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14 Best Practices to Follow When Shipping Fresh Produce

March 14, 2023

April 29, 2024

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It’s such a familiar sight for customers to see a wide variety of fresh produce at the supermarket that they take for granted the lengthy process involved in getting it to them. All customers have to do is take a short trip to the store and pick up bananas or celery, not realizing that the journey from the farm is fraught with obstacles—and requires painstaking attention to detail to ensure success.

Following best practices is essential to delivering fresh fruits and vegetables to consumers promptly. The slightest deviation from proper procedures when dealing with fresh produce may mean a spoiled shipment, the loss of thousands of dollars, and damage to your reputation. To properly ensure perishables stay in cold chain custody through what is often a lengthy journey, stakeholders must pay scrupulous attention—throughout the supply chain process.

Tive’s latest guide—Put Your Fresh Foot Forward: 14 Transportation Best Practices for Shipping Perishable Produce—addresses the importance of following proper procedures when shipping time- and temperature-sensitive fruits and vegetables. Following are some highlights from the report.

Download your copy of the “Put Your Fresh Foot Forward: 14 Transportation Best Practices for Shipping Perishable Produce” guide here.

Challenges Involved with Moving Fresh Produce

General challenges: To ensure that shipments are delivered on time and in full, companies have to tackle issues such as packaging all items correctly, ensuring that refrigerated units are functioning properly, satisfying all food safety requirements, keeping proper documentation, and meeting sustainability goals.

Visibility challenges: Not maintaining proper visibility over shipments—from one end of the supply chain to the other—is asking for trouble. A lack of visibility results in lost time and money, disorganized data and records, no way to monitor the temperature of produce while it’s in transit, and potential loss or rejection of shipments.

Shipping Tips for Moving Fresh Produce

Know your supply chain partners: The time to gamble on the quality of your supply chain partners is NOT when you’re shipping fresh produce. You must take the time to vet partners, know their background, and ask numerous questions to ensure they are reliable and dependable.

Adopt technology: Real-time shipment trackers enable you to collect data on your cargo’s location, temperature, humidity, light exposure, and shock absorption. All essential stakeholders can also monitor shipments to address any hiccups—before they result in damage or loss.

Be mindful of timing: The shelf life for various types of produce can be complex—as can temperature ranges for individual fruits and vegetables during the cold chain. Shippers must understand the correct temperature range for the range of fresh produce.

Understand the impact of delays: Transit disruptions can jeopardize an entire produce shipment. It is vital to track freight throughout its journey— spot potential delays and risks before they happen.

Understand and communicate: From loading to unloading, it’s imperative to understand and communicate the chain of command, sanitizing procedures, and any special handling that each type of produce requires.

Properly Tackle the Challenges of Shipping Fresh Produce

End-to-end, real-time visibility is the ideal solution to combat challenges when shipping time- and temperature-sensitive produce. Alerts notify stakeholders of any temperature excursions and potential delays as soon as they occur so that immediate corrective action can be taken. Shipment data is stored in the cloud, enabling all stakeholders to find inefficiencies—and strategize to find improvements while reducing waste and improving customer satisfaction.

Tive’s visibility solutions meet the challenges of shipping head-on while ensuring that your shipments arrive as intended—and in plenty of time for customers to enjoy them. Learn more by downloading our latest white paper, Put Your Fresh Foot Forward: 14 Transportation Best Practices for Shipping Perishable Produce.

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