If you ship fresh produce, such as vegetables and fruits, for business, you need to know how to keep them fresh when transporting. Whether you use flatbed transport or any other methods of shipping using a trucking company or do it on your own, you must follow certain guidelines to ensure safety.
Here are a few ways you can transport your produce to keep them fresh, looking attractive and desirable throughout the transportation process:
1. Use Reefer Containers
These can help keep your products cool, slowing down the deteriorating speed inside the container during transportation. Even if you are not shipping food items that need refrigeration, using reefer containers is beneficial because they are well insulated.
Insulation helps maintain low temperatures longer than regular containers. Also, since these are available in different sizes, you can choose one that best fits your needs. Remember that overfilling or underpacking leads to increased risks of spoilage.
2. Use Proper Packaging Materials
Reusable-style packaging is a good choice if you pack products securely and properly. Also, make sure to clean them before redelivery to prevent cross-contamination thoroughly.
On top of these, properly sealing food items for transportation is important so they won’t open by themselves, spilling contents inside the container. Ensure all containers have lids or plugs to avoid leaking liquids or exposure to too much air.
3. Use Ice Packs
These are beneficial for perishable goods that cannot be placed inside reefer containers or other insulating materials. They help keep produce cold, allowing you to decrease the temperature of the product until it reaches its destination. However, ice packs should be used with proper packaging materials to prevent damage during transportation.
4. Choose a Logistics Company with Temperature Control Transport Capabilities
Many carriers, such as this company, offer this service to their clients. They have specialized equipment that ensures quick temperature control, even in harsh weather conditions.
It’s also vital that the company offers proper inspection standards. If one or more of your boxes are damaged during transit, you need to know so you can replace them before other items suffer the same fate. Look for companies that have rigorous inspection procedures to avoid this situation.
5. Use Climate-Controlled Vehicles
Transporting produce inside vehicles without air conditioning may lead to spoilage due to heat exposure over some time. In addition, using cooling units during hot weather can help keep the temperature low and maintain freshness until delivery arrives at its destination.
6. Be Aware of the Expiration Dates
Some fruits and vegetables should never be shipped because they will spoil before their expected arrival date. For instance, bananas and tomatoes usually expire within a week, while cherries and apricots turn brown when exposed to air for too long. So, it is best to avoid shipping these kinds of products altogether.
7. Avoid Shipping Fresh Produce with Other Products
Shipping fresh products with other non-frozen ones is a common mistake many businesses and personal users make. While a few hours may not seem enough time to ruin perishable goods, it’s best to avoid this situation altogether.
Shipping fresh produce with other non-perishable goods can cause the temperature inside the vehicle to increase significantly. This affects how many hours you can keep your items stored at a proper temperature, which is why it’s better not to include them in the first place.
The transportation of fresh produce is an essential process for food manufacturing companies. If you are one, you can benefit from a better understanding of keeping your goods fresh during transport, so they arrive in excellent quality at their destination.
You may haul your products if you have the necessary vehicles and equipment. Otherwise, logistics companies that provide commercial transportation might be of great help to you instead.
If you decide to hire one, choose a company with years of experience that offers many options. They should provide reefer transport and other shipping methods, including dry van shipping, less than truckload, full truckload, expedited services, etc.