Many will agree that food shipments are more pretentious than many other kinds of shipments, especially if they are perishable. Therefore, they require a lot of planning, any mistake in terms of temperature control or packaging putting the contents of the shipment at great risk.
Planning a food shipment
As with all types of shipments, one of the primary conditions to shipping food successfully is choosing to do business with a reliable shipper you can communicate well with and that has the experience necessary to provide you with valuable insight. Should you meet this first condition, the chances that your food shipment goes smoothly will increase significantly. The rest depends on how you manage the following aspects.
Choose the right packaging
First of all, you need to identify the perishable or fragile food items. Then, make sure you pack the food tight together and that you cushion it and insulate it properly for preservation reasons. Otherwise, your food is bound to shift in transit and go to waste. Make sure the service provider is informed about any potential special requirements, whether related to the way the food should be handled or a specific timeframe within which the shipment should arrive at the destination.
Maintain an appropriate temperature during shipping
The temperature plays an essential factor in preventing food from altering. Therefore, it is equally important that you mark the boxes the food is stored in either “Do not freeze” or “Keep refrigerated”, depending on the case. Should you be shipping items that require refrigeration, note that reefer freight can provide an ideal solution. The need that the weather conditions be researched in advance should also be mentioned in this context. This should help you take further precautions to ensure that the integrity of your food is maintained over the entire transportation period. Finally, tracking your food shipment should also help, so feel free to ask for regular updates from the service provider.
Have your food shipped separately
Contamination is as big a risk when it comes to food shipments as alteration. Therefore, it must be considered as well and precautions should be taken in this sense too. A first precaution would be to avoid your food being stored in the same place as other goods as it often happens with road transportation services. You might want to pack the items distinctively, for instance. Also, you should inform the driver about this specific request. Secondly, you should make sure your raw foods and your ready-to-eat foods are stored separately in order for the risk of cross-contamination to be minimized.
Check your transporter’s qualifications
Remember that your job is bound to be much easier if you choose your business partners properly. As you can imagine, the same goes for your shipper, so make sure the one you choose is qualified to handle food shipments. You can start by checking whether they have all the permits required for food shipping, their level of experience with such shipments, their refrigeration equipment, their maintenance programs and whether their vehicles are cleaned properly after each shipping job. The answers to these questions will reveal whether it is safe for you to partner up with them or you should co
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