The challenge of shipping perishables

Peter Tulisaari

By Peter Tulisaari Director of Business Development at King Solutions

How perishables are shipped is not something that is on the average consumer’s mind. Most people take for granted the fact that goods such as food, flowers and others perishables have travelled all the way from the farm to the store without thinking about all the stops it has made in between.

They also haven’t considered all the miles the goods have travelled, something that carriers know and understand quite well. It’s a challenge to ship and deliver perishable goods. It has to be done efficiently and quickly, and most importantly, the goods must remain fresh and clean.

This is a challenging task that supply chain workers are more than happy to accept, and it’s one that we at King Solutions have a lot of experience doing. That’s why we have decided to put together a small guide on the best practices for shipping perishable goods.

What to consider before shipping perishables
All shippers must take into account the types of goods that they are shipping, the route that will be taken by the carrier and what type of environment that the goods will be traveling through.

First and foremost, they need to know the rules and regulations enforced by the government, which can be found on the FDA website. This important step prevents supply chain professionals from violating guidelines and incurring hefty fines.

It’s also important to take into consideration how long the goods will be on the road.
When planning routes for transportation, think about the conditions in which the goods will be traveling through. Excessively hot and humid environments will require more insulated packaging and trucks with better refrigeration built into the trailer.

Similarly, trucks that contain liquids and other materials that are susceptible to freezing can benefit from proper route planning and temperature controlled trucks. In order to avoid having products freeze, they need to be kept at a warmer temperature than the frigid environments in which they are being transported through.

Shipping perishables with speed, efficiency and quality
A proper route-planning system will help minimize the time of transit. This both cuts down on shipping time and allows companies to avoid paying excess costs for expedited shipping.

The final problem lies in keeping the goods secure and fresh. These two issues can often work against one another, as pallets need to be wrapped tight enough to avoid collapsing, but wrapping them too tightly can cut off air circulation and cause many perishables to spoil.

Perishable goods such as food need to breathe in order to maintain their quality, which is why using netting or breathable plastic wrap is the secret to keeping them both fresh and secure.

Secure the right shipper
When it comes to shipping perishable goods, the best way to make sure they stay fresh while quickly getting to their destination is by partnering with the right company.

At King Solutions, we have a long history of carrier relations. We know the supply chain better than anyone else. Call today so that we can be the solution to your shipping needs.