Put Your Fresh Foot Forward: 14 Transportation Best Practices for Shipping Perishable Produce
Fruits and vegetables are more popular than ever: a 2022 study showed that sales of fresh produce in the United States rose 19% over three years—and is now $75+ billion annually. And with the perishable goods transportation market expected to grow by 7.22% a year through 2026, it’s more important than ever to have the right shipping processes in place to reduce food waste and rejections.
Behind the scenes of fresh produce distribution lies a complex transportation web that presents an array of logistics obstacles… and any hiccups can damage or ruin a shipment. Shippers and logistics providers are turning to technology to take the next step in the shipping evolution to achieve the desired results and maintain cold chain custody. This guide describes the best practices in fresh produce shipping—and explains the role of technology in ensuring shipments get to their destination in optimal condition.
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- Get to know your supply chain partners. If you choose the wrong partner, your reputation as a shipper is on the line—so ask for documented proof about how they do business.
- Have a clear, documented process for dealing with any discrepancies between stakeholders. This should include clear guidelines and a communication chain for all parties.
- Encourage communication and collaboration—to ensure everyone is on the same page. Encourage feedback from all parties to help ensure the processes run smoothly.
- Understand the impact of delays and how costly they are—and be proactive to mitigate them. It’s crucial to use real-time visibility to monitor freight 24/7, stay a step ahead, and spot any potential delays or risk factors before they occur.