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How Strict Temperature Control When Shipping Perishables Helps Make Holidays Merry & Bright

December 7, 2023

February 5, 2024

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x min read

Holidays bring a special kind of magic: homes filled with decorations, tables laden with delicious food, and gift-giving excitement. It has a certain aura and aroma that one can only fully experience and embrace in the heart of winter. But have you ever thought about what goes into ensuring all those holiday essentials, especially perishables, arrive in perfect condition? It certainly isn’t Santa and Rudolph.

Shippers are the unsung heroes of the holiday season—responsible for everything from the wreath on your door and the Christmas tree in your living room to the New Year’s surf and turf. What makes this all happen? A secret weapon called temperature control.

Keeping Your Holiday Florals Vibrant

First, let’s talk about the special plants that enrich our holiday season, each with unique beauty and symbolism. These festive flora not only add color and life to our homes—they also carry deep meaning. Let's briefly touch on their significance and preferred conditions.

Cherishing the Classics: Poinsettia, Holly & More

  • Poinsettia: The quintessential Christmas plant, with its striking red and green foliage, requires temperatures between 65–70℉ (18–21℃) to flourish.
  • Holly: With its distinctive red berries and shiny, pointed green leaves, Holly is a traditional Christmas decoration. It's often used in wreaths and garlands, symbolizing everlasting life and joy. Holly thrives in 60–70°F (15–21°C) temperatures.
  • Amaryllis: Celebrated for its large, vibrant blooms, this indoor favorite comes in shades of red, white, pink, and variegated patterns and needs an environment of 68–70°F (20–21°C).  
  • Christmas Cactus: With tubular flowers in shades of pink, red, white, yellow, and purple, it thrives at 60–70°F (15–21°C).

Enhancing the Tradition: Mistletoe, Ivy & Others

  • Mistletoe: Beyond its kissing tradition, this evergreen is actually a parasitic plant that thrives in conditions of at least 65°F (18°C).
  • Ivy: Symbolizing eternity and resurrection with its evergreen foliage, ivy is often found in holiday decorations, wreaths, and garlands. It’s best kept in 60–70°F (15–21°C) conditions.
  • Norfolk Island Pine: Often used as a miniature Christmas tree inside homes, it prefers 60–70°F (15–21°C).
  • Cyclamen: Known for its heart-shaped leaves and upswept petals, cyclamen blooms in white, pink, and deep red. It needs 60-65°F (15-18°C) to thrive.
  • Paperwhites (Narcissus): These fragrant, white flowering bulbs must often bloom indoors in 60-65°F (15-18°C) conditions during the holiday season.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary plants symbolize remembrance and love, and are often shaped and decorated like a small Christmas tree. Rosemary thrives in 60–70°F (15–21°C) environments.

Safeguarding the Meats & Seafoods of Festive Feasts

Now that we have the plants out of the way, let’s get to the best part of the holidays: the food. Each item has traveled under strict temperature guidelines. The potatoes for making delicious Hanukkah latkes. The turkey, roast beef, lamb, shrimp, oysters, crab, and lobsters for Christmas; the ham, pork roast, and roast chicken, alongside shrimp, lobster, and crab for New Year’s—every piece tells a story of a carefully monitored journey. Each meat and seafood item travels carefully and for good reason, from the chilled compartments of refrigerated trucks to freezers. Let’s dive into the details.  

The Cold Journey of Refrigerated Meats

Can you already smell your Christmas turkey or glazed ham? For it to safely make its way from a distant farm to your dinner table requires travel rules. Meats must be in a refrigerated transportation unit, and need to remain at a consistent chill of 40°F (4°C) or below. But nobody picked this temperature out of a hat: it’s a scientifically-significant number that shields against bacteria—and ensures that every slice of meat is safe and fresh for your festive feast.

Frozen Meats: Maintaining the Deep Freeze

Frozen meats, including beef brisket and goose, have a different tale. They reside in a world where temperatures dip to 0°F (-18°C) or below, a critical range preventing thawing. This deep freeze is essential to maintain the meat's quality and texture, ensuring they're as good as fresh when it's time to cook.

Best Practices for Shipping Perishables at the Holidays

Whether it's sending flora or ensuring that holiday meats arrive in perfect condition, following best practices in shipping is essential during the holiday season, especially as the volume of shipments grows exponentially, potentially impacting shipping times and the freshness of your items. Here are key steps to ensure your perishables arrive fresh and safe.

  • Select the right packaging: Opt for materials with strong insulation and protection against temperature fluctuations. Styrofoam boxes or insulated liners are excellent choices for maintaining the desired temperature.
  • Choose proper cold storage materials: Use ice packs or gel coolants for refrigerated items. For frozen goods, dry ice is effective—but remember it's classified as hazardous and requires careful handling.
  • Adhere to regulations: Comply with the Sanitary Transportation of Food (STF) Act, an integral part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA), to ensure sanitary and safe transportation practices.
  • Pick the right carrier: Select carriers that specialize in perishable items and can provide speedy delivery—to ensure freshness upon arrival.
  • Streamline fulfillment: Organize your fulfillment process to align with shipping windows. Accurately estimate lead times, and establish cut-off dates to avoid delays.
  • Ensure error-free delivery: Implement tools to automate the delivery process, accurately verify addresses, and provide customers with specific delivery time slots for better predictability and satisfaction.

The Role of Tive’s Visibility Solutions

In a world where precision is key to maintaining the quality of perishable goods, Tive stands out with its innovative cold chain monitoring solutions. Innovative Tive Tag temperature loggers and Solo 5G trackers offer a robust approach to ensuring cold chain integrity—blending ease of use with compliance assurance.

Ensuring Cold Chain Integrity with Reliable Data

Tive Tag temperature loggers and Solo 5G trackers are the core of Tive's innovative approach to cold chain visibility. Each helps ensure cold chain integrity with its unique properties. Tags provide visibility into the cold chain by capturing temperature data at regular intervals throughout the shipment's journey. At the same time, Tive Solo 5G trackers can detect and notify shippers of temperature excursions as they happen in real time—allowing for immediate action to mitigate potential damage.

Easy to Use & Provides a Compliance Audit Trail, Too

Tive Tags, known for their simplicity and efficiency, revolutionize temperature monitoring in shipping. These paper-thin, reusable loggers easily attach to shipments and activate with a smartphone app—making the process easier than ever. Whether using Tive Tags, which focus solely on temperature monitoring, or Solo 5G trackers, which provide real-time tracking of temperatures and conditions, you’ll have access to vital data that assures stakeholders that steps are taken to preserve quality and freshness—while also providing a reliable audit trail to support proof of compliance with shipping regulations. This audit trail is key for regulatory adherence and is invaluable in supporting insurance claims—while enhancing the security and dependability of the shipping process.

Ensuring Merriment: The Last Step in Your Holiday Prep

As the holidays approach, think about the path your festive items take to reach you—all thanks to the precision of shippers. The vibrant poinsettias, the fresh Christmas ham, or the succulent New Year's seafood: they all arrive in perfect condition because of effective temperature control. Tive’s visibility technology, including Tive Tag temperature loggers and Solo 5G trackers, is a next-generation tool playing an indispensable role in this process. Beyond ensuring compliance and safety, Tive is about ensuring that your holiday celebrations are filled with joy—without any hitches.

If interested in learning more, get started with Tive and see how they can help make your holiday logistics worry free.

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