Transporting fruits and vegetables for a long time can be pretty stressful. Nobody wants to arrive at the market with dry, rotting products. It is probably more complicated than transporting common goods because you need to ensure they don’t dehydrate or perish. Similar to safe hazardous transportation, shipping fresh produce also requires safety measures and guidelines.
Here are a few of the best tips you can consider:
1. Pack in Insulated, Well-Sealed Containers
When you pack in non-insulated containers, you’re risking heat exposure inside the container when it accumulates due to the sun, metals, etc. If this happens, your products may lose their flavor or even spoil.
- Wrap and seal the products properly inside.
- Use the right packaging size to fit all the fruit or vegetable inside.
2. Avoid Shipping During Hot Months
Transportation during the summer months is risky due to the heat exposure, making fruits and vegetables spoil faster. That’s why many people recommend waiting until fall hits before you start shipping those products again when temperatures are milder in most parts of the country.
However, if you like an early start this season or want to get rid of excess produce soon, consider keeping your items in a container with a reusable ice pack inside. Just make sure to switch them off as soon as you reach your destination, and never forget to take the temperature of the items after an hour or so.
3. Use a Reefer Truck
If your product is perishable and needs safe transportation, opt for a refrigerated transport service rather than regular ones. This may require longer waiting times before getting on the road, but it’s worth it when you know no harm will come to your products. It’s best to ask your carrier about options and the cost of reefer transportation before booking a slot with them.
4. Keep Your Produce Away from Other Goods
You must always keep your fruits and vegetables separate from other non-reliant items. This is to ensure the safety of your products since other goods such as dry products might absorb their moisture and flavor, leading them to decay faster.
5. Know the Temperature Requirements of Your Items
You must know the ideal temperature for each item you’re shipping to ensure they stay fresh. If you don’t, always opt for well-insulated containers, and the products are not exposed directly to sunlight or any other source of heat. You can also consider using reusable ice packs, among other things, before shipping.
It’s best to consult your carrier about some guidelines if you’re not comfortable with some aspects of transportation. They have experience transporting produce so they can help you every step of the way.
6. If Possible, Ship at Night to Reduce Temperature Fluctuation
Shipping at night helps you reduce temperature fluctuations. You want your products to arrive fresh, safe, and in one piece. However, if you ship during peak time, ensure enough cold storage for them inside the truck to control temperature changes during transit. While it costs more, you know it’s worth it as you don’t lose any product on arrival.
Keep in Mind
Transportation of fruits and vegetables can be a difficult process that needs to meet specific guidelines to ensure the safety of the items. That is why it’s best to seek expert help from a reputable carrier, have your containers ready, and study ways to keep them fresh during transit.
When choosing a carrier, make sure to ask about their reefer trucks and which ones are more suitable for your products. You can also discuss timing options before booking a spot on the truck. Sometimes the destination also matters.
For instance, a flatbed stepdeck may be ideal if the destination doesn’t have dock-level unloading. Finally, make sure to pack your fruits and vegetables in sealed insulation containers without any space left on either side of the item. This way, they will keep cold during transit while controlled temperature changes won’t be as dangerous.