Shipping frozen and refrigerated foods is considerably more complicated than you might initially expect. For food to appear on supermarket shelves, it has to go through a specific shipping process so it arrives ready for consumption. Read on to find out how to make shipping fresh food go smoothly.
Find the best way to ship
You can ship fresh, refrigerated and frozen goods either by truck or by rail. The factors you’ll need to be considering when choosing a shipping service include:
- Amount: If you have large quantities of food, then rail might be the better choice. You can fit several trucks’ worth of goods in a single rail car.
- Cost: Shipping by rail in some cases may be less expensive than by truck, though it’s worthwhile to get estimates to see if this is the case for your shipment.
- Type of product and length of transit: Some products are fine on longer trips. However, others that are more perishable must get to the shipping destination quickly. Understanding precisely how long it will take for the shipped goods to arrive is essential for shipping refrigerated items. For foods like celery, blueberries and bananas, you’ll want faster shipping times, which means you’ll want to go by truck.
Pre-cool the product
Any product you’re shipping should be cooled before it’s put in transit. The product will retain heat from the fields where it’s harvested. Therefore, it’s important to begin pre-cooling immediately after the harvest. This helps fruits and vegetables keep a fresh appearance and taste while also preventing deterioration.
Keep the temperature just right
While you do want to pre-cool products, it’s also important to prevent the opposite in the form of freezing and chilling injury. This occurs when temperatures are below freezing. These ultra-cold temperatures can cause cheese to change in texture, meat to become dark and eggs to crack. The potential for freezing depends on the product, but for fruits and vegetables, this most often occurs with apples, celery and lettuce.
Maintain clean equipment
Keeping all the storage equipment clean is vital to prevent chemical, odor and bacterial contamination. This means that you should also remove any debris, wash and sweep floors and clean drains between each load. To keep odors away, it’s recommended to leave an open can of coffee grounds out, which will absorb smells.
Inspect equipment regularly
You want to ensure every seal is maintained and prepared to block air leaks when shipping refrigerated items. This will mean that the air temperature stays cold during transit. You also want to look for damaged seams and walls that can let moisture in, which will result in damaging the product.
Do you need the experts in shipping fresh food? Then it’s time to bring in the pros at All Points Transport. We’re an integral part of our clients’ cold supply chain. We’ve dedicated ourselves to meeting our customers’ climate-controlled shipping needs, whether you’re sending goods from a port to a warehouse or across the state and beyond. Contact us right now to learn how we can deliver on all your shipping needs.
Categorised in: Reefer Shipping