transit time options of the carrier partners

Clear instructions for staff

Moving perishables is time-sensitive, so, you have to communicate the correct information to the shipping company or delivery partner before the products are transported, ensuring smooth and efficient delivery. Carrier partners should be directed about the route they should take, the destination and the expected transit time. It is essential to outline and document the requirements in a contract with the moving partner to ensure that both parties mutually agree to the terms.

Adopt proper packaging

If you follow proper labeling and packaging techniques, it will ensure that the perishable products are identified and handled properly. When businesses have definite labelling requirements, it should be informed to their transport providers.

Insurance coverage a must

Perishable goods and their transportation can be a costly affair for a business since they require fast delivery and careful handling. If the products spoil en-route, the company not only ends up with damaged goods, but also loses potential sales. Thus, it becomes important to get insurance cover for the purchase order in case an event like this occurs. With an appropriate policy, businesses will have financial support and will not have to risk the economic burdens if products are delivered in an unfit condition.

With careful groundwork and effective management, food brands can improve transportation of perishable items and guarantee high-quality products to satisfy their customers’ demands.