When shipping food, carefully plan the process from start to finish in order to get your shipment to its destination in good condition. Proper control over shipping conditions such as temperature and packaging are important, especially if your food shipment is perishable.
Tips on How to Plan a Food Shipment
By choosing a reliable, qualified food shipping company and maintaining a line of communication with your transporter, you can help ensure that your food shipment will go smoothly. Use the following guidelines to plan a food shipment.
Evaluate whether the food items are fragile or perishable. You should pack food closely to prevent shifting during transport, but take measures to cushion or insulate it if necessary. Inform your service provider of any special needs, such as careful handling of fragile items or a required time frame in which food can be transferred to a proper storage facility.
Foods can spoil if they get too hot or too cold. Label boxes according to food requirements – for example, ‘KEEP REFRIGERATED’ or ‘DO NOT FREEZE’. If refrigeration is important, consider reefer freight as an option. Ask your service provider to provide regular updates on his location so you can track the progress of your shipment. Also, research weather conditions on the shipment route ahead of time so you can make provisions for temperature variations.
If you are shipping food on a truck that is also transporting other goods, ensure that they stay separate. You can do this by using good packaging practices, and specifically informing the driver of this. Ready-to-eat foods must also be kept separate from raw foods to avoid cross-contamination, so package them in separate containers.
Before choosing a shipping company, ask them questions to determine if they are qualified to ship food:
- Do they carry the proper permits for the job?
- What is their experience with transporting food?
- What kind of refrigeration equipment do they use, and what maintenance programs are in place?
- Are the trucks cleaned and disinfected after every load?