How do meat manufacturers transport products from the slaughterhouse to the packing house and to store shelves? How do these companies keep the climate controlled during the logistics process? Can you ship refrigerated food? What strategies do manufacturers use to ship perishable foods? In this article, we answer all of these questions and more.
Can You Ship Refrigerated Food?
Refrigerated Shipping Containers
Yes. You can ship refrigerated food items. When shipping perishable cargo internationally by sea, companies use intermodal temperature-controlled containers.
Also known as reefer containers, refrigerated containers feature construction with temperature-control and monitoring equipment and data logging technology.
Temperatures in reefer containers can maintain consistent climate control to ensure the integrity and quality of the cargo during transport. Temperature ranges inside reefers vary from freezing to ambient, depending on the client’s needs.
The Issue with Condensation
Condensation is a major contributor to cargo loss. It ruins packaging and products, costing insurers millions every year. As a result, teams must ensure the correct loading and unloading of the container to prevent condensation. The temperature difference between warehouse storage conditions and containers varies significantly, causing condensation when sealed and shipped.
To avoid cargo loss by condensation, shipping companies’ pre-cool containers. They’ll stop the cooling process as they’re loading the perishable items.
The container must have enough space inside it to allow air to circulate. Optimal air circulation ensures perishable goods remain fresh and the container’s interior has a consistent temperature, with no dead zones.
Shipping companies rely on accurate logistics forecasts to bring reliability to the supply chain for transporting perishable cargo.
Companies must account for time spent at ports, customs clearance, and other factors to calculate accurate client lead times.
The lead time is the total time to move your cargo between locations. It’s an essential factor in logistics planning and forecasting, and logistics managers must account for possible transport delays. Failing to factor in delays could mean cargo loss due to spoiling.
Experienced freight forwarding companies manage to avoid these shipping pitfalls by optimally working routes and instituting proper planning to account for all potential scenarios during the shipping process.
Perishable Food Quality Control
There are plenty of regulations and restrictions surrounding the transportation of perishable items. For instance, all items shipped must have clean, intact packaging to ensure product integrity. Damaged packaging results in spoilage and contamination.
The cargo container must have a clean interior and be free of microorganisms and fungi. Shipping companies must clean containers between loads to ensure optimal storage conditions.
Regular cleaning also serves to remove lingering odors that might contaminate other loads. The container’s door frames must be free of obstructions and cleaned to ensure proper closure and sealing of the door after loading the cargo.
Shipping companies must maintain the cold chain for perishable cargo during transit. There are several technologies logistics companies use to monitor and track consignments.
Shipment tracking and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) are examples of this tech and are key in assisting logistics managers with planning their shipments.
Relative Humidity and temperature sensors monitor the cargo during shipment. These devices detect a breakdown in the refrigeration equipment, allowing managers to take action to secure the load before it spoils.
Additional Information: Mail Order Food Safety
Cannonball Express Transportation
Cannonball Express Shipping Company has been providing top-of-the-line service at a reasonable rate. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, we provide nationwide refrigerated LTL services, as well as, local delivery services. Contact us today!
Nationwide Shipping Company Services:
- Refrigerated LTL deliveries in the lower 48 states
- Refrigerated Cross dock
Local Shipping Company Services:
- Redelivery Services
- Truckload & LTL Capabilities
- Cross dock
- Warehouse and Distribution capabilities from multiple Omaha Locations