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- Important Things to Consider While Transporting Perishable Goods
Important Things to Consider While Transporting Perishable Goods
The most important consideration to be kept in mind while transporting perishable goods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy items, raw meats, and poultry is guaranteeing their freshness. Their transportation needs to be handled under the right temperature conditions because of their short shelf-life & special storage conditions to ensure they stay fresh.
Certain protocols and rules need to be considered while transporting these items to prevent a loss to either of the parties involved. Right from packaging, storage, transportation, and last-mile delivery, the handling needs to be given due consideration.
End to end product knowledge
Right from the packers to the warehouse workers and the off loaders – everyone involved in the movement of these perishable goods from the production point to the delivery point needs to have complete product knowledge. This cannot be compromised at all. To ensure safety and smooth transportation of perishable products & fresh produce, it is imperative that the shippers clearly define the expectations to the other parties in the supply chain such as warehousing and transportation partners. Some important points that should be shared are:
1. How to package the product?
2. What is the best mode to transport it by?
3. What temperature should it be handled at, at all times?
4. Contingency plan in case of inability to meet the temperature conditions
5. Ideal transit time & backup plan if this optimal time is not met
6. Unique food safety requirements for each perishable product
Selecting the right transportation partner
One must choose a reliable transportation partner as this is very critical to maintaining the quality of the product by ensuring optimal transport conditions. A cold chain provider with a good reputation and background should be your ideal choice. One cannot afford to take a chance with the transporter as providing the right temperature and handling conditions is crucial.
Questions that one must answer before selecting a transporter:
- How much experience do they have in this particular industry?
- What is their track record, find some reviews online, speak to people who have done business with them – is it satisfactory?
- How often is their equipment cleaned and how well is it maintained?
- Are they equipped to deal with an emergency situation such as breakdown or ineffective cooling?
- Does the transportation staff have the required training to manage perishables and operate specialized equipment?
If the product needs multiple modes of transport, then the above requirement should be checked for each logistics provider involved.
Select the right payment partner
Transportation of perishable goods involves a significant amount of risk for both the buyer and seller as compared to other non-perishable items such as clothing, wood, etc. This is because incorrect handling could lead to goods being damaged and it is very easy to spiral into the blame game – whether they were exported in a perfect condition, whether they were not stored correctly during transit or were they not adequately handled at the right temperature on arrival. One can suffer huge financial losses and earn a bad reputation – so what are the most secure payment methods available?
Tazapay’s Escrow services safeguard the interest of both the parties involved by ensuring that the agreement is upheld from both ends and only agree to disburse the funds once the conditions of the agreements are fulfilled. We offer this protection to both the buyer and seller and protect payment, meaning we only go through with the transaction when the obligations are met as per the agreement & have no favoritism towards either party.
Communication Is Key
Establishing clear communication with all the parties involved is of extreme importance as this process is very time-sensitive. One cannot have questions or be stuck with incorrect information once the perishable goods have started their journey. The entire delivery process needs to be seamless, efficient, and almost error-free.
The transportation providers should be fully briefed on the route to be taken, the destination location, and the transit time. They need to be aware of the product handling, temperature maintenance throughout the transit and in case of an LTL shipment, must know of the goods that can be kept with it and the goods that must be avoided. In the case of multimodal transportation, this set of instructions should be communicated to each transportation partner. All the terms and conditions should be spelt out in the contract and mutually agreed on by both the parties involved.
Proper labelling, packaging, and handling
Packaging and proper labelling techniques should be implemented to identify and handle perishable items correctly. Any specific label requirements should be spelt out.
It’s often noticed that though the goods reach the destination safely, they get damaged at the buyer’s facility due to a lack of proper instructions about managing and handling goods. Proper handling and temperature instructions need to be communicated to the buyer as well.
Get the perishable goods insured
The entire process involved in transporting perishables and fresh produce is pricey and it comes with a high risk of spoilage in transit. In this case, insurance is critical. One must have the right insurance coverage before putting the cargo in transit, ensuring financial security in case anything happens on the way.
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