26 May Tips for Shipping Perishables
According to the International Air Transport Association, perishables are goods that can deteriorate over time when exposed to harsh environmental conditions like extreme humidity and temperatures. Examples of perishables include dairy products, meat, plants, seafood, vegetables, live fish, fruits, and much more. Shipping any perishables requires careful packaging, preparation, and handling to reduce the rate of spoilage. Even though the transportation of perishables can sometimes be challenging the proper handling of these items before and during shipping can help businesses to realize significant cost savings and fewer customer complaints. This article will reveal 5 top tips for shipping perishables.
Plan in Advance
Before organizing the shipping of perishables it is crucial to know about and to comply with both international and the United States’ perishables transportation regulations, for instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Complying with all these requirements ensures that your perishables are delivered unspoiled and on time. The last thing you want to experience is to have your perishables hold up in customs because of your failure to adhere to a couple of local or international shipping regulations. Furthermore, check with your carrier to confirm if they can ship your perishables. If the perishables need refrigeration consider hiring a carrier who offers temperature-controlled freight transportation services.
Do Your Packaging Right
Proper packaging of perishables is important in keeping these products fresh until they are delivered to your customers. To discourage deterioration package your perishables inside thermal packaging or insulated containers. Keep your beverages or foods cold by using frozen gel packs or dry ice. If you want to protect your bottles and jars, ensure they are well sealed and use at least two inches of cushioning around the fragile items, for instance, glass. Avoid packing food while it is still hot because it will form condensation which promotes the growth of molds. Last but not least, ensure you label your package appropriately with wording like, “Perishable: Handle with care or keep refrigerated.”
Transit time is one of the most important factors to consider when shipping your perishables. The longer it takes to ship your perishables the more likely their quality will be affected. Use an expedited delivery service (preferably next day) but ensure you balance cost with speed to keep the price of your items as lower as possible.
Ship Perishables at Night
To ensure that your perishables arrive at the right temperature consider shipping them overnight. When packaging the products, prepare for 12 hours more than the delivery commitment time to cater for any unnecessary delays. Shipping at night can also lower your cost of cooling the cargo space.
Use Refrigerant to Keep Frozen Items from Melting
To keep your perishables frozen at an ideal temperature use refrigerants like dry ice and gel coolants. When shipping live seafood like oysters, gel coolants are your perfect choice. You can also use dry ice to preserve frozen items but you must handle it with care because it is considered to be a hazardous material for transit. If the perishables you are shipping can melt or thaw place them in watertight plastic bags before transit.
With careful packaging and the right shipping products, your perishables will definitely arrive at their destination safely, sound, and at an appropriate temperature and humidity. These 5 tips are ideal for vetting the right carrier for shipping all your perishables safely, cost-effectively, and hygienically.