TRANSPORTING PERISHABLE GOODS
When transporting perishable goods, it is very important to plan. You need to know:
your customers/supplier specifications and requirements
your produce shelf life and perishability
the quality system of your chosen transport companies ( truck, rail, vessel, planes)
the ideal temperature environment for the product
your customer’s/supplier’s transport preference
the implication of the incoterm(s) used in the contract(s)
the process and cost for inspections, licences, permits, etc..
Before transporting you need to:
have quality procedures for handling fresh produce
know of the produce shelf life and perishability
advise all parties through the entire transport chain the ideal temperature environment for the product
assess the costing carefully and do your logistics homework.
As part of your logistics homework you need to decide if the perishables are going by sea or by air by comparing time and cost trade-offs. In both scenarios you will need to check the different route options and find the shortest possible route/transit time, get quotes from the freight forwarders, analyse the number of movements of the goods and calculate the total journey time (door to door).
In choosing your logistics partner, make sure you:
ask for their ability to track and trace the cargo
ensure they have all the necessary equipment ((eg.cool room, etc..)
understand the cold chain management
find out who they have on the ground overseas in case of a problem.
You also need to carefully assess your packing options which can be:
Tap into your industry Association resources, ask your freight forwarder and investigate packaging manufacturers to find out the most up to date options.
Your packaging options should make it easy to display labels, numbers, marks and handling instructions. Of course, make sure the labelling is in the right language.
By definition, perishable cargo are any cargo where the initial state or availability can deteriorate under the influence of temperature or humidity changes and delays in shipment.
The type of packaging must be good enough to protect the product from :
rough movements during transport
various climate conditions during transit
water tight and water resistant
protects goods from spills, leaks & bad odours
is able to withstand reasonable stacking without collapsing
has adequate insulation to prevent or reduce the transfer of heat through the container walls.