Cool Tips for Shipping Perishables
Most people agree that it's one thing to ship furniture but transporting food and fresh products is a whole different story. From fresh fruits to fish and meat, perishable goods are some of the most widely distributed products across the world, and most challenging to handle.
The process of shipping sensitive perishables varies from product to product. The goal is to deliver high quality, fresh products that meet consumer expectations. Seeing as perishables continue to have a strong presence in the global trade, knowing how to handle them correctly is incredibly important.
But first, what exactly is a perishable product?
Perishables are items that are likely to deteriorate over time or become unsafe for consumption as a result of their environment. Shipping food items such as these can often be tricky as their quality can immediately transform if not packed and handled properly.
Let’s look at some of most common perishable products and their requirements:
Fruits and vegetables are considered the most sensitive of the perishable goods. This is due to their short shelf life and the greater likelihood of spoilage and decay. Fruits and vegetables are also sensitive to high heat and will become overripe much faster once exposed to high temperatures, which is why the type of packaging used must maintain sufficient air circulation throughout their shipment.
Fish and seafood are highly perishable and need proper preservation. With fresh fish, different factors play a role, but the main logistics issues are in ensuring that expected journey times are consistent with the products’ lifespan, while also maximizing refrigeration time to keep their nutritional value.
When it comes to shipping meat and poultry, having reliable, effective methods of temperature control are essential. The main types of meat products are divided into fresh, processed, and frozen, with different guidelines that must be carried out for each.
The risk of meat spoiling during shipment is significant and poses a much higher health risk than many other products if it deteriorates in quality. Like produce, fresh meat and poultry products must meet fixed temperature and time limitations. They must be kept at low freezing temperatures to keep them from outside temperature fluctuations.
Similar to pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies, local and global regulations apply to all perishable products as well. Failure to meet requirements can ultimately lead to the loss of the product unless the goods can be diverted to a different destination instead.
At ZIM, we know all about shipping temperature-sensitive products. Our Controlled-Atmosphere units are all backed by ZIMonitor, a service that is fully equipped with the necessary tools to monitor the cargo’s temperature during transport. It also features a GPS tracking tool, system notifications that can be accessed anywhere, and a 24/7 global service team that always ensuring the cargo’s safety.